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This short guide is written to help you approach the writing of a research report and our best
advice is to start thinking about this as soon as you can and planning it into your work/life
The guidelines provide a general introduction to planning and writing a report but it is suggested
that you read about writing research reports/dissertations before starting.
A good research report should demonstrate:
an understanding of underpinning themes critically evaluated gained from extensive, relevant
reading of relevant literature on previous research.
the ability to collect data and evidence systematically and justify your choices
the ability to interpret, analyse and evaluate data and evidence
an ability to present data and evidence accurately and appropriately
critical thinking raise and discuss issues, not just present findings
an ability to report effectively
an ability to reflect on learning
It is useful to discuss the following with your mentor/tutor at the first meeting on your research
When writing your report, you need to think about your reader and present it in a way that is easy
to follow. Use of headings, paragraph numbers, tables, charts and diagrams all help to take your
reader on a clearly signposted journey.

We suggest you use the following headings to structure your report:

1. Title page - title of report, your name, organisation, date of submission, name of tutor.
2. Acknowledgements
4. Contents page - chapters, appendices, tables, figures, illustrations (numbering every chapter
,page, figure, illustration is a must)
5. Company profile
6. Format: The report should be in the font Times New Roman with font size 12 for the text
in paragraph. The titles may be in appropriate font size of the same font type.
7. Executive Summary This is a summary and outline of main findings including context,
purpose, objectives, methods, main results, conclusions and recommendations for the reader to

get a feel for whether the rest of the report is of sufficient interest to warrant spending time
reading it!
8. Introduction including background, organizational context and circumstances leading to the
investigation, the terms of reference, aims and objectives.
9. Literature review a critical analysis of the most significant contributions to the
literature, the theories, concepts, issues and research reports that have shaped your
research questions and the approach you have chosen. Put your own work into context.
Move from general background/standard theoretical works to more precise, recent work
relevant to your topic. Cover a range of positions not just those you agree with. Show
how existing theories/research findings clarify your work.
10. Research methodology Evidence of systematic data collection and clear presentation
of findings. This includes a justification for the choice of methods chosen to investigate
your topic, the procedures used, any ethical issues, strengths and weaknesses of the
approach, issues of validity and reliability. Explain approach taken and why particular
methods and techniques were used. Describe procedures, size of samples, methods of
selection, choice of variables and controls, any tests of measurement, etc. Mention
deficiencies in methods. Clear presentation of the findings using charts, graphs etc.
where appropriate.
11. Analysis and interpretation of Findings Comprehensive analysis and interpretation of
findings in a holistic and integrated manner. Construct a logical, consistent argument
based on the findings which analyses the information in the light of your research
objectives and the literature reviewed. Analysis is to be done even if you are using
secondary data.
12. Conclusions Summarise main points and state any conclusions which can be drawn.
These must be based on evidence and indicate how firm the conclusion is. Conclusions
links the analysis of your findings with your recommendations
13. Recommendations these are a natural follow-on from your conclusions and are actions for the
future. They should be realistic, timely and cost-effective and supported by an action plan.
14. Evaluation/personal reflections this is where you can tell your reader what you have learned
from the whole process of your research. Include comments from the organisation where
15. Bibliography/Webliography this is your list of sources used. You must reference properly and
fully to avoid plagiarism whether intentional or not.
16. Annexed Data and any other item that supports the report should be annexed to the
report.Typical items to go in this section could be copies of any questionnaires, interview
,tables, lists,etc. Please do not use this section as a dumping ground for including all
the information you want to put in the report but would go over the word limit in doing so!
It can be very irritating for the reader to have to flip back and forth to follow your
discussion. The report should stand alone without the appendices!
17. Please ensure that any quotations are acknowledged.