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Preparing a research report

Preparing a research report

Discuss Preparing a research report within the Upload / Download Banking and Insurance Projects and Notes forums, part of the Banking and Insurance Paradise ( BBI Projects and Research Notes ) category; Once you have completed your data analysis, the next step is to write your research report. The format that you ...

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Preparing a research report
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jessiepham
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Preparing a research report - October 1st, 2009

Once you have completed your data analysis, the next step is to write your research report. The format that you use to do this will vary according to the purpose of the report (lab report, thesis, journal article), and the discipline in which you are studying. Different disciplines (e.g., psychology, education, medicine, business) have different conventions for presenting reports, so you should consult your lecturer or supervisor for the specific requirements of your report. Many disciplines follow the guidelines laid down by the American Psychological Association (often referred to as APA style).
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Kalpana Heliya
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Re: Preparing a research report - October 1st, 2009

Guidelines for Preparing a Research Report



Title and Title Page

The title should reflect the content and emphasis of the project described in the report. It should be as short as possible and include essential key works.

The author’s name (e.g., Mary B. Chung) should follow the title on a separate line, followed by the author’s affiliation (e.g., Department of Chemistry, Central State College, Central, Arkansas, 67123) and possibly the origin of the report (e.g., In partial fulfillment of a Senior Thesis Project under the supervision of Professor Danielle F. Green, June, 1990).

All of the above could appear on a single cover page. Acknowledgments and a table of contents can be added as preface pages if desired.

Abstract

The abstract should, in the briefest terms possible, describe the topic, the
scope, the principal findings, and the conclusions. It should be written last to reflect accurately the content of the report. The length of abstracts vary but seldom exceed 200 words.




The research student should understand that a primary objective of an abstract is to communicate to the reader the essence of the paper. The reader will then be the judge of whether to read the full report or not. The student should also know that if the report were to appear in the primary literature, the abstract would serve as a key source of indexing terms and key words to be used in information retrieval. Author abstracts are often published verbatim in Chemical Abstracts.

Introduction

“A good introduction is a clear statement of the problem or project and why you are studying it.” (The ACS Style Guide. American Chemical Society: Washington, DC, 1986.)

The nature of the problem and why it is of interest should be conveyed in the opening paragraph. This section should describe clearly but briefly the background information on the problem, what has been done before (with proper literature citations), and the objectives of the current project. A clear relationship between the current project and the scope and limitations of earlier work should be made so that the reasons for the project and the approach used will be understood.

Experimental Details

This section should describe what was actually done. It is a succinct exposition of the laboratory notebook, describing procedures, techniques, instrumentation, special precautions, and so on. It should be sufficiently detailed that other experienced researchers would be able to repeat the work and obtain comparable results.

In theoretical reports, this section would include sufficient theoretical or mathematical analysis to enable derivations and numerical results to be checked.

If the experimental section is very lengthy and very detailed, as in snythetic work, it can be placed at the end of the report or as an appendix so that it does not interrupt the conceptual flow of the report. Its placement will depend on the nature of the project and the discretion of the writer.



Results

In the section, relevant data, observations, and findings are summarized. Tabulation of data, equations, charts, and figures can be used effectively to present results clearly and concisely.

Discussion

The crux of the report is the analysis and interpretation of the results. What do the results mean? How do they relate to the objectives of the project? To what extent have they resolved the problem?

Conclusions

A separate section outlining the main conclusions of the project is appropriate if conclusions have not already been stated in the “Discussion” section. Directions for future work are also suitably expressed here.

Summary

A lengthy report, or one in which the findings are complex, usually benefits from a paragraph summarizing the main features of the report, the objectives, the findings, and the conclusions.

The last paragraph of text in manuscripts prepared for publication is customarily dedicated to acknowledgments. However, there is no rule about this, and research reports or senior theses frequently place acknowledgments following the title page.

References

Literature references are collated at the end of the report and are cited in one of the formats described in The ACS Style Guide. Do not mix formats. Each reference should have a unique number, meaning that each should be numbered only once however many times it is cited in the text. All references should be checked against the original literature.

Preparing the Manuscript

The personal computer and word processing has made manuscript preparation and revision a great deal easier than it used to be. Every student researcher should have the opportunity to use a word processor, and have access to graphics software that allows numerical data to be graphed, chemical structures to be drawn, and mathematical equations to be represented. These are essential tools of the technical writer. All manuscripts should routinely be checked for spelling using a spelling program, and all manuscripts should be carefully proofread before being submitted. It is anticipated that preliminary drafts will be edited by the faculty advisor before the report is presented in final form.


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