Contents and Layout of Research Report

Contents of  Research Report

The researcher must keep in mind that his research report must contain following aspects:

  1. Purpose of study
  2. Significance of his study or statement of the problem
  3. Review of literature
  4. Methodology
  5. Interpretation of data
  6. Conclusions and suggestions
  7. Bibliography
  8. Appendices

These can be discussed in detail as under:

(1) Purpose of study:

Research is one direction oriented study. He should discuss the problem of his study. He must give background of the problem. He must lay down his hypothesis of the study. Hypothesis is the statement indicating the nature of the problem. He should be able to collect data, analyze it and prove the hypothesis. The importance of the problem for the advancement of knowledge or removed of some evil may also be explained. He must use review of literature or the data from secondary source for explaining the statement of the problems.

(2) Significance of study:

Research is re-search and hence the researcher may highlight the earlier research in new manner or establish new theory. He must refer earlier research work and distinguish his own research from earlier work. He must explain how his research is different and how his research topic is different and how his research topic is important. In a statement of his problem, he must be able to explain in brief the historical account of the topic and way in which he can make and attempt. In his study to conduct the research on his topic.

(3) Review of Literature:

Research is a continuous process. He cannot avoid earlier research work. He must start with earlier work. He should note down all such research work, published in books, journals or unpublished thesis. He will get guidelines for his research from taking a review of literature. He should collect information in respect of earlier research work. He should enlist them in the given below:

  1. Author/researcher
  2. Title of research /Name of book
  3. Publisher
  4. Year of publication
  5. Objectives of his study
  6. Conclusion/suggestions

Then he can compare this information with his study to show separate identity of his study. He must be honest to point out similarities and differences of his study from earlier research work.

(4) Methodology:

It is related to collection of data. There are two sources for collecting data; primary and secondary. Primary data is original and collected in field work, either through questionnaire interviews. The secondary data relied on library work. Such primary data are collected by sampling method. The procedure for selecting the sample must be mentioned. The methodology must give various aspects of the problem that are studied for valid generalization about the phenomena. The scales of measurement must be explained along with different concepts used in the study.

While conducting a research based on field work, the procedural things like definition of universe, preparation of source list must be given. We use case study method, historical research etc. He must make it clear as to which method is used in his research work. When questionnaire is prepared, a copy of it must be given in appendix.

(5) Interpretation of data:

Mainly the data collected from primary source need to be interpreted in systematic manner. The tabulation must be completed to draw conclusions. All the questions are not useful for report writing. One has to select them or club them according to hypothesis or objectives of study.

(6) Conclusions/suggestions:

Data analysis forms the crux of the research problem. The information collected in field work is useful to draw conclusions of study. In relation with the objectives of study the analysis of data may lead the researcher to pin point his suggestions. This is the most important part of study. The conclusions must be based on logical and statistical reasoning. The report should contain not only the generalization of inference but also the basis on which the inferences are drawn. All sorts of proofs, numerical and logical, must be given in support of any theory that has been advanced. He should point out the limitations of his study.

(7) Bibliography:

The list of references must be arranged in alphabetical order and be presented in appendix. The books should be given in first section and articles are in second section and research projects in the third. The pattern of bibliography is considered convenient and satisfactory from the point of view of reader.

(8) Appendices:

The general information in tabular form which is not directly used in the analysis of data but which is useful to understand the background of study can be given in appendix.

Layout of the Research Report

There is scientific method for the layout of research report. The layout of research report means as to what the research report should contain. The contents of the research report are noted below:

  1. Preliminary Page
  2. Main Text
  3. End Matter

(1) Preliminary Pages:

These must be title of the research topic and data. There must be preface of foreword to the research work. It should be followed by table of contents. The list of tables, maps should be given.

(2) Main Text:

It provides the complete outline of research report along with all details. The title page is reported in the main text. Details of text are given continuously as divided in different chapters.

  • (a)    Introduction
  • (b)   Statement of the problem
  • (c)   The analysis of data
  • (d)   The implications drawn from the results
  • (e)   The summary

(a)    Introduction:

Its purpose is to introduce the research topic to readers. It must cover statement of the research problem, hypotheses, objectives of study, review of literature, and the methodology to cover primary and secondary data, limitations of study and chapter scheme. Some may give in brief in the first chapter the introduction of the research project highlighting the importance of study. This is followed by research methodology in separate chapter.

The methodology should point out the method of study, the research design and method of data collection.

(b)   Statement of the problem:

This is crux of his research. It highlights main theme of his study. It must be in nontechnical language. It should be in simple manner so ordinary reader may follow it. The social research must be made available to common man. The research in agricultural problems must be easy for farmers to read it.

(c)    Analysis of data:

Data so collected should be presented in systematic manner and with its help, conclusions can be drawn. This helps to test the hypothesis. Data analysis must be made to confirm the objectives of the study.

(d)   Implications of Data:

The results based on the analysis of data must be valid. This is the main body of research. It contains statistical summaries and analysis of data. There should be logical sequence in the analysis of data. The primary data may lead to establish the results. He must have separate chapter on conclusions and recommendations. The conclusions must be based on data analysis. The conclusions must be such which may lead to generalization and its applicability in similar circumstances. The conditions of research work limiting its scope for generalization must be made clear by the researcher.

(e)    Summary:

This is conclusive part of study. It makes the reader to understand by reading summary the knowledge of the research work. This is also a synopsis of study.

(3) End Matter:

It covers relevant appendices covering general information, the concepts and bibliography. The index may also be added to the report.

About Abey Francis

Abey Francis is the founder of MBAKnol - A Blog about Management Theories and Practices - and he's always happy to share his passion for innovative management practices. You can found him on Google+ and Facebook. If you’d like to reach him, send him an email to: [email protected]
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