Referencing a Research Report

References must be explicitly given in the research report. Bibliography is one type of referencing a research report and this has been already dealt. Other type of referencing is the foot notes.

Referencing using Footnotes

Footnotes are meant to give complete bibliographical references and to provide the reader with information to enable him consult sources independently. These may be placed at the foot of a page or at the end of every chapter. When footnotes are given at the foot of the page, they are to be separated from the text by a fifteen space solid line drawn from the left margin and one double space below the last line of the text. If given at the end of a chapter, a centered heading ‘FOOTNOTES’ is necessary. Reference to footnotes is made by the use of superscripts i.e., numerals raised by one-half space. Footnotes should be numbered consecutively through a chapter, right after the statement. However, footnotes should not be resorted to common place statements or ordinary facts. They must be restricted to direct quotations, original ideas, statements, definitions, illustrations and diagrams. If a quotation found in one source that is obtained from another source, is used, both the sources should be listed in the footnote. Footnotes should be given in single line spacing with the first line only indented. A double space -should separate, successive footnotes.

In this context, certain conventions in footnoting should be kept in mind. While writing the author’s name, the first name or initials should be written first.… Read the rest

Steps Involved in Drafting a Research Report

A research report must be well drafted so that it is seriously taken by others and all that have to be said are well said. Reader orientation, purpose orientation, time orientation, technology orientation, etc are all needed. The steps in writing a research report are presented below.

1. Organization of Thought

Organization of thought as to how the report be presented is the most fundamental starting point in the journey of preparation of a research report. Ideas come before the mind eye. These are thought over again and a frame of presentation is planned. This plan does not in itself constitute style, but it is the foundation.

2. Acquaintance with the Research

Full acquaintance with research is needed. This is facilitated by notes. It is desirable to make notes on separate cards or slips called form-facet. Accuracy and Adequacy are required – The second facet of mastery over notes consists in the investigator’s complete control over the data, called study facet, i.e., understanding each fact by itself and in terms of others and of the researcher’s own thoughts; the notes to be compared; criticized and revalued in order to enable the investigator to direct and organize the data in his own way and perhaps differently from what others have done.

3. First Draft

The first draft concentrates on substance, i.e., fullness of facts. All the facts of value are to be brought together. In addition to fullness, accuracy of the facts incorporated into the text becomes necessary. Another requirement is that there should be balance, proportion and development in facts.… Read the rest

Preparing a Research Report

The research report is considered as a major component of the research work, because through this report the research problem, the research design, the analysis and findings are brought to the knowledge of the world. The research report converts the research work into a public asset from its earlier state of private asset.

The research report shows the readers the progress in knowledge made in the specific area or discipline. The report by bringing to light the new frontiers of knowledge enhances the society’s intellectual well-being. The report by highlighting the design and methodology, runs as a fore-runner for future researchers in this or related area. The analyses and interpretations may give a boost to knowledge. The findings and suggestions take the readers into enlightenment from ignorance. Every research must endeavor to achieve this.

Research report is a record of the whole of every bit of the research work. This document is a reservoir of knowledge for current and future references and use to solve societal problems. Research report is the means through which communication of the entire work to the society is made. For other researchers, a documented research is a source of information and that a research report generates more research interests. Research report propagates knowledge throughout the humanity or the globe.

The role of a research report is best known in the absence of the same – Assume for a while, that no researcher gives out his research work in the form of a report. Then the research work is just like a lamp in the pot.… Read the rest

Interpretation of Research Data

Interpretation of research data means drawing inference from the collected facts and computed statistics or test statistics. The task of interpretation has two major aspects;

  1. The effort to establish continuity in research through linking the results of given study with those of others, and
  2. The establishment of some explanatory concepts.

In one sense, interpretation is concerned with relationship within the collected data, partially overlapping analysis. Interpretation also extends beyond the data of the study to include the results of other research, theory and hypotheses.

Thus, interpretation is the devise through which the factors that seem to explain what has been observed by researchers in the course of the study can be better understood and it also provides a theoretical conception which can serve as a guide for further research.

Process of Interpretation of Research Data

The interpretation of research data is not an easy job, rather it requires a great skill and dexterity on the part of researcher. Interpretation is an art that one learns through practice and experience. The researcher may, at times, seek the guidance from experts for accomplishing interpretation.

The technique of interpretation often involves the following steps:

  1. Researchers must give reasonable explanations of the relations which he has found and he must interpret the lines of relationship in terms of the underlying process and must try to find out the thread of uniformity that lies under the surface layer of his diversified research findings. In fact, this is the technique of how generalization should be done and concepts be formulated.
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Methods of Data Processing in Research

Data processing is concerned with editing, coding, classifying, tabulating and charting and diagramming research data. The essence of data processing in research is data reduction. Data reduction involves winnowing out the irrelevant from the relevant data and establishing order from chaos and giving shape to a mass of data. Data processing in research consists of five important steps. They are:

1. Editing of Data

Editing is the first step in data processing. Editing is the process of examining the data collected in questionnaires/schedules to detect errors and omissions and to see that they are corrected and the schedules are ready for tabulation. When the whole data collection is over a final and a thorough check up is made. Mildred B. Parten in his book points out that the editor is responsible for seeing that the data are;

  1. Accurate as possible,
  2. Consistent with other facts secured,
  3. Uniformly entered,
  4. As complete as possible,
  5. Acceptable for tabulation and arranged to facilitate coding tabulation.

There are different types of editing. They are:

  1. Editing for quality asks the following questions: are the data forms complete, are the data free of bias, are the recordings free of errors, are the inconsistencies in responses within limits, are there evidences to show dishonesty of enumerators or interviewers and are there any wanton manipulation of data.
  2. Editing for tabulation does certain accepted modification to data or even rejecting certain pieces of data in order to facilitate tabulation. or instance, extremely high or low value data item may be ignored or bracketed with suitable class interval.
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Secondary Data Sources for Research

Secondary data are data that are taken from research works already done by somebody and used for the purpose of the research data collection. The reason why secondary data are being increasingly used in research is that published statistics are now available covering diverse fields so that an investigator finds required data readily available to him’ in many cases. For certain studies like stock price behavior, interest and exchange rate scenario, etc. only secondary data are used.

There are two broad categories of secondary data – internal secondary data and external secondary data.

  1. Internal secondary data: Internal (secondary) data refers to information that already exists within the company in which the research problem arises. For instance, in many companies, salesmen routinely record and report their sales. Examples of secondary data include records of sales, budgets, advertising and promotion expenditures, previous marketing research studies and similar reports. Use of such secondary data can help the marketing manager analyse the effect of the different elements of the marketing mix, develop a marketing plan, make Budget and sales territory allocations, and, in general, help in managerial decision making.
  2. External secondary data: External (secondary) data refers to information which is collected by a source external to the firm (whose major purpose is not the solution of the particular research problem facing the firm). There are three major categories of external data;
  1. Government sources and publications
  2. Business reference sources
  3. Commercial agencies
Sources of Secondary Data

Secondary data are obtained from personal documents and public documents.

1.… Read the rest