After reading this article, you will be able to
1- explain the significance of the report writing.
2- discuss the main division of a research report.
3- identify the preliminary section of the report.
4- specify the requirement of the main body of the research report.
5– evaluate the summary and conclusions part of the research report.
6- analyse the typing format of the research report.
7- list the supplementary section of the report such as bibliography.
8- appendices and index.
Report writing has been recognized as an indispensable part of any scientific piece of research. Appropriate communication of the results of research is possible only when one possesses the requisite knowledge of the procedures involved in writing a research report.
Although it is difficult to prescribe one particular format for all kinds of research reports, it would not be unreasonable to suggest a general outline for the preparation of a report to enable the investigator to present it in a well-organized and systematic manner.
Main divisions of a research report:
The Preliminary section.
(a) Title Page: The title page should bear the investigator’s name, a statement of the nature of the research theme, the date of submitting it and the name of the institution making that requirement.
(b) Acknowledgement Page: Here the investigator acknowledges the guidance and assistance he has received in the development of the study. Acknowledgements should be expressed simply and tactfully.
(c) Preface or foreword: This part is aimed at giving a brief statement of the scope, aim and general character of the research.
(d) Table of contents: A well-developed table of contents enables the reader to choose rapidly and judiciously what he should read carefully.
(e) List of tables and figures: To throw more light on the subject of the research study.
This part of the report usually includes a statement of the factors leading to the selection of the problem, the objectives of the study, the value and significance of the study. A clear elucidation of the problem enables the reader to get insight into the study from the very beginning.
Survey of related literature. Herein references are made to similar studies already made by others. The author justifies his own endeavour and emphasizes the worthwhile elements.
The main body of the report
The investigator describes the techniques and tools he has used in collecting, organizing, analysing and interpreting his data. It gives all the sources used. Separate chapters are devoted to all these items.
Summary and Conclusions
It has to be ensured that the major details of the research are summed up very clearly. Since most of the readers do not read the entire text of the report, it becomes very necessary that this chapter should be prepared with great care. In reporting the conclusions, one should ensure that they are without any personal bias.
The conclusions are drawn in light of the hypothesis.
Recommendations or suggestions for further study in the field chosen.
1- Bibliography: A well-organized bibliography furnishes a clue to the quality of the report.
2- Appendix: The appendix includes any letters, questionnaires tests or other tools used in collecting the data.
3- Index: The index contains not only the topics arranged alphabetically but also subjects, topics of any consequences. Typed reports seldom contain an index.
A table is a systematic way of placing statistical data in column and rows according to some classification of the subject matter. A table conveys ideas and relationships independently of the text of the report.
Following are the marks of a good table:
1. It should, normally not exceed the size of the manuscript.
2. The main title of a table should be brief.
3. It should be properly placed in relation to the written text material.
The figure is a term applied to a wide variety of graphs, charts, maps. sketches, diagrams and drawings. Marks of a good figure are as under:
1. It should be simple.
2. It should convey the exact ideas.
3. The title of the figure should clearly describe the nature of data.
4. The title of the figures should be placed below the figure
General rules for typing research reports
1. All copies of the report must be legible-distinct and clear.
2. Strike-overs should not be made.
3. All errors should be corrected by erasing neatly on all copies.
4. The material should be typed on one side of the paper only.
5. One and a half inches margins on the top and left-hand side of the paper and one-inch margins on the right-hand side and at the bottom should be left.
6. All textual material should be double-spaced.
7. Ditto marks should not be used.
8. The pages of the main body of the report are marked in Arabic numerals on the right-hand corner.
9. The pages of the preliminary section are marked in small Roman letters.
A- One-half inch should be allowed for binding.
B- The title should be typed in capital letters, beginning six double spáces from the top of the page.
The heading “ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS” should be centred.
Table of contents: It should start with the heading “Table of contents”, chapter headings are typed in capital letters. The headings of the main sections within chapters are ped in small letters.
Quotations: Quotations are single-spaced.
Foot-Notes: Foot-notes are separated from the text by a horizontal line.
Bupuap space: Space below the last line of the full typed page Foot-notes are typed as given below:
a- The author’s name first, followed by a comma.
b- The title of the book underscored, followed by a full stop.
c- Place of publication followed by a colon.
d- If the same book is referred to more than once, it is not repeated in its full form. The abbreviations ‘op.cir, the bid is variously used to indicate the source.
More points to be kept in view while preparing a research report
a- The research report should be written clearly so that the reader may more have any difficulty in understanding its contents.
b- The report should be written in the past tense and not in the present
c- Expressions such as investigator Researcher etc. in place of personal pronouns like T, we and my should be used in writing the research report.
d- The size of the types of contents, headings, sub-headings, etc, should be selected appropriately.