Want to create or adapt books like this? Learn more about how Pressbooks supports open publishing practices.

Section 1- Evidence-based practice (EBP)

Chapter 6: Components of a Research Report

Components of a research report.

Partido, B.B.

Elements of  research report

The research report contains four main areas:

  • Introduction – What is the issue? What is known? What is not known? What are you trying to find out? This sections ends with the purpose and specific aims of the study.
  • Methods – The recipe for the study. If someone wanted to perform the same study, what information would they need? How will you answer your research question? This part usually contains subheadings: Participants, Instruments, Procedures, Data Analysis,
  • Results – What was found? This is organized by specific aims and provides the results of the statistical analysis.
  • Discussion – How do the results fit in with the existing  literature? What were the limitations and areas of future research?

Formalized Curiosity for Knowledge and Innovation Copyright © by partido1. All Rights Reserved.

  • Search This Site All UCSD Sites Faculty/Staff Search Term
  • Contact & Directions
  • Climate Statement
  • Cognitive Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Social Psychology
  • Adjunct Faculty
  • Non-Senate Instructors
  • Researchers
  • Psychology Grads
  • Affiliated Grads
  • New and Prospective Students
  • Honors Program
  • Experiential Learning
  • Programs & Events
  • Psi Chi / Psychology Club
  • Prospective PhD Students
  • Current PhD Students
  • Area Brown Bags
  • Colloquium Series
  • Anderson Distinguished Lecture Series
  • Speaker Videos
  • Undergraduate Program
  • Academic and Writing Resources

Writing Research Papers

  • Research Paper Structure

Whether you are writing a B.S. Degree Research Paper or completing a research report for a Psychology course, it is highly likely that you will need to organize your research paper in accordance with American Psychological Association (APA) guidelines.  Here we discuss the structure of research papers according to APA style.

Major Sections of a Research Paper in APA Style

A complete research paper in APA style that is reporting on experimental research will typically contain a Title page, Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, and References sections. 1  Many will also contain Figures and Tables and some will have an Appendix or Appendices.  These sections are detailed as follows (for a more in-depth guide, please refer to " How to Write a Research Paper in APA Style ”, a comprehensive guide developed by Prof. Emma Geller). 2

What is this paper called and who wrote it? – the first page of the paper; this includes the name of the paper, a “running head”, authors, and institutional affiliation of the authors.  The institutional affiliation is usually listed in an Author Note that is placed towards the bottom of the title page.  In some cases, the Author Note also contains an acknowledgment of any funding support and of any individuals that assisted with the research project.

One-paragraph summary of the entire study – typically no more than 250 words in length (and in many cases it is well shorter than that), the Abstract provides an overview of the study.

Introduction

What is the topic and why is it worth studying? – the first major section of text in the paper, the Introduction commonly describes the topic under investigation, summarizes or discusses relevant prior research (for related details, please see the Writing Literature Reviews section of this website), identifies unresolved issues that the current research will address, and provides an overview of the research that is to be described in greater detail in the sections to follow.

What did you do? – a section which details how the research was performed.  It typically features a description of the participants/subjects that were involved, the study design, the materials that were used, and the study procedure.  If there were multiple experiments, then each experiment may require a separate Methods section.  A rule of thumb is that the Methods section should be sufficiently detailed for another researcher to duplicate your research.

What did you find? – a section which describes the data that was collected and the results of any statistical tests that were performed.  It may also be prefaced by a description of the analysis procedure that was used. If there were multiple experiments, then each experiment may require a separate Results section.

What is the significance of your results? – the final major section of text in the paper.  The Discussion commonly features a summary of the results that were obtained in the study, describes how those results address the topic under investigation and/or the issues that the research was designed to address, and may expand upon the implications of those findings.  Limitations and directions for future research are also commonly addressed.

List of articles and any books cited – an alphabetized list of the sources that are cited in the paper (by last name of the first author of each source).  Each reference should follow specific APA guidelines regarding author names, dates, article titles, journal titles, journal volume numbers, page numbers, book publishers, publisher locations, websites, and so on (for more information, please see the Citing References in APA Style page of this website).

Tables and Figures

Graphs and data (optional in some cases) – depending on the type of research being performed, there may be Tables and/or Figures (however, in some cases, there may be neither).  In APA style, each Table and each Figure is placed on a separate page and all Tables and Figures are included after the References.   Tables are included first, followed by Figures.   However, for some journals and undergraduate research papers (such as the B.S. Research Paper or Honors Thesis), Tables and Figures may be embedded in the text (depending on the instructor’s or editor’s policies; for more details, see "Deviations from APA Style" below).

Supplementary information (optional) – in some cases, additional information that is not critical to understanding the research paper, such as a list of experiment stimuli, details of a secondary analysis, or programming code, is provided.  This is often placed in an Appendix.

Variations of Research Papers in APA Style

Although the major sections described above are common to most research papers written in APA style, there are variations on that pattern.  These variations include: 

  • Literature reviews – when a paper is reviewing prior published research and not presenting new empirical research itself (such as in a review article, and particularly a qualitative review), then the authors may forgo any Methods and Results sections. Instead, there is a different structure such as an Introduction section followed by sections for each of the different aspects of the body of research being reviewed, and then perhaps a Discussion section. 
  • Multi-experiment papers – when there are multiple experiments, it is common to follow the Introduction with an Experiment 1 section, itself containing Methods, Results, and Discussion subsections. Then there is an Experiment 2 section with a similar structure, an Experiment 3 section with a similar structure, and so on until all experiments are covered.  Towards the end of the paper there is a General Discussion section followed by References.  Additionally, in multi-experiment papers, it is common for the Results and Discussion subsections for individual experiments to be combined into single “Results and Discussion” sections.

Departures from APA Style

In some cases, official APA style might not be followed (however, be sure to check with your editor, instructor, or other sources before deviating from standards of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association).  Such deviations may include:

  • Placement of Tables and Figures  – in some cases, to make reading through the paper easier, Tables and/or Figures are embedded in the text (for example, having a bar graph placed in the relevant Results section). The embedding of Tables and/or Figures in the text is one of the most common deviations from APA style (and is commonly allowed in B.S. Degree Research Papers and Honors Theses; however you should check with your instructor, supervisor, or editor first). 
  • Incomplete research – sometimes a B.S. Degree Research Paper in this department is written about research that is currently being planned or is in progress. In those circumstances, sometimes only an Introduction and Methods section, followed by References, is included (that is, in cases where the research itself has not formally begun).  In other cases, preliminary results are presented and noted as such in the Results section (such as in cases where the study is underway but not complete), and the Discussion section includes caveats about the in-progress nature of the research.  Again, you should check with your instructor, supervisor, or editor first.
  • Class assignments – in some classes in this department, an assignment must be written in APA style but is not exactly a traditional research paper (for instance, a student asked to write about an article that they read, and to write that report in APA style). In that case, the structure of the paper might approximate the typical sections of a research paper in APA style, but not entirely.  You should check with your instructor for further guidelines.

Workshops and Downloadable Resources

  • For in-person discussion of the process of writing research papers, please consider attending this department’s “Writing Research Papers” workshop (for dates and times, please check the undergraduate workshops calendar).

Downloadable Resources

  • How to Write APA Style Research Papers (a comprehensive guide) [ PDF ]
  • Tips for Writing APA Style Research Papers (a brief summary) [ PDF ]
  • Example APA Style Research Paper (for B.S. Degree – empirical research) [ PDF ]
  • Example APA Style Research Paper (for B.S. Degree – literature review) [ PDF ]

Further Resources

How-To Videos     

  • Writing Research Paper Videos

APA Journal Article Reporting Guidelines

  • Appelbaum, M., Cooper, H., Kline, R. B., Mayo-Wilson, E., Nezu, A. M., & Rao, S. M. (2018). Journal article reporting standards for quantitative research in psychology: The APA Publications and Communications Board task force report . American Psychologist , 73 (1), 3.
  • Levitt, H. M., Bamberg, M., Creswell, J. W., Frost, D. M., Josselson, R., & Suárez-Orozco, C. (2018). Journal article reporting standards for qualitative primary, qualitative meta-analytic, and mixed methods research in psychology: The APA Publications and Communications Board task force report . American Psychologist , 73 (1), 26.  

External Resources

  • Formatting APA Style Papers in Microsoft Word
  • How to Write an APA Style Research Paper from Hamilton University
  • WikiHow Guide to Writing APA Research Papers
  • Sample APA Formatted Paper with Comments
  • Sample APA Formatted Paper
  • Tips for Writing a Paper in APA Style

1 VandenBos, G. R. (Ed). (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.) (pp. 41-60).  Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

2 geller, e. (2018).  how to write an apa-style research report . [instructional materials]. , prepared by s. c. pan for ucsd psychology.

Back to top  

  • Formatting Research Papers
  • Using Databases and Finding References
  • What Types of References Are Appropriate?
  • Evaluating References and Taking Notes
  • Citing References
  • Writing a Literature Review
  • Writing Process and Revising
  • Improving Scientific Writing
  • Academic Integrity and Avoiding Plagiarism
  • Writing Research Papers Videos
  • Skip to main content
  • Skip to primary sidebar
  • Skip to footer
  • QuestionPro

survey software icon

  • Solutions Industries Gaming Automotive Sports and events Education Government Travel & Hospitality Financial Services Healthcare Cannabis Technology Use Case NPS+ Communities Audience Contactless surveys Mobile LivePolls Member Experience GDPR Positive People Science 360 Feedback Surveys
  • Resources Blog eBooks Survey Templates Case Studies Training Help center

major components of a research report

Home Market Research

Research Reports: Definition and How to Write Them

Research Reports

Reports are usually spread across a vast horizon of topics but are focused on communicating information about a particular topic and a niche target market. The primary motive of research reports is to convey integral details about a study for marketers to consider while designing new strategies.

Certain events, facts, and other information based on incidents need to be relayed to the people in charge, and creating research reports is the most effective communication tool. Ideal research reports are extremely accurate in the offered information with a clear objective and conclusion. These reports should have a clean and structured format to relay information effectively.

What are Research Reports?

Research reports are recorded data prepared by researchers or statisticians after analyzing the information gathered by conducting organized research, typically in the form of surveys or qualitative methods .

A research report is a reliable source to recount details about a conducted research. It is most often considered to be a true testimony of all the work done to garner specificities of research.

The various sections of a research report are:

  • Background/Introduction
  • Implemented Methods
  • Results based on Analysis
  • Deliberation

Learn more: Quantitative Research

Components of Research Reports

Research is imperative for launching a new product/service or a new feature. The markets today are extremely volatile and competitive due to new entrants every day who may or may not provide effective products. An organization needs to make the right decisions at the right time to be relevant in such a market with updated products that suffice customer demands.

The details of a research report may change with the purpose of research but the main components of a report will remain constant. The research approach of the market researcher also influences the style of writing reports. Here are seven main components of a productive research report:

  • Research Report Summary: The entire objective along with the overview of research are to be included in a summary which is a couple of paragraphs in length. All the multiple components of the research are explained in brief under the report summary.  It should be interesting enough to capture all the key elements of the report.
  • Research Introduction: There always is a primary goal that the researcher is trying to achieve through a report. In the introduction section, he/she can cover answers related to this goal and establish a thesis which will be included to strive and answer it in detail.  This section should answer an integral question: “What is the current situation of the goal?”.  After the research design was conducted, did the organization conclude the goal successfully or they are still a work in progress –  provide such details in the introduction part of the research report.
  • Research Methodology: This is the most important section of the report where all the important information lies. The readers can gain data for the topic along with analyzing the quality of provided content and the research can also be approved by other market researchers . Thus, this section needs to be highly informative with each aspect of research discussed in detail.  Information needs to be expressed in chronological order according to its priority and importance. Researchers should include references in case they gained information from existing techniques.
  • Research Results: A short description of the results along with calculations conducted to achieve the goal will form this section of results. Usually, the exposition after data analysis is carried out in the discussion part of the report.

Learn more: Quantitative Data

  • Research Discussion: The results are discussed in extreme detail in this section along with a comparative analysis of reports that could probably exist in the same domain. Any abnormality uncovered during research will be deliberated in the discussion section.  While writing research reports, the researcher will have to connect the dots on how the results will be applicable in the real world.
  • Research References and Conclusion: Conclude all the research findings along with mentioning each and every author, article or any content piece from where references were taken.

Learn more: Qualitative Observation

15 Tips for Writing Research Reports

Writing research reports in the manner can lead to all the efforts going down the drain. Here are 15 tips for writing impactful research reports:

  • Prepare the context before starting to write and start from the basics:  This was always taught to us in school – be well-prepared before taking a plunge into new topics. The order of survey questions might not be the ideal or most effective order for writing research reports. The idea is to start with a broader topic and work towards a more specific one and focus on a conclusion or support, which a research should support with the facts.  The most difficult thing to do in reporting, without a doubt is to start. Start with the title, the introduction, then document the first discoveries and continue from that. Once the marketers have the information well documented, they can write a general conclusion.
  • Keep the target audience in mind while selecting a format that is clear, logical and obvious to them:  Will the research reports be presented to decision makers or other researchers? What are the general perceptions around that topic? This requires more care and diligence. A researcher will need a significant amount of information to start writing the research report. Be consistent with the wording, the numbering of the annexes and so on. Follow the approved format of the company for the delivery of research reports and demonstrate the integrity of the project with the objectives of the company.
  • Have a clear research objective: A researcher should read the entire proposal again, and make sure that the data they provide contributes to the objectives that were raised from the beginning. Remember that speculations are for conversations, not for research reports, if a researcher speculates, they directly question their own research.
  • Establish a working model:  Each study must have an internal logic, which will have to be established in the report and in the evidence. The researchers’ worst nightmare is to be required to write research reports and realize that key questions were not included.

Learn more: Quantitative Observation

  • Gather all the information about the research topic. Who are the competitors of our customers? Talk to other researchers who have studied the subject of research, know the language of the industry. Misuse of the terms can discourage the readers of research reports from reading further.
  • Read aloud while writing. While reading the report, if the researcher hears something inappropriate, for example, if they stumble over the words when reading them, surely the reader will too. If the researcher can’t put an idea in a single sentence, then it is very long and they must change it so that the idea is clear to everyone.
  • Check grammar and spelling. Without a doubt, good practices help to understand the report. Use verbs in the present tense. Consider using the present tense, which makes the results sound more immediate. Find new words and other ways of saying things. Have fun with the language whenever possible.
  • Discuss only the discoveries that are significant. If some data are not really significant, do not mention them. Remember that not everything is truly important or essential within research reports.

Learn more: Qualitative Data

  • Try and stick to the survey questions. For example, do not say that the people surveyed “were worried” about an research issue , when there are different degrees of concern.
  • The graphs must be clear enough so that they understand themselves. Do not let graphs lead the reader to make mistakes: give them a title, include the indications, the size of the sample, and the correct wording of the question.
  • Be clear with messages. A researcher should always write every section of the report with an accuracy of details and language.
  • Be creative with titles – Particularly in segmentation studies choose names “that give life to research”. Such names can survive for a long time after the initial investigation.
  • Create an effective conclusion: The conclusion in the research reports is the most difficult to write, but it is an incredible opportunity to excel. Make a precise summary. Sometimes it helps to start the conclusion with something specific, then it describes the most important part of the study, and finally, it provides the implications of the conclusions.
  • Get a couple more pair of eyes to read the report. Writers have trouble detecting their own mistakes. But they are responsible for what is presented. Ensure it has been approved by colleagues or friends before sending the find draft out.

Learn more: Market Research and Analysis

MORE LIKE THIS

AI in Healthcare

AI in Healthcare: Exploring ClinicAI + FREE eBook

Mar 6, 2024

HRIS Integration

HRIS Integration: What it is, Benefits & How to Approach It?

Mar 4, 2024

social listening tools

Top 10 Social Listening Tools for Brand Reputation

Mar 1, 2024

knowledge management software

16 Best Knowledge Management Software 2024

Feb 29, 2024

Other categories

  • Academic Research
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Assessments
  • Brand Awareness
  • Case Studies
  • Communities
  • Consumer Insights
  • Customer effort score
  • Customer Engagement
  • Customer Experience
  • Customer Loyalty
  • Customer Research
  • Customer Satisfaction
  • Employee Benefits
  • Employee Engagement
  • Employee Retention
  • Friday Five
  • General Data Protection Regulation
  • Insights Hub
  • Life@QuestionPro
  • Market Research
  • Mobile diaries
  • Mobile Surveys
  • New Features
  • Online Communities
  • Question Types
  • Questionnaire
  • QuestionPro Products
  • Release Notes
  • Research Tools and Apps
  • Revenue at Risk
  • Survey Templates
  • Training Tips
  • Uncategorized
  • Video Learning Series
  • What’s Coming Up
  • Workforce Intelligence

Uncomplicated Reviews of Educational Research Methods

  • Writing a Research Report

.pdf version of this page

This review covers the basic elements of a research report. This is a general guide for what you will see in journal articles or dissertations. This format assumes a mixed methods study, but you can leave out either quantitative or qualitative sections if you only used a single methodology.

This review is divided into sections for easy reference. There are five MAJOR parts of a Research Report:

1.    Introduction 2.    Review of Literature 3.    Methods 4.    Results 5.    Discussion

As a general guide, the Introduction, Review of Literature, and Methods should be about 1/3 of your paper, Discussion 1/3, then Results 1/3.

Section 1 : Cover Sheet (APA format cover sheet) optional, if required.

Section 2: Abstract (a basic summary of the report, including sample, treatment, design, results, and implications) (≤ 150 words) optional, if required.

Section 3 : Introduction (1-3 paragraphs) •    Basic introduction •    Supportive statistics (can be from periodicals) •    Statement of Purpose •    Statement of Significance

Section 4 : Research question(s) or hypotheses •    An overall research question (optional) •    A quantitative-based (hypotheses) •    A qualitative-based (research questions) Note: You will generally have more than one, especially if using hypotheses.

Section 5: Review of Literature ▪    Should be organized by subheadings ▪    Should adequately support your study using supporting, related, and/or refuting evidence ▪    Is a synthesis, not a collection of individual summaries

Section 6: Methods ▪    Procedure: Describe data gathering or participant recruitment, including IRB approval ▪    Sample: Describe the sample or dataset, including basic demographics ▪    Setting: Describe the setting, if applicable (generally only in qualitative designs) ▪    Treatment: If applicable, describe, in detail, how you implemented the treatment ▪    Instrument: Describe, in detail, how you implemented the instrument; Describe the reliability and validity associated with the instrument ▪    Data Analysis: Describe type of procedure (t-test, interviews, etc.) and software (if used)

Section 7: Results ▪    Restate Research Question 1 (Quantitative) ▪    Describe results ▪    Restate Research Question 2 (Qualitative) ▪    Describe results

Section 8: Discussion ▪    Restate Overall Research Question ▪    Describe how the results, when taken together, answer the overall question ▪    ***Describe how the results confirm or contrast the literature you reviewed

Section 9: Recommendations (if applicable, generally related to practice)

Section 10: Limitations ▪    Discuss, in several sentences, the limitations of this study. ▪    Research Design (overall, then info about the limitations of each separately) ▪    Sample ▪    Instrument/s ▪    Other limitations

Section 11: Conclusion (A brief closing summary)

Section 12: References (APA format)

Share this:

About research rundowns.

Research Rundowns was made possible by support from the Dewar College of Education at Valdosta State University .

  • Experimental Design
  • What is Educational Research?
  • Writing Research Questions
  • Mixed Methods Research Designs
  • Qualitative Coding & Analysis
  • Qualitative Research Design
  • Correlation
  • Effect Size
  • Instrument, Validity, Reliability
  • Mean & Standard Deviation
  • Significance Testing (t-tests)
  • Steps 1-4: Finding Research
  • Steps 5-6: Analyzing & Organizing
  • Steps 7-9: Citing & Writing

Blog at WordPress.com.

' src=

  • Already have a WordPress.com account? Log in now.
  • Subscribe Subscribed
  • Copy shortlink
  • Report this content
  • View post in Reader
  • Manage subscriptions
  • Collapse this bar
  • Academic Skills
  • Reading, writing and referencing

Research reports

This resource will help you identify the common elements and basic format of a research report.

Research reports generally follow a similar structure and have common elements, each with a particular purpose. Learn more about each of these elements below.

Common elements of reports

Your title should be brief, topic-specific, and informative, clearly indicating the purpose and scope of your study. Include key words in your title so that search engines can easily access your work. For example:  Measurement of water around Station Pier.

An abstract is a concise summary that helps readers to quickly assess the content and direction of your paper. It should be brief, written in a single paragraph and cover: the scope and purpose of your report; an overview of methodology; a summary of the main findings or results; principal conclusions or significance of the findings; and recommendations made.

The information in the abstract must be presented in the same order as it is in your report. The abstract is usually written last when you have developed your arguments and synthesised the results.

The introduction creates the context for your research. It should provide sufficient background to allow the reader to understand and evaluate your study without needing to refer to previous publications. After reading the introduction your reader should understand exactly what your research is about, what you plan to do, why you are undertaking this research and which methods you have used. Introductions generally include:

  • The rationale for the present study. Why are you interested in this topic? Why is this topic worth investigating?
  • Key terms and definitions.
  • An outline of the research questions and hypotheses; the assumptions or propositions that your research will test.

Not all research reports have a separate literature review section. In shorter research reports, the review is usually part of the Introduction.

A literature review is a critical survey of recent relevant research in a particular field. The review should be a selection of carefully organised, focused and relevant literature that develops a narrative ‘story’ about your topic. Your review should answer key questions about the literature:

  • What is the current state of knowledge on the topic?
  • What differences in approaches / methodologies are there?
  • Where are the strengths and weaknesses of the research?
  • What further research is needed? The review may identify a gap in the literature which provides a rationale for your study and supports your research questions and methodology.

The review is not just a summary of all you have read. Rather, it must develop an argument or a point of view that supports your chosen methodology and research questions.

The purpose of this section is to detail how you conducted your research so that others can understand and replicate your approach.

You need to briefly describe the subjects (if appropriate), any equipment or materials used and the approach taken. If the research method or method of data analysis is commonly used within your field of study, then simply reference the procedure. If, however, your methods are new or controversial then you need to describe them in more detail and provide a rationale for your approach. The methodology is written in the past tense and should be as concise as possible.

This section is a concise, factual summary of your findings, listed under headings appropriate to your research questions. It’s common to use tables and graphics. Raw data or details about the method of statistical analysis used should be included in the Appendices.

Present your results in a consistent manner. For example, if you present the first group of results as percentages, it will be confusing for the reader and difficult to make comparisons of data if later results are presented as fractions or as decimal values.

In general, you won’t discuss your results here. Any analysis of your results usually occurs in the Discussion section.

Notes on visual data representation:

  • Graphs and tables may be used to reveal trends in your data, but they must be explained and referred to in adjacent accompanying text.
  • Figures and tables do not simply repeat information given in the text: they summarise, amplify or complement it.
  • Graphs are always referred to as ‘Figures’, and both axes must be clearly labelled.
  • Tables must be numbered, and they must be able to stand-alone or make sense without your reader needing to read all of the accompanying text.

The Discussion responds to the hypothesis or research question. This section is where you interpret your results, account for your findings and explain their significance within the context of other research. Consider the adequacy of your sampling techniques, the scope and long-term implications of your study, any problems with data collection or analysis and any assumptions on which your study was based. This is also the place to discuss any disappointing results and address limitations.

Checklist for the discussion

  • To what extent was each hypothesis supported?
  • To what extent are your findings validated or supported by other research?
  • Were there unexpected variables that affected your results?
  • On reflection, was your research method appropriate?
  • Can you account for any differences between your results and other studies?

Conclusions in research reports are generally fairly short and should follow on naturally from points raised in the Discussion. In this section you should discuss the significance of your findings. To what extent and in what ways are your findings useful or conclusive? Is further research required? If so, based on your research experience, what suggestions could you make about improvements to the scope or methodology of future studies?

Also, consider the practical implications of your results and any recommendations you could make. For example, if your research is on reading strategies in the primary school classroom, what are the implications of your results for the classroom teacher? What recommendations could you make for teachers?

A Reference List contains all the resources you have cited in your work, while a Bibliography is a wider list containing all the resources you have consulted (but not necessarily cited) in the preparation of your work. It is important to check which of these is required, and the preferred format, style of references and presentation requirements of your own department.

Appendices (singular ‘Appendix’) provide supporting material to your project. Examples of such materials include:

  • Relevant letters to participants and organisations (e.g. regarding the ethics or conduct of the project).
  • Background reports.
  • Detailed calculations.

Different types of data are presented in separate appendices. Each appendix must be titled, labelled with a number or letter, and referred to in the body of the report.

Appendices are placed at the end of a report, and the contents are generally not included in the word count.

Fi nal ti p

While there are many common elements to research reports, it’s always best to double check the exact requirements for your task. You may find that you don’t need some sections, can combine others or have specific requirements about referencing, formatting or word limits.

Two people looking over study materials

Looking for one-on-one advice?

Get tailored advice from an Academic Skills Adviser by booking an Individual appointment, or get quick feedback from one of our Academic Writing Mentors via email through our Writing advice service.

Go to Student appointments

  • Research Report: Definition, Types + [Writing Guide]

busayo.longe

One of the reasons for carrying out research is to add to the existing body of knowledge. Therefore, when conducting research, you need to document your processes and findings in a research report. 

With a research report, it is easy to outline the findings of your systematic investigation and any gaps needing further inquiry. Knowing how to create a detailed research report will prove useful when you need to conduct research.  

What is a Research Report?

A research report is a well-crafted document that outlines the processes, data, and findings of a systematic investigation. It is an important document that serves as a first-hand account of the research process, and it is typically considered an objective and accurate source of information.

In many ways, a research report can be considered as a summary of the research process that clearly highlights findings, recommendations, and other important details. Reading a well-written research report should provide you with all the information you need about the core areas of the research process.

Features of a Research Report 

So how do you recognize a research report when you see one? Here are some of the basic features that define a research report. 

  • It is a detailed presentation of research processes and findings, and it usually includes tables and graphs. 
  • It is written in a formal language.
  • A research report is usually written in the third person.
  • It is informative and based on first-hand verifiable information.
  • It is formally structured with headings, sections, and bullet points.
  • It always includes recommendations for future actions. 

Types of Research Report 

The research report is classified based on two things; nature of research and target audience.

Nature of Research

  • Qualitative Research Report

This is the type of report written for qualitative research . It outlines the methods, processes, and findings of a qualitative method of systematic investigation. In educational research, a qualitative research report provides an opportunity for one to apply his or her knowledge and develop skills in planning and executing qualitative research projects.

A qualitative research report is usually descriptive in nature. Hence, in addition to presenting details of the research process, you must also create a descriptive narrative of the information.

  • Quantitative Research Report

A quantitative research report is a type of research report that is written for quantitative research. Quantitative research is a type of systematic investigation that pays attention to numerical or statistical values in a bid to find answers to research questions. 

In this type of research report, the researcher presents quantitative data to support the research process and findings. Unlike a qualitative research report that is mainly descriptive, a quantitative research report works with numbers; that is, it is numerical in nature. 

Target Audience

Also, a research report can be said to be technical or popular based on the target audience. If you’re dealing with a general audience, you would need to present a popular research report, and if you’re dealing with a specialized audience, you would submit a technical report. 

  • Technical Research Report

A technical research report is a detailed document that you present after carrying out industry-based research. This report is highly specialized because it provides information for a technical audience; that is, individuals with above-average knowledge in the field of study. 

In a technical research report, the researcher is expected to provide specific information about the research process, including statistical analyses and sampling methods. Also, the use of language is highly specialized and filled with jargon. 

Examples of technical research reports include legal and medical research reports. 

  • Popular Research Report

A popular research report is one for a general audience; that is, for individuals who do not necessarily have any knowledge in the field of study. A popular research report aims to make information accessible to everyone. 

It is written in very simple language, which makes it easy to understand the findings and recommendations. Examples of popular research reports are the information contained in newspapers and magazines. 

Importance of a Research Report 

  • Knowledge Transfer: As already stated above, one of the reasons for carrying out research is to contribute to the existing body of knowledge, and this is made possible with a research report. A research report serves as a means to effectively communicate the findings of a systematic investigation to all and sundry.  
  • Identification of Knowledge Gaps: With a research report, you’d be able to identify knowledge gaps for further inquiry. A research report shows what has been done while hinting at other areas needing systematic investigation. 
  • In market research, a research report would help you understand the market needs and peculiarities at a glance. 
  • A research report allows you to present information in a precise and concise manner. 
  • It is time-efficient and practical because, in a research report, you do not have to spend time detailing the findings of your research work in person. You can easily send out the report via email and have stakeholders look at it. 

Guide to Writing a Research Report

A lot of detail goes into writing a research report, and getting familiar with the different requirements would help you create the ideal research report. A research report is usually broken down into multiple sections, which allows for a concise presentation of information.

Structure and Example of a Research Report

This is the title of your systematic investigation. Your title should be concise and point to the aims, objectives, and findings of a research report. 

  • Table of Contents

This is like a compass that makes it easier for readers to navigate the research report.

An abstract is an overview that highlights all important aspects of the research including the research method, data collection process, and research findings. Think of an abstract as a summary of your research report that presents pertinent information in a concise manner. 

An abstract is always brief; typically 100-150 words and goes straight to the point. The focus of your research abstract should be the 5Ws and 1H format – What, Where, Why, When, Who and How. 

  • Introduction

Here, the researcher highlights the aims and objectives of the systematic investigation as well as the problem which the systematic investigation sets out to solve. When writing the report introduction, it is also essential to indicate whether the purposes of the research were achieved or would require more work.

In the introduction section, the researcher specifies the research problem and also outlines the significance of the systematic investigation. Also, the researcher is expected to outline any jargons and terminologies that are contained in the research.  

  • Literature Review

A literature review is a written survey of existing knowledge in the field of study. In other words, it is the section where you provide an overview and analysis of different research works that are relevant to your systematic investigation. 

It highlights existing research knowledge and areas needing further investigation, which your research has sought to fill. At this stage, you can also hint at your research hypothesis and its possible implications for the existing body of knowledge in your field of study. 

  • An Account of Investigation

This is a detailed account of the research process, including the methodology, sample, and research subjects. Here, you are expected to provide in-depth information on the research process including the data collection and analysis procedures. 

In a quantitative research report, you’d need to provide information surveys, questionnaires and other quantitative data collection methods used in your research. In a qualitative research report, you are expected to describe the qualitative data collection methods used in your research including interviews and focus groups. 

In this section, you are expected to present the results of the systematic investigation. 

This section further explains the findings of the research, earlier outlined. Here, you are expected to present a justification for each outcome and show whether the results are in line with your hypotheses or if other research studies have come up with similar results.

  • Conclusions

This is a summary of all the information in the report. It also outlines the significance of the entire study. 

  • References and Appendices

This section contains a list of all the primary and secondary research sources. 

Tips for Writing a Research Report

  • Define the Context for the Report

As is obtainable when writing an essay, defining the context for your research report would help you create a detailed yet concise document. This is why you need to create an outline before writing so that you do not miss out on anything. 

  • Define your Audience

Writing with your audience in mind is essential as it determines the tone of the report. If you’re writing for a general audience, you would want to present the information in a simple and relatable manner. For a specialized audience, you would need to make use of technical and field-specific terms. 

  • Include Significant Findings

The idea of a research report is to present some sort of abridged version of your systematic investigation. In your report, you should exclude irrelevant information while highlighting only important data and findings. 

  • Include Illustrations

Your research report should include illustrations and other visual representations of your data. Graphs, pie charts, and relevant images lend additional credibility to your systematic investigation.

  • Choose the Right Title

A good research report title is brief, precise, and contains keywords from your research. It should provide a clear idea of your systematic investigation so that readers can grasp the entire focus of your research from the title. 

  • Proofread the Report

Before publishing the document, ensure that you give it a second look to authenticate the information. If you can, get someone else to go through the report, too, and you can also run it through proofreading and editing software. 

How to Gather Research Data for Your Report  

  • Understand the Problem

Every research aims at solving a specific problem or set of problems, and this should be at the back of your mind when writing your research report. Understanding the problem would help you to filter the information you have and include only important data in your report. 

  • Know what your report seeks to achieve

This is somewhat similar to the point above because, in some way, the aim of your research report is intertwined with the objectives of your systematic investigation. Identifying the primary purpose of writing a research report would help you to identify and present the required information accordingly. 

  • Identify your audience

Knowing your target audience plays a crucial role in data collection for a research report. If your research report is specifically for an organization, you would want to present industry-specific information or show how the research findings are relevant to the work that the company does. 

  • Create Surveys/Questionnaires

A survey is a research method that is used to gather data from a specific group of people through a set of questions. It can be either quantitative or qualitative. 

A survey is usually made up of structured questions, and it can be administered online or offline. However, an online survey is a more effective method of research data collection because it helps you save time and gather data with ease. 

You can seamlessly create an online questionnaire for your research on Formplus . With the multiple sharing options available in the builder, you would be able to administer your survey to respondents in little or no time. 

Formplus also has a report summary too l that you can use to create custom visual reports for your research.

Step-by-step guide on how to create an online questionnaire using Formplus  

  • Sign into Formplus

In the Formplus builder, you can easily create different online questionnaires for your research by dragging and dropping preferred fields into your form. To access the Formplus builder, you will need to create an account on Formplus. 

Once you do this, sign in to your account and click on Create new form to begin. 

  • Edit Form Title : Click on the field provided to input your form title, for example, “Research Questionnaire.”
  • Edit Form : Click on the edit icon to edit the form.
  • Add Fields : Drag and drop preferred form fields into your form in the Formplus builder inputs column. There are several field input options for questionnaires in the Formplus builder. 
  • Edit fields
  • Click on “Save”
  • Form Customization: With the form customization options in the form builder, you can easily change the outlook of your form and make it more unique and personalized. Formplus allows you to change your form theme, add background images, and even change the font according to your needs. 
  • Multiple Sharing Options: Formplus offers various form-sharing options, which enables you to share your questionnaire with respondents easily. You can use the direct social media sharing buttons to share your form link to your organization’s social media pages.  You can also send out your survey form as email invitations to your research subjects too. If you wish, you can share your form’s QR code or embed it on your organization’s website for easy access. 

Conclusion  

Always remember that a research report is just as important as the actual systematic investigation because it plays a vital role in communicating research findings to everyone else. This is why you must take care to create a concise document summarizing the process of conducting any research. 

In this article, we’ve outlined essential tips to help you create a research report. When writing your report, you should always have the audience at the back of your mind, as this would set the tone for the document. 

Logo

Connect to Formplus, Get Started Now - It's Free!

  • ethnographic research survey
  • research report
  • research report survey
  • busayo.longe

Formplus

You may also like:

Assessment Tools: Types, Examples & Importance

In this article, you’ll learn about different assessment tools to help you evaluate performance in various contexts

major components of a research report

How to Write a Problem Statement for your Research

Learn how to write problem statements before commencing any research effort. Learn about its structure and explore examples

21 Chrome Extensions for Academic Researchers in 2022

In this article, we will discuss a number of chrome extensions you can use to make your research process even seamless

Ethnographic Research: Types, Methods + [Question Examples]

Simple guide on ethnographic research, it types, methods, examples and advantages. Also highlights how to conduct an ethnographic...

Formplus - For Seamless Data Collection

Collect data the right way with a versatile data collection tool. try formplus and transform your work productivity today..

Logo for M Libraries Publishing

Want to create or adapt books like this? Learn more about how Pressbooks supports open publishing practices.

13.1 Formatting a Research Paper

Learning objectives.

  • Identify the major components of a research paper written using American Psychological Association (APA) style.
  • Apply general APA style and formatting conventions in a research paper.

In this chapter, you will learn how to use APA style , the documentation and formatting style followed by the American Psychological Association, as well as MLA style , from the Modern Language Association. There are a few major formatting styles used in academic texts, including AMA, Chicago, and Turabian:

  • AMA (American Medical Association) for medicine, health, and biological sciences
  • APA (American Psychological Association) for education, psychology, and the social sciences
  • Chicago—a common style used in everyday publications like magazines, newspapers, and books
  • MLA (Modern Language Association) for English, literature, arts, and humanities
  • Turabian—another common style designed for its universal application across all subjects and disciplines

While all the formatting and citation styles have their own use and applications, in this chapter we focus our attention on the two styles you are most likely to use in your academic studies: APA and MLA.

If you find that the rules of proper source documentation are difficult to keep straight, you are not alone. Writing a good research paper is, in and of itself, a major intellectual challenge. Having to follow detailed citation and formatting guidelines as well may seem like just one more task to add to an already-too-long list of requirements.

Following these guidelines, however, serves several important purposes. First, it signals to your readers that your paper should be taken seriously as a student’s contribution to a given academic or professional field; it is the literary equivalent of wearing a tailored suit to a job interview. Second, it shows that you respect other people’s work enough to give them proper credit for it. Finally, it helps your reader find additional materials if he or she wishes to learn more about your topic.

Furthermore, producing a letter-perfect APA-style paper need not be burdensome. Yes, it requires careful attention to detail. However, you can simplify the process if you keep these broad guidelines in mind:

  • Work ahead whenever you can. Chapter 11 “Writing from Research: What Will I Learn?” includes tips for keeping track of your sources early in the research process, which will save time later on.
  • Get it right the first time. Apply APA guidelines as you write, so you will not have much to correct during the editing stage. Again, putting in a little extra time early on can save time later.
  • Use the resources available to you. In addition to the guidelines provided in this chapter, you may wish to consult the APA website at http://www.apa.org or the Purdue University Online Writing lab at http://owl.english.purdue.edu , which regularly updates its online style guidelines.

General Formatting Guidelines

This chapter provides detailed guidelines for using the citation and formatting conventions developed by the American Psychological Association, or APA. Writers in disciplines as diverse as astrophysics, biology, psychology, and education follow APA style. The major components of a paper written in APA style are listed in the following box.

These are the major components of an APA-style paper:

Body, which includes the following:

  • Headings and, if necessary, subheadings to organize the content
  • In-text citations of research sources
  • References page

All these components must be saved in one document, not as separate documents.

The title page of your paper includes the following information:

  • Title of the paper
  • Author’s name
  • Name of the institution with which the author is affiliated
  • Header at the top of the page with the paper title (in capital letters) and the page number (If the title is lengthy, you may use a shortened form of it in the header.)

List the first three elements in the order given in the previous list, centered about one third of the way down from the top of the page. Use the headers and footers tool of your word-processing program to add the header, with the title text at the left and the page number in the upper-right corner. Your title page should look like the following example.

Beyond the Hype: Evaluating Low-Carb Diets cover page

The next page of your paper provides an abstract , or brief summary of your findings. An abstract does not need to be provided in every paper, but an abstract should be used in papers that include a hypothesis. A good abstract is concise—about one hundred fifty to two hundred fifty words—and is written in an objective, impersonal style. Your writing voice will not be as apparent here as in the body of your paper. When writing the abstract, take a just-the-facts approach, and summarize your research question and your findings in a few sentences.

In Chapter 12 “Writing a Research Paper” , you read a paper written by a student named Jorge, who researched the effectiveness of low-carbohydrate diets. Read Jorge’s abstract. Note how it sums up the major ideas in his paper without going into excessive detail.

Beyond the Hype: Abstract

Write an abstract summarizing your paper. Briefly introduce the topic, state your findings, and sum up what conclusions you can draw from your research. Use the word count feature of your word-processing program to make sure your abstract does not exceed one hundred fifty words.

Depending on your field of study, you may sometimes write research papers that present extensive primary research, such as your own experiment or survey. In your abstract, summarize your research question and your findings, and briefly indicate how your study relates to prior research in the field.

Margins, Pagination, and Headings

APA style requirements also address specific formatting concerns, such as margins, pagination, and heading styles, within the body of the paper. Review the following APA guidelines.

Use these general guidelines to format the paper:

  • Set the top, bottom, and side margins of your paper at 1 inch.
  • Use double-spaced text throughout your paper.
  • Use a standard font, such as Times New Roman or Arial, in a legible size (10- to 12-point).
  • Use continuous pagination throughout the paper, including the title page and the references section. Page numbers appear flush right within your header.
  • Section headings and subsection headings within the body of your paper use different types of formatting depending on the level of information you are presenting. Additional details from Jorge’s paper are provided.

Cover Page

Begin formatting the final draft of your paper according to APA guidelines. You may work with an existing document or set up a new document if you choose. Include the following:

  • Your title page
  • The abstract you created in Note 13.8 “Exercise 1”
  • Correct headers and page numbers for your title page and abstract

APA style uses section headings to organize information, making it easy for the reader to follow the writer’s train of thought and to know immediately what major topics are covered. Depending on the length and complexity of the paper, its major sections may also be divided into subsections, sub-subsections, and so on. These smaller sections, in turn, use different heading styles to indicate different levels of information. In essence, you are using headings to create a hierarchy of information.

The following heading styles used in APA formatting are listed in order of greatest to least importance:

  • Section headings use centered, boldface type. Headings use title case, with important words in the heading capitalized.
  • Subsection headings use left-aligned, boldface type. Headings use title case.
  • The third level uses left-aligned, indented, boldface type. Headings use a capital letter only for the first word, and they end in a period.
  • The fourth level follows the same style used for the previous level, but the headings are boldfaced and italicized.
  • The fifth level follows the same style used for the previous level, but the headings are italicized and not boldfaced.

Visually, the hierarchy of information is organized as indicated in Table 13.1 “Section Headings” .

Table 13.1 Section Headings

A college research paper may not use all the heading levels shown in Table 13.1 “Section Headings” , but you are likely to encounter them in academic journal articles that use APA style. For a brief paper, you may find that level 1 headings suffice. Longer or more complex papers may need level 2 headings or other lower-level headings to organize information clearly. Use your outline to craft your major section headings and determine whether any subtopics are substantial enough to require additional levels of headings.

Working with the document you developed in Note 13.11 “Exercise 2” , begin setting up the heading structure of the final draft of your research paper according to APA guidelines. Include your title and at least two to three major section headings, and follow the formatting guidelines provided above. If your major sections should be broken into subsections, add those headings as well. Use your outline to help you.

Because Jorge used only level 1 headings, his Exercise 3 would look like the following:

Citation Guidelines

In-text citations.

Throughout the body of your paper, include a citation whenever you quote or paraphrase material from your research sources. As you learned in Chapter 11 “Writing from Research: What Will I Learn?” , the purpose of citations is twofold: to give credit to others for their ideas and to allow your reader to follow up and learn more about the topic if desired. Your in-text citations provide basic information about your source; each source you cite will have a longer entry in the references section that provides more detailed information.

In-text citations must provide the name of the author or authors and the year the source was published. (When a given source does not list an individual author, you may provide the source title or the name of the organization that published the material instead.) When directly quoting a source, it is also required that you include the page number where the quote appears in your citation.

This information may be included within the sentence or in a parenthetical reference at the end of the sentence, as in these examples.

Epstein (2010) points out that “junk food cannot be considered addictive in the same way that we think of psychoactive drugs as addictive” (p. 137).

Here, the writer names the source author when introducing the quote and provides the publication date in parentheses after the author’s name. The page number appears in parentheses after the closing quotation marks and before the period that ends the sentence.

Addiction researchers caution that “junk food cannot be considered addictive in the same way that we think of psychoactive drugs as addictive” (Epstein, 2010, p. 137).

Here, the writer provides a parenthetical citation at the end of the sentence that includes the author’s name, the year of publication, and the page number separated by commas. Again, the parenthetical citation is placed after the closing quotation marks and before the period at the end of the sentence.

As noted in the book Junk Food, Junk Science (Epstein, 2010, p. 137), “junk food cannot be considered addictive in the same way that we think of psychoactive drugs as addictive.”

Here, the writer chose to mention the source title in the sentence (an optional piece of information to include) and followed the title with a parenthetical citation. Note that the parenthetical citation is placed before the comma that signals the end of the introductory phrase.

David Epstein’s book Junk Food, Junk Science (2010) pointed out that “junk food cannot be considered addictive in the same way that we think of psychoactive drugs as addictive” (p. 137).

Another variation is to introduce the author and the source title in your sentence and include the publication date and page number in parentheses within the sentence or at the end of the sentence. As long as you have included the essential information, you can choose the option that works best for that particular sentence and source.

Citing a book with a single author is usually a straightforward task. Of course, your research may require that you cite many other types of sources, such as books or articles with more than one author or sources with no individual author listed. You may also need to cite sources available in both print and online and nonprint sources, such as websites and personal interviews. Chapter 13 “APA and MLA Documentation and Formatting” , Section 13.2 “Citing and Referencing Techniques” and Section 13.3 “Creating a References Section” provide extensive guidelines for citing a variety of source types.

Writing at Work

APA is just one of several different styles with its own guidelines for documentation, formatting, and language usage. Depending on your field of interest, you may be exposed to additional styles, such as the following:

  • MLA style. Determined by the Modern Languages Association and used for papers in literature, languages, and other disciplines in the humanities.
  • Chicago style. Outlined in the Chicago Manual of Style and sometimes used for papers in the humanities and the sciences; many professional organizations use this style for publications as well.
  • Associated Press (AP) style. Used by professional journalists.

References List

The brief citations included in the body of your paper correspond to the more detailed citations provided at the end of the paper in the references section. In-text citations provide basic information—the author’s name, the publication date, and the page number if necessary—while the references section provides more extensive bibliographical information. Again, this information allows your reader to follow up on the sources you cited and do additional reading about the topic if desired.

The specific format of entries in the list of references varies slightly for different source types, but the entries generally include the following information:

  • The name(s) of the author(s) or institution that wrote the source
  • The year of publication and, where applicable, the exact date of publication
  • The full title of the source
  • For books, the city of publication
  • For articles or essays, the name of the periodical or book in which the article or essay appears
  • For magazine and journal articles, the volume number, issue number, and pages where the article appears
  • For sources on the web, the URL where the source is located

The references page is double spaced and lists entries in alphabetical order by the author’s last name. If an entry continues for more than one line, the second line and each subsequent line are indented five spaces. Review the following example. ( Chapter 13 “APA and MLA Documentation and Formatting” , Section 13.3 “Creating a References Section” provides extensive guidelines for formatting reference entries for different types of sources.)

References Section

In APA style, book and article titles are formatted in sentence case, not title case. Sentence case means that only the first word is capitalized, along with any proper nouns.

Key Takeaways

  • Following proper citation and formatting guidelines helps writers ensure that their work will be taken seriously, give proper credit to other authors for their work, and provide valuable information to readers.
  • Working ahead and taking care to cite sources correctly the first time are ways writers can save time during the editing stage of writing a research paper.
  • APA papers usually include an abstract that concisely summarizes the paper.
  • APA papers use a specific headings structure to provide a clear hierarchy of information.
  • In APA papers, in-text citations usually include the name(s) of the author(s) and the year of publication.
  • In-text citations correspond to entries in the references section, which provide detailed bibliographical information about a source.

Writing for Success Copyright © 2015 by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

  • Increase Font Size

34 Components of a Research Report

C. Naga Lakshmi

1.   Objective

In this module you will learn about writing reports for research, some formats and their use for organizations. Some links and different internet based resources, references are provided at the end of the document.

2.    Introduction

Research as a process involves several phases and documents produced in a sequence. The sequence and phases of progress have a definite effect on the quality of the final report and on the research documents produced at all stages. Every research/study is judged for its adequacy, quality and validity, on the basis of four such documents – the research proposal, research summary, research abstract and the research report. Research report is the main document on the basis of which the contribution of the research is judged.

A research report is ‘a formal, official statement that contains facts, is a record documentation of findings

and/or is perhaps the result of a survey or investigation’ (Booth 1991). According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a report is a statement of the results of an investigation or of any matter on which definite information is required.

Report writing can be undertaken for purposes such as:

·         to present findings

·         to keep records of collected information/data

·         for documenting organisations’ success and failures

·         to write about the progress of a research and/or project

Many of the parts/elements of report writing are generic, but there are themes specific to report writing that make it distinctive. Reports are drafted based on factual information with data and findings. The content is intended to be ‘objective’ and not to be influenced by any personal bias/feelings of the authors.

One can classify reports into several types based on the purpose of research, the funding or sponsoring organization and the area of work. Reports can be documented only for information, very short and concise, for example, budgeting report, and other functions of organisations. Case studies and analysis can be another type of report writing widely used at universities for project documentation. A report for anorganisation’s internal audience can be in an informal format. This report can use informal conversational tone if it is addressing issues such as absenteeism, work plans and processes. For a semi-formal report, such as employee policy, a manual or a task report, the language used can be informal but can have a formalized structure. The third is a formal report with detailed structure and format, and for research, analysis and some inferences.

Writing a report involves the following stages –

·         clarifying terms of reference,

·         planning the work,

·         collecting data and information,

·         organising and structuring the collected information,

·         writing the first draft, and

·         final proof-checking and re-drafting of report.

Report writing is thus a diligent activity, as it involves collating and documenting all the facts collected through field investigation, compiled and documented following a pre-determined research design. Reports require highly structured form of writing and this could be a daunting task sometimes. There are some conventions that have been laid down to produce a common format to suit readership and/or audience. The structure and convention in written reports stress on the process by which the information is gathered to draft the report.

A report can be distinguished from other forms of mainstream/traditional academic research such as the discussion paper, working paper and journal article. For example, the main differences between a report and an essay or academic/research narrative are that the essay format can be at the discretion of the author, but the report has a formal structure approved by the institution or funding agency. Again, a report is used to communicate results or findings of a project/research while an essay is for developing an argument, in-depth via a sequence of paragraphs. Moreover, a report includes some graphic presentations – tables, figures, illustrations but an essay is only a prose. Finally, a report can make some recommendation for future actions but it is unusual for an academic essay to make recommendations for action although some conclusions are drawn.

There is considerable amount of creativity involved in it and use of a great deal of imagery, inventive vocabulary and an elaborate style, as well as academic rigour, so that the readers are engaged and remain interested while reading it.

2.1.        Report Writing: Scope and Reason

One can divide report writing into two stages namely planning the report and the actual writing process. A prospective author writing a report must be clear about the following before s/he begins the writing –

·         The reason and purpose

·         The content of the report

·         The primary readership and their expectations from the report

·         The impact/benefits of the result – who are the beneficiaries, its utility to the implementing authorities

The reason, purpose and scope of the report are sometimes pre-determined by the organization sponsoring the research or by the author. Important dimensions of a report are thus a) the purpose of the report and b) the scope of the report. Scope of the report includes clarity on what needs to go into the report, some guidelines on format and extent of analysis. The content of the report is also influenced by the concern for maintaining necessary academic rigour and standard even though the author’s or the research team’s writing capabilities very often determine such a standard. Readership and audience for the report is the next important consideration and is discussed in the following section.

2.2.        The intended audience and the report structure and style:

The nature of the intended audience (external or internal) is an important factor in determining the length, format, structure, language and tone/pitch for a report. The author/s aim towards dissemination of the report to some perceived audience/readers and the significance of the results documented in the report to be of value to them. Audience can thus broadly be classified as academic/specialised or wider and non-academic. If the report is intended for a largely non-academic audience, the tone and language and style are to be prepared in a user-friendly and simple format.

One key aspect of writing a report is the potential readership’s level of familiarity or experience with the subject/theme of the report. If the report is for lay persons, the report needs to contain additional background information, glossary of terms and theoretical explanation of the theme/subject. If the intended audience is specialized/narrow, and comprises only the group or organization that has commissioned the report, the report has to be written keeping in mind the specific aims and objectives set by the organization or the commissioning body. This sometimes might limit the scope of the report and flexibility for the authors and it is important not to lose sight of the purpose and aims of the commissioning body while structuring the report. Whether it is specific to audience or for a wider readership, the option of writing multiple versions of the report, each catering to specific audience with and without special additional information, tone, font, writing style and explanation of terms and theme is also preferable.

The presentation and content of a report can thus be structured to indicate the main points of decision, presentation of facts and information, and shaping future action to be easily understood and usable for the audience/readers.

To sum up, a report can be written to suit an audience. A popular report must be able to add some increments to their knowledge; help the audience find the right information within the report; know and cater to at least some of the preferences of the intended audience and cater to their usability by designing the report format appropriately.

There are some common errors that a writer should beware of and avoid. They are:

·         Excessive jargon

·         Verbosity

·         Personal bias

·         Factual inaccuracies

·         Grammatical errors

·         Absence of reasoning

·         Absence of sequence

·         Absence of reference

Self-Check Exercise 1:

Q 1. Can we state that report writing is different from a typical academic style of writing?

Report writing is a unique style and it differs from a typical academic exercise. Very often, the format and style of writing are decided by the sponsoring organisation. However, the reason and scope of the study for which the report is being written as well as the readership to which it is catering to, also give shapes to its style. Whereas a typical academic writing caters to the specialists in the field and is rigorous in presentation, the report can carry some more interesting illustrations and graphic presentations, tables and charts to make it more readable.

Q 2. What are the main concerns for a report writer at the beginning stages?

The main concerns for a report writer are to know the purpose and scope of the report being prepared. Then the writer needs to know the audience to whom the report is being sent. Another important concern is to maintain ethics while writing and avoid plagiarism from any source.

Q 3. How can one classify and adopt an appropriate format for a report?

The writer can adopt an appropriate style of writing and language based on the target audience, whether it is for internal consumption or for the external and specialist audience. The choice then lies in an informal and semi-formal structure and language to a complete formal structure and language for a completely research and data analysis based report.

3.                  Stages in planning and writing process

The planning and writing process/phases for a report can be divided into three stages each. The planning phases can be divided into three stages – clarifying the brief, doing the research and organising the content. The writing stage can be divided into the analysis stage, drafting and proof reading stage. The tasks in each of these phases and stages are explained in this section.

3.1.        Planning

The first stage of planning phase for a report is the clarification of the objective of the report. The specific instructions/guidelines issued by the sponsors or organizers for writing the report are to be fully understood and internalized by the team and authors. It is important to recollect in case there was a meeting/launch of the project (for a formal project that had a launching event) and what was announced as the project objectives and format the report.

Planning stage is followed by the actual data collection and research stage. This is the backbone of the report as quality of any report depends essentially on the quality of data collected and analysed. A study that fails to collect enough and reliable data from various sources would obviously fail to generate useful conclusions.

The next stage is the organisation of the content. Authors need to review the notes made and group them under various heads. At this stage, the authors should retain only the relevant content for the objectives and the brief provided and must discard all the irrelevant content. The order of content should also be logical. Authors should make sure the ideas are paraphrased into words, and should avoid any plagiarising practice.

3.2.        Writing

Writing phase entails three stages – analysis, drafting and proof reading. Analysis and writing starts with a simple description of the data gathered and then is critically examined for the evidence for substantiating the research findings. It is important to note the limitations of the research/project at this stage. Drafting the report requires a simple style without superfluous words and unnecessary details. In the content, technical terms are to be used appropriately and make reference to tables, graphs and illustrations. Proof reading stage is the final and most important one as it requires diligence and accuracy. First is to check the flow of report and whether the brief provided initially is being followed. The language, syntax, spellings – all of which are enabled by the word processing software as computers are used. The numbers assigned to illustrations, tables and graphs are to be checked along with the references cited. The layout, contents page, the page numbers and captions also to be checked thoroughly.

Writing needs to follow a structure and can be divided into several components. These are described in the next section.

  • The structure and components of the reports

The report structure ensures ease of navigation across the document for the readers and organising the data collected.

Usually the components of a report include three parts –

  • The Introductory (Beginning) section
  • The Main (Explanatory middle)

III. The End (Appendices & References)

These components of a report are discussed in the next sections.

4.1.        The Beginning and Introduction

The first section is obviously an introduction which provides a background for the research study being presented in the report. It contains the following sections:

  • A title page
  • Contents list/table of contents
  • List of illustrations
  • List of tables
  • Acknowledgements
  • List of Abbreviations/Acronyms
  • Summary/Abstract/Executive Summary

The arrangement of the sub-sections and the sequence depends on the length and scope of the research.

Lengthy reports require more structuring and sequence.

To begin with, the title page should include a full title of the report, the names and affiliation of the author(s), sponsors or to whom the report is submitted, the name and address of the publisher and the date of publication.

Other details that can be included in later pages are – An ISBN number (if any) and a Copyright (in the inside page). The following figure, is an illustration of a sample of contents of the copyright, permissions and the ISBN details.

Figure 1. Sample of a copyright

Source: http://siteresources.worldbank.org/EXTNWDR2013/Resources/8258024- 1352909193861/8936935-1356011448215/8986901-1380046989056/WDR-2014_Complete_Report.pdf

The contents list is very significant as helps the reader to identify the main sections of the report. Hence its preparation requires meticulous planning. Each research report shall have a table of contents tailored appropriately as per the theme of research and the topic dealt with. In the above example, the contents are arranged to explain the gender gap, its measurement and the country profiles. Since the cited report caters

to the needs of global readership, it also includes a user’s guide and the associated explanation. The contents can be presented in a simple format as presented in Figure 2.

As against the format stated in figure 2, page numbers of a contents list can be put on the right side. It is a standard practice to state the full page numbers (say from 5-12) of each section and only mention the first page number of a chapter (say 5). A contents list should also mention the following before beginning the Introductory section: List of illustrations, List of tables and figures, Foreword, Preface, Acknowledgements, List of Abbreviations/Acronyms and Summary/Abstract/Executive Summary. It is however not mandatory for any report writer to mention all of them as one may not, for instance, write a Foreword or Summary/Abstract/Executive Summary sub-section in the report.   List of illustrations at the outset are numbered or linked to the particular chapter to help the reader. Other sub-sections as mentioned earlier are listed with the related aspects in the following sequence:

a)      A foreword and or preface can be used to draw a potential reader into the major theme of the report. This can be written by the research team or author/s, including interesting details of the report or the rationale behind the report in the preface. Many a time, subject experts known for proficiency and in depth knowledge in the central theme of the report or a person with sufficient degree of authority/respect in the discipline do write the foreword.

b)      In the acknowledgements section, the authors can express gratitude to all the individuals and organizations who/that were important and contributed to the research and writing, publication and production of the report in its full form. Obviously, it is a well documented practice to acknowledge the contributions of respondents, academicians and intellectuals, funding agency, research team members, support staff, library staff and others.

c)      All the abbreviations that are mentioned in the report should be identified and explained in a section prior to the main section primarily to help the reader. It is for the authors to include the section or not if there are no abbreviations.

d)      If the report is for general audience, and it includes technical terms, there is a need to include a glossary of terms at the end of the document.

e)      Summary/Abstract/Executive Summary is an important part of the report. This should ideally provide the reader with details – aims, objectives of the report, a brief methodological overview, key findings and subsequent conclusions and set of recommendations that emanate from these. It is important to note that all readers may not read the report from cover to cover, they browse the text and focus only on sections which are relevant to their interests and needs. Hence, the summary is the most important section of the report summarizing the overall content and the findings.

For example refer to the web page:

https://www.dlsweb.rmit.edu.au/lsu/content/2_assessmenttasks/assess_tuts/reports_LL/summary.html

4.2.        The Main Content

A report’s main content can be organized under the following sub-sections –

4.2.1.     Introduction/background/Overview:

The introduction should set the context, engage the reader to understand the background of the report. This can include some details on who commissioned the report, when, and for what reasons. Some important terms of reference, resources which were available for the author to prepare the report can be mentioned and sources of information/data and how they were obtained in brief section. The structure of the report and the sub-sections are organized as per the research plan. The introductory part of a report is significant for several reasons. First, it introduces a reader to the basic theme, context and agenda of research. Second, it builds up a platform for development of detail explanation of concepts, variables and   subject matter in the rest of the report. By doing so, it also helps the author(s) to critically examine his/her arguments so as to develop new theoretical insights on the subject matter in the conclusion. Finally, it would aim to attract attention of a reader, specialist or general, for detail and elaborate study of the complete report.

4.2.2.      The main body of the report

This is the central/middle part and main content of the report. As mentioned in the previous section, it begins with an introduction and should set the background for the reader. It should include sufficient explanation and background details so that the main part of the report shall be fully consumed. The introduction can include the following information:

  • Details of the origin of the report, who commissioned the report, the time frame, when and why the report was commissioned
  • The terms of reference for the report
  • The resources used
  • Any limitations to the work
  • A brief note on the sources of information used and how it was obtained
  • The methodologies employed
  • The structure of the report

The authors usually structure the reports into parts, to analytically present the theoretical orientation if any and the several modules available for analysis. After the introduction, the main body of the report follows the predetermined structure, and is made clearer by the hierarchy of headings and sub-headings, with numberings. This can be drawn from different styles also. The structure sometimes is dependent on the funding organization’s specifications or directives if any to convey the required message within these hierarchy of headings. The stylistic tools are convenient for the readers to identify and access information within the content. This also allows cross reference and easy navigation.

After presenting the existing modules and a review of literature available and relevant to the report, the report presents its data, and the findings as per the funding organization’s requirement. Notwithstanding differences of approach, it is a customary to begin with the general aspects of the findings like socio-economic background of the respondents and end with critical observations and analysis. In between, the effort gets concentrated to explain reasons and factors responsible for a particular issue being researched. While doing so, the author(s) should try to explain a phenomenon from both quantitative and qualitative points of view. For instance, a table or graph containing vital information may be supplemented by case history or narratives from the field. Such triangulation allows author(s) to delve deep into the issue being researched and come out with logical, valid and reasonable explanations. If an analysis is bereft of say qualitative aspects of social life and relies only on quantitative data, the analysis may remain partial and incomplete. In sociology, in particular, attempts are made to come out with holistic explanation of events, phenomena and processes as social life is complex, heterogeneous, and fluid. This allows sociologists to reveal the limitations of purely statistical or economic analysis.

The following are the examples of some reports from reputed international agencies:

Example 1: Human Development Report 2013   http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/reports/14/hdr2013_en_complete.pdf

Example 2: World Development Report 2014   http://siteresources.worldbank.org/EXTNWDR2013/Resources/8258024-1352909193861/8936935-  1356011448215/8986901-1380046989056/WDR-2014_Complete_Report.pdf

Example 3: The World Economic Forum – The Global Gender Gap Report 2013   http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GenderGap_Report_2013.pdf

For reports written for funded Projects, there is a detailed structure and presentation. For example, here is a structure of a research project on the work and culture in the information technology industry in India:

Figure 3 – Academic Research report – Example of a structure and table of contents

Source: Upadhya, Carol and Vasavi, AR (2006) Work, Culture and Sociality in the Indian Information

Technology (IT) Industry: A Sociological Study. Project Report. National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore. http://www.unikassel.de/~tduermei/iksa/readerengl/addtext%2013Updadhya %202006%20Work,%20Culture%20and%20Sociality-1.pdf

The next important type of research reports are written for projects undertaken by the corporate bodies. There is a detailed structure and presentation in this type of reports also. For example, the structure of a research project – A Corporate report – Deloitte – Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Private Limited – Resetting horizons Global human capital trends 2013 is available on the following sites – http://www.deloitte.com/assets/DcomIndia/Local%20Assets/Documents/HC%20trial/HC_Talent_Trends _%20(India)V1.pdf

http://d2mtr37y39tpbu.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/GlobalHumanCapitalTrends_2014.pdf

The report content cited above contains 10 findings of the human capital trends 2014 at a global level suited to the human resource community in organizations at the end of the document. Such formats are suitable for executive level readership in companies as well as general readership. It looks as follows:

Source: http://d2mtr37y39tpbu.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/GlobalHumanCapitalTrends_2014.pdf

Reports based on research, conducted by the corporate houses/companies are creative and include executive summary and recommendations. But they are less emphatic on the theory. One can note that there is a link at the bottom of the page that asks the reader to explore the human capital trends dashboard on the internet.

Conclusions, summary and recommendations form the last section of any report as one can observe in all types of reports. This section also is tailored to the funding organisation’s requirement. Yet, readers expect all conclusions to summarise the basic findings of the study and evolve generalisations to a) reject a theory, b) modify a theory, or c) build a new theory. Hence, it is a normal practice to briefly state the aims and objectives of the research as well as methodology followed to conduct the study in the concluding section before stating the major findings and analysing those critically. This is also because a busy reader might only be interested in reading the conclusion.

4.2.3.   The End

After the main section, the last sections are for supplementing it. These include appendices, references and suggestions for further readings. Appendices can be included at the end of the report document and they are in different forms. They should be included if they add value and help reader understand the main text better, with detail that goes beyond the main content of the report. The appendices also are for the specialist/professional audience who seek details such as – methodological frameworks, questionnaires, statistical or technical information, originals of any letters and related documentation   referred to in the content of the report. The authors must exercise discretion in deciding whether the material presented is better appended or in the main text. If the authors are of the opinion that the content is to be definitely read, then it must be placed in the main text. If it is not essential, it can be appended, discussed briefly in the main text. References of books, articles, journals and other relevant documents have to be provided following a format or style as required.

The last and final section is the index and this allows readers to look at key words and allows them to get to the depth of the theme or topics otherwise hidden in the main content. This is a daunting task if done manually. However, word processing software is available and enables the authors to compile index with a few commands including cross-referencing.

The last and final step for a research project is publishing, production and dissemination of the report. Research reports produced for specific readership by funding organisations have few constraints in terms of the formats in which the report has to be published and also whether it can be used for articles submitted to journals. If the report is for generalised audience and has to be disseminated on a large scale, there is a need to design an appropriate cover page printed by a commercial publisher, even if it is an expensive consideration. This can be an in-house activity or it can also be outsourced to a publisher. In case of outsourcing, there is a need to strictly monitor the process of production diligently with revisions of versions to ensure quality.Apart from printing, the research reports can also be published on the internet but with copyrights and careful consideration whether it is allowed by the sponsor. Many times, websites of the sponsor present a carefully compiled summary and findings only and seek details of the reader in case he/she wants complete access to the report.

Self-check exercise 2

Q 4. Academic writing and report writing formats have some similarities and contrasts. Do you agree? Explain.

Report writing and academic writing are similar to the extent of presenting a phenomenon to the reader. The sections of methodology, citations and referencing are also similar for both. However, academic writing conventions are universal and the format is common, for example, a journal publication. But report writing has to be done in tune with the requirements of the sponsoring body or by considering the needs of the audience or readership. To this effect, a report can have several formats, one for the specialist and expert audience and another for the general public depending on the institution/sponsoring institution’s directive.

5.   Conclusion

To conclude, the research report is the most important output of projects and studies conducted by organizations/individual. The key considerations on the content rest with the sponsoring organizations and the authors with audience-specific formats. The production, publishing and dissemination are also important for the sponsoring/funding organization whether it is through formal academic means, journal articles or on the internet. In all cases, research reports contribute directly or indirectly to the theme and topic concerned and subsequently to the discipline.

  • Some useful links and e-resource
  • Baker, Therese, L. Doing Social Research (2nd edition). New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc., 1994.
  • Booth, P.F. Report Writing, Huntingdon: Elm Publications, 1991.
  • Britt, Steuart Henderson. The Writing of Readable Research Reports. Journal of Marketing Research 8, no. 2 (1971): 262-266.
  • Bryman, Alan. Social Research Methods (3rd edition).  Oxford University Press, 2008.
  • How to write a good report: Information only, research reports at university, case study analysis reports can be viewed on – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFGNKJruxdg
  • http://www.cqu.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/28578/5ReportWriting.pdf
  • Writing formal research reports (for Government):  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kL2C8Gl_7mE
  • Online resource – The Mayfield Handbook of Technical and Scientific Writing by Leslie C Perelman, James Paradis and Edward Barrett – Accessed on 10th July  2014   http://web.mit.edu/course/21/21.guide/home.htm
  •     How to add APA source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fm4DI53nB6U
  • Referencing in Harvard Style:Online Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDgqqPvMn0U (Accessed on 13th March 2014)
  • Writing Journal articles  http://www.faeexmdev.plymouth.ac.uk/RESINED/writingup/A%20guide%20from%20Denis%20Hayes.htm
  • Writing tips for journal articles   http://shadow.eas.gatech.edu/~jean/paleo/Writing_tips.pdf
  • Some Interesting Videos: Further help:
  • Videos on Report Writing formats:   http://library.bcu.ac.uk/learner/writingguides/1.02%20Reports.htm
  • Writing tips and reading lists    http://www.writersservices.com/
  • Privacy Policy

Buy Me a Coffee

Research Method

Home » Research Paper – Structure, Examples and Writing Guide

Research Paper – Structure, Examples and Writing Guide

Table of Contents

Research Paper

Research Paper

Definition:

Research Paper is a written document that presents the author’s original research, analysis, and interpretation of a specific topic or issue.

It is typically based on Empirical Evidence, and may involve qualitative or quantitative research methods, or a combination of both. The purpose of a research paper is to contribute new knowledge or insights to a particular field of study, and to demonstrate the author’s understanding of the existing literature and theories related to the topic.

Structure of Research Paper

The structure of a research paper typically follows a standard format, consisting of several sections that convey specific information about the research study. The following is a detailed explanation of the structure of a research paper:

The title page contains the title of the paper, the name(s) of the author(s), and the affiliation(s) of the author(s). It also includes the date of submission and possibly, the name of the journal or conference where the paper is to be published.

The abstract is a brief summary of the research paper, typically ranging from 100 to 250 words. It should include the research question, the methods used, the key findings, and the implications of the results. The abstract should be written in a concise and clear manner to allow readers to quickly grasp the essence of the research.

Introduction

The introduction section of a research paper provides background information about the research problem, the research question, and the research objectives. It also outlines the significance of the research, the research gap that it aims to fill, and the approach taken to address the research question. Finally, the introduction section ends with a clear statement of the research hypothesis or research question.

Literature Review

The literature review section of a research paper provides an overview of the existing literature on the topic of study. It includes a critical analysis and synthesis of the literature, highlighting the key concepts, themes, and debates. The literature review should also demonstrate the research gap and how the current study seeks to address it.

The methods section of a research paper describes the research design, the sample selection, the data collection and analysis procedures, and the statistical methods used to analyze the data. This section should provide sufficient detail for other researchers to replicate the study.

The results section presents the findings of the research, using tables, graphs, and figures to illustrate the data. The findings should be presented in a clear and concise manner, with reference to the research question and hypothesis.

The discussion section of a research paper interprets the findings and discusses their implications for the research question, the literature review, and the field of study. It should also address the limitations of the study and suggest future research directions.

The conclusion section summarizes the main findings of the study, restates the research question and hypothesis, and provides a final reflection on the significance of the research.

The references section provides a list of all the sources cited in the paper, following a specific citation style such as APA, MLA or Chicago.

How to Write Research Paper

You can write Research Paper by the following guide:

  • Choose a Topic: The first step is to select a topic that interests you and is relevant to your field of study. Brainstorm ideas and narrow down to a research question that is specific and researchable.
  • Conduct a Literature Review: The literature review helps you identify the gap in the existing research and provides a basis for your research question. It also helps you to develop a theoretical framework and research hypothesis.
  • Develop a Thesis Statement : The thesis statement is the main argument of your research paper. It should be clear, concise and specific to your research question.
  • Plan your Research: Develop a research plan that outlines the methods, data sources, and data analysis procedures. This will help you to collect and analyze data effectively.
  • Collect and Analyze Data: Collect data using various methods such as surveys, interviews, observations, or experiments. Analyze data using statistical tools or other qualitative methods.
  • Organize your Paper : Organize your paper into sections such as Introduction, Literature Review, Methods, Results, Discussion, and Conclusion. Ensure that each section is coherent and follows a logical flow.
  • Write your Paper : Start by writing the introduction, followed by the literature review, methods, results, discussion, and conclusion. Ensure that your writing is clear, concise, and follows the required formatting and citation styles.
  • Edit and Proofread your Paper: Review your paper for grammar and spelling errors, and ensure that it is well-structured and easy to read. Ask someone else to review your paper to get feedback and suggestions for improvement.
  • Cite your Sources: Ensure that you properly cite all sources used in your research paper. This is essential for giving credit to the original authors and avoiding plagiarism.

Research Paper Example

Note : The below example research paper is for illustrative purposes only and is not an actual research paper. Actual research papers may have different structures, contents, and formats depending on the field of study, research question, data collection and analysis methods, and other factors. Students should always consult with their professors or supervisors for specific guidelines and expectations for their research papers.

Research Paper Example sample for Students:

Title: The Impact of Social Media on Mental Health among Young Adults

Abstract: This study aims to investigate the impact of social media use on the mental health of young adults. A literature review was conducted to examine the existing research on the topic. A survey was then administered to 200 university students to collect data on their social media use, mental health status, and perceived impact of social media on their mental health. The results showed that social media use is positively associated with depression, anxiety, and stress. The study also found that social comparison, cyberbullying, and FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) are significant predictors of mental health problems among young adults.

Introduction: Social media has become an integral part of modern life, particularly among young adults. While social media has many benefits, including increased communication and social connectivity, it has also been associated with negative outcomes, such as addiction, cyberbullying, and mental health problems. This study aims to investigate the impact of social media use on the mental health of young adults.

Literature Review: The literature review highlights the existing research on the impact of social media use on mental health. The review shows that social media use is associated with depression, anxiety, stress, and other mental health problems. The review also identifies the factors that contribute to the negative impact of social media, including social comparison, cyberbullying, and FOMO.

Methods : A survey was administered to 200 university students to collect data on their social media use, mental health status, and perceived impact of social media on their mental health. The survey included questions on social media use, mental health status (measured using the DASS-21), and perceived impact of social media on their mental health. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and regression analysis.

Results : The results showed that social media use is positively associated with depression, anxiety, and stress. The study also found that social comparison, cyberbullying, and FOMO are significant predictors of mental health problems among young adults.

Discussion : The study’s findings suggest that social media use has a negative impact on the mental health of young adults. The study highlights the need for interventions that address the factors contributing to the negative impact of social media, such as social comparison, cyberbullying, and FOMO.

Conclusion : In conclusion, social media use has a significant impact on the mental health of young adults. The study’s findings underscore the need for interventions that promote healthy social media use and address the negative outcomes associated with social media use. Future research can explore the effectiveness of interventions aimed at reducing the negative impact of social media on mental health. Additionally, longitudinal studies can investigate the long-term effects of social media use on mental health.

Limitations : The study has some limitations, including the use of self-report measures and a cross-sectional design. The use of self-report measures may result in biased responses, and a cross-sectional design limits the ability to establish causality.

Implications: The study’s findings have implications for mental health professionals, educators, and policymakers. Mental health professionals can use the findings to develop interventions that address the negative impact of social media use on mental health. Educators can incorporate social media literacy into their curriculum to promote healthy social media use among young adults. Policymakers can use the findings to develop policies that protect young adults from the negative outcomes associated with social media use.

References :

  • Twenge, J. M., & Campbell, W. K. (2019). Associations between screen time and lower psychological well-being among children and adolescents: Evidence from a population-based study. Preventive medicine reports, 15, 100918.
  • Primack, B. A., Shensa, A., Escobar-Viera, C. G., Barrett, E. L., Sidani, J. E., Colditz, J. B., … & James, A. E. (2017). Use of multiple social media platforms and symptoms of depression and anxiety: A nationally-representative study among US young adults. Computers in Human Behavior, 69, 1-9.
  • Van der Meer, T. G., & Verhoeven, J. W. (2017). Social media and its impact on academic performance of students. Journal of Information Technology Education: Research, 16, 383-398.

Appendix : The survey used in this study is provided below.

Social Media and Mental Health Survey

  • How often do you use social media per day?
  • Less than 30 minutes
  • 30 minutes to 1 hour
  • 1 to 2 hours
  • 2 to 4 hours
  • More than 4 hours
  • Which social media platforms do you use?
  • Others (Please specify)
  • How often do you experience the following on social media?
  • Social comparison (comparing yourself to others)
  • Cyberbullying
  • Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)
  • Have you ever experienced any of the following mental health problems in the past month?
  • Do you think social media use has a positive or negative impact on your mental health?
  • Very positive
  • Somewhat positive
  • Somewhat negative
  • Very negative
  • In your opinion, which factors contribute to the negative impact of social media on mental health?
  • Social comparison
  • In your opinion, what interventions could be effective in reducing the negative impact of social media on mental health?
  • Education on healthy social media use
  • Counseling for mental health problems caused by social media
  • Social media detox programs
  • Regulation of social media use

Thank you for your participation!

Applications of Research Paper

Research papers have several applications in various fields, including:

  • Advancing knowledge: Research papers contribute to the advancement of knowledge by generating new insights, theories, and findings that can inform future research and practice. They help to answer important questions, clarify existing knowledge, and identify areas that require further investigation.
  • Informing policy: Research papers can inform policy decisions by providing evidence-based recommendations for policymakers. They can help to identify gaps in current policies, evaluate the effectiveness of interventions, and inform the development of new policies and regulations.
  • Improving practice: Research papers can improve practice by providing evidence-based guidance for professionals in various fields, including medicine, education, business, and psychology. They can inform the development of best practices, guidelines, and standards of care that can improve outcomes for individuals and organizations.
  • Educating students : Research papers are often used as teaching tools in universities and colleges to educate students about research methods, data analysis, and academic writing. They help students to develop critical thinking skills, research skills, and communication skills that are essential for success in many careers.
  • Fostering collaboration: Research papers can foster collaboration among researchers, practitioners, and policymakers by providing a platform for sharing knowledge and ideas. They can facilitate interdisciplinary collaborations and partnerships that can lead to innovative solutions to complex problems.

When to Write Research Paper

Research papers are typically written when a person has completed a research project or when they have conducted a study and have obtained data or findings that they want to share with the academic or professional community. Research papers are usually written in academic settings, such as universities, but they can also be written in professional settings, such as research organizations, government agencies, or private companies.

Here are some common situations where a person might need to write a research paper:

  • For academic purposes: Students in universities and colleges are often required to write research papers as part of their coursework, particularly in the social sciences, natural sciences, and humanities. Writing research papers helps students to develop research skills, critical thinking skills, and academic writing skills.
  • For publication: Researchers often write research papers to publish their findings in academic journals or to present their work at academic conferences. Publishing research papers is an important way to disseminate research findings to the academic community and to establish oneself as an expert in a particular field.
  • To inform policy or practice : Researchers may write research papers to inform policy decisions or to improve practice in various fields. Research findings can be used to inform the development of policies, guidelines, and best practices that can improve outcomes for individuals and organizations.
  • To share new insights or ideas: Researchers may write research papers to share new insights or ideas with the academic or professional community. They may present new theories, propose new research methods, or challenge existing paradigms in their field.

Purpose of Research Paper

The purpose of a research paper is to present the results of a study or investigation in a clear, concise, and structured manner. Research papers are written to communicate new knowledge, ideas, or findings to a specific audience, such as researchers, scholars, practitioners, or policymakers. The primary purposes of a research paper are:

  • To contribute to the body of knowledge : Research papers aim to add new knowledge or insights to a particular field or discipline. They do this by reporting the results of empirical studies, reviewing and synthesizing existing literature, proposing new theories, or providing new perspectives on a topic.
  • To inform or persuade: Research papers are written to inform or persuade the reader about a particular issue, topic, or phenomenon. They present evidence and arguments to support their claims and seek to persuade the reader of the validity of their findings or recommendations.
  • To advance the field: Research papers seek to advance the field or discipline by identifying gaps in knowledge, proposing new research questions or approaches, or challenging existing assumptions or paradigms. They aim to contribute to ongoing debates and discussions within a field and to stimulate further research and inquiry.
  • To demonstrate research skills: Research papers demonstrate the author’s research skills, including their ability to design and conduct a study, collect and analyze data, and interpret and communicate findings. They also demonstrate the author’s ability to critically evaluate existing literature, synthesize information from multiple sources, and write in a clear and structured manner.

Characteristics of Research Paper

Research papers have several characteristics that distinguish them from other forms of academic or professional writing. Here are some common characteristics of research papers:

  • Evidence-based: Research papers are based on empirical evidence, which is collected through rigorous research methods such as experiments, surveys, observations, or interviews. They rely on objective data and facts to support their claims and conclusions.
  • Structured and organized: Research papers have a clear and logical structure, with sections such as introduction, literature review, methods, results, discussion, and conclusion. They are organized in a way that helps the reader to follow the argument and understand the findings.
  • Formal and objective: Research papers are written in a formal and objective tone, with an emphasis on clarity, precision, and accuracy. They avoid subjective language or personal opinions and instead rely on objective data and analysis to support their arguments.
  • Citations and references: Research papers include citations and references to acknowledge the sources of information and ideas used in the paper. They use a specific citation style, such as APA, MLA, or Chicago, to ensure consistency and accuracy.
  • Peer-reviewed: Research papers are often peer-reviewed, which means they are evaluated by other experts in the field before they are published. Peer-review ensures that the research is of high quality, meets ethical standards, and contributes to the advancement of knowledge in the field.
  • Objective and unbiased: Research papers strive to be objective and unbiased in their presentation of the findings. They avoid personal biases or preconceptions and instead rely on the data and analysis to draw conclusions.

Advantages of Research Paper

Research papers have many advantages, both for the individual researcher and for the broader academic and professional community. Here are some advantages of research papers:

  • Contribution to knowledge: Research papers contribute to the body of knowledge in a particular field or discipline. They add new information, insights, and perspectives to existing literature and help advance the understanding of a particular phenomenon or issue.
  • Opportunity for intellectual growth: Research papers provide an opportunity for intellectual growth for the researcher. They require critical thinking, problem-solving, and creativity, which can help develop the researcher’s skills and knowledge.
  • Career advancement: Research papers can help advance the researcher’s career by demonstrating their expertise and contributions to the field. They can also lead to new research opportunities, collaborations, and funding.
  • Academic recognition: Research papers can lead to academic recognition in the form of awards, grants, or invitations to speak at conferences or events. They can also contribute to the researcher’s reputation and standing in the field.
  • Impact on policy and practice: Research papers can have a significant impact on policy and practice. They can inform policy decisions, guide practice, and lead to changes in laws, regulations, or procedures.
  • Advancement of society: Research papers can contribute to the advancement of society by addressing important issues, identifying solutions to problems, and promoting social justice and equality.

Limitations of Research Paper

Research papers also have some limitations that should be considered when interpreting their findings or implications. Here are some common limitations of research papers:

  • Limited generalizability: Research findings may not be generalizable to other populations, settings, or contexts. Studies often use specific samples or conditions that may not reflect the broader population or real-world situations.
  • Potential for bias : Research papers may be biased due to factors such as sample selection, measurement errors, or researcher biases. It is important to evaluate the quality of the research design and methods used to ensure that the findings are valid and reliable.
  • Ethical concerns: Research papers may raise ethical concerns, such as the use of vulnerable populations or invasive procedures. Researchers must adhere to ethical guidelines and obtain informed consent from participants to ensure that the research is conducted in a responsible and respectful manner.
  • Limitations of methodology: Research papers may be limited by the methodology used to collect and analyze data. For example, certain research methods may not capture the complexity or nuance of a particular phenomenon, or may not be appropriate for certain research questions.
  • Publication bias: Research papers may be subject to publication bias, where positive or significant findings are more likely to be published than negative or non-significant findings. This can skew the overall findings of a particular area of research.
  • Time and resource constraints: Research papers may be limited by time and resource constraints, which can affect the quality and scope of the research. Researchers may not have access to certain data or resources, or may be unable to conduct long-term studies due to practical limitations.

About the author

' src=

Muhammad Hassan

Researcher, Academic Writer, Web developer

You may also like

Research Paper Conclusion

Research Paper Conclusion – Writing Guide and...

Appendices

Appendices – Writing Guide, Types and Examples

Research Paper Citation

How to Cite Research Paper – All Formats and...

Research Report

Research Report – Example, Writing Guide and...

Delimitations

Delimitations in Research – Types, Examples and...

Scope of the Research

Scope of the Research – Writing Guide and...

Scientific and Scholarly Writing

  • Literature Searches
  • Tracking and Citing References

Parts of a Scientific & Scholarly Paper

Introduction.

  • Writing Effectively
  • Where to Publish?
  • Capstone Resources

Different sections are needed in different types of scientific papers (lab reports, literature reviews, systematic reviews, methods papers, research papers, etc.). Projects that overlap with the social sciences or humanities may have different requirements. Generally, however, you'll need to include:

INTRODUCTION (Background)

METHODS SECTION (Materials and Methods)

What is a title

Titles have two functions: to identify the main topic or the message of the paper and to attract readers.

The title will be read by many people. Only a few will read the entire paper, therefore all words in the title should be chosen with care. Too short a title is not helpful to the potential reader. Too long a title can sometimes be even less meaningful. Remember a title is not an abstract. Neither is a title a sentence.

What makes a good title?

A good title is accurate, complete, and specific. Imagine searching for your paper in PubMed. What words would you use?

  • Use the fewest possible words that describe the contents of the paper.
  • Avoid waste words like "Studies on", or "Investigations on".
  • Use specific terms rather than general.
  • Use the same key terms in the title as the paper.
  • Watch your word order and syntax.

The abstract is a miniature version of your paper. It should present the main story and a few essential details of the paper for readers who only look at the abstract and should serve as a clear preview for readers who read your whole paper. They are usually short (250 words or less).

The goal is to communicate:

  •  What was done?
  •  Why was it done?
  •  How was it done?
  •  What was found?

A good abstract is specific and selective. Try summarizing each of the sections of your paper in a sentence two. Do the abstract last, so you know exactly what you want to write.

  • Use 1 or more well developed paragraphs.
  • Use introduction/body/conclusion structure.
  • Present purpose, results, conclusions and recommendations in that order.
  • Make it understandable to a wide audience.
  • << Previous: Tracking and Citing References
  • Next: Writing Effectively >>
  • Last Updated: Mar 8, 2024 11:38 AM
  • URL: https://libraryguides.umassmed.edu/scientific-writing

Geektonight

  • Research Report
  • Post last modified: 11 January 2022
  • Reading time: 25 mins read
  • Post category: Research Methodology

What is Research Report?

Research reporting is the oral or written presentation of the findings in such detail and form as to be readily understood and assessed by the society, economy or particularly by the researchers.

As earlier said that it is the final stage of the research process and its purpose is to convey to interested persons the whole result of the study. Report writing is common to both academic and managerial situations. In academics, a research report is prepared for comprehensive and application-oriented learning. In businesses or organisations, reports are used for the basis of decision making.

Table of Content

  • 1 What is Research Report?
  • 2 Research Report Definition
  • 3.1 Preliminary Part
  • 3.2 Introduction of the Report
  • 3.3 Review of Literature
  • 3.4 The Research Methodology
  • 3.5 Results
  • 3.6 Concluding Remarks
  • 3.7 Bibliography
  • 4 Significance of Report Writing
  • 5 Qualities of Good Report
  • 6.1 Analysis of the subject matter
  • 6.2 Research outline
  • 6.3 Preparation of rough draft
  • 6.4 Rewriting and polishing
  • 6.5 Writing the final draft
  • 7 Precautions for Writing Research Reports
  • 8.1.1 Technical Report
  • 8.1.2 Popular Report
  • 8.2.1 Written Report
  • 8.2.2 Oral Report

Research Report Definition

According to C. A. Brown , “A report is a communication from someone who has information to someone who wants to use that information.”

According to Goode and Hatt , “The preparation of report is the final stage of research, and it’s purpose is to convey to the interested persons the whole result of the study, in sufficient detail and so arranged as to enable each reader to comprehend the data and to determine for himself the validity of the conclusions.”

It is clear from the above definitions of a research report, it is a brief account of the problem of investigation, the justification of its selection and the procedure of analysis and interpretation. It is only a summary of the entire research proceedings.

In other words, it can be defined as written documents, which presents information in a specialized and concise manner.

Contents of Research Report

Although no hard and fast rules can be laid down, the report must contain the following points.

  • Acknowledgement
  • Table of contents
  • List of tables
  • List of graphs
  • Introduction
  • Background of the research study
  • Statement of the problem
  • Brief outline of the chapters
  • Books review
  • Review of articles published in books, journals, periodicals, etc
  • Review of articles published in leading newspapers
  • Working papers / discusssion paper / study reports
  • Articles on authorised websites
  • A broad conclusion and indications for further research
  • The theoretical framework (variables)
  • Model / hypothesis
  • Instruments for data collection
  • Data collection
  • Pilot study
  • Processing of data
  • Hypothesis / model testing
  • Data analysis and interpretation
  • Tables and figures
  • Conclusions
  • Shortcomings
  • Suggestions to the problems
  • Direction for further research

Preliminary Part

The preliminary part may have seven major components – cover, title, preface, acknowledgement, table of contents, list of tables, list of graphs. Long reports presented in book form have a cover made up of a card sheet. The cover contains title of the research report, the authority to whom the report is submitted, name of the author, etc.

The preface introduces the report to the readers. It gives a very brief introduction of the report. In the acknowledgements author mention names of persons and organisations that have extended co-operation and helped in the various stages of research. Table of contents is essential. It gives the title and page number of each chapter.

Introduction of the Report

The introduction of the research report should clearly and logically bring out the background of the problem addressed in the research. The purpose of the introduction is to introduce the research project to the readers. A clear statement of the problem with specific questions to be answered is presented in the introduction. It contains a brief outline of the chapters.

Review of Literature

The third section reviews the important literature related to the study. A comprehensive review of the research literature referred to must be made. Previous research studies and the important writings in the area under study should be reviewed. Review of literature is helpful to provide a background for the development of the present study.

The researcher may review concerned books, articles published in edited books, journals and periodicals. Researcher may also take review of articles published in leading newspapers. A researcher should study working papers/discussion papers/study reports. It is essential for a broad conclusion and indications for further research.

The Research Methodology

Research methodology is an integral part of the research. It should clearly indicate the universe and the selection of samples, techniques of data collection, analysis and interpretation, statistical techniques, etc.

Results contain pilot study, processing of data, hypothesis/model testing, data analysis and interpretation, tables and figures, etc. This is the heart of the research report. If a pilot study is planned to be used, it’s purpose should be given in the research methodology.

The collected data and the information should be edited, coded, tabulated and analysed with a view to arriving at a valid and authentic conclusion. Tables and figures are used to clarify the significant relationship. The results obtained through tables, graphs should be critically interpreted.

Concluding Remarks

The concluding remarks should discuss the results obtained in the earlier sections, as well as their usefulness and implications. It contains findings, conclusions, shortcomings, suggestions to the problem and direction for future research. Findings are statements of factual information based upon the data analysis.

Conclusions must clearly explain whether the hypothesis have been established and rejected. This part requires great expertise and preciseness. A report should also refer to the limitations of the applicability of the research inferences. It is essential to suggest the theoretical, practical and policy implications of the research. The suggestions should be supported by scientific and logical arguments. The future direction of research based on the work completed should also be outlined.

Bibliography

The bibliography is an alphabetic list of books, journal articles, reports, etc, published or unpublished, read, referred to, examined by the researcher in preparing the report. The bibliography should follow standard formats for books, journal articles, research reports.

The end of the research report may consist of appendices, listed in respect of all technical data. Appendices are for the purpose of providing detailed data or information that would be too cumbersome within the main body of the research report.

Significance of Report Writing

Report writing is an important communication medium in organisations. The most crucial findings might have come out through a research report. Report is common to academics and managers also. Reports are used for comprehensive and application oriented learning in academics. In organisations, reports are used for the basis of decision making. The importance of report writing can be discussed as under.

Through research reports, a manager or an executive can quickly get an idea of a current scenario which improves his information base for making sound decisions affecting future operations of the company or enterprise. The research report acts as a means of communication of various research findings to the interested parties, organisations and general public.

Good report writing play, a significant role of conveying unknown facts about the phenomenon to the concerned parties. This may provide new insights and new opportunities to the people. Research report plays a key role in making effective decisions in marketing, production, banking, materials, human resource development and government also. Good report writing is used for economic planning and optimum utilisation of resources for the development of a nation.

Report writing facilitates the validation of generalisation. A research report is an end product of research. As earlier said that report writing provides useful information in arriving at rational decisions that may reform the business and society. The findings, conclusions, suggestions and recommendations are useful to academicians, scholars and policymakers. Report writing provides reference material for further research in the same or similar areas of research to the concerned parties.

While preparing a research report, a researcher should take some proper precautions. Report writing should be simple, lucid and systematic. Report writing should be written speedily without interrupting the continuity of thought. The report writing should sustain the interest of readers.

Qualities of Good Report

Report writing is a highly skilled job. It is a process of analysing, understanding and consolidating the findings and projecting a meaningful view of the phenomenon studied. A good report writing is essential for effective communication.

Following are the essential qualities of good report:

  • A research report is essentially a scientific documentation. It should have a suggestive title, headings and sub-headings, paragraphs arranged in a logical sequence.
  • Good research report should include everything that is relevant and exclude everything that is irrelevant. It means that it should contain the facts rather than opinion.
  • The language of the report should be simple and unambiguous. It means that it should be free from biases of the researchers derived from the past experience. Confusion, pretentiousness and pomposity should be carefully guarded against. It means that the language of the report should be simple, employing appropriate words, idioms and expressions.
  • The report must be free from grammatical mistakes. It must be grammatically accurate. Faulty construction of sentences makes the meaning of the narrative obscure and ambiguous.
  • The report has to take into consideration two facts. Firstly, for whom the report is meant and secondly, what is his level of knowledge. The report has to look to the subject matter of the report and the fact as to the level of knowledge of the person for whom it is meant. Because all reports are not meant for research scholars.

Steps in Writing Research Report

Report writing is a time consuming and expensive exercise. Therefore, reports have to be very sharply focused in purpose content and readership. There is no single universally acceptable method of writing a research report.

Following are the general steps in writing a research report:

Analysis of the subject matter

Research outline, preparation of rough draft, rewriting and polishing, writing the final draft.

This is the first and important step in writing a research report. It is concerned with the development of a subject. Subject matter should be written in a clear, logical and concise manner. The style adopted should be open, straightforward and dignified and folk style language should be avoided.

The data, the reliability and validity of the results of the statistical analysis should be in the form of tables, figures and equations. All redundancy in the data or results presented should be eliminated.

The research outline is an organisational framework prepared by the researcher well in advance. It is an aid to logical organisation of material and a reminder of the points to be stressed in the report. In the process of writing, if need be, outline may be revised accordingly.

Time and place of the study, scope and limitations of the study, study design, summary of pilot study, methods of data collection, analysis interpretation, etc., may be included in a research outline.

Having prepared the primary and secondary data, the researcher has to prepare a rough draft. While preparing the rough draft, the researcher should keep the objectives of the research in mind, and focus on one objective at a time. The researcher should make a checklist of the important points that are necessary to be covered in the manuscript. A researcher should use dictionary and relevant reference materials as and when required.

This is an important step in writing a research report. It takes more time than a rough draft. While rewriting and polishing, a researcher should check the report for weakness in logical development or presentation. He should take breaks in between rewriting and polishing since this gives the time to incubate the ideas.

The last and important step is writing the final draft. The language of the report should be simple, employing appropriate words and expressions and should avoid vague expressions such as ‘it seems’ and ‘there may be’ etc.

It should not used personal pronouns, such as I, We, My, Us, etc and should substitute these by such expressions as a researcher, investigator, etc. Before the final drafting of the report, it is advisable that the researcher should prepare a first draft for critical considerations and possible improvements. It will be helpful in writing the final draft. Finally, the report should be logically outlined with the future directions of the research based on the work completed.

Precautions for Writing Research Reports

A research report is a means of conveying the research study to a specific target audience. The following precautions should be taken while preparing a research report:

  • Its hould belong enough to cover the subject and short enough to preserve interest.
  • It should not be dull and complicated.
  • It should be simple, without the usage of abstract terms and technical jargons.
  • It should offer ready availability of findings with the help of charts, tables and graphs, as readers prefer quick knowledge of main findings.
  • The layout of the report should be in accordance with the objectives of the research study.
  • There should be no grammatical errors and writing should adhere to the techniques of report writing in case of quotations, footnotes and documentations.
  • It should be original, intellectual and contribute to the solution of a problem or add knowledge to the concerned field.
  • Appendices should been listed with respect to all the technical data in the report.
  • It should be attractive, neat and clean, whether handwritten or typed.
  • The report writer should refrain from confusing the possessive form of the word ‘it’ is with ‘it’s.’ The accurate possessive form of ‘it is’ is ‘its.’ The use of ‘it’s’ is the contractive form of ‘it is.
  • A report should not have contractions. Examples are ‘didn’t’ or ‘it’s.’ In report writing, it is best to use the non-contractive form. Therefore, the examples would be replaced by ‘did not’ and ‘it is.’ Using ‘Figure’ instead of ‘Fig.’ and ‘Table’ instead of ‘Tab.’ will spare the reader of having to translate the abbreviations, while reading. If abbreviations are used, use them consistently throughout the report. For example, do not switch among ‘versus,’ and ‘vs’.
  • It is advisable to avoid using the word ‘very’ and other such words that try to embellish a description. They do not add any extra meaning and, therefore, should be dropped.
  • Repetition hampers lucidity. Report writers must avoid repeating the same word more than once within a sentence.
  • When you use the word ‘this’ or ‘these’ make sure you indicate to what you are referring. This reduces the ambiguity in your writing and helps to tie sentences together.
  • Do not use the word ‘they’ to refer to a singular person. You can either rewrite the sentence to avoid needing such a reference or use the singular ‘he or she.’

Types of Research Report

Research reports are designed in order to convey and record the information that will be of practical use to the reader. It is organized into distinct units of specific and highly visible information. The kind of audience addressed in the research report decides the type of report.

Research reports can be categorized on the following basis:

Classification on the Basis of Information

Classification on the basis of representation.

Following are the ways through which the results of the research report can be presented on the basis of information contained:

Technical Report

A technical report is written for other researchers. In writing the technical reports, the importance is mainly given to the methods that have been used to collect the information and data, the presumptions that are made and finally, the various presentation techniques that are used to present the findings and data.

Following are main features of a technical report:

  • Summary: It covers a brief analysis of the findings of the research in a very few pages. 
  • Nature: It contains the reasons for which the research is undertaken, the analysis and the data that is required in order to prepare a report. 
  • Methods employed: It contains a description of the methods that were employed in order to collect the data. 
  • Data: It covers a brief analysis of the various sources from which the data has been collected with their features and drawbacks 
  • Analysis of data and presentation of the findings: It contains the various forms through which the data that has been analysed can be presented. 
  • Conclusions: It contains a brief explanation of findings of the research. 
  • Bibliography: It contains a detailed analysis of the various bibliographies that have been used in order to conduct a research. 
  • Technical appendices: It contains the appendices for the technical matters and for questionnaires and mathematical derivations. 
  • Index: The index of the technical report must be provided at the end of the report.

Popular Report

A popular report is formulated when there is a need to draw conclusions of the findings of the research report. One of the main points of consideration that should be kept in mind while formulating a research report is that it must be simple and attractive. It must be written in a very simple manner that is understandable to all. It must also be made attractive by using large prints, various sub-headings and by giving cartoons occasionally.

Following are the main points that must be kept in mind while preparing a popular report:

  • Findings and their implications : While preparing a popular report, main importance is given to the findings of the information and the conclusions that can be drawn out of these findings.
  • Recommendations for action : If there are any deviations in the report then recommendations are made for taking corrective action in order to rectify the errors.
  • Objective of the study : In a popular report, the specific objective for which the research has been undertaken is presented.
  • Methods employed : The report must contain the various methods that has been employed in order to conduct a research.
  • Results : The results of the research findings must be presented in a suitable and appropriate manner by taking the help of charts and diagrams.
  • Technical appendices : The report must contain an in-depth information used to collect the data in the form of appendices.

Following are the ways through which the results of the research report can be presented on the basis of representation:

  • Writtenreport
  • Oral report

Written Report

A written report plays a vital role in every business operation. The manner in which an organization writes business letters and business reports creates an impression of its standard. Therefore, the organization should emphasize on the improvement of the writing skills of the employees in order to maintain effective relations with their customers.

Writing effective written reports requires a lot of hard work. Therefore, before you begin writing, it is important to know the objective, i.e., the purpose of writing, collection and organization of required data.

Oral Report

At times, oral presentation of the results that are drawn out of research is considered effective, particularly in cases where policy recommendations are to be made. This approach proves beneficial because it provides a medium of interaction between a listener and a speaker. This leads to a better understanding of the findings and their implications.

However, the main drawback of oral presentation is the lack of any permanent records related to the research. Oral presentation of the report is also effective when it is supported with various visual devices, such as slides, wall charts and whiteboards that help in better understanding of the research reports.

Business Ethics

( Click on Topic to Read )

  • What is Ethics?
  • What is Business Ethics?
  • Values, Norms, Beliefs and Standards in Business Ethics
  • Indian Ethos in Management
  • Ethical Issues in Marketing
  • Ethical Issues in HRM
  • Ethical Issues in IT
  • Ethical Issues in Production and Operations Management
  • Ethical Issues in Finance and Accounting
  • What is Corporate Governance?
  • What is Ownership Concentration?
  • What is Ownership Composition?
  • Types of Companies in India
  • Internal Corporate Governance
  • External Corporate Governance
  • Corporate Governance in India
  • What is Enterprise Risk Management (ERM)?
  • What is Assessment of Risk?
  • What is Risk Register?
  • Risk Management Committee

Corporate social responsibility (CSR)

  • Theories of CSR
  • Arguments Against CSR
  • Business Case for CSR
  • Importance of CSR in India
  • Drivers of Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Developing a CSR Strategy
  • Implement CSR Commitments
  • CSR Marketplace
  • CSR at Workplace
  • Environmental CSR
  • CSR with Communities and in Supply Chain
  • Community Interventions
  • CSR Monitoring
  • CSR Reporting
  • Voluntary Codes in CSR
  • What is Corporate Ethics?

Lean Six Sigma

  • What is Six Sigma?
  • What is Lean Six Sigma?
  • Value and Waste in Lean Six Sigma
  • Six Sigma Team
  • MAIC Six Sigma
  • Six Sigma in Supply Chains
  • What is Binomial, Poisson, Normal Distribution?
  • What is Sigma Level?
  • What is DMAIC in Six Sigma?
  • What is DMADV in Six Sigma?
  • Six Sigma Project Charter
  • Project Decomposition in Six Sigma
  • Critical to Quality (CTQ) Six Sigma
  • Process Mapping Six Sigma
  • Flowchart and SIPOC
  • Gage Repeatability and Reproducibility
  • Statistical Diagram
  • Lean Techniques for Optimisation Flow
  • Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA)
  • What is Process Audits?
  • Six Sigma Implementation at Ford
  • IBM Uses Six Sigma to Drive Behaviour Change
  • Research Methodology
  • What is Research?

What is Hypothesis?

  • Sampling Method
  • Research Methods
  • Data Collection in Research
  • Methods of Collecting Data
  • Application of Business Research
  • Levels of Measurement
  • What is Sampling?
  • Hypothesis Testing
  • What is Management?
  • Planning in Management
  • Decision Making in Management
  • What is Controlling?
  • What is Coordination?
  • What is Staffing?
  • Organization Structure
  • What is Departmentation?
  • Span of Control
  • What is Authority?
  • Centralization vs Decentralization
  • Organizing in Management
  • Schools of Management Thought
  • Classical Management Approach
  • Is Management an Art or Science?
  • Who is a Manager?

Operations Research

  • What is Operations Research?
  • Operation Research Models
  • Linear Programming
  • Linear Programming Graphic Solution
  • Linear Programming Simplex Method
  • Linear Programming Artificial Variable Technique
  • Duality in Linear Programming
  • Transportation Problem Initial Basic Feasible Solution
  • Transportation Problem Finding Optimal Solution
  • Project Network Analysis with Critical Path Method
  • Project Network Analysis Methods
  • Project Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT)
  • Simulation in Operation Research
  • Replacement Models in Operation Research

Operation Management

  • What is Strategy?
  • What is Operations Strategy?
  • Operations Competitive Dimensions
  • Operations Strategy Formulation Process
  • What is Strategic Fit?
  • Strategic Design Process
  • Focused Operations Strategy
  • Corporate Level Strategy
  • Expansion Strategies
  • Stability Strategies
  • Retrenchment Strategies
  • Competitive Advantage
  • Strategic Choice and Strategic Alternatives
  • What is Production Process?
  • What is Process Technology?
  • What is Process Improvement?
  • Strategic Capacity Management
  • Production and Logistics Strategy
  • Taxonomy of Supply Chain Strategies
  • Factors Considered in Supply Chain Planning
  • Operational and Strategic Issues in Global Logistics
  • Logistics Outsourcing Strategy
  • What is Supply Chain Mapping?
  • Supply Chain Process Restructuring
  • Points of Differentiation
  • Re-engineering Improvement in SCM
  • What is Supply Chain Drivers?
  • Supply Chain Operations Reference (SCOR) Model
  • Customer Service and Cost Trade Off
  • Internal and External Performance Measures
  • Linking Supply Chain and Business Performance
  • Netflix’s Niche Focused Strategy
  • Disney and Pixar Merger
  • Process Planning at Mcdonald’s

Service Operations Management

  • What is Service?
  • What is Service Operations Management?
  • What is Service Design?
  • Service Design Process
  • Service Delivery
  • What is Service Quality?
  • Gap Model of Service Quality
  • Juran Trilogy
  • Service Performance Measurement
  • Service Decoupling
  • IT Service Operation
  • Service Operations Management in Different Sector

Procurement Management

  • What is Procurement Management?
  • Procurement Negotiation
  • Types of Requisition
  • RFX in Procurement
  • What is Purchasing Cycle?
  • Vendor Managed Inventory
  • Internal Conflict During Purchasing Operation
  • Spend Analysis in Procurement
  • Sourcing in Procurement
  • Supplier Evaluation and Selection in Procurement
  • Blacklisting of Suppliers in Procurement
  • Total Cost of Ownership in Procurement
  • Incoterms in Procurement
  • Documents Used in International Procurement
  • Transportation and Logistics Strategy
  • What is Capital Equipment?
  • Procurement Process of Capital Equipment
  • Acquisition of Technology in Procurement
  • What is E-Procurement?
  • E-marketplace and Online Catalogues
  • Fixed Price and Cost Reimbursement Contracts
  • Contract Cancellation in Procurement
  • Ethics in Procurement
  • Legal Aspects of Procurement
  • Global Sourcing in Procurement
  • Intermediaries and Countertrade in Procurement

Strategic Management

  • What is Strategic Management?
  • What is Strategic Management Process?
  • What is Value Chain Analysis?
  • Mission Statement
  • Business Level Strategy
  • What is SWOT Analysis?

Supply Chain

  • What is Supply Chain Management?
  • Supply Chain Planning and Measuring Strategy Performance
  • What is Warehousing?
  • What is Packaging?
  • What is Inventory Management?
  • What is Material Handling?
  • What is Order Picking?
  • Receiving and Dispatch, Processes
  • What is Warehouse Design?
  • What is Warehousing Costs?

You Might Also Like

What is experiments variables, types, lab, field, cross-sectional and longitudinal research, what is parametric tests types: z-test, t-test, f-test, sampling process and characteristics of good sample design, research process | types, types of charts used in data analysis, what is descriptive research types, features, what is research problem components, identifying, formulating,, measures of relationship, steps in questionnaire design, data processing in research, leave a reply cancel reply.

You must be logged in to post a comment.

World's Best Online Courses at One Place

We’ve spent the time in finding, so you can spend your time in learning

Digital Marketing

Personal growth.

major components of a research report

Development

major components of a research report

Structure of a Research Paper

Phillips-Wangensteen Building.

Structure of a Research Paper: IMRaD Format

I. The Title Page

  • Title: Tells the reader what to expect in the paper.
  • Author(s): Most papers are written by one or two primary authors. The remaining authors have reviewed the work and/or aided in study design or data analysis (International Committee of Medical Editors, 1997). Check the Instructions to Authors for the target journal for specifics about authorship.
  • Keywords [according to the journal]
  • Corresponding Author: Full name and affiliation for the primary contact author for persons who have questions about the research.
  • Financial & Equipment Support [if needed]: Specific information about organizations, agencies, or companies that supported the research.
  • Conflicts of Interest [if needed]: List and explain any conflicts of interest.

II. Abstract: “Structured abstract” has become the standard for research papers (introduction, objective, methods, results and conclusions), while reviews, case reports and other articles have non-structured abstracts. The abstract should be a summary/synopsis of the paper.

III. Introduction: The “why did you do the study”; setting the scene or laying the foundation or background for the paper.

IV. Methods: The “how did you do the study.” Describe the --

  • Context and setting of the study
  • Specify the study design
  • Population (patients, etc. if applicable)
  • Sampling strategy
  • Intervention (if applicable)
  • Identify the main study variables
  • Data collection instruments and procedures
  • Outline analysis methods

V. Results: The “what did you find” --

  • Report on data collection and/or recruitment
  • Participants (demographic, clinical condition, etc.)
  • Present key findings with respect to the central research question
  • Secondary findings (secondary outcomes, subgroup analyses, etc.)

VI. Discussion: Place for interpreting the results

  • Main findings of the study
  • Discuss the main results with reference to previous research
  • Policy and practice implications of the results
  • Strengths and limitations of the study

VII. Conclusions: [occasionally optional or not required]. Do not reiterate the data or discussion. Can state hunches, inferences or speculations. Offer perspectives for future work.

VIII. Acknowledgements: Names people who contributed to the work, but did not contribute sufficiently to earn authorship. You must have permission from any individuals mentioned in the acknowledgements sections. 

IX. References:  Complete citations for any articles or other materials referenced in the text of the article.

  • IMRD Cheatsheet (Carnegie Mellon) pdf.
  • Adewasi, D. (2021 June 14).  What Is IMRaD? IMRaD Format in Simple Terms! . Scientific-editing.info. 
  • Nair, P.K.R., Nair, V.D. (2014). Organization of a Research Paper: The IMRAD Format. In: Scientific Writing and Communication in Agriculture and Natural Resources. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-03101-9_2
  • Sollaci, L. B., & Pereira, M. G. (2004). The introduction, methods, results, and discussion (IMRAD) structure: a fifty-year survey.   Journal of the Medical Library Association : JMLA ,  92 (3), 364–367.
  • Cuschieri, S., Grech, V., & Savona-Ventura, C. (2019). WASP (Write a Scientific Paper): Structuring a scientific paper.   Early human development ,  128 , 114–117. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.earlhumdev.2018.09.011

Academia.edu no longer supports Internet Explorer.

To browse Academia.edu and the wider internet faster and more securely, please take a few seconds to  upgrade your browser .

Enter the email address you signed up with and we'll email you a reset link.

  • We're Hiring!
  • Help Center

paper cover thumbnail

seven components of research report

Profile image of Avegail Mansalapus

  •   We're Hiring!
  •   Help Center
  • Find new research papers in:
  • Health Sciences
  • Earth Sciences
  • Cognitive Science
  • Mathematics
  • Computer Science
  • Academia ©2024

Logo for British Columbia/Yukon Open Authoring Platform

Want to create or adapt books like this? Learn more about how Pressbooks supports open publishing practices.

Chapter 14: The Research Proposal

14.3 Components of a Research Proposal

Krathwohl (2005) suggests and describes a variety of components to include in a research proposal. The following sections – Introductions, Background and significance, Literature Review; Research design and methods, Preliminary suppositions and implications; and Conclusion present these components in a suggested template for you to follow in the preparation of your research proposal.

Introduction

The introduction sets the tone for what follows in your research proposal – treat it as the initial pitch of your idea. After reading the introduction your reader should:

  • understand what it is you want to do;
  • have a sense of your passion for the topic; and
  • be excited about the study’s possible outcomes.

As you begin writing your research proposal, it is helpful to think of the introduction as a narrative of what it is you want to do, written in one to three paragraphs. Within those one to three paragraphs, it is important to briefly answer the following questions:

  • What is the central research problem?
  • How is the topic of your research proposal related to the problem?
  • What methods will you utilize to analyze the research problem?
  • Why is it important to undertake this research? What is the significance of your proposed research? Why are the outcomes of your proposed research important? Whom are they important?

Note : You may be asked by your instructor to include an abstract with your research proposal. In such cases, an abstract should provide an overview of what it is you plan to study, your main research question, a brief explanation of your methods to answer the research question, and your expected findings. All of this information must be carefully crafted in 150 to 250 words. A word of advice is to save the writing of your abstract until the very end of your research proposal preparation. If you are asked to provide an abstract, you should include 5 to 7 key words that are of most relevance to your study. List these in order of relevance.

Background and significance

The purpose of this section is to explain the context of your proposal and to describe, in detail, why it is important to undertake this research. Assume that the person or people who will read your research proposal know nothing or very little about the research problem. While you do not need to include all knowledge you have learned about your topic in this section, it is important to ensure that you include the most relevant material that will help to explain the goals of your research.

While there are no hard and fast rules, you should attempt to address some or all of the following key points:

  • State the research problem and provide a more thorough explanation about the purpose of the study than what you stated in the introduction.
  • Present the rationale for the proposed research study. Clearly indicate why this research is worth doing. Answer the “so what?” question.
  • Describe the major issues or problems to be addressed by your research. Do not forget to explain how and in what ways your proposed research builds upon previous related research.
  • Explain how you plan to go about conducting your research.
  • Clearly identify the key or most relevant sources of research you intend to use and explain how they will contribute to your analysis of the topic.
  • Set the boundaries of your proposed research, in order to provide a clear focus. Where appropriate, state not only what you will study, but what will be excluded from your study.
  • Provide clear definitions of key concepts and terms. Since key concepts and terms often have numerous definitions, make sure you state which definition you will be utilizing in your research.

Literature review

This key component of the research proposal is the most time-consuming aspect in the preparation of your research proposal. As described in Chapter 5 , the literature review provides the background to your study and demonstrates the significance of the proposed research. Specifically, it is a review and synthesis of prior research that is related to the problem you are setting forth to investigate. Essentially, your goal in the literature review is to place your research study within the larger whole of what has been studied in the past, while demonstrating to your reader that your work is original, innovative, and adds to the larger whole.

As the literature review is information dense, it is essential that this section be intelligently structured to enable your reader to grasp the key arguments underpinning your study. However, this can be easier to state and harder to do, simply due to the fact there is usually a plethora of related research to sift through. Consequently, a good strategy for writing the literature review is to break the literature into conceptual categories or themes, rather than attempting to describe various groups of literature you reviewed. Chapter 5   describes a variety of methods to help you organize the themes.

Here are some suggestions on how to approach the writing of your literature review:

  • Think about what questions other researchers have asked, what methods they used, what they found, and what they recommended based upon their findings.
  • Do not be afraid to challenge previous related research findings and/or conclusions.
  • Assess what you believe to be missing from previous research and explain how your research fills in this gap and/or extends previous research.

It is important to note that a significant challenge related to undertaking a literature review is knowing when to stop. As such, it is important to know when you have uncovered the key conceptual categories underlying your research topic. Generally, when you start to see repetition in the conclusions or recommendations, you can have confidence that you have covered all of the significant conceptual categories in your literature review. However, it is also important to acknowledge that researchers often find themselves returning to the literature as they collect and analyze their data. For example, an unexpected finding may develop as you collect and/or analyze the data; in this case, it is important to take the time to step back and review the literature again, to ensure that no other researchers have found a similar finding. This may include looking to research outside your field.

This situation occurred with one of this textbook’s authors’ research related to community resilience. During the interviews, the researchers heard many participants discuss individual resilience factors and how they believed these individual factors helped make the community more resilient, overall. Sheppard and Williams (2016) had not discovered these individual factors in their original literature review on community and environmental resilience. However, when they returned to the literature to search for individual resilience factors, they discovered a small body of literature in the child and youth psychology field. Consequently, Sheppard and Williams had to go back and add a new section to their literature review on individual resilience factors. Interestingly, their research appeared to be the first research to link individual resilience factors with community resilience factors.

Research design and methods

The objective of this section of the research proposal is to convince the reader that your overall research design and methods of analysis will enable you to solve the research problem you have identified and also enable you to accurately and effectively interpret the results of your research. Consequently, it is critical that the research design and methods section is well-written, clear, and logically organized. This demonstrates to your reader that you know what you are going to do and how you are going to do it. Overall, you want to leave your reader feeling confident that you have what it takes to get this research study completed in a timely fashion.

Essentially, this section of the research proposal should be clearly tied to the specific objectives of your study; however, it is also important to draw upon and include examples from the literature review that relate to your design and intended methods. In other words, you must clearly demonstrate how your study utilizes and builds upon past studies, as it relates to the research design and intended methods. For example, what methods have been used by other researchers in similar studies?

While it is important to consider the methods that other researchers have employed, it is equally, if not more, important to consider what methods have not been but could be employed. Remember, the methods section is not simply a list of tasks to be undertaken. It is also an argument as to why and how the tasks you have outlined will help you investigate the research problem and answer your research question(s).

Tips for writing the research design and methods section:

Specify the methodological approaches you intend to employ to obtain information and the techniques you will use to analyze the data.

Specify the research operations you will undertake and the way you will interpret the results of those operations in relation to the research problem.

Go beyond stating what you hope to achieve through the methods you have chosen. State how you will actually implement the methods (i.e., coding interview text, running regression analysis, etc.).

Anticipate and acknowledge any potential barriers you may encounter when undertaking your research, and describe how you will address these barriers.

Explain where you believe you will find challenges related to data collection, including access to participants and information.

Preliminary suppositions and implications

The purpose of this section is to argue how you anticipate that your research will refine, revise, or extend existing knowledge in the area of your study. Depending upon the aims and objectives of your study, you should also discuss how your anticipated findings may impact future research. For example, is it possible that your research may lead to a new policy, theoretical understanding, or method for analyzing data? How might your study influence future studies? What might your study mean for future practitioners working in the field? Who or what might benefit from your study? How might your study contribute to social, economic or environmental issues? While it is important to think about and discuss possibilities such as these, it is equally important to be realistic in stating your anticipated findings. In other words, you do not want to delve into idle speculation. Rather, the purpose here is to reflect upon gaps in the current body of literature and to describe how you anticipate your research will begin to fill in some or all of those gaps.

The conclusion reiterates the importance and significance of your research proposal, and provides a brief summary of the entire proposed study. Essentially, this section should only be one or two paragraphs in length. Here is a potential outline for your conclusion:

Discuss why the study should be done. Specifically discuss how you expect your study will advance existing knowledge and how your study is unique.

Explain the specific purpose of the study and the research questions that the study will answer.

Explain why the research design and methods chosen for this study are appropriate, and why other designs and methods were not chosen.

State the potential implications you expect to emerge from your proposed study,

Provide a sense of how your study fits within the broader scholarship currently in existence, related to the research problem.

Citations and references

As with any scholarly research paper, you must cite the sources you used in composing your research proposal. In a research proposal, this can take two forms: a reference list or a bibliography. A reference list lists the literature you referenced in the body of your research proposal. All references in the reference list must appear in the body of the research proposal. Remember, it is not acceptable to say “as cited in …” As a researcher you must always go to the original source and check it for yourself. Many errors are made in referencing, even by top researchers, and so it is important not to perpetuate an error made by someone else. While this can be time consuming, it is the proper way to undertake a literature review.

In contrast, a bibliography , is a list of everything you used or cited in your research proposal, with additional citations to any key sources relevant to understanding the research problem. In other words, sources cited in your bibliography may not necessarily appear in the body of your research proposal. Make sure you check with your instructor to see which of the two you are expected to produce.

Overall, your list of citations should be a testament to the fact that you have done a sufficient level of preliminary research to ensure that your project will complement, but not duplicate, previous research efforts. For social sciences, the reference list or bibliography should be prepared in American Psychological Association (APA) referencing format. Usually, the reference list (or bibliography) is not included in the word count of the research proposal. Again, make sure you check with your instructor to confirm.

Research Methods for the Social Sciences: An Introduction by Valerie Sheppard is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book

Logo for Seneca Polytechnic Pressbooks System

Want to create or adapt books like this? Learn more about how Pressbooks supports open publishing practices.

Report Components

Formal reports are comprised of several key elements that serve the purpose of aiding the reader to find and understand the information contained in them. These parts include the front matter, report, and back matter. The front matter announces the subject and helps the reader navigate through the document. The report contains the key information, usually supported by research and visual aids. The back matter contains the appended materials that may not necessarily fit in the report itself but which offer added insights into the topic. When creating your formal report, include the following items in your report, in the listed order:

Components of Formal Reports

1. Front Matter

  • Letter of Transmittal
  • Table of Contents and List of Figures and Tables
  • Glossary (if required)

2. Body of Report

  • Introduction/Background
  • Discussion (bulk of the report)
  • Conclusions (and Recommendations)

3. Back Matter

  • Appendices (if required)

The purposes of each of these report parts are described in the following sections.

3.1 Front Matter

The front matter of your report consists of everything that comes before the Introduction. Except for the title page and letter of transmittal, all pages included in the front matter are numbered using Roman numerals.

3.1.1 Title Page

The title page announces your report to the reader. As an announcement, the title should be descriptive of the report’s content and understandable to the general reader. Terminology specific to your company and uncommon acronyms should be avoided in the title. Your title page should not be numbered. It must include the following information:

1.     a report title no longer than 120 characters that is narrow and specific

2.     name of the person to whom you are submitting the report, their position, and company

3.     the course code in full (when applicable)

4.     name(s) of report authors

5.     the date you submitted the report

If you include an image, be sure to indicate the source right below. Refer to the sample title page (Figure 1) for the overall layout.

Title of the Report

Submitted to: [add the professor’s name] course code, submitted by: list name(s) of authors.

Figure 1: Sample Title Page

3.1.2 Transmittal Document

The transmittal document not only introduces the report, but also explains its purpose and scope, as well as outlines the conclusions (and recommendations if included). Your contribution to the overall project and acknowledgments of others should also be included.

The transmittal document follows the title page—or it may appear before the title page—and as such, has no page number. For external reports, use a standard formal business letter format (full block format is the easiest), address the letter to one person, typically your professor (if it pertains to a report for a course assignment), and include your signature at the end. For internal reports, use a memo transmittal. See below for an example of the differences:

Figure 2 Sample Transmittal Documents: Letter and Memo Formats (Williams, 2020).

The transmittal document should contain the following information on one page:

  • the transmittal statement and the title of the report; e.g., Please find attached the report entitled XXX completed as a requirement for EAC594.
  • your project purpose and scope of work; i.e., the facets of the problem or topic that are discussed
  • an overview of the main findings and conclusions; a reflection of your learning
  • disclaimers, special problems encountered, or extenuating circumstances, if applicable
  • a statement that the report is confidential, if it is
  • acknowledgments of helpful people, groups or organizations
  • any other features that may be of interest to the reader

Figure 3 shows a template for formatting a letter of transmittal. Figure 4 shows a sample letter.

__________________________________________________________

Your own or the company’s return address

Receiver’s name, title Company name Address

Salutation: Dear XXX:

Begin with a transmittal sentence: “Please find enclosed/attached the report entitled XXXX submitted following research into XXXXX for EAC594.

Mention the purpose of the research

Offer an overview of the report’s findings and the conclusions. This paragraph should cover the scope of work, main findings, and key conclusions. Add any important considerations. Body paragraphs should be in 11-12-point font. No indentations. Add a line space between paragraphs.

Add a reflection on your learning.

Include a paragraph to acknowledge the assistance of key people.

Close on a courteous note.

Your name, role

_________________________________________________________

Figure 3: Letter of Transmittal Template

19-1742 Yonge Street Toronto, Ontario M2J 5R6

September 4, 20XX

Mr. Bineshii Coutenay, Co-op Coordinator Seneca College 1750 Finch Avenue, East Toronto, M2J 2X5

Dear Mr. Coutenay:

Please accept the accompanying work term report entitled “A Sales Prediction Tool for Tesla Electric Vehicles.”

This report is the result of work completed during an experiential learning unit at the Tesla Institute. During my second work term as a Seneca College student, I was engaged in assisting in field sales data collection and prediction and the subsequent computer processing of this data. During this time, I developed innovative sales prediction software in an effort to process the data more efficiently and accurately. It is this new method of processing the data which is the subject of this report.

Through the course of the term, I was given the opportunity to learn about electric vehicles and their popularity. I feel that this knowledge will be helpful in future work terms, and in my career.

I would like to thank my manager, Jane Cordent, for her patience and good judgment, as well as the marketing and finance teams at Tesla Institute who were always willing to help.

Please let me know if you would like to meet to discuss my findings.

Stu Dent Stu Dent

Figure 4: Sample Letter of Transmittal. Adapted from University of Victoria, n.d./2017.

3.1.3 Table of Contents and List of Figures

The table of contents is a navigation tool that allows the reader to find a specific section or illustration in the report.  It is constructed from the major headings used in the report.  Note that the appendices are listed at the end of the Table of Contents and that a List of Tables and Figures follows. Do not list the heading of “Table of Contents” as an item in the table itself.  For example, open any one of your textbooks to the table of contents. Note how this tool helps you find specific topics covered in the text and leads you to navigate through the text to find them. Tables of contents in reports serve the same function. In electronic versions of reports, the table of contents may contain linked headings, allowing you to click on any topic listed to be immediately directed to the corresponding page.

MS Word includes features that allow you to auto-create the table of contents and list of figures. Use heading and caption styles to enable this function. First, use the Styles functions to “code” each of the document’s headings and subheadings. When your document is complete, create your table of contents page by inserting a new page after your letter of transmittal. Place your cursor on that new page then click on the References tab in the main MS Word toolbar at the top. Then click on Table of Contents and select the desired table style. The software will then automatically create your table of contents.

3.1.4 Executive Summary

Business reports typically contain an executive summary that summarizes the key ideas of the report. The executive summary appears on a separate page after the Table of Contents and List of Figures and Tables. The executive summary is written after the main report has been completed. Items in the main report such as tables, figures, or sections, are not referred to in the executive summary. The executive summary is normally presented centred on its own page and is about one-third the length of the report itself. Please click on this link to find out more about executive summaries and to read a sample summary: Writing an Executive Summary (University of Arizona).

3.1.5 Glossary (optional)

If your report contains acronyms, symbols, or terms that may not be familiar to your audience, include a glossary explaining these terms. If included, the glossary precedes the introduction to provide an easy reference for the reader. Formerly, the glossary was situated in an appendix; you may still place it there but consider that it may be of more use before the introduction.

The glossary defines specialized terminology including acronyms, listing them in alphabetical order, while the list of symbols defines the mathematical symbols used in the report. Any mathematical symbols or constants included in the report should be defined since most mathematical usage is not standardized. Glossaries and lists of symbols are useful when a large number of terms must be introduced in the report. (As a guideline, if you are defining more than five terms, a glossary should be used.) Please click on this link for a sample business glossary published on the BDC website . Note:  if you are using published definitions, you must indicate your sources.

3.2 Main Body

The main body of your report includes everything from the Introduction to the References. Pagination for the main body begins with the Arabic numeral 1.

3.2.1 Introduction

The introduction is an important component as it sets the context and announces the subject and purpose of the report. The introductory material may be presented in several subsections to cover the scope of the report and should provide the background information necessary for understanding the rest of the report. If the report addresses a specific problem, your introduction will provide a thorough problem definition that the described solution(s) must address.

The introduction introduces the report to the reader by

  • introducing the subject to be discussed and its importance,
  • including an overview of the report topics,
  • describing the scope of the report, and
  • offering background information describing circumstances leading to the report.

Introductions should never be longer than the discussion . If a significant amount of background information is required, consider creating a separate section for it. Click here to view a sample introduction from the Aukland University of Technology (n.d.).

3.2.2 Discussion

The discussion is the foundation of a report. It presents evidence in the form of referenced facts, data, and analysis upon which the conclusions are based.  It offers research-based evidence to support claims and contains concrete and specific information illustrated by visual aids that will enable decision-makers to understand how the conclusion is achieved.

A well-written discussion flows logically from idea to idea to lead the reader to the relevant conclusions. Depending on the complexity of the information presented, the discussion may contain several subsections.

3.2.3 Conclusions

Conclusions are the results derived from the evidence provided in the discussion. No new material is presented in the conclusion . Rather, recap the key ideas from the discussion and connect them to the initial problem statement or the purpose for your report. When presenting more than one conclusion, state the main conclusion first followed by the others in the order of decreasing importance, to ensure the maximum impact on the reader. Your conclusion overall should sum up ideas such as to give the reader a sense of direction.

3.2.4 Recommendations

Recommendations are usually actionable steps for the work that needs to be done based solidly on the information you previously presented in the report. They have the greatest impact when written using action verbs and are listed in chronological sequence when more than one or two are included. Again, do not introduce new material or concepts here . You want to create recommendations that follow immediately on the conclusions drawn from the discussion. Recommendations are not included in every report; rather, they usually appear in problem-solving reports and in recommendation and justification reports, specifically.

3.2.5 References

Any information quoted, paraphrased, or summarized in your reports must be cited and documented using APA Style. Citing references assists the reader by indicating where further information can be found and lends credibility to the analysis within your report. Please note: Wikipedia may be an accurate reference; double-check the information you obtain from this source. “Definition by popular consensus” does not constitute a suitable reference. Instead, use original published source material from reputable established sources.

Any material introduced in the report that is not your original work should be followed by an in-text citation in parentheses, which cross-references to an item fully documented in the list of references. See the in-text citations in this guide for examples. The material cited may be tables or figures from other sources, equations that you did not derive, technical specifications, or facts used to support your claims.

3.2.5.1 In-text Citations

When citing a reference within the report using the APA style, the corresponding citation may be included in parentheses in the following places:

  • at the end of a sentence just before the period; e.g., (last name, year).
  • directly after the reference to the author or source (last name, year), if necessary to avoid confusion over attribution of the source material
  • after figure captions and after table titles; e.g., Figure 1: Sales of Toques in Quebec–2020 (last name, year)
  • after the appendix title if the entire appendix is copied from another source; e.g., Appendix A (last name, year)
  • at the right-hand margin beside a mathematical equation

3.2.5.2 Making Your Reference List

In the list of references, list the cited references in alphabetical order using the approved APA conventions.  See Figure 5 and the Resources and References section of this guide for formatting examples. Be sure to take note of the punctuation.

Note that each listed reference includes the following information:

  • the name(s) of the author(s): last name, followed by initial(s) for each
  • for book and journal titles, the title of each is italicized; capitalize only the journal title
  • for articles in journals, only the first letter of the title of the article is capitalized
  • for web pages, the page title is italicized; use lower case letters (the first letter is capitalized); only the site name is capitalized
  • for reports, italicize the report title; use lower case
  • for books, the publisher’s name and location, and the publication year
  • for articles, the title of the journal (italicized and capitalized), the volume number and the date of issue
  • for reports, the report number, the name and location of the issuer and the date of issue
  • for web documents, all the above and the url
  • add the page number, when applicable

For other types of documents, social media, or internet sites, see the Seneca College Libraries APA Citation Guide (2021) or the APA Style references examples .

Note: If the information has been unethically used in your documents, you could be subject to academic integrity penalties. For information on actions to avoid, see Appendix A.

Cited References

American Psychological Association (APA). (2020). Use of italics. APA Style.  https://apastyle.apa.org/style-grammar-guidelines/italics-quotations/italics

BDC. (n.d.). Glossary.  https://www.bdc.ca/en/articles-tools/entrepreneur-toolkit/templates-business-guides/glossary

Blake, G. & Bly, Robert W. (1993). Elements of technical writing. New York: MacMillan.

Carey, M., McFadden Lanyi, M., Longo, D., Radzinski, E., Rouiller, S., & Wilde, E. (2014). Developing quality technical communication:  A handbook for writers and editors . IBM Press.  [Online]. Available:  https://senecacollege.primo.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/01SENC_INST/17thfn4/alma997143864403226

Potter, R.L. (2019/2021). Technical writing essentials: Introduction to professional communications in the technical fields. https://pressbooks.bccampus.ca/technicalwriting/   Adapted from Suzan Last’s Technical writing essentials: Introduction to professional communications in the technical fields. OER. BCcampus. CC BY 4.0.

Yates, J. A. (2002). Genre systems: Structuring interaction through communicative norms. Journal of Business Communication, 39/ 13. Sage Publications. http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.121.2546&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Figure 5: Sample Reference Page

3.3 Back Matter

Back Matter includes anything attached to the end of your report following the References. These are usually called appendices.

3.3.1 Appendices (optional)

Any data supplementary to the main ideas of the report may be placed in an appendix. The information may be a description of the processes involved, analytical proceedings, regulations or policies, legal codes, mathematical equations, data, code, or excerpts from other reports. Any type of information may be placed in an appendix if it is relevant but does not fit in the discussion, provided it is referred to in the body of the report (see Appendix A for an example).

An appendix refers to one set of information. If several sets of information are to be included, several appendices may be used. Appendices should be referred to by letter (Appendix A, Appendix B, etc.).

In the Table of Contents, appendices are listed below other items.

Global Campus Writing Centre. (n.d.). Writing executive summaries. University of Arizona.  https://writingcenter.uagc.edu/writing-executive-summary

Williams, V. (2020). Business proposals. Fundamentals of business communication. https://pressbooks.bccampus.ca/businesswritingessentials/chapter/chapter-13-business-proposals/

A Guide to Writing Formal Business Reports: Content, Style, and Format Copyright © 2022 by Robin L. Potter is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book

U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Here’s how you know

Official websites use .gov A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS A lock ( Lock A locked padlock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

https://www.nist.gov/chips/notice-funding-opportunity-chips-national-advanced-packaging-manufacturing-program-napmp

CHIPS for America

Notice of funding opportunity: chips national advanced packaging manufacturing program (napmp) materials and substrates research and development.

advanced manufacturing chip equipment

On February 28, 2024, CHIPS for America  issued a  Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)  to seek applications for research and development (R&D) activities that will establish and accelerate domestic capacity for advanced packaging substrates and substrate materials, a key technology for manufacturing semiconductors. The CHIPS for America program anticipates approximately $300 million in funding innovation across multiple technologies ranging from semiconductor-based to glass and organics. This is the first NOFO released by the CHIPS for America R&D program office, and the third NOFO released overall by CHIPS for America. 

CHIPS National Advanced Packaging Manufacturing Program (NAPMP) Funding Opportunity

Read the full text of the funding opportunity (PDF) for more information. 

Read more on the vision for the CHIPS NAPMP. 

Frequently Asked Questions

CHIPS NAPMP Funding Opportunity Application Process:

Through this NOFO, the NAPMP program seeks to achieve the following objectives:

  • Accelerate domestic R&D and innovation in advanced packaging materials and substrates;
  • Translate domestic materials and substrate innovation into U.S. manufacturing, such that these technologies are available to U.S. manufacturers and customers, including to significantly benefit U.S. economic and national security;
  • Support the establishment of a robust, sustainable, domestic capacity for advanced packaging materials and substrate R&D, prototyping, commercialization, and manufacturing; and
  • Promote a skilled and diverse pipeline of workers for a sustainable domestic advanced packaging industry.

There are two main components to this application:  

Mandatory Concept Paper: Applicants will be asked to submit a concept paper. Concept papers are due on April 12, 2024.  

  • Eligible applicants can only submit one concept plan paper under this NOFO.  
  • No entity may be included as a subrecipient on more than two concept papers.
  • Concept plans received after the deadline will not be reviewed or considered.  

Full Application Process: Full proposals are due July 3, 2024.

  • Full applications will only be accepted from applicants who were invited to submit a full application after review of their mandatory concept paper. 

Additional resources for the advanced packaging substrates and substrate materials funding opportunity:

CHIPS NAPMP Vision Paper (PDF)

Fact Sheet (PDF)

Learn about additional CHIPS for America R&D funding opportunities.

IMAGES

  1. PPT

    major components of a research report

  2. components of research paper

    major components of a research report

  3. Types of Research Report

    major components of a research report

  4. 1.6 The components of research

    major components of a research report

  5. Components of Research Process

    major components of a research report

  6. 9 Basic Parts of Research Articles

    major components of a research report

VIDEO

  1. What is research

  2. What is Research??

  3. Research basics

  4. What are the main components of digital marketing?

  5. WHAT IS RESEARCH?

  6. Research report

COMMENTS

  1. Chapter 6: Components of a Research Report

    What are the implications of the findings? The research report contains four main areas: Introduction - What is the issue? What is known? What is not known? What are you trying to find out? This sections ends with the purpose and specific aims of the study. Methods - The recipe for the study. If someone wanted to perform the same study ...

  2. Research Paper Structure

    A complete research paper in APA style that is reporting on experimental research will typically contain a Title page, Abstract, Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, and References sections. 1 Many will also contain Figures and Tables and some will have an Appendix or Appendices. These sections are detailed as follows (for a more in ...

  3. Research Report

    Components of Research Report. Components of Research Report are as follows: Introduction. The introduction sets the stage for the research report and provides a brief overview of the research question or problem being investigated. It should include a clear statement of the purpose of the study and its significance or relevance to the field of ...

  4. Research Reports: Definition and How to Write Them

    Here are seven main components of a productive research report: Research Report Summary: The entire objective along with the overview of research are to be included in a summary which is a couple of paragraphs in length. All the multiple components of the research are explained in brief under the report summary. It should be interesting enough ...

  5. Writing a Research Report

    This review is divided into sections for easy reference. There are five MAJOR parts of a Research Report: 1. Introduction 2. Review of Literature 3. Methods 4. Results 5. Discussion. As a general guide, the Introduction, Review of Literature, and Methods should be about 1/3 of your paper, Discussion 1/3, then Results 1/3.

  6. PDF Key components of a research paper

    Research designs falls into one of two broad categories: qualitative research designs, and quantitative research designs. Qualitative research designs focus on things in their natural settings, and seek in-depth understanding of underlying meanings-the why-of social phenomena. smaller group or sample to a larger population.

  7. Research reports

    An abstract is a concise summary that helps readers to quickly assess the content and direction of your paper. It should be brief, written in a single paragraph and cover: the scope and purpose of your report; an overview of methodology; a summary of the main findings or results; principal conclusions or significance of the findings; and recommendations made.

  8. PDF How to Write an Effective Research REport

    Abstract. This guide for writers of research reports consists of practical suggestions for writing a report that is clear, concise, readable, and understandable. It includes suggestions for terminology and notation and for writing each section of the report—introduction, method, results, and discussion. Much of the guide consists of ...

  9. PDF Writing a Research Report

    Use the section headings (outlined above) to assist with your rough plan. Write a thesis statement that clarifies the overall purpose of your report. Jot down anything you already know about the topic in the relevant sections. 3 Do the Research. Steps 1 and 2 will guide your research for this report.

  10. Research Report: Definition, Types + [Writing Guide]

    A research report is a well-crafted document that outlines the processes, data, and findings of a systematic investigation. It is an important document that serves as a first-hand account of the research process, and it is typically considered an objective and accurate source of information.

  11. (PDF) Research Components

    The research components are studied in the context of a research report, not in the situation when a research is being implemented, because to directly verify every research component would be ...

  12. PDF The Structure of an Academic Paper

    • Suggest what the reader should take away from your paper. • Pose questions for future study, actions to take, policy interventions, or other implications of your ideas. Take care not to repeat your words exactly in the conclusion. At the same time, you should not introduce any major new concepts or parts of your argument in this section.

  13. 13.1 Formatting a Research Paper

    Set the top, bottom, and side margins of your paper at 1 inch. Use double-spaced text throughout your paper. Use a standard font, such as Times New Roman or Arial, in a legible size (10- to 12-point). Use continuous pagination throughout the paper, including the title page and the references section.

  14. Components of a Research Report

    A report can be distinguished from other forms of mainstream/traditional academic research such as the discussion paper, working paper and journal article. For example, the main differences between a report and an essay or academic/research narrative are that the essay format can be at the discretion of the author, but the report has a formal ...

  15. Figure 1: The main components of a research report

    The 'research summary, conclusions, limitations, and recommendations' focuses on four related aspects of a research report. First, it provides for the outputs of research by summarising its ...

  16. Research Paper

    Definition: Research Paper is a written document that presents the author's original research, analysis, and interpretation of a specific topic or issue. It is typically based on Empirical Evidence, and may involve qualitative or quantitative research methods, or a combination of both. The purpose of a research paper is to contribute new ...

  17. Parts of the paper

    Titles have two functions: to identify the main topic or the message of the paper and to attract readers. ... Keep in mind that you may be able to include more of your data in an online journal supplement or research data repository. A good results section is not the same as the discussion. Present the facts in the results, saving the ...

  18. What Is Research Report? Definition, Contents, Significance, Qualities

    The preliminary part may have seven major components - cover, title, preface, acknowledgement, table of contents, list of tables, list of graphs. Long reports presented in book form have a cover made up of a card sheet. The cover contains title of the research report, the authority to whom the report is submitted, name of the author, etc.

  19. Research Guides: Structure of a Research Paper : Home

    Reports of research studies usually follow the IMRAD format. IMRAD (Introduction, Methods, Results, [and] Discussion) is a mnemonic for the major components of a scientific paper. These elements are included in the overall structure outlined below.

  20. seven components of research report

    See Full PDF. Download PDF. Seven Major Parts to a Research Paper 1. Title Page 2. Abstract 3. Introduction 4. Method 5. Results 6. Discussion 7.

  21. 14.3 Components of a Research Proposal

    Literature review. This key component of the research proposal is the most time-consuming aspect in the preparation of your research proposal. As described in Chapter 5, the literature review provides the background to your study and demonstrates the significance of the proposed research.Specifically, it is a review and synthesis of prior research that is related to the problem you are setting ...

  22. Components of the Research Report

    The document outlines the typical structure and components of a research report, including an abstract, introduction, method, results, discussion, and conclusion sections. It explains that the introduction should state the research question and purpose without elaborating on background details.

  23. Report Components

    1. a report title no longer than 120 characters that is narrow and specific. 2. name of the person to whom you are submitting the report, their position, and company. 3. the course code in full (when applicable) 4. name (s) of report authors. 5. the date you submitted the report.

  24. Notice of Funding Opportunity: CHIPS National Advanced Packaging

    On February 28, 2024, CHIPS for America issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to seek applications for research and development (R&D) activities that will establish and accelerate domestic capacity for advanced packaging substrates and substrate materials, a key technology for manufacturing semiconductors. The CHIPS for America program anticipates approximately $300 million in funding ...