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IRP How to Guide- For those of you that like step by step instructions. (1 Viewer)

Kat92

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Hi guys,

Seeing as I have been receiving a lot of questions about the IRP due to its complexity and weighting; I thought I would compile a bit of how to helper guide. Feel free to add other suggestions as well; these are just a rough start for those that are completely lost- if I have time I will add more.


Picking a topic can be difficult. But remember, the topic chosen for the focus of your IRP should be related to the course content in at least one or more of the following areas:

1. Resource Management (Section 8.1 of the Syllabus)

2. Individuals (Section 8.2 of the Syllabus)

3. Groups (Section 8.2 of the Syllabus)

4. Families (Section 8.3 of the Syllabus)

5. Communities (Section 8.3 of the Syllabus)



THINGS TO NOTE ABOUT YOUR IRP


1. Choose a topic you are interested in. If you don’t like your topic and are doing it because it seems easy (or some other reason) you will be less likely to want to work on it.

2. Make sure the topic is focused & specific. If the topic is too broad you can end up overwhelmed with information.

3. Try to relate your topic to wellbeing, if possible. Remember SPEEPS- social, physical, emotional, economic, political and spiritual wellbeing. Wellbeing is such a huge part of what CAFS is about. By picking a topic related to wellbeing you will practice writing about it, which will help for the trial and HSC exams.

4. Your topic can be written as a hypothesis, or as a research question.

What is a hypothesis? A research topic is often written as a hypothesis. It is a positive statement of what the researcher expects to find out, or an idea that he or she wants to test.

Some common examples of CAFS hypotheses:
-Bullying in schools is out of control.
-Australian sporting stars provide good role models for teenagers.
-Working parents are the majority users of child care.
-Gender-stereotyping is highly evident in the media.


QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU CHOOSE A TOPIC


Q1.
Are there any topics studied in CAFS so far that have interested me?




Q2.
Is there more I would like to find out about an issue affecting one of the groups I studied for my last research assignment?




Q3.
Is there anything I would like to know about family dynamics or parenting which I would like to research? (Parenting and Caring is our next module to study in CAFS- by choosing a topic in this area you will give yourself a head start in this module)
Example - birth order and the effect on behaviour, parents that abuse drugs and the effects on children, same sex parents and the wellbeing of their children, two parents working and the effect on family life, multiple births and the effects on parents, the effects on a sibling of a child with a disability, etc.



Q4.
Is there anything I would like to research about individuals and work?
(Individuals and Work is our last module to study in CAFS)

Example- flexible work patterns and the effect on the family, employment/unemployment and the effect on wellbeing of the individual, casualisation of the workforce and the effect on workers, etc.



Setting Out the IRP (Whilst this is one way many teachers have different perspectives- so always double check the rubric)



It is important that you set your IRP out according to the following format. The word count is approximate only.

Cardboard Cover Page
This is so that everyone’s IRP looks the same from the outside. It assists with the binding process and will make them easily identifiable when they are catalogued in the library for future classes to utilise. Please write your IRP title as neatly and as clearly as possible. Please note that your name is not included here.

Title Page
You can set out this page however you wish. It must have your Student Number, the date and the IRP title. Include this page as a page number on your contents page.

Contents Page
This is the index at the front of the page, which identifies headings, sub headings and page numbers.

Abstract
This should be about half to one page in length. It is best to do this after you have completed your project. It sums up your IRP ‘in a nutshell’. It should provide a brief summary or description of the research, introducing the project and the objectives. It outlines research methodologies used and briefly discusses the findings and conclusions.

Acknowledgements
This is a very short section to thank the people who have helped you do this project. It could include the names of teachers, friends, parents or organisations that assisted you.

Introduction (Approximately 250 words)
This provides a brief description of the objectives of the project. Talk about what you wanted to find out and why. Explain the research question and/or hypothesis. Identify the syllabus areas your IRP relates to.

Literature Review (Approximately 400 words)
This reviews the information that already exists about the topic. The more relevant the information is to your specific topic, the better. The information that already exists may include chapters in textbooks, magazine articles, newspapers, journals, brochures, videos, television programs and statistics. The discussion of this material should lead to your topic question. You must summarise this information in your own words. You should ‘reference in text’ properly, by acknowledging the author. Do not plagiarise. Markers can very easily tell if it your words showing an understanding of the literature that you have read. This information should be correctly recorded in the Bibliography. Select only the information that is relevant. Don’t go ‘overboard’ here. Don’t set out each bit of information separately. Rather, blend it all together and make one piece of literature/secondary data flow onto the next. Depending on the type of research you are doing, aim for three or four articles to review. Use a variety of articles from a variety of sources. For example, do not use all internet articles.

Methodology (Approximately 300 words)
This section describes the methods you used to collect your primary data and how you went about it. Be very specific and very clear. This section should provide the reader with a complete picture of the research project. Address any ethical considerations here

Results and Findings (How ever much it takes!)

This is the heart of the report. It documents what your primary data shows. Presentation and clarity is important. Include graphs, tables, pictures to help make the report look good and to make interpretation easy for the reader. Set it out logically. Number and clearly label all of the graphs, etc. Give a brief summary of what each graph/table/photograph represents by explaining it in words.

If your IRP methodology was a Case Study or Interview which gathered mostly qualitative information, your task here will be a little harder. You need to summarise the main ideas given, perhaps grouping them into identifiable sections. You may introduce quotes or sections of the transcript. It must be easy for the reader to understand. It need to be set out in a logical order.

Analysis and Discussion (Approximately 600 words)
This is where you ‘bring it all together’. You interpret and analyse the results explaining why the results came out the way they did, and what this means in regard to the research question/s or hypothesis. Some of your results and findings may support your hypothesis, while other results may not. Clarify your findings here. It is important to make reference to parts of your Literature Review. Remember , this is “discussion” of your IRP, so it should all be in your own words.


Summary and Conclusion (Approximately 300 words)
What conclusions have you come to at the end of the report? This is a brief overall summary of the report (a bit like the Abstract) which includes your research question, results and findings and analysis and discussion – then a final conclusion, rounding off the whole report.

Recommendations (approximately 100 words)
What recommendations would you make to others carrying out similar research. Or, what recommendations would you give to the participants of your research project. Give an account of your positive and negative experiences in completing this research.

Bibliography
All secondary data you utilised in completing this research project should be listed here. You must set out the bibliography correctly. It should be thorough. It is best if your bibliography demonstrates secondary data was gathered from a variety of sources. It must be 100% accurate.


Appendix
Include the information that was relevant and useful, but not critical to the report. The appendices should be numbered and labelled. You might include a copy of the questionnaire, a filled in questionnaire, the interview transcripts, a brochure. map or a table.

Remember, the word count suggested is approximate only. Because everyone’s IRP is so different, it is difficult to set a more accurate word count. You will have to make some decisions on your own regarding how much to include. Don’t be too brief and don’t go overboard. Your IRP must be interesting and informative and enjoyable to read for the marker. Setting it out correctly is a good start!


Good Luck everyone! Remember if you don't know something chances are others don't as well so post your ideas or hypotheses and work together to share ideas as Yr 11 and Yr 12 are very collaborative years.


~
Kat92. :)
 

Kat92

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Some info about what to include in logs/journals.

What to include in a diary entry:

• Well documented evidence of project development.
• Clearly and thoroughly identified and explained process for determining the nature of the end item
• Regular and detailed entries made in line with appropriate time line.
• Clear evidence of problem-solving to resolve any issues that may arise.
• Documentation of conversations, readings and relevant contacts in a logical and concise way.


Prompts that you could use when writing your journal:


Today I commenced work on ..... (research or methodology) at the moment completion could be delayed due to .... However, I envisage that I will be able to overcome these due to .....

At the moment I am feeling a little overwhelmed/stressed by the whole ordeal.


Or

Today work was finalised on .... (research or methodology) as I located/gained various information that is helpful in the areas of ... or ...

Overall, I am feeling much more positive after getting .... completed



Then go onto discuss:

In the media, I noticed an interesting article today that highlighted ....


After discussing my topic with .... or ... it has got me thinking about ....


Tomorrow I plan to undertake the ..... hopefully I will have this finished by .... in order to stay with the timeframes that I initially proposed. However, if this does deviate at all it will be recorded on my Gantt chart with a column showing a comparison between proposed vs actual time.



Essentially writing the log is very much how you would write a normal diary entry. The only difference is that you are including aspects about the research component.



~
Kat92. :)
 
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Kat92

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The focus of the Independent Research Project (IRP) should be related to the course content of one or more of the following areas:
• individuals
• groups
• families
• communities
• resource management.

The Independent Research Project (IRP) consists of three parts as you probably already know:
• the project plan
• the project diary
• the product.



But what are these sections all about?

The project plan
• provides an initial summary and outline of the complete research process.

The diary
• is a record of an ongoing process
• records values, attitudes and feelings
• reflects honestly on problems encountered and their solutions
• records conversations, contacts, readings and sources of secondary data
• reflects the proposed timeline.

The product
• is independent: that is, it is the student’s own work, based on an area of interest related to the course content
• is research based: meaning that the students should ‘find something out’ or add to their existing knowledge
• should reflect the time and commitment allocated to it in the overall context of the course.


~
Kat92 :)
 

Kat92

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A bit about structuring the proposal/plan:


Defines the research question
Identifies the method to be used
Outline the time period for conducting the research

So basically you need to:
• Recognise the proposed research topic and related question and hypothesis.
• Explain why the topic was chosen.
• Identify possible secondary sources of data specific to your topic and explain what they are about.
• Describe your choice of primary research methodologies that will be used to collect data
• Briefly outline issues such as sampling, validity, reliability, and bias which you may need to overcome.
• Develop a clear and realistic timeline of your research.


~
Kat92 :)
 
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Kat92

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How to Structure a Literature Review-

A literature review gives an overview of the area of study: what has already been said on the topic; who the key writers are; what the prevailing theories and hypotheses are; what questions are being asked; and what methodologies are appropriate and useful. In a literature review, you demonstrate that you have read and understood previous and current research in the area.

Format for a literature review
A literature review follows an essay format (Introduction, Body, Conclusion), but it the literature itself is the topic of the essay i.e. your essay will need to consider the literature in terms of the key topics/themes you are examining. (However, I must stress the importance here that a literature review is NOT akin to that of an Annotated Bibliography).

Example Scaffold for a literature review

Introduction
Topic sentence that states the broad topic of your thesis. (It needs to introduce and setup up the rest of the paragraph)
Following sentence/s that state what is included/excluded (parameters)
Final sentence/s that signals list of key topics that will be used to discuss the selected sources

Body
Divide your up your text into sections/topics as indicated in the last sentence of your introduction. Each paragraph will be a synthesis of the many texts that you have chosen for your literature review.

Conclusion

Steps for Writing a Literature Review

1. Do a literature search
Find out what has been written about your topic or what has been portrayed within the media. A good starting point is the list of references or bibliography of a recent article or book on the topic (Google Scholar or Uni library databases can help as well! ;). Then use other bibliographical sources including abstracts, electronic data bases and the Internet. If you decide that a text is relevant, write down the bibliographical details in full—as the item would appear in your list of references or bibliography (APA or Chicago referencing is the most common forms and there are handy guides out there on the web that detail the referencing conventions). If you use systems cards and write one item at the top of each card, you will save time later on. Personal bibliographic software such as EndNote, is an extremely useful tool for tracking reading, organising references and automatically generating reference lists (Although, with Endnote you need a University license key to complete the installation).

2. Find the literature

3. Read the literature
Record the author and the title (you already have the other bibliographical information) and take notes. Your aim is to determine how the topic is approached and what is said about it and the different perspectives that it raises or questions.

As you make notes, you might find it useful to ask yourself the following questions about each text.
• What sort of text is it?
• What is the methodology?
• What are the definitions used?
• What is the theoretical basis?
• What evidence is used to back up the thesis?
• What are the conclusions?

4. Write short summaries
For each relevant text, try to write a one paragraph summary similar to an abstract.

5. Organise the summaries
Try to identify similarities/differences and group the summaries accordingly.

6. Write each section
Each section of your literature review should deal with a specific aspect of the literature and should have supporting references, quotes and figures if possible.

7. Decide on the order of presentation

8. Write the conclusion
The conclusion should include a summary of major agreements and disagreements in the literature and a summary of the general conclusions drawn. In some cases it may also be a good idea to indicate your own area of research and identify any errors in previous research or how your proposal will build upon the foundations of previous works.

9. Write the introduction
The introduction should include a clear statement of the topic and its parameters. You should also indicate why the research area is important, interesting, problematic or relevant in some way.

10. Proofread and edit carefully


EXAMPLE PARAGRAPH

Many theories have been proposed to explain self- actualisation. Although the literature covers a wide variety of such theories, this review will focus on five major themes which emerge repeatedly throughout the literature reviewed. These themes are: acceptance and realism; problem centering; spontaneity; autonomy and solitude; and continued freshness of appreciation. Although the literature presents these themes in a variety of contexts, this paper will primarily focus on their application to Maslows hierarchy of needs.



KEY

Topic sentence identifies five major themes as well as scope for this review

Five major themes to be covered.

Concluding sentence- specific focus.




~
Kat92 :)
 
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Kat92

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does anyone have an example of their IRP report?
Unfortunately I don't; besides it all depends upon the marker and the set criteria as well.

From memory I think a couple of the IRPs here: http://www.boredofstudies.org/view.php?course=35 included a report if you wanted to have a look. They may not be the greatest in the world but they provide a starting point to look at to get a feel of what is expected. :)
 

ebjane

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im still confused with the literature review, I don't understand how to set it out. For example if its a book do I write it like this:

"name of book"
information I gathered from this book etc? HELP PLEASE
 

Kat92

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im still confused with the literature review, I don't understand how to set it out. For example if its a book do I write it like this:

"name of book"
information I gathered from this book etc? HELP PLEASE
What you are describing is an annotated bibliography. A literature review in essence is a review of the literature on your topic- the references are interwoven into the paragraph and compiled in a bibliography at the end.

For example notice how this paragraph of the literature review uses the authors' last names, date and page number as the in text reference and then is expanded in full APA format for the Bibliograpghy (which is in alphabetical order by the authors surname):

The development of vaccines for the control of potential zoonotic infections in wildlife (i.e. rabies vaccines for foxes and raccoons) as well as the prevention of spread and disease in humans is ongoing. In some cases, as Daddario-DiCaprio and others have shown (2006, 1399-1404), there are good candidate vaccines but the risk of human disease may be perceived to be too low to be economical (Zohrabian, Hayes and Petersen 2006, 375-80), or there may be insufficient supplies for the entire population (Emanuel and Werthheimer 2006, 854-855).


Bibliography

Daddario-DiCaprio K.M., T.W. Geisbert, U. Stroher et al. 2006. Postexposure protection against Marburg haemorrhagic fever with recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus vectors in non-human primates: an efficacy assessment. Lancet 367: 1399–404

Emanuel E.J. and A. Wertheimer. 2006. Public health. Who should get influenza vaccine when not all can? Science 312: 854–5.

Zohrabian A, E.B. Hayes and R. Petersen 2006. Cost-effectiveness of West-Nile virus vaccination. Emerging Infectious Diseases 2006. 11: 375–80


In some cases if the same author has compiled more than one work you will use a numbering system- however for high school students this would not be expected! :) Although, if you want an example on this just let me know!
 
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Kat92

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Project Proposal- what does it do?

Presents the topic area 
Recognises why you chose the topic. 
Outlines how the topic relates to the CAFS course content. 
Puts forward the research question or hypothesis. 
Offers an explanation of how you developed that question or hypothesis. 
States the methodologies (including the sampling methods) you will use and why. 
Addresses any ethical issues you might face, and the strategies you will use to overcome them. 
Lists the sources of data, resources and actions you will use in conducting your research. 
Timeline is clear and detailed
 

Kat92

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Project Diary

Clearly comments on research process and feelings involved in completing the IRP 
Record of thoughts with regular dated entries 
Evidence of questionnaires and interview 
Problems encountered and possible solutions 
Suggest ways to improve for next time
 

Kat92

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Abstract ( ½ - 1 page)

 Outlined the topic, aim and purpose of the research
 Provided summary of report (methodologies, sources of data)
 Presented findings of research (major findings and conclusion)
 

Kat92

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Introduction (1 page)
 Described the topic
 Outlined the background to selection of topic (why it was chosen)
 Highlighted the research question/hypothesis (what the researcher expects to find out)
 Explain how it is related to CAFS
 

Kat92

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Literature Review
 Summary of existing data that is relevant to the topic (at least 5)
 Complete a resource scaffold for each for all five which includes:
 Positive and negative aspects of each
 Analysis of secondary resources
 Relevance of literature checked
 Relevant quotes/statistics to support research
 

Kat92

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Methodologies

Description of the types of methods used to collect data (clearly outlines sampling and amount surveyed). You need to describe all methods even if you didn’t use them and explain why you didn’t use them – WHO, WHAT, WHERE AND WHY

Sequence steps followed to collect data (provides the reader with the complete picture of the process undertaken)
 
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Kat92

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Results (4 pages max)
 Presented primary data collected in graphs, tables, charts
 Descriptions of each – not an analysis
 Use of appropriate graphs
 

Kat92

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Analysis and Discussion (1 ½ - 2 page)
 Results interpreted both for and against the hypothesis (why the results came out the way they did)
 Discussion of results (links primary to secondary research)
 Shows the relationship between the data and the hypothesis/questions) what does your data tell in relation to your question/hypothesis (trends/patterns) and the impact
 Express opinions of research
 

Kat92

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Summary and Conclusion (1 page min)
 Summary of the findings (no new information)
 Conclusions drawn from the research with problems encountered with ways to improve for next time (recommendations for future research)
 Outcome of the investigation stated (an answer to the hypothesis/ question)
 

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