1.9 Operational Definition of Key Terms

Any term or phrase, central or key to the study that may be unfamiliar to the reader must be defined in this section. You may derive these terms from the research topic, research objectives or conceptual framework. While dictionary may define these terms literary, you are required to define them operationally, implying the way they are being used in the study. These terms are arranged in alphabetical order.


The following central terms are operationally defined based on their usage in the study:


In this study, the term factor was used to refer to those teacher and parental aspects or elements or characteristics that influence the academic performance of students.


The term means a father or a mother. It can also mean a person who has not produced the offspring but has the legal status of a father or mother, as by adoption. This term is used in the study to refer to both natural parents and guardians. 


According to World Book Encyclopedia (2000), the term performance refers to the act of carrying out or doing. It is an execution, accomplishment or achievement. For the purpose of this study, the term is used to imply the achievement of students in the end of the year exams.

Note: In most of study formats, Operational Definition of Key Terms falls in the last part of chapter one of introduction. However, some study outlines put the section under preliminary pages.

By Anthony M. Wanjohi