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Students, before we start our topic for the day, I would like to giveyou a brief recap from our last class. We had centered our discussionon the various steps involved in a research process. These wereidentified as:
Problem Definition:It stated that before we actually initiatethe investigation, we should be clear about the problem weare facing.
Research Design:As I had also highlighted in the last class,this provides the blueprint of investigation. It gives you abroad idea about how to proceed further in gettinginformation regarding the relevant variables from the unitsunder consideration
Data Collection:Once your design is developed you, as aresearcher, would be required to start collecting informationfrom the units under study. However, bear in mind thatnone of the variables should be over or under stated.
Data Analysis:Your next step would be to process the data.Here, you would try to investigate how various unitsrespond to the variable or characteristics under study.Such data analysis that you may carry out could be:
Literally speaking, interpretation is the ‘so what’ of a researchprocess. If you carry out a research or an investigation which is notused in influencing any action anywhere, then it is a sheer waste of time and resources. Therefore, your research results must beconsistent with the decisions that you have to make.This is not the end of your task. It is equally important that youshould be able to communicate these findings andrecommendations in an understandable and concise manner tothe decision makers. Your report should clearly highlight that therecommendation or suggestion is justified.From this we derive the essence of our discussion today-
‘Writing the Research Report’
Being asked to write a report can fill people with horror! However,writing reports correctly is an essential skill that you will need notonly today as a student, but also even tomorrow as a buddingmanager.I am sure you would agree, when I say that report writing iscommon to both academic and managerial situations.In academics, you would be required to prepare reports to facilitatecomprehensive and application oriented learning. Such reports of yours would be called term papers, project reports, theses anddissertations depending upon the nature of the report, the timeand effort expected out of you as a student and your curriculumdesign.Further, if you were a researcher, you would put out your initialfindings in a research report, paper or monograph, which wouldlater be condensed into an article or expanded into a series of articles or a book When you join the corporate world tomorrow, you would realizethat report writing there forms the basis for decision-making.Such reports would be expected to be brief but comprehensiveand clearly reflect your thinking as the manager, the managementcommittee, or the consulting group that has been given the termsof reference for fact finding or decision making.We will start our lesson today with a brief classification of thevarious types of reports
Categories of Reports
Can any of you think of various forms a report might take?No! Never mind. Let me explain it you.Broadly, any report would fall into one of the following threemajor categories:1.Information Oriented2.Decision Oriented3.Research OrientedAs these names suggest, it is the substance and focus of thecontent that determines the category. However, a report that youmake may contain characteristics of more than just one category
They are the first step to understanding the existing situation (forinstance-business, economic, technological, labour market orresearch scenario) or what has been discussed or decided (minutesof a meeting). They, you should remember, form the foundationof subsequent decision reports and research reports.In describing any person, object, situation or concept, the followingseven questions will help you to convey a comprehensive picture
Subject / ObjectAction Reason
Who? OrWhom?What? When?Where? How?Why?
LESSON 7:WRITING THE RESEARCH