Contents page: Sections, and sometimes sub-sections, should be given page numbers on the Contents
page to help readers find their way around the text.
Abstract: This should be a short summary of the procedures, your major findings and conclusions
drawn from them in approx 150-250 words. It should not contain references; the reader will look for
these in the main body of the report. A good abstract should contain four basic pieces of
information: ? Why the work was done (found in the introduction) ? What was done exactly (an
outline description of the methods used) ? What the results were (a summary of the main results) ?
What the authors concluded from these results (a summary of the discussion and conclusions)
When you use electronic searches you’ll find other styles of abstract which may be useful.
Introduction: This should contain a brief description of the aim(s) of the project, the approach
and the background to the dissertation. It should set your work in an appropriate context,
presenting the problem the dissertation has been designed to address.
Methods: This section should contain a concise description of method(s) used, together with sources
of material. This should be written in sufficient detail so that the reader could repeat the
process. It should not contain superfluous procedural details and any original methods should be
described fully. Statistical methods used to analyse results should also be noted in this section.
Results: This section should include processed (summary) data in the form of graphs or tables.
These figures/tables should have titles and explanatory legends so that the results they contain
may be understood without reference to the text.
– Legends to 8 tables appear above the table;
-Legends to figures appear below the figure. -Ensure the format of all tables and figures are
-Resist the temptation to present the same results in more than one form.
– You must, however, write brief descriptions of your results in the text.
-You should include some indication of how the raw data has been processed. -Unprocessed original
results should not be in the main text.
Discussion: In this section you should discuss and explain your results.
– This should be a discussion of how your results fit in with other findings and the significance
of your results to your original hypothesis.
-In this type of project you can speculate more than would be acceptable in a published paper.
-You can also suggest further research which could be done if more time and resources were
available or how this research could be developed.
Literature based projects: The notes above apply to projects of laboratory based and data analysis
-Literature based projects should follow a similar format though they will not normally have a
Materials and Methods section.
A literature based project: should set out to test a hypothesis.
-It should then use results reported in published papers to test the hypothesis.
This means that, as in a primary research project, results will be reported and will be discussed.
The results section to be correspondingly longer.
Your project will be marked independently by two internal markers, one being the immediate
-The project should be written in the past imperfect tense, and if you are in doubt about this
style read some journals in your subject specialism for guidance.
– UK (not US) English spelling must be used.