Research Report Writing Guidelines
August 5, 2017>
What is a research report? Such question is of a great importance for all students without exception. As a college or university student, you will most likely be asked to compose a huge pile of reports throughout the course of study. A report is a type of work most widely applied in psychology, engineering, and the sciences. Here, your goal is to write concisely on the topic so that readers may easily comprehend the results and goal of the paper.
RESEARCH REPORT STRUCTURE
It is quite necessary to familiarize yourself with course information to assure that you have all chances to cope with different types of research report. Typically, it consists of three main parts: 1) preliminary/background material; 2) body: 3) additional material. Each section includes a different kind of content (as shown below).
- The preliminary material may comprise the title, table of contents (if required), and synopsis or abstract.
- The body includes an introduction or introductory paragraph, literature review, methodology, discussion, concluding part, and tips.
- Additional material may consist of bibliography or the list of references and appendices (if any).
STEPS TO WRITE A RESEARCH REPOR
Step #1 – Break Down the Task
First, you have to determine what is expected of you, as with any other assignment. The following questions may turn out to be useful when analyzing the task requirements:
- What is the aim?
(It can be reporting on an investigation, persuading, or analyzing.)
- Who will be the readers?
(It may be a professor or the people your instructor asked you to report to.)
- What is the word limit?
(Often, the word limit is applied only to the body.)
- What is a topic?
(A topic may be given by an instructor, or you can make your own choice.)
- What is the expected research report format?
(You may be given a format name or provided a sample.)
Step #2 – Develop the First Rough Copy
Apply section headings to assist with your draft plan. Create a thesis statement, which specifies the overall goal of the paper. Write down everything you have already learned regarding the topic in the corresponding sections.
Step #3 – Investigate
The first and second steps will direct the procedure of investigation. It might be necessary to research report topics that are similar to yours in order to get as much information as possible. Do not forget to have correct reference details for absolutely all sources you can use in the paper later. The research will take a lot of your time, approximately as much as the writing part. However, if done properly, it will make the writing process a lot easier and faster.
Step #4 – Make a Rough Copy of the Body
- Research report introduction. An introductory part is a right place for a thesis statement and the background info. Additional information can contain a short literature review available on the topic; it will give you a possibility to define a place of the research in the field. Nevertheless, do not try to fit everything into the intro – there are other sections that will allow you to discuss the literature on the topic and present other interesting information in more details.
- Review of Literature. At the time you are asked to present a literature review, it is necessary to structure all findings carefully. It may turn out to be important to apply a chronological format that will allow you to discuss stages from the earliest to the latest one, placing them properly chronologically. Again, it will be necessary to indicate where your exploration fits.
- Here, it is necessary to classify what methodology has been applied. This part has to be clearly written in order to make it easy for other scientists to duplicate your work if needed.
- Usually, passive voice rather than active.
- Reference any information you have taken from other sources when writing a qualitative research report.
- Enumerate and label any graphs or diagrams appropriately.
- Do not discuss results in this section.
- Use visuals where necessary to explain your point.
- Here, you need to point out what you have discovered when researching the topic. Give results, but try not to interpret them.
- During this stage, talk about the relevance of results and in which way your findings refer to other studies. It will relate back to the review of literature and thesis.
- It is a summary, which covers the most important findings. There is no need to add any new information here.
- The given part consists of suggestions concerning things that need to be completed as a result of your findings. As usual, recommendations are listed in overriding priority.
Step #5 – Draft the Additional Material
- This part comprises all references applied in your paper.
- These have to add extra information. In case you add appendices, they need to be referred to in the text and have a clear reason for being added. Each appendix should be numbered and named.
Step #6 – Draw up the Preliminary Information
- Be sure that the title indicates exactly what you are working on.
- Table of Contents. List all appendices, graphs/tables, subheadings, and sections and provide page numbers for each.
- Synopsis/Abstract. This section provides a very short paper’s overview in a condensed form.
Step #7 – Proofread and Edit your Paper
The final step is proofreading the paper to be sure that you followed all the guidelines for writing a research report as stated in your course information book.
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Category: Report writing