How to Write a Research Report: Easy Guide for Beginners
What is a research report? The research report is a record of data derived after analyzing findings based on a survey or qualitative analysis. Research reports are expected to be replicable.
A research report must be concise and accurate. In other words, another researcher should be able to use the same processes to get similar results. This article highlights some useful report writing tips.
The main components of report writing
There are components of report writing that cannot be undermined. These components must be adequately taken care of if your report writing will be accepted as up to standard. These include:
The background information of your report should be clearly stated in this part. This could include a brief introduction of the literature available for the topic. You should also include your thesis statement distinctively in your introduction.
- Literature review
The literature review in any study shows the information gap that the work intends to bridge. You should carefully and systematically do the literature review. It should always be timely as it is essential to the work. Your literature review should expose the justification of your study.
This part of the research report shows how you have gathered your data and the method of data analysis. The methodology should be clear enough for another researcher to replicate. A methodology must always be written in passive and never in active sentences.
Also, every material used should be referenced and diagrams labeled appropriately. Discussion of results should not be done under methodology.
This point is where you state what you have found out in the course of your research. You should, however, interpret your results at a later stage.
- Discussion of findings
It is at this point you interpret your results. Your discussion of findings should take you back to your literature review and create a link to your thesis statement. It would be best to show how relevant the results are and how your findings are related to other research.
- Conclusion and recommendation
A good conclusion is meant for reinforcement. New things should not be introduced in the conclusion. Summarize significant results in your research and highlight limitations. Use your limitations to make recommendations for further research. Recommendations could be merged with the conclusion or separated. It will depend on the school’s format.
How to write a research report
For every research, there is an acceptable academic report format. An academic report should have a title and all necessary preliminary and final pages. Every part of the report should be adequately treated. Here are some valuable and effective tips for report writing.
- Analyze the work
Before doing any research, you must understand what it is about. It would be best if you considered what is expected carefully. You should ask yourself what the report’s purpose is and who your target audience is.
Also, consider word and time limits, the topic of your report, and the acceptable format. You can write a good academic report after you have clearly understood what is required.
- Develop a plan
Before you start writing your report, build a research report outline. Write out every piece of information you have about the different sections. You should also have a clear thesis statement for your research report.
- Research extensively
Research report writing can only be done when research has been done. The process of research should never be rushed. Ensure you have ample time to conduct thorough research before writing your report. Ensure you keep a record of all materials used during your research.
- Draw up your draft
After carrying out the research, draft your research report. The draft should follow the standard research report template for your institution if there’s one. Your draft should also include all preliminary and supplementary pages. This may seem inconsequential but can consume much time if handled poorly. Ensure all appendices and diagrams are adequately accounted for.
- Fine-tune your work
After taking the steps above, make sure you go through your report to ensure everything is as it should be. Brush it up and ensure that all guidelines and templates have been strictly adhered to. Errors should also be taken care of or corrected once noticed
The format of a research report is as important as the report itself. Important information could be lost if you do not organize your report well. Also, you could lose marks. Endeavor to find the acceptable format in your school and stick to it.