Purpose and question

Purpose and question

Here you tell about the research question, what you want out of your study and what questions you want to ask for your material.

The section often contains wordings such as:

  • The purpose of this paper is to investigate…
  • To achieve this goal, I would like to answer the following questions…

Theoretical framework

Here you tell us the theories and ideas you use to seek the answer to your research question.

The theories provide a framework for your investigation – and usually also a premonition of which method you should choose. If, for example, you start from a theory that looks at children’s development from a certain perspective, it is a concept from the theory that returns in your method. The section may contain wordings such as:

  • I have chosen to start from Larsson’s theories of…

Previous research

Here you tell us what others have found out about this topic or with this method.

Here you go through previous studies that somehow resemble yours. For example, it might be someone who analyzed the same material as you but with another method, or someone who used the same method on another material. Your review of the research need not be comprehensive. You should concentrate on studies that you somehow want to discuss.

Start with summary descriptions of the research situation rather than diving right down in the description of an individual study.

The section often contains wordings such as:

  • Contemporary research is broadly agreed that…
  • To show this, Nilsson (2009) did a survey of…

Method and material

Here you tell how you did to answer your research question and what material you were looking at.

Here you should describe the method you used so that someone else can repeat your examination. That means you have to be quite specific. For example, it is not enough to write I analyzed the texts. How did you analyze them? What did you do with the material then? Why did you just use that analysis method and not another? Method and material can be divided into two parts and also contains a section on how you followed ethical rules regarding research in many places. You can read more about this on the Swedish Research Council’s website

Results / analysis / investigation

Here you tell about the results of your survey – what you found.

As you can see from our headline, this section can be called different things depending on what kind of survey you have done and what is your practice in your institution. The text itself can also look very different. A good general advice, however, is to thematize the text. This means that you divide your material into sub-topics and tell about one at a time instead of, for example, recording it in the order you did the survey or the like.

Let’s say your study consists of deep interviews with five people. You can then choose to structure the section like this:

Question 1

Person A’s answer

Person B’s answer and so on

Question 2

Person A’s answer

Person B’s answer and so on

Conclusions and discussion

In this section, tell you what you are drawing for conclusions from your survey.

What will be the answer to your research question? You also address any objections and compare your results with those of others.

In this final part, the bag is tied together. The conclusions can also be included in the section before, or last in this section, but often three things are done in this section:

  1. Draw conclusions based on his study and link it to the research question, purpose and issues.
  2. Discusses the studies that were raised in previous research. Do you agree? Do you get the same results as previous researchers? Why? Why not? The discussion section is very much about trying to find holes in their own reasoning to show that you thought about everything. Therefore, perhaps you will discuss and criticize your own conclusions, your research question, your method or your material and so on. But you should not just criticize but also defend. The section may therefore contain formulations such as:
    • Another possible conclusion is that my respondents … Based on my question and Larsson’s view on … the most reasonable interpretation is that…
    • The selection of respondents can be considered … I did however make the assessment…
  3. Provides suggestions for further research.