The research project should have:
1. Title – The research title should be clear, accurate, concise and unambiguous. It should be indicative
of both content and purpose.
2. Introduction - contains the topic of your research as well as the purpose of your study. It includes why that particular topic is important and the significance of your research paper's topic. Generally, your Introduction should orient your readers to the major points that the rest of the paper will be covering, and how. It includes the aims and objectives of the research. See explanation below. (1 – 1 1⁄2 pages single space)
a. There should be a clear connection between the research question and the aims and objectives.
b. The aim of a research project is usually a fairly general, high level statement of what it is that you wish to explore i.e. general direction and intent.
c. The objectives are more specific or focused questions that will address different aspects of the aim.
d. Example of aim: This research explores the discounts of closed-end funds.
e. Example of objective: The main objective of this research is to investigate if investor
sentiment affects the discount of closed-end funds.
3. Literature review - to acquaint you with current thinking in your subject area, and to find out about methods and research processes used by other researchers investigating this topic. Used to select your independent variables. (minimum 6 papers / 2 pages single space)
Demonstrates your ability to organize and synthesize the literature, since these are key skills that you will need when conducting your research project. Shows you are aware of alternative ideas and methods so that you can choose the best and most appropriate for your own work.
Select papers that are related to your hypothesis and variables. Selected papers are summarized as follows:
i. What is/are the research hypothesis?
ii. What sample, model was used?
iii. What were the main results? Was the hypothesis proved?
Smith & Smith (2019) study the returns of closed-end funds. They hypothesize that expense ratio, realized gains and turnover are correlated with returns and have a negative effect. For a sample of equity closed-end funds for the period of 2006 to 2018, they run a regression model with returns as the dependent variable and
expense ratio, realized gains and turnover as independent variables. They find that the expense ratio and turnover are correlated with return and exhibit a negative relationship with a confidence level of 5%. On the other hand, realized gains does not appear to affect returns.
5. Research Methods (2 pages single space) - Describes how you will answer the research question and achieve the project’s aims and objectives. It should include:
a. Hypothesis - A hypothesis is a statement of anticipated behavior, and it is usually expressed in a ‘null’ form.
b. Example: There is no relationship between the discount of closed-end funds and investor sentiment.
c. The researcher will then attempt to demonstrate that the null hypothesis is false, or specifically, that the likelihood of the null hypothesis being true is so low that it can be safely rejected.
d. Hypothesis testing usually involves a quantitative approach and some statistical analysis.