How to write historical background of undergraduate research projects

The historical background or historical overview as some would tag it, is very typical of undergraduate research projects and ofcourse constitutes one of the major parts of research documentation just after the preliminary pages. It covers summary of underlying situations, issues and factors surrounding the research project topics while also citing several cases and instance to demonstrate the need to embark on a research.

However, not too many undergraduates understand what should and what should not be included in a historical overview of students research project.

What historical background or overview is not

  • it is not a history spree

  • it is not a statement of problem

  • it is not a place to state the research projects’ objectives

  • it is not an essay either

What a historical overview really is and how to write it structurally

Historical overview is an avenue in a research where major and minor issues influencing the research are cited, identified and discussed briefly while also citing various researches and documented records of these circumstances or events.  While putting your project topic into it, students are expected to define the significance and implication of these situations on the research  project topic they are researching on.

So to structurally write a historical overview ensure to;

  • Cite a major event, situation or re-occurring circumstance, a pending problem etc.

  • To prove certainty, include dates, places, time if possible, other information that adds credibility to your narrative

  • Link up the underlying issues with where your research project topic appear to offer a solution if the research findings adds up

  • Back up claims with documented researches from related studies including relevant theories, quotes and passages and ensure give due acknowledgement.

  • Conclude with the major ways your project topic intends to help the situation at the end of your research.

Research is very unpredictable; a statistical error is enough to alter the research final outcome. Ensure not to sound too confident in your research overview so that your research outcome does not question your initial speculation.

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