852 3411 5753 chris@hkbu.edu.hk

Honours Project seminar – introduction guidelines


  1. Purpose and focus of research – where we state the general aim of our research and identify its scope. Position our topic in the context of academic discipline. (1 page).
  2. General introduction to the topic (1,5 pages).
    1. description of the basic facts (historical perspective);
    2. its importance for IR scholars;
    3. its relevance for non-academic circles.
  3. Literature review (4 pages).
    1. where we refer our reader to the most relevant books, papers and names;
    2. identify the limitations of the previous research;
  4. Methodology (around 4 pages).
    1. theoretical perspective – where we identify major school of thought that will help us structure our research and provide us with tools for our research. (Up to 1 page);
    2. definition of dependent and independent variables (up to 1 page);
    3. research questions – where we identify two or three research questions that guide thorough our research. It is the real and specific purpose of our research – unlike in point 1 where we just give very general ideas. (Up to 1 page);
    4. hypothesis – where we identify possible links between dependent and independent variables. Usually two or three hypothesis corresponding with the research questions. (Up to 1 page).
    5. operationalization – where we define basic concepts we refer to though out our paper. Where we also indicate how we are going to evaluate phenomena (qualitative study [indicators, interviews documents] or qualitative study [hard data]) (Depending on the number of concepts 1-2 pages).
    6. thinking of the title – it is useful to prepare a list of 5 key words that best characterize our research before we formulate the title of the paper. The title itself should be indicative enough to suggest the content and ‘sexy’ to draw the attention of the first time reader.
  5. Description of the organization of the research – where we describe and give titles of main chapters. (0,5 – 1 page).
  6. Introduction of the most important findings – to be properly addressed in the conclusion part. (0,5 – 1 page).
  7. Identification of the limitation of our research – (0,5 – 1 page).
  8. Prescription – where we suggest policymakers future course of action. (0,5 – 1 page).


Total – from around 8 pages to around 14 pages.

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