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 Parts of the Nursing Research Paper

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Posts : 122
Join date : 2009-06-06

PostSubject: Parts of the Nursing Research Paper   Wed Oct 21, 2009 1:15 am

Parts of the Nursing Research Paper

Preliminary Parts

The preliminary parts of a research/thesis may include the following:

Title page
Approval Sheet (Recommendation for Oral Defense and Acceptance of Paper)
Table of Contents
List of Tables
List of Figures

1. Title Page

The title of the research should be a specific and concise statement of the topic, and should refer to the variables investigated or theoretical issues investigated. Since the paper is meant to inform its reader, it should therefore be self-explanatory.

The title page shall Include the following information:
*Exact title of the paper
*Full name of the researcher
*Degree to which the paper is presented
*Name of the department or college to which the paper is submitted
*The year the paper is defended


*Title of the paper Is typed in uppercase and lowercase letters, centered on the page and typed on the 8th double space line from the top of the paper. The recommended length of title is 10-12 words but should not exceed 15 words.

*Author's Name is typed In uppercase and lowercase letters centered on the page and the 13th double space line from the top of the paper

*Year of final defense shall begin on the 21st double space line from the top of the paper.

*The title page has no page number although it is considered the first page.

Sample Title Page:

2. Approval sheet (1 recommending oral defense; 1 acceptance of paper)

The approval sheet immediately follows the title page. This generally contains the statement of acceptance of the paper. The first words are typed on the 8th single spaced line from the top of the paper

Sample Approval Sheets:

3. Abstract

The summary should be two hundred words or less.

General intent

An abstract is a concise single paragraph summary of completed work or work in progress. In a minute or less a reader can learn the rationale behind the study, general approach to the problem, pertinent results, and important conclusions or new questions.

Writing an abstract

Write your summary after the rest of the paper is completed. After all, how can you summarize something that is not yet written? Economy of words is important throughout any paper, but especially in an abstract. However, use complete sentences and do not sacrifice readability for brevity. You can keep it concise by wording sentences so that they serve more than one purpose. For example, "In order to learn the role of protein synthesis in early development of the sea urchin, newly fertilized embryos were pulse-labeled with tritiated leucine, to provide a time course of changes in synthetic rate, as measured by total counts per minute (cpm)." This sentence provides the overall question, methods, and type of analysis, all in one sentence. The writer can now go directly to summarizing the results.

Summarize the study, including the following elements in any abstract. Try to keep the first two items to no more than one sentence each.

Purpose of the study - hypothesis, overall question, objective
Model organism or system and brief description of the experiment
Results, including specific data - if the results are quantitative in nature, report quantitative data; results of any statistical analysis shoud be reported
Important conclusions or questions that follow from the experiment(s)


*Single paragraph, and concise

*As a summary of work done, it is always written in past tense

*An abstract should stand on its own, and not refer to any other part of the paper such as a figure or table

*Focus on summarizing results - limit background information to a sentence or two, if absolutely necessary

*What you report in an abstract must be consistent with what you reported in the paper

*Corrrect spelling, clarity of sentences and phrases, and proper reporting of quantities (proper units, significant figures) are just as important in an abstract as they are anywhere else

5. Acknowledgements

This section recognizes all the individuals who helped, assisted and encouraged the writer In completing the paper. The acknowledgement page shall not be more than one page, double spaced.


*The term "acknowledgement" is typed In capital letters on the 8th single-spaced line from the top of the paper

*The acknowledgement page should be simple and sincere.

*The initials of the writer in capital letters may be written at the end of the text.

Sample Acknowledgement:

6. Table of Contents

The table of contents provides an overview of the content and organization of the research and indicates the pages where its various sections are found. It is a listing of all chapters, major headings and subheadings. It also includes the appendices, list of tables, figures and illustrations.


*"Table of Contents" shall be in capital letters centered on the 8th single spaced line from the top of the paper.

*The preliminary parts are listed first afterwhlch, the word Chapter is typed flush on the left hand margin and the word Page at right hand margin. Each having its first letter capitalized

*The chapter number should be given first It should be as informative and detailed as possible since the thesis does not usually carry an index.

*This section shall also include the References and Appendices pages

Sample Table of Contents:

7. List of Tables

The list of tables is listed in a separate section from the chapter and headings


*"List of Tables" shall appear In capital letters on the 8th single spaced line from the top of the paper

*Two spaces below this page heading, type the word "Table" flush with the left-margin

*The number of each table should end with a period

*Only the first letters of the titles of the table should be capitalized.

*Table title shall be single spaced within the title and double-spaced between titles.

*Tables appearing in the appendix shall be Included in the list of tables

Sample List of Tables:

8. List of Figures

Included are titles of pictures, graphs, charts and other illustrated materials.


*"List of Figures" shall be centered In capital letters on the 8th single spaced line from the top of the paper

*Two spaces below the page heading, type the word Figure flush with the left-margin

*The number of the figure shall end with a period

*Only the first letters of the titles of the table shalll be capitalized.

*Figure title shall be single spaced within individual title and double-spaced between titled,

*Figures appearing in the appendix shall be included in the list of figures.

Sample List of Figures:

Organization of the Report

The body of the research or thesis is divided into five (5) main chapters, these are:

Chapter I. Introduction
Chapter II. Review of Related Literature and Studies
Chapter III. Methodology
Chapter IV. Results and Discussion
Chapter V. Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations

The Introduction has ten (10) sub topics namely the:
1. Background of the Study,
2. Statement of the Problem
3. Sub-problems (if any)
4. Hypotheses
5. Research Objectives
6. Significance of the Study
7. Theoretical Framework
8. Conceptual Framework
9. Scope and Limitations of the Study
10. Definition of Terms

Background of the Study

The Introductory chapter begins with the overview of the study. It describes the general problem area that is being studied in a manner that is sufficient for an educated reader to understand. It explains to the reader the main objective of the research paper, its theoretical and/or practical relations to the study as well as its relevance to the field.

The writer provides a relevant literature review (not exhaustive) to introduce the reader to the problem. The background points out the extent by which the research problem has tackled in various studies.

This section also states the purpose, rationale and approach to solving the problem. A definition of the variables and a formal statement of the hypotheses are included in an explicit and clear way.


This section is usually written in the present tense.

Statement of the Problem(s)

This section presents the specific research question(s). The statement of the problem shall have several characteristics:
1. It shall be phrased in the form of a question
2. The question/statement shall suggest a relationship between variables to be examined
3. The research questions shall imply the possibility of empirical testing

From a main problem, specific sub-problems can be written in the present tense.


Is there a relationship between the amount of chocolate intake and the blood sugar levels of adolescent girls?


This section spells out the particular research hypotheses to be tested or the specific objectives of the research, It shall be concrete and clear. Each hypothesis or objective shall be stated in terms of observable behaviors and allows the objective evaluation of results. Hypotheses shall be used when there is a basis for prediction. They are best stated in clear, concise predictions of expected outcomes and findings rather than in the null form. There will be a basis for such predicted outcomes and findings if there is a theoretical underpinning for the study. Krathwohl (1976) asserts that while the null hypotheses are an important part of the logic of the statistical test, they do not belong to the objective assertion since it only creates an "amateurish impression". Questions are more appropriate for exploratory and descriptive researches that seek certain facts. The specificity of the questions shows how carefully the problem has been thought out.

Rivera & Rivera (2007, p. 48), Identified the following as characteristics of "good" hypothesis:
1.The hypothesis should be expressed in comparative relationship between and among the variables with valid basis and justifiable explanation of a phenomenon. It may be expressed in terms of cause and effect.
2.There must be a valid and acceptable conclusion that could be drawn after using the appropriate statistical tools.
3.It must be formulated based on the specific question raised in the study.
4.It should be testable to prove the relationship of the variables using statistical tools.


There is no significant relationship between the amount of chocolate intake and blood sugar levels of adolescent girls.

Research Objectives

In this section, explain what your efforts or actions intend to attain or accomplish; your purpose, goal or target.

Significance of the Study

The author expresses the value or importance of the study in this section. The significant contributions of the results of the study are enumerated. Such contributions may be from the point of view of the target beneficiaries. This section also includes the possible contribution of the study to the accumulation of knowledge, or solution to a problem, which may improve certain conditions, refinement of concepts and theories, improvement of research Instruments and methods, and meeting the priorities of institutions.

Theoretical Framework

The framework presents the rationale for the statement of the problem and the hypothesis which follow. It also reassures the reader of its reasonableness and soundness through logical or empirical Justification and performs a focusing and unifying function. In doing the Theoretical framework, the student must look for a Nursing Theory that you can relate or incorporate to your study which can be a basis for doing your study.

Conceptual Framework

The research design is analogous to an architect's blueprint. Frameworks are best presented with graphic forms. Accompanying charts and diagrams, for example, help show end clarify RELATIONSHIPS between constructs or VARIABLES. Getting the framework in a single diagram forces the researcher to find the general constructs that hold the discrete phenomena, map relationships, separate variables that are conceptually or functionally distinct and work with all the information at once.

The Theoretical framework differs from the conceptual framework in that the former presents an integrated set of propositions espoused by an individual or group who are recognized members of the scientific community. Theories however, vary in generality, precision, rigor of prediction and origin of postulates (empirical vs. rational). The conceptual framework maybe introduced by a discussion of the theoretical orientation used for the research, in this case a Nursing Theory.

Scope and Limitations of the Study

This section contains the theoretical and practical boundaries of the study. It Includes the parameters of the topic, subjects and method used. In other words, it will tell the reader that it will be studying " this" but not "that", and in "this way" but not "that way". It also includes the limitations as to the kind of results the study will generate. The weaknesses of the study resulting from deficiencies In the methodology are also explained in this section. It shall also answer the question "How far can generalizations be made?" You must explain your study’s restrictive weakness, lack of capacity, inability or handicap.


This section Is written In the present tense.


Review of Related Literature and Studies

This section discusses the theoretical foundations of the problem. The Review of Related Literature must contain at least 10 studies, half of which support your hypothesis, the other half contradicts your hypothesis. The goal is to develop the problem conceptually and place it in the context of previous scientific work. A conceptual integration of previous research is needed. Point out the themes, links, gaps and inconsistencies in the literature aimed to provide a clearer conceptualization of the problem. What is important is the quality of the researches reviewed that will help in the solution to the problem being sought. The length depends on how many relevant materials are found In the literature. Sources can come from books, monographs, journals, periodical articles, completed researches including theses and dissertations, government reports and other unpublished manuscripts. Internet generated databases are also acceptable. It is essential to remember that your Review of Related Literature must not be a "Cut and Paste". You have to synthesize the article in your own words and cite the author/s and source of the article/s and utilize both Foreign and Local Literature and Studies.


This section is written in the past tense.


Chapter III Is divided Into seven (7) sub topics namely:
1.Research design
6.Data Analysis

The overview has no heading. The entire section is written in past tense, unless in a proposal, where it Is written In the future tense. Sections in this chapter follow one after the other, with no page breaks in between.

Research Design

This chapter begins with an overview of the design used for the study. The research design is the plan or structure for conducting a study, whether it is experimental, quasi-experimental, correlational, case-study, exploratory, etc. It summarizes the set of procedures that will be used to obtain the data to answer the research problem (I.e., how participants were assigned to groups). The research design answers the following questions:

What approach to the problem was taken?

How appropriate was this approach to the problem being solved?


This section includes the number and relevant characteristics of the respondents, as well as the sampling plan or design, i.e., the group from which the sampling was drawn, the method of sampling and the rationale for the sampling method used. The sample should be representative of the population being studied. The participants shall adequately be described. Take note of gender description. It is usually recommended that the specific gender be used, i.e. men/women; gay men/lesbians; boys/girls. It is not advisable to use "he/she". To avoid this, the plural nouns maybe used, I.e. persons, individuals, participants, etc... "they".

Tables and/or figures maybe used to simplify the presentation of the demographic characteristics of the participants.


This section is included only if the setting Is of particular significance or importance; i.e., If a specific community or organization is being studied. Describe the relevant characteristics of the setting, especially If this has bearing on the research problem, method and results.


In this section, the conceptual and operational definition (a description of how variables will be measured or observed) of each variable are discussed. In an experiment, the measurement of the dependent variables is described here. If using an instrument, Include the source, number of items and type of scale, scoring, reliability, validity and appropriateness of the instrument. If constructing an instrument, include the details of the steps/procedures taken to develop the scale. Make sure that a pretest Is done for the self made instrument. Consider the reliability and validity of this too.


Pretest (or Pilot Phase)
If applicable, this section contains everything about the pretesting process, including the sample used, a description of the materials that were pretested, and the actual conduct of the pretest procedures. Report the relevant results of the pretest and the resulting adjustments or modifications made, especially in terms of how these affect or determine the final sample, instruments, and procedures employed in the study.

Actual Procedure

This section contains the process used when conducting the actual study and includes the step-by-step "recipe" beginning with how the subjects were contacted all the way as to how the data were collected. In an experiment, this is where the Independent variables are described and manipulated; how the extraneous variables are controlled. This section shall also contain the ethical procedures applied In the study, for example, Informed consent, debriefing procedures, and so forth.

Subsections within this section have headings that are italicized and flushed left. Depending on the complexity of the design and/or procedures, additional subsections may be used (i.e., Apparatus and Materials, Manipulation of the IV, etc.)

Data Analysis

This section describes the procedures on how the data are to be analyzed, be it quantitative or qualitative. However, a step-by-step description of the statistical package is not necessary for commonly used programs.


In the proposal, begin this section with a heading (bold, centered, upper- and lowercase). In the final paper, this is integrated in the chapter on Results and has no separate subsection.


Following the background and theoretical/conceptual framework provided in Chapter I, and the operationalizations and procedures from Chapter III, Chapter IV presents the results of the study. Data are analyzed. Avoid tangential analyses, even if significant (If necessary, place in a separate subsection on supplemental analyses). Conclusions or claims shall be supported with relevant quantitative (statistics) or qualitative data. As a general rule, for quantitative data, descriptive (i.e., M, SD) and inferential statistics (i.e., t, F, r) are reported, Including other relevant Information for evaluating effects (i.e., p, df). Reserve discussion of implications and explanations of the results in the Discussion section.

Results may be organized according to the research question and hypothesis, or according to the variable. Subsections and subheadings shall be used when necessary. Use tables and figures to clearly present results and statistical data.


This section Is generally written in the past tense except when referring to a table or figure within the text (for example, "Table 1 shows that,.").


This is where results are interpreted, evaluated, and placed In context. What do these results mean? Discuss why the proposed hypotheses were or were not supported. Place findings in context by discussing how the results relate to previous findings/research. How do the results In this study differ, compare or contrast from the results of other researchers. What do they contribute to the research area?

Discuss the limitations of your study, and note internal and external validity issues in relation to the topic, design, participants, tools, and other problems encountered in the conduct of the research. This section may be integrated in the general discussion or placed in a separate section (depending on the nature of your study). In the latter case, begin the section with a heading (i.e., Limitations), bold, centered, and in upper- and lowercase.


The entire discussion is written in the present tense.


This section discusses the key ideas that the reader can draw from the study that may be applied to similar areas of concern. Comment on future directions in this area, including implications on how the work can be extended or Improved for both research and practice. This answers the question "What are the implications of the findings of this study to theory, research, and application or practice?"


This chapter summarizes the most Important findings and the Implications and conclusions that can be derived from them In a concise manner. Note that it is not meant to be a repetition of the Discussion chapter. It contains the "take-home" message, such that a reader would have an essential grasp of what you did and what you found. Such a chapter is particularly important for lengthy and complex manuscripts.

The wording of the summary and the abstract should not be the same. The summary is longer than the abstract. The conclusion provides the "So What?" of the findings. The hypotheses are often restated as inferences with some degree of definitive commitment and generalizablllty. The recommendations are practical suggestions for the implementation of the findings or for further research.


This chapter Is written in the past tense. Use subsections and subheadings as necessary for clarity and organization.


This section lists all references cited in the thesis in alphabetical order (i.e. first letter of first author's surname or first letter of title of article if without author). Abstracts shall be cited as such. Electronic references (i.e. internet sources) must also be formally cited. The heading REFERENCES shall be bold, all CAPS, and centered on top of the first page of this section. References follow a hanging indent format. Single-space within entries but double space between entries.

Only six authors shall be cited in the reference list. The others will be noted as "et al."

APA (American Psychological Association) is most commonly used to cite sources within the social sciences. You may download our guide on the proper usage of APA citations here.

If the site asks you for a password type "nres" all small letters, no caps and without the " "

You may need Adobe Acrobat Reader as this is in PDF format. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader, download it here and install it on your computer.


In this section, supplementary material at the end of your thesis is attached, it can usually be an explanatory, statistical, some form of evidence or on that is bibliographic in nature.

It will include your Letter addressed to the Dean seeking permission to conduct a study in a certain area. A sample of such letter can be found below:

Additionally, you should also show evidence that you have sent a Letter to the Leader or Official whose area you would prefer to conduct your study. This could be the head of a school, local government, barangay, etc. A sample of such letter can be found below:

Attach also the sample of your Tool that you used in gatehring the Data for your study. This could be in a form of a Survey, Questionaire, Interview Transcript, etc. Your questionaire or tool must have an Informed Consent, the format of which can be found here

In your appendix, you should also attach a SPOT MAP of the area where you will conduct your study. A sample of a SPOT MAP is also found below:

Finally, attach the Curriculum Vitae of the researcher/s. Loosely translated as "course of life" it provides an overview of a person's life and qualifications. This is similar to a Resume wherein the researcher/s include such data as their full name, address, contact numbers, personal information such as date & place of birth, civil status, religion, education, etc.
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