Examples Of Rationale For Research Paper

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Sample rationales

Candidates are required to submit a 300 word rationale which explains the concept/intent and process of the composition or technology option in the Core and Major Study Composition and Major Study Dance and Technology examinations. The following samples are provided as a guide for candidates in developing their rationale.

The samples are not intended as models or scaffolds or proformas for candidate rationales.

Sample rationale 1

Candidate Number: 12345678
Centre number: 123

The concept/intent of my Core Composition is the effects that depression can have on an individual.

My stimulus was conceptual and auditory. The idea stemmed from how an individual may react when dealing with the onset and/or development of depression. For this I looked up how depression can manifest itself and I considered ideas such as selective muteness and the physical impacts that the condition can have on the body. The accompaniment, with its repetition of the same four lines lyrics, also helped me to formulate my concept/intent.

I began to generate movement by using abstraction to develop a motif from literal movement. The idea of selective muteness was shown by having the hands covering the mouth and then reaching towards a point in the space that represented security. This became one motif. The other motif was generated by abstracting the shaking that may accompany the onset or development of depression. This is shown in my composition by the vibratory movements that often start with the torso and then extend to the fingers.

In order to develop phrases I then improvised with the motifs to generate phrases. These phrases had a beginning and middle and end, often with a highpoint for each phrase and were linked together through transitions. These phrases allowed the composition to develop logically. The manipulation of the motif for all of the phrases allowed the composition to be unified, while the manipulation of space, time and dynamics created variety and contrast and allowed for the development of the narrative.
An example of this manipulation is when the motif is performed with both hands covering the face and the focus is towards the “secure place”, contrasted with the dancer facing the back with one hand covering the mouth and the other reaching towards the “secure place”.

The samples are not intended as models or scaffolds or proformas for candidate rationales.

Sample rationale 2

Candidate Number: 12345665
Centre number: 122

My core composition is about falling asleep on the train. I got this idea, because I travel on the train every day for an hour and I watched what happened to people. What I wanted to show was someone trying to stay awake and getting angry because they keep nodding off, but eventually falling asleep. I thought that I would concentrate my movement on physical reactions like nodding, swaying and jerking the head upright to stay awake.

I started with these literal movements and planned that the dance would start in one corner and travel to the opposite corner because I wanted to show that the train travels from one destination to another. The pathways would be mostly linear, but when the traveller gets angry, the pathways would veer off in a more angular pathway to the intended pathway of the dance.

I made my motif with shapes and dynamics that reflected the idea of falling asleep. The shapes started higher and would gradually get lower. The dynamics I chose were swinging to represent the movement of the train, collapse to show the action of falling asleep and sharp to show the need to stay awake. The shapes in the motif are asymmetrical because this helps to show more flowing movement.

I wanted to show contrasting dynamics and levels in the middle section where the traveller gets angry. I chose higher shapes, and wider dimensions with a sharp dynamic, e.g. off centre jumps, with the original shape in the arm manipulated into the legs.

In the last section, where the traveller falls asleep, I chose low levels, stillness and collapsed dynamics. I slowed the music down to help me achieve the tempo of the movement that I needed in that section.


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It is important for you to be able to explain the importance of the research you are conducting by providing valid arguments. Rationale for the study needs to be specific and ideally, it should relate to the following points:


1. The research needs to contribute to the elimination of a gap in the literature. Elimination of gap in existing pool of literature is one of the compulsory requirements for your study. In other words, you don’t need to ‘re-invent the wheel’ in a way that your research aims and objectives need to be totally new, or at least they have to offer fresh perspectives on existing management and business issues.

For example, while thousands of studies have been previously conducted to study various aspects of leadership, this topic as far from being exhausted as a research area. Specifically, new studies can be conducted in the area of leadership to analyze the impacts of innovative communication mediums such as Twitter, and other social networking sites on leadership practices.

Alternatively, the impacts of the global economic and financial crisis of 2007-2010 on leadership can be studied in an in-depth manner. The same principle is true to almost all areas in business studies i.e. gaps in the literature can be found in relation to almost all areas of business and economics.


2. The research can be conducted to solve a specific problem. You have to explain the essence of the problem in a detailed manner and highlight practical benefits associated with the solution of the problem. Suppose, your dissertation topic is “A study into advantages and disadvantages of various entry strategies to Chinese market”. In this case, you can say that practical implications of your research relates to assisting businesses aiming to enter Chinese market to do more informed decision making.

Alternatively, if your research is devoted to the analysis of impacts of CSR programs and initiatives on brand image, practical contributions of your study would relate to contributing to the level of effectiveness of CSR programs of businesses.

Additional examples of studies that can assist to address specific practical problems may include the following:

  • A study into the reasons of high employee turnover at Hanson Brick
  • A critical analysis of employee motivation problems at Esporta, Finchley Road, London
  • A research into effective succession planning at Microsoft
  • A study into major differences between private and public primary education in the USA and implications of these differences on the quality of education

At the same time, it is important to note that it is not a compulsory condition for a dissertation   to be associated with the solution of a specific problem. Dissertations can be purely theory-based as well. Examples of such studies may include:

  • Born or bred: revising The Great Man theory of leadership in the 21st century
  • A critical analysis of the relevance of McClelland’s Achievement theory in the US information technology industry
  • Neoliberalism as a major reason behind the emergence of the global financial and economic crisis of 2007-2009
  • Analysis of Lewin’s Model of Change and its relevance to pharmaceutical sector of France


3. The study has to contribute to the level of professional development of the researcher. You have to explain in what ways your research contributes to the achievement of your long-term career aspirations in a detailed way.

For example, you have selected a research topic of “A critical analysis of the relevance of McClelland’s Achievement theory in the US information technology industry”.  You may state that you associate your career aspirations with becoming an IT executive in the US, and accordingly, in-depth knowledge of employee motivation in this industry is going to contribute your chances of success in your chosen career path.

Therefore, you are in a better position if you have already identified your career objectives, so that during the research process you can get detailed knowledge about various aspects of your chosen industry.


My e-book, The Ultimate Guide to Writing a Dissertation in Business Studies: a step by step assistance offers practical assistance to complete a dissertation with minimum or no stress. The e-book covers all stages of writing a dissertation starting from the selection to the research area to submitting the completed version of the work within the deadline.


John Dudovskiy



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