Chapter 1: The Problem and Its Background Introduction Statement of the Problem or Objectives of the Study Theoretical / Conceptual / Operational Framework Hypothesis (Optional) Significance of the Study Scope and Limitations of the Study Definition of Terms
Introduction Presentation of the importance of the system software to be developed. The Background of the Study (Research Locale) The existence of an unsatisfactory condition, a felt problem that needs a solution. A solution that involves development of a system software. A desire to find a better way of doing something or improving the present system.
Statement of the Problem The general statement of the problem and the specific questions should be formulated first before developing the software programs. Each specific question must be clear and unambiguous. Answers to specific questions must contribute to the development of the whole research problem or topic. The number of specific questions should be enough to cover the whole problem or case under study. Generally, there should be a general statement of the problem and then broken up into as many specific questions as necessary.
Objectives of the Study The objectives of the study are a guide for the researcher and the reader to know what the researcher needs to do. These usually follow the chronological sequence of the statement of the problem and its specific questions. Objectives are written by either beginning with an action verb or an infinitive. E.g. to determine the efficiency of the system as perceived by the employees; or to identify possible problems encountered with the present system
Objectives of the Study Determining the current practices of the organization under study. Determining the problems brought about by the current practices of the organization under study. Designing system software in order to solve the problems brought about by the current practices of the organization under study. Evaluation of the current practices and the proposed system. Determining the significant difference between the current practices and the proposed system.
Theoretical Framework It shapes the justification of the research problem in order to provide the legal basis for defining its parameters. It is desirable for an investigator to identify key concepts that are used in the study for better understanding of the role of theory in research. It is a symbolic construction, which uses abstract concepts, facts or laws, variables and their relations that explains and predicts how an observed phenomenon exists and operates. It is based on an existing explanatory theory which may form the bases for the researchers observations and become the frame of reference by which the conceptual framework may be derived.
Conceptual Framework The author can make a more specific conceptual framework. It is at this point important that the author operationalizes the various concepts in the research question method and how he/she will investigate the topic. It is a collection of interrelated concepts, like a theory but not necessarily so well worked-out. It also guides your research, determining what things you will measure, and what statistical relationships you will look for.
Hypothesis It is a tentative conclusion or answer to a specific question taken from the statement of the problem. The null hypothesis, which is denial of an attributes, an existence, a difference or an effect or relationship expressed in negative statement. Another form of hypothesis is the alternative or operational form of hypothesis, which affirm the existence of phenomenon.
Hypothesis (Guidelines) Hypothesis is usually in the null form because testing a null hypothesis is easier than testing a hypothesis in the operational form. Hypothesis are formulated from the specific questions upon which they are based. There can be more two or more hypotheses in a research problem. Hypothesis must be stated explicitly in an experimental research. Hypothesis may not be expressed explicitly in descriptive and historical research. That is, they may be implied under the statement of the problem.
Significance of the Study Significance of the study is an important section of a thesis or dissertation. The rationale, timeliness and relevance of the study. Possible solutions to existing problems or improvement to unsatisfactory conditions. The beneficiaries, and how they are going to be benefited. Possible contributions to the fund of knowledge. Possible implications.
Scope and Limitation The scope and delimitation of the study should include a brief statement of the general purpose of the study, the target users/beneficiaries of the study, the period of the study and the features of the proposed software. The limitation of the study includes the weaknesses of the study beyond the control of the researcher. This section may not be included in the study if there is no such weaknesses of the study beyond the control of the researcher
Definition of Terms Only terms, words, phrases, which have a special or unique meaning in the study, are defined. Terms should be defined operationally, that is, how they are going to be used in the study. The researcher may develop his/her own definition from the characteristics of the term defined. Definitions may be taken from encyclopedias, books, magazines, newspaper articles, dictionaries, and other publications but the researcher must acknowledge his/her sources. Definitions should be brief, clear and unequivocal Acronyms should always be spelled out fully especially if it is not commonly known or if it is used for the first time.
Definition of Terms Two way of defining the key terms of the study: Technical – the meaning of the terms is taken from the dictionary or encyclopedia Operational – the meaning of terms is based on an observed characteristic and how it is used in the study.
Chapter 2: Review of Related Literature and Studies Related Literatures (Foreign and Local) Related Studies (Foreign and Local) Synthesis
Related Literature Literature may be defined as Written works collectively, especially, those of enduring importance, exhibiting creative imagination and artistic skill which are written in a particular period, language, and subject. The related literatures are segregated into foreign and local.
Related Studies Published and unpublished research studies are sources of materials that are included in this section. The research studies are also segregated into foreign and standard.
Synthesis (Justification of the Study) It should be clear that there is no duplication of other studies. It should be stressed that in spite of similar studies, the present study is still necessary to find out. There may also be a need to continue with the present investigation to affirm or negate the findings of other inquiries about the same research problem or topic so that generalizations or principles may be formulated.
Guidelines in Citing Literature and Studies The materials must as be as recent as possible. Materials must be objective and unbiased as possible. Materials must be relevant to the study. Materials must not be too few but not too many.
Chapter 3: Research Methodology Methods of Research Research Design Software Development Software Testing and Debugging Software Evaluation Data Gathering Population of the Study / Sampling Design Data Analysis Plan / Statistical Analysis
Research Design Descriptive Research – describes what is. It involves the description, recording, analysis and interpretation of the present nature, composition or processes of phenomena. Historical Research – describes what occurred in the past. Experimental Research – It focuses on the past, present and future conditions. Ex post Facto Research – In this method, the researcher investigates a problem by studying the variables in retrospect.
Population of the Study / Sampling Design Sampling is the small group that you observe and a population is the larger group about which your generalization is made. A population as the group to which a researcher would like the results to be generalized.
Data Gathering Tools At this phase, the researcher must chose the appropriate data gathering instruments that he/she planned to use in gathering data. The researcher must explain why he had chosen those research instruments. Questionnaire Interview Observation Test
Data Gathering Procedures In this section, the researcher should explain in complete detail how he will gather the data, how he computed the sample size of his respondents, and the reliability and validity of the gathered data.
Data Analysis Plan / Statistical Analysis The researcher will state and justify the statistical tools that he will use in the analysis of data. In the final manuscript, the title Data Analysis Plan will be changed to Statistical Analysis
Software Development A software development process is a structure imposed on the development of a software product. Synonyms include software lifecycle and software process.
Chapter 4: Presentation, Analysis and Interpretation of Data This presents the result, analysis and discussion of the findings and outcome of the research project. All specific questions in Chapter 1 under Statement of the Problem/Objectives of the Study should be answered in this chapter supported with tables; entity relationship diagram (ERDs) and data flow diagrams (DFDs).
Chapter 5: Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations General Summary of the Study Summary of Findings Conclusions Recommendations
General Summary of the Study This section includes the general summary of the statement of the problem, research design, determination of sample size, the respondents and the statistical treatment.
Summary of Findings This section summarizes the results based on Chapter 4 with accordance to the given statements in Chapter 1.
Conclusions Conclusions should dovetail with the findings and accomplishments of the study. If there are three summarized results, there are only three conclusions. Conclusions are arranged as it appears in the findings. Moreover, rejection and acceptance of hypothesis are explained in this section
SELF EVALUATION The Subject and the Problem The Data Conclusions Recommendations
The Subject and the Problem Is the subject significant, timely, and of current issue? Is it clearly delimited but big enough for making valid generalizations? Are the sub-problems specific, clear and unequivocal?
The Data Are the data adequate, valid and reliable? Are they analyzed carefully and correctly treated statistically? Are they interpreted correctly and adequately?
Conclusions Are the conclusions based on the findings? Do they answer the specific questions raised at the beginning of the investigation? Are they logical and valid outcomes of the study? Are they stated concisely and clearly and limited only to the subject of the study?
Recommendations Are they recommendations based upon the findings and conclusions? Are they feasible, practical and attainable? Are they action-oriented, recommending action to remedy unfavorable conditions discovered? Are they limited only to the subject of the study but recommend further research on the same subject?
Preliminaries Title Page Approval Sheet Recommendation for Oral Examination Acknowledgment Abstract Table of Contents List of Tables List of Figures
Appendices Thesis Evaluation of Topic Form Memorandum of Agreement / Certification of Approval Certification of Acceptance Models (Gantt Chart, VTOC, DFD) Users Manual, Hardware and Software Specification Questionnaires (Survey and Evaluation) Curriculum Vitae