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Preparation of Report


Introduction Presentation of research finding in the form of report is necessary part of the research process. The main purpose of report is to convey to the interested individuals, the empiricists or the theoreticians the whole result of the study in sufficient details, so that new findings or new methods of analysis can be incorporated into the general store of knowledge available in the area. Any research inquiry begins with an idea and ends with a report. A report is a detailed description of what has been done and how it has been done with respect to a particular area or topic of research. A report conveys information and sometimes recommendation from a researcher who has investigated a topic in detail. It is a final product or outcome of he research work. It is a concise, clear communication of the important findings of the research work. It conveys information to the evaluators/beneficiaries about the entire activities the researcher had undertaken during the research process. It is only a truly effective way in which a researcher can communicate with the readers about the important findings of his work and the new knowledge he has generated. Reports communicate information which has been complied as a result of research and analysis of data and of issues. Reports cover a wide range of topics, but usually focus on transmitting information with a clear purpose, to a specific audience. Good reports are documents that are accurate, objective and complete. They should be also well-written, clearly structured and expressed in a way that holds the reader’s attention and meets their expectations. The true value of the research may be assessed through a report since the written report may be the “only tangible product of hundreds of hours of work. While writing the research report, it is very essential to keep in mind the level of knowledge of the reader. A report written for expert evaluators or scientist or specialist institution must be more rigorous and more detailed than what is written for the general readers. There may be various types of research reports e.g. thesis, monograph, journal article and so on. Because of the spatial limitations and selectivity, a journal article cannot discuss every aspect of the research in details as in a thesis. A report writer is to ensure that the layman, the social scientists and the target group are not only satisfied but also tempted to read the report. The researcher satisfy him/herself that the report has not been burdened with tedious technical terms and that the scope of the study had been amply clarified and justified by its coverage so as to draw conclusion. Types of Report: The type of research and report are not limited however in business situation, there are various types of reports such as formal or informal, written or oral, internal or external, short or long, technical or popular, analytical or informational etc. The length and form of research report is largely dictated by the problems at hand. For instance, business firms prefer reports in the letterform, comprising one or two pages in length. Banks, insurance, financial institutions keep short balance sheet type of tabulation for their annual reports to their customers and shareholder. Similarly mathematician prefers to write the results in symbols and formulae. Literatures usually write long reports presenting the critical

the reports are categorized into descriptive and analytical form. Also the news items in the daily papers. Technical Vs Popular Report: Technical Report: A technical report is prepared for technical purpose. interpret these information in relation to the problem under consideration. Clinical psychologist and social pathologist frequently find it necessary to make use of the case history form. Due to high degree of technicality. The technical report emphasizes on the methods employed. The simplicity can be enhanced though clear writing. The reports prepared by governmental bureau. If focuses of more on technical specification. analytical report goes one step further than descriptive reports. etc. It focuses on single or limited area of the problem. simple presentation and readily availability of the finding remains an important consideration as such the liberal use of charts and diagrams is considered desirable In technical report more emphasis is given to methodological part of the study/survey and the detailed presentation of the findings including their limitation and supporting data Popular Report: A popular report is designed for general purpose. Attractive layout along with large print. only technicians can understand it easily. special commission and similar other organizations are very comprehensive reports on the issues involved. The presentation of facts in an organized way must be helpful in properly understanding the real situation. the detailed presentation of the findings including their limitations and supporting data. 2. It follows the processes of scientific investigation and reporting. It also recommends the action to be taken to improve the situation. are other important characteristics features of the popular . book reviews. Though technical report is characterized by high degree of technicality. The two major classification of research reports are discussed as below 1. many sub-headings etc. That’s why. A popular report gives emphasis on simplicity and attractiveness. It communicates technical information. Descriptive report indicates the nature of the problem on hand and also indicates the ways to resolve them. Descriptive Vs Analytical Report: Descriptive Report: Descriptive report simply describes the facts or opinions gathered by the researcher. are also forms of report writing. Analytical Report: Analytical report. minimization of technical details and liberal use of charts and diagrams.analysis of some writer or period. It is prepared in such a way so that general people can easily understand it. assumption made in the course of study. in addition to the presentations of facts and statistics. But for thesis assignment purpose.

clearly structured and expressed in a way that holds the reader’s attention and meets their expectations. drafting. tables. findings and recommendation. graphs. The report. data banks/reports and observation. The true value of the research may be assessed through a report since the written report may be the only tangible product of hundreds of hours of work. purposes. cue notes etc. graphs. This step. information is collected from different souse. pictures etc are used to combine or present the condensed This step basically requires data presenting in a summarized form and therefore establishing linkages among different variables. simple and yet dignified in summary form along with a full technical report. The researcher as the research report writer should plan and organize the report writing in the process of completion of research workings in a detailed outline. This step is very important in the process as it highlights the key finding of the study. makes an analysis and interpretation of data and then writing of report. etc. The report Process: The report process starts with the collection of data. The report process generally consists of following five steps: Step 1: Information Gathering: Firstly. Step 3: Combination: The appropriate presentation/combination instruments such as charts. coded and classified applying appropriate method of processing. The collected date will be in raw form. and documentation vary with the types. The common procedures are illustrated subsequently. It must be lucid. Step 5: Finished Product: The final step in the report process is the preparation of report. The data are edited. data collection forms. The collected data are then passed through different stages of compression to reach a final outcome in the form of research reports. therefore. The report is considered a major component of research study. The report for the intelligent laymen is intended very largely to disseminate the broad facts. should be wellwritten. note card. tables. and readers. Procedure for Writing a Research Report: Written reports themselves are of different types and their planning. field survey. They will be on questionnaire. Step 4: Assimilation: The combined data presented in charts. Step 2: Condensation: The second step is condensation. It gives emphasis on practical aspects and policy implications from operational point of view. The key ways of collecting data are through literature survey. therefore. cannot convey clearly unless they are assimilated. . There is not explicit rule for research report writing. It avoids the technical details of all sorts to the extent possible. diagrams.

Expand the notes and outlines into manuscript and read own notes to draw out their full significance. Arrangement of Data: Data whether collected from the primary data sources or the secondary data sources must be processed in such a way that they are meaningful to the readers. an outline of reporting prior to actually starting of the writing report is drawn. Data should also be tabulated and statistically treated. To meet the required time schedule. There are three stages in writing the first draft. namely. second and final drafts writing may have to be done quite a few time but each of these reports are having their own distinguishing feature a. conclusions and recommendations. b. critical evaluation will have to be made of all that has been written facts. correlation and casual relationship. If any unforeseen problems cause a delay. Finally. the researcher can prepare the report within the stipulated time. Second Draft: After a lapse of some time from the completion of first draft. mean. and to avoid blank paper fright that may be present in every first research. findings. It is also better to keep margin of time. At the end of the second draft state and even all though the writing of the draft. 4. to assure the investigator him/herself of a satisfactory organization and fullness of the facts. Drafting report: Three steps are involved in drafting a report irrespective of the nature of audience. Preparation of Outline: One the basis of collected facts/data.1. While preparing the first draft one should adopt the following steps: 1. make revision for writing second draft concentrating largely on form of language. ratios. Time planning may save the researcher form these inconveniences and last minute to rush. a lucid and clear shape so that it can be readable. First Draft: A first draft may be written a number of times and still it continues to remain merely a working draft. The researcher should give the first draft. variance. Shuffle the notes under each sub-topic. This will help the researcher in arranging ideas in a comprehensive way to identify the points related to one other. 2. The statistical treatment of data would involve calculating and estimating percent changes. at the second draft stage. it is always better for the researcher to plan the available time accordingly. 3. In each case the first. the researcher may do well to ask him/herself and answer a few question • Does the title cover the scope of the subject? • Is the initial hypothesis tested empirically? . Planning of time: A researcher has to plan about the entire process of the inquiry. and put them in sequence 2. to weave the material together for making clear connection.

Third Draft: The final stage in drafting is the preparation of final report. I. A good research paper depends not only upon the amount of reading or notes taken or upon the form of presentation but also upon the accurate and through investigation. If required to refer to the researcher. Standard Format of a Research Report: While undertaking a research study and writing a research report.• • • Is the initial hypothesis begin and conclusion conclude? Are the opening sentences. section etc attractive? Finally. results and discussion respectively. my. paragraph. we. The report must be a coherent whole. convincing and attractive. The report format followed internationally is acronymic as IMRaD. The main element of a report format are presented and discussed below: Tile page Acknowledgement Table of contents List of tables List of figures Abstract/Executive Summary Chapter I: Introduction Background of the problem Statement of the Problem Objectives of the study Research questions . “the writer’ or ‘the investigator’ should be used. us. The report is to be written in the third person. as his/her own critic. Charts. 5. or. the researcher must follow acceptable format of report writing. The pronouns such as I. a title page and an abstract and followed by conclusions and recommendations. methods. The system of presentation should be simple and logical. sections. among other. and me should be eliminated from the report. The IMRaD is preceded by. The introduction. paragraphs and sentences. It concentrates simply on documentation and polish to make the research weighty. M. and D stands for introduction. data analysis and findings are to be in the past tense. R. mine. Presentation: Presentation of each step and section should be in sequential order. it must be tightly woven fabric of facts and ideas of sections. etc should be labeled adequately. conclusion in the present tense and recommendations in the future tense. “is the researcher. satisfied with the report? c. tables. authoritative. subsections.

what is in it.2. and so on.1. how reviewing literature focused and narrowed the research.3.2.3. Be careful in numbering tables and figures Abstract (Executive Summary) This is the overview of the whole report. 3. 3. a . The sections for chapter 3 (for example) would be 3. the relation of the methodology chosen to the aims.2. Use a consistent system in dividing the report into parts.Limitation of the study Chapter II: Review of Literature Theoretical review of literature Empirical review of literature Methodology Research design Data sources and collection Data analysis Findings Results Discussion Conclusion and Recommendation Chapter III: Chapter IV: Chapter V: Appendices Bibliography Title Page: It should contain the full title of the report. etc can be used as the numbers for each chapter. 2. 3.2. 3. Remember that each new chapter should begin on a new page. The cover sheet should also include the date. For a further subdivision of subsection you can use 3. and so on. 1. It should be clear and accurate in order to catch the readers’ attention. The title should encapsulate essential key words reflecting the central theme of the research project. The simplest may be to use chapters for each major part and subdivide these into sections and subsections. designation and institution he/she belongs. List of tables and figure It contains the list of tables and figures used in the text with their page numbers. in advance. the name of the researcher. It should let the reader see.2. Acknowledgement: It involves thanking the people who helped the researcher Table of contents: It contains headings and subheadings used in the report with their page numbers.1. 3. This includes what the researcher set out to do.

objectives of the study. The executive summary should briefly describe (1) background and purpose of the study. Empirical Literature Review: Empirical literature review should contain the past relevant studies done on the subject. Information should be given in such a way that the reader does not surprise when he reads the whole report. Plagiarism should be strictly avoided. it should be around 200 words. It should include a brief summary of the research problem. Chapter II: Literature Review This has two parts: (a) theoretical literature review and (b) empirical literature review. The review of literature will identify relations. A good summary allows some readers to avoid reading the whole report. Chapter III: Methodology: . It should outline the broad problems/issues to be investigated and provide background and rational for the study. The executive summary is targeted at the top management. Every citation should have direct relevance to the study. principal findings and recommendations. research questions and limitations of the study. Chapter I: Introduction: The introductory part of the report should include the statement of the problem. therefore. This also helps to identify the difference in approaches. paraphrasing and quoting the works of others. The top management people usually do not have time to read the report in detail. It demonstrates that the researcher have read and analyzed literature relevant to the topic. methods. and suggest the next step. It should be written last to reflect accurately the content of the report. each followed by a description and comment on its relevance. The abstract hence summarized the research report. (2) research process followed and (3) the major findings including policy implication and recommendations. the executive summary needs to be brief but should present complete picture. contradiction. For a relatively small size of report. gaps and inconsistencies between previous investigations and the current one.summary of findings and the researcher’s analysis of the finding. A. The theoretical literature review should cover the discussion on available theories pertaining relationships of variables planned to be studied. Both theoretical and empirical literature review should be done by summarizing. Its lengths depend on the length of the report. B. This establishes a need for additional research. a literature review is a list of relevant books and other sources. This describes previous research works on the subject. Theoretical literature review: In its simplest form. Empirical literature review helps researcher define the gap between what others have done and what the researcher intends to do. The available theories on the topics should be used as guidepost for empirical analysis.

sampling method. statistical procedure. This part should include the presentation of results with facts and figures (tables. plan of action should be recommended. Reasons should be sought for any discrepancy between the result and the available theories on the subject. equations. data collection. . any data. This section should not introduce new information. the researcher should explain the methods he/she used for the research and why he thought they were the appropriate ones. Harlow. sample size. In this part. and also places visited. date when published or updated. Based on the findings. If the source is a book. P. the copyright year. (2002). For example. the URL address. volume number and pages indicating the position of the article. Of course. title of the article. it should include: the name of the author. calculations. charts and figures. the copyright year. and findings are summarized. Discussion: This part of the report is also an equally important. Data should be presented in a statistically meaningful way. Care should be taken while listing the source of reference. the publisher’s location and name. second edition. observations.Methodology deals with the methods and principles used in the research. and the full title of the book. If the source is an information network. Chapter V: Summary and Recommendation The main conclusions should be drawn from the results of the study. In the methodology chapter. This section should also include where else this method has been used. questionnaire and any other things. it should include: the name of the author. The results should be discussed in the light of the available theories and past studies done on the subject. relevant data. Ghauri. This should also justify the methods used for the study and the limitation of the methods. it should include: the name of the author or publishing organization if the author’s name is missing. the edition. data analysis techniques. It also includes the tabulation of the data. Research Methods in Business Studies. which are not important enough to be introduced in the body of the report but may be of value to some readers. and the title of the publication. graphs and figures). It also includes implications of the findings. the results should be analyzed and interpreted. Appendix: It contains pertinent materials i. Prentice hall If the source is an article. year. Recommendation for future research work should be suitably expressed. the research design. Chapter IV: (Findings) Results This section is the core of the research report.e. Bibliography: It is the list of source/reference materials used while conducting the research. In this section. The methodological part of the report includes the method used for the research. findings should be related to the objectives.

This is the reason for the active information of the researcher to be involved during the problem formulation stage. the research report aim at telling the reader the problems investigated. Objectivity can be achieved by following the scientific research process.Precaution for writing research Report Research report is a channel of communicating the research findings to the reader of the report. thus. ‘there may be’ and the like. my. So that. he will have difficulty writing the report in the context of the problem. The layout of the report should be well thought out and must be appropriate in accordance with the objective of the research problem. Objective of the study. Follow the study problems and objective: The report should be prepared in context of the study problems and objectives. “researcher” etc. He should be bold . If the researcher is not well acquainted with the problem. avoiding expression such as ‘it seems’. we. the results found and conclusion reached. report writing should not be a mean to learning more and more about less and less. In addition to the summary of important findings. While preparing a report one should keep the following precaution in view: • • • • • The length of report should be long enough to cover the subject and short enough to maintain interest. The report writer should be free of emotions to make subjective judgment on certain information. or if the problem is handled down to him by the client. the nature of the problem. and statistical tables may be used for various results. the methods adopted. our etc. Be selective in reporting: In order to make report interesting as well as useful. 3. Minor issues and observations not relevant to the study problems and objectives can be excluded from the report. charts. 2. the readers can also judges the adequacy and the validity of the research. The report should be written in an objective style in simple language. you. should be used. Be objective: Objectivity is the most desired quality in the report. The general propose of a research report is not to convince the readers but to let them know what has been done. graphs. and the analysis techniques adopted must be clearly stated in the beginning of the report in the form of introduction. what results were obtained etc. For attaining objectivity personal pronouns such as I. why it was done. the researcher should be selective in choosing what to write in the report and what are to be excluded. In fact. should be avoided and as their substitute expression like “investigator”. the methods employed. A good report must be prepared efficiently and effectively. In such a situation he will be reporting all the findings which make the report unnecessarily long and uninteresting. The research report should be written in a clear and unambiguous language. Some helpful Tips: 1.

in uniform format and style. in short sentences with minimum use of technical words and jargons and free of grammatical errors. .and unbiased in reporting certain findings which may be unpalatable to certain business executives. It should be written in shorter paragraphs. 4. Have purposeful organization of the report: A good report is well organized in several chapters.