Report writing is the last step in a research study but it is a very significant step because the results or research have very little value if they are not communicated effectively to the right person, at the right time and in the right manner.
Main contents of the research report
The lay out of the report must be appropriate. A comprehensive report will include.
- The Preliminary Pages
- The Main Text
- The End Matter
These should include
- The title page :The title page should carry the title of the research study, the organization for which the research is being carried out and the name of the researcher.
- Acknowledgement :The research should acknowledge those people or organizations/ institutions who have significantly contributed in completing the research.
- Any certification required: If any certificate/s regarding the research are necessary this may be attached at this point.
- Preface: The preface should be a brief general introduction to the topic of research answering why the researcher took up the research.
- Table of Contents/ Index: The table of contents or index is a vital part of this report and must include the page number of each of the contents.
- List of Table and Illustrations and list of graphs and or charts: These may be given on the following pages as ready reference.
- Introduction: This should introduce the research to the reader. The language of the introduction should be so simple that a lay man whom having little knowledge about the study area could also be able to understand the purpose and objectives of the research.
- Nature and scope of the study: It explains about why the study was undertaken and what geographical area and time frame it occupies.
- Research Methodology: The methodology involves in the study, the research design, data collection techniques, analysis techniques and method of interpretation should be mentioned.
- Hypothesis: If the study involves testing of hypothesis. These should be clearly stated.
- Supporting theoretical background: Any secondary research or theories that may be relevant for our studies should be discussed.
- Results for the study: A detailed presentation of the findings of the study with reporting data in the form of tables and charts should be given.
- Analysis of data: The analysis of the data which has been statistically treated should be made and noted.
- Interpretation of results: After analyzing the data the researcher should note down his interpretations of results derived from the analysis of data.
- Recommendations, suggestions, and conclusions: This step is the most important part of the research report because any decision takes on the basis of research will be based upon the recommendations, suggestions and conclusions.
- Summary: The summary helps to present the research briefly and presents al the information about research in a capsule form.
(C) End matter
- Appendices: All technical data such as questionnaire, sample information, mathematical derivation etc. should form a part of the appendix. It should be numbered alphabetically or numerically.
- Bibliography and references: The source consulted must be given. Bibliography forms all the relevant subject matter studied by the research for conducting the research while references is specific or particular subject matter or text that not only researcher studied but used for his investigation.
- Glossary: This includes a list of special terms used in the research along with their definitions.
- Subject Index: Sometimes a subject index given alphabetically works as a guide to the reader for the contents of the report.
- The report should be lengthy enough to cover all the points but short and crisp enough to hold the interests of the reader.
- The report should provide relevant and important information leaving out undesirable, extra information.
- Technical terms used in the report should be explained in the glossary.
- Charts, graphs, statistical table and figures should be used for readability, interest and quick grasp of the research.
- The layout of the report should be as per the format discussed earlier or as per the outline of the institution.
- The report should be free of grammatical mistake and should contain sound sentence construction. Use of quotation, footnotes, etc. should be done in the correct manner and context.
- The research report should be on original work.
- The analysis of data must be done in a logical manner.
- Appendices must be numbered and attached if needed.
- The index should be clear and the pagation should be done correctly.
- A detailed bibliography and references must be given.
- The report must be neat and attractive in appearance.
- The summary must be given in the end.
- The objective of the study, nature and scope of the study must be mentioned in the beginning of the study and the conclusions, suggestions and recommendations must justify it in the end.