Research Project Samples for Students

Research Project Samples for Students: Research is a process of intellectual finding which has the potential to transform knowledge and understanding of natural and social phenomena.  It is a process of inquiry and investigation with 4 main characteristics:

  • It is a process
  • It is systematic,
  • It is methodical
  • It is ethical.

Research Proposal Format

Preliminary pages

  • The Cover Page

It helps to identify the research topic, the researcher, the association, and the date of the research.

  • The Declaration Page

It aims at authenticating the originality of the research work and adherence to ethical expectations.

  • Acknowledgement page

Used to acknowledge various parties that may in one or another contributed to the development of the proposal.

  • Dedication page(Optional)

  • Abstract

The abstract allows one to elaborate upon each major aspect of the paper and helps readers decide whether they want to read the rest of the paper. In other words, it is a short statement on background of the problem, objective, brief outline of methodology etc.

NB: The recommended number of pages for abstract is one to one and half pages

  • Table of contents

A table of Contents provides a road-map to the research work. It shows how the work is organized.

  • List of Tables {if available}

  • List of Figures{if available}

  • Acronyms and abbreviations

  • Operational Definition of terms

Chapter one: Introduction

1.1. Background to the Study

The background presents the reader to the variables, the extant literature and the basis of the research problem. It outlines the understanding and genesis of the problem, as well as showing specific gaps.

1.2. Statement of the Problem

This section follows from the background. It states what the problem is, why it is a problem and how it is a research problem

Example of Statement of The Problem in Research

Research Title “Effect of Firm Size on Tax Efficiency of Firms Listed at the Securities Exchange”.

Tax efficiency is an important objective of all organizations. Businesses always aim to maximize shareholder value and this inevitably involves minimizing cash outflows arising from payment of tax (Pandey, 2012). Despite the critical importance of tax minimization, it is still not clear whether and how business size affects tax efficiency. This lack of clarity arises from the seeming conflict in both theoretical and empirical literature as to the effect of business size on tax efficiency.

From a theoretical angle, there are two sets of conflicting theories that try to explain how business size affects tax efficiency. The first school of thought propagated by corporate governance expectations of Doyle (2007) indicates that size has a positive effect on tax efficiency and that the larger the firm size, the greater the tax efficiency. On the extreme opposing theoretical angle is the X-efficiency theory of Leibenstein (1966) concludes that size is inversely related to tax efficiencies arises from diseconomies of scale.

To add onto the confusion, extant empirical literature arrives at conflicting findings with respect to the effect of firm size on tax efficiency. Sharpe (2017) while studying the effect of business size based on market share on tax efficiency found that size has a positive effect on tax efficiency among public manufacturing firms in Bulgaria. Similar findings have been reported by Sloan (2016) in Malaysia using assets as a measure of size; O’Hara (2014) using employee base as a measure of bank size in Nigeria and Francis et al. (2016) using market share to measure firm size in Argentina.

Contradicting findings indicate that firm size has a negative effect on tax efficiency. A Study by Easley (2013) who used market capitalization to measure firm size of listed firm at Johannesburg stock Exchange found that large capitalization firms are less tax efficient when compared to their small size counterparts. These findings are supported by Chen (2017) in South Korea for insurance firms with size measured by market share and Gray (2016) among public Banks in Botswana with size measured using the number of employees.

Drawing from the confounding literature, it is not clear how firm size as indicated by market capitalization, asset base and employee base affects tax compliance among firms listed at NSE

1.3. Research Objectives

The general objective reflects the title of the research project while the specific objectives relate to the individual independent variables and their relationship with the dependent variable

1.3.1. General Objective

Examples of Research Objectives in A Research Proposal

{Research Title: Effect of Firm Size on Tax Efficiency of Firms Listed at the Securities Exchange}

The General objective of this study is to establish the effect of firm size on tax efficiency of firms listed at the Nairobi Securities Exchange

1.3.2. Specific Objectives

Example of Specific Objectives in Research

{Research Title: Effect of Firm Size on Tax Efficiency of Firms Listed at the Securities Exchange}

To evaluate the effect of firm asset base on tax efficiency of firms listed at the Securities Exchange.

To establish the effect of firm employee base on tax efficiency of firms listed at the Securities Exchange.

To assess the effect of firm market capitalization on tax efficiency of firms listed at the Securities Exchange. 

1.4 Research Hypotheses

The hypotheses are statistically testable statements to help resolve the research questions or meet the research specific objectives.

They can be stated as null (falsified form of hypotheses) or alternative (hypotheses to be held as true if the null is rejected).

1.5 Research Questions

They can be used in place of the research hypotheses.

Example of Research Hypotheses in Research

{Research Title: Effect of Firm Size on Tax Efficiency of Firms Listed at the Securities Exchange}

  1. Example of Hypothesis in Research Proposal

H01 Firm asset base does not have any significant effect on tax efficiency of firms listed at the Securities Exchange

H02 Firm employee base does not have any significant effect on tax efficiency of firms listed at the Securities Exchange

H03 Firm market capitalization does not have any significant effect on tax efficiency of firms listed at the Securities Exchange

  1. Example of Research Questions in Research Proposal

The research questions of the study are specified as

  1. What is the effect of firm asset base on tax efficiency of firms listed at the securities Exchange?
  2. What is the effect of firm employee base on tax efficiency of firms listed at the Securities Exchange?
  3. What is the effect of firm market capitalization on tax efficiency of firms listed at the Securities Exchange?

1.5. Scope of the Study

This section offers an insight onto the scope with respect to:

  1. The context of the study
  2. The time period for the study
  3. The population of the study

The researcher must be careful to defend the choice of the scope by relying on existing literature

Example of Scope of the Study in Research Proposal

{Research Title: Effect of Firm Size on Tax Efficiency of Firms Listed at the Securities Exchange}

This study aims to cover all the listed companies on the XXX Stock Exchange as at 31.12.2020. This scope is justifiable on the basis that listed companies are under an obligation to publish their financial information. Accordingly, there will be adequate data for analysis of tax efficiency. In addition, it is only listed companies that one can obtain market capitalization from their trading data at XSE.

Further the study will cover a five-year period running from January 2015 to December 2020. The period is considered long enough to establish cross sectional and time series variations important in such studies as stipulated by Garman (2012). From the theoretical aspect the study will focus on X-efficieny theory and corporate governance theories. Finally, from a conceptual point of view, the study will use firm asset base, employee base and market capitalization to measure firm size. These are aspects readily measurable from available secondary data (Fama, 2008).

 1.6. Justification of the Study

The justification of the study offers the benefits of the study to the various stakeholders as well as the significance of the study to literature.

Justification of The Study in Research Proposal Example

1.7. Significance of the Study

This study is expected to provide benefits to a wide range of stakeholders in the business world. To investors, the findings show the interlinkage between firm size and listed firms’ tax efficiency. They are likely to use the findings to make tax decisions in management decisions in a manner that would maximize shareholder.

To market regulators, the findings provide an opportunity to show how firm size is related to the tax efficiency of listed. This linkage can be used to provide information that would help regulators especially the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of XXX and the Capital Markets Authority (CMA) to provide guidelines on the disclosure requirements on tax information.

To Revenue Authority and similar authorities, the study is likely to provide information that could help close avenues of tax avoidance as based on size of companies. This can help increase the tax revenue base of such authorities.

To scholars, academicians and other researchers, the findings of the study help to bridge the existing empirical literature gap in that they will help show how firm size affects tax efficiency among listed companies. This will therefore provide findings that can be compared to the existing literature and thereby boost the accumulating empirical evidence on this area of academic inquiry

Chapter Two: Literature Review

2.1. Introduction

  • The section is used to introduce the chapter.
  • It serves as a snapshot of the content of chapter 2.
  • It must be as brief as possible.

How to Write a Literature Review Example?

{Research Title: Effect of Firm Size on Tax Efficiency of Firms Listed at the Securities Exchange}

2.1. Introduction

This chapter presents the review of literature on firm size and tax efficiency. This is divided into theoretical as well as empirical literature review. The theoretical literature review presents theories that try to link firm size to tax efficiency including their inherent limitations in the context of this study. Empirical literature review on the other hand presents the extant studies on this area. The empirical evidence is derived from both local studies as well as from studies from around the globe. Subsequently, the conceptual framework and research gaps resulting from the literature review are presented.

2.2 Theoretical Framework

The section is used to evaluate the theories that inform the study area. A good theory must help explain how the study variables are related. The theoretical literature review must identify the theory’s proponent, proposition as well as interrogate the theory using extant empirical literature. This may help bring out the theoretical limitations.

2.3. Conceptual Framework

The section shows a schematic representation of the interrelationship expected between the various variables of the study. It draws from the relationships established from the theoretical literature review. Each variable must then be empirically discussed

2.4. Empirical Literature Review

This form of literature review appraises existing studies related to the area of study. The review involves evaluating the context and scope of the study, the objectives, the design and methodology as well as the findings. One should go ahead and compare such studies with similar and contrasting studies and identify empirical literature gaps.

2.5. Literature Gaps

This section appears at the end of chapter 3 and shows the theoretical, conceptual and empirical short-comings in extant literature.

It highlights the overall shortcomings in the existing literature that is covered by the study. In essence, it corresponds with the research statement of the problem and objectives.

2.6. Summary

This is the ultimate section in chapter two that summarizes the theoretical, empirical and conceptual literature covered in the section.

It is a snap-shot of the conclusions arrived at in the course of the literature review.

It must cover:

  1. Theoretical conclusion
  2. Conceptual conclusion
  3. Empirical Conclusion

Chapter Three: Research Methodology

3.1. Introduction

3.2. Research Design

3.3. Study Population

3.4. Sample and Sampling Design

3.5. Data and Data Collection

3.6. Data Analysis and Presentation

Frequently Asked Questions in Research

Importance of Research

Review existing knowledge and generate new knowledge

Investigate existing situations or problems and provide solutions.

Construct or create new procedures or systems.

Explain existing phenomena.

Explain empirical gaps, conceptual gaps, and theoretical gaps.

How to Identify a Good Research Topic

Where can you identify a good research topic? There are several ways to identify a good Research topic as indicated below.

  • Brainstorming for ideas.
  • Evaluating suggestions for further research from existing studies.
  • Observation of existing situations and phenomena.
  • Reading from current practical problems.
  • Reading from observed studies and checking out solution gaps.
  • Reading from literature and checking out any information gaps.
  • Reading of theoretical literature and checking out theoretical gaps 

Find :Demonstration Speech Ideas, Examples, and Topics

What are the main types of Research

  1. Exploratory research: exploratory research is undertaken when there is few or no previous studies exist. The aim is to look for patterns,  or ideas that can be tested and will form the basis for further research. Typical research techniques would include case studies, observation and reviews of previous related studies and data.
  2. Descriptive research: Descriptive research can be used to identify and classify the elements or characteristics of the subject, e.g. number of days lost because of industrial action. Quantitative techniques are most often used to collect, analyze and summarize data.
  3. Analytical research: analytical research often extends the descriptive approach to suggest or explain why or how something is happening, e.g. underlying causes of industrial action. An important feature of this type of research is in locating and identifying the different factors (or variables) involved.
  4. Predictive research: the aim of predictive research is to speculate intelligently on future possibilities, based on close analysis of available evidence of cause and effect, e.g. predicting when and where future industrial action might take place.

Characteristics of A Good Research Topic

A good research topic should have the following characteristics.

  1. Clarity: The topic should be clear so that others can easily understand the nature of the research. It should have a single interpretation to avoid confusion. It should be free of any ambiguity.
  2. Well-defined: It should be well-defined and well-phrased and it should be easy to understand. It should have a single meaning.
  3. Simplicity: Avoid technical terms unless it is necessary. Use easy words that everyone can understand, additionally avoid unethical terms and any sort of bias in the research topic.
  4. Contemporary: Should have current importance. One must also assess how much the topic will provide benefit to the field in which the study is conducted.
  5. Variables: must identify the dependent and independent variables of the study.
  6. Focus: It must be in the discipline of inquiry you wish to study.
  7. Brevity: Must be brief and concise.


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