As a university student you may be required to write research reports for assessment purposes. This type of report presents your study clearly and concisely and allows to easily understand its purpose and findings. Use the following check-list to organize and write your research report properly.
Cover Page & Contents Page:
- Do you have an attractive cover page and a clear contents page?
- Are your title, logo and full student names all included?
- Is the contents page clearly sequenced?
- Does it include page numbers for the start of each section?
- 1 or 2 sentences summarizing the state of the literature to which your research contributes.
- 2-3 sentences characterizing the theoretical contribution made by your work.
- Devote one sentence to setting out as briefly as possible the methods you followed.
- Assign one sentence to summarize the ‘bottom line’ import of each chapter / section.
- Finish the second paragraph of the abstract with two sentences crystallizing the bottom-line conclusions of your final chapter / section.
- Finish the second paragraph of the abstract with two sentences crystallizing the bottom-line conclusions of your final chapter.
- Did you start with broad, general aims ?
- Introduce your document. Introduce your topic. Introduce your research.
Did you then outline specific aims?
- Establish importance of your topic;
- Explain your own interest in this particular topic;
- Establish relevance of your specific choice of topic to your class, to your local community, to your country. What is new? What is your contribution?
Did you establish your territory?
- What is new about your research?
- Indicate a gap (limitations of previous study?)
- Raise a question/problem
- Continue a tradition? (The next step)
Did you explain your focus and scope?
- What is included?
- What is not included, even if relevant because you need a focus?
- Present the review theme by theme, not source by source.
- Synthesize what each relevant part of a source says on the theme.
- Check that everything from the proposal literature review is still relevant.
- Did you mention the methods used?
- Did you describe the population?
- How did you analyze the data?
- The discussion answers your research question, and …probably starts by reminding the reader of the question.
- No Repetition! The discussion is based on your findings but does not repeat them.
- The discussion synthesizes different angles from different parts of your data theme by theme and interprets what the synthesized results seem to mean.
- Degree of Confidence! The modality you use helps express the confidence you have in the reliability of your findings.
- The discussion refers back to the background reading by suggesting if your results confirm or contradict the research you reported in the background section.
Have you provided recommendations that are researched?
- Did you only provide a list?
- Categorize – who are they for?
- For each one, does your research indicate it is feasible?
- Did you emphasize the most important research achievement?
- (What was new, surprising, interesting?)
- What solutions have you suggested to problems raised?
- What suggestions have you got for future research on your topic?
- Are they alphabetical?
- Do they have the whole format?
- Do they correspond to the latest standards?
- Does bibliography style correspond to the format of in-text citations?
- Does each one have a number and title?
- Have you referred to them in the text?
- Does each start on a new page?
Source: “Writing the Research Report” by Caroline Brandt