FORMAT OF RESEARCH REPORTS
Dr. Miriam Helen Hill

[adapted from: John W. Best, Research in Education, 2nd ed., (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1970)].
 

A. Preliminary Section
1. Title Page
2. Acknowledgments (if any)
3. Table of Contents
4. List of Tables (if any)
5. List of Figures (if any)
6. Abstract

B. Main Body
1. Introduction
a. Statement of the Problem
b. Significance of the Problem (and historical background)
c. Purpose
d. Statement of Hypothesis
e. Assumptions
f. Limitations
g. Definition of Terms
h. Ethical Considerations
i. Budget (proposal only)
j. Proposed Timeline (proposal only)

2. Review of Related Literature (and analysis of previous research)

3. Design of the Study

a. Description of Research Design and Procedures Used
b. Sources of Data
c. Sampling Procedures
d. Methods and Instruments of Data Gathering
e. Statistical Treatment

4. Analysis of Data

contains:

a. text with appropriate
b. tables and
c. figures

5. Summary and Conclusions

a. Restatement of the Problem
b. Description of Procedures
c. Major Findings (reject or fail to reject Ho)
d. Conclusions
e. Recommendations for Further Investigation

C. Reference Section

1. End Notes (if in that format of citation)

2. Bibliography or Literature Cited

3. Appendix


COMMENTS ON THE SECTIONS OF A RESEARCH REPORT
by Dr. Miriam Helen Hill
 

Title: Be specific. Tell what, when, where, etc. In one main title and a subtitle, give a clear idea of what the paper investigated.

Acknowledgment: Include only if special help was received from an individual or group.

Abstract: Summarizes the report including the hypotheses, procedures, and major findings.

Introduction: Sections may be combined in short reports.

Statement of the Problem: This is a general introduction to the topic.

Significance of the Problem: Comment on why this question merits investigation.

Purpose: What is the goal to be gained from a better understanding of this question?

Statement of the Hypothesis: In one statement (not a question) declare the question which is investigated and the expected results. (For a null hypothesis, no difference is predicted.)

Assumptions: Explain everything that is assumed in order for the investigation to be undertaken.

Limitations: Explain the limitations that may invalidate the study or make it less than accurate.

Definition of Terms: Define or clarify any term or concept that is used in the study in a non-traditional manner or in only one of many interpretations.

Ethical Considerations: Discusses the ethical issues related to the study and explains the processes and status of the review by the Institutional Review Board.

Budget: Outlines and discusses the budget for the study. This is usually only in the proposal.

Proposed Timeline: Outlines the expected schedule for beginning and ending each part of the research project and may illustrate with a Gantt Chart. This is usually only in the proposal.

Review of Related Literature: Gives the reader the necessary background to understand the study by citing the investigations and findings of previous researchers and documents the researcher's knowledge and preparation to investigate the problem.

Design of the Study: Gives the reader the information necessary to exactly replicate (repeat) the study with new data or if the same raw data were available, the reader should be able to duplicate the results. This is written in past tense but without reference to or inclusion of the results determined from the analysis.

Description of the Research Design and Procedures Used: Completely explain step-by-step what was done.

Sources of Data: Give complete information about who, what, when, where, and how the data were collected.

Sampling Procedures: Explain how the data were limited to the amount which was gathered. If all of the available data were not utilized, how was a representative sample achieved?

Methods and Instruments of Data Gathering: Explain the procedures for obtaining the data collected. Include the forms or manner by which it was recorded.

Statistical Treatment: Explain the complete mathematical procedures used in analyzing the data and determining the significance of the results.

Analysis of Data: Describe the patterns observed in the data. Use tables and figures to help clarify the material when possible.

Summary and Conclusions: This section condenses the previous sections, succinctly presents the results concerning the hypotheses, and suggests what else can be done.

Restatement of the Problem: This is a short reiteration of the problem.

Description of the Procedures: This is a brief reiteration of important elements of the design of the study.

Major Findings: The final results from the analysis are presented, the hypothesis stated, and the decision about the rejection or the failure to reject the hypothesis is given.

Conclusions: Comments about the implication of the findings are presented.

Recommendations for Further Investigation: From the knowledge and experienced gained in undertaking this particular study, how might the study have been improved or what other possible hypotheses might be investigated?

End Notes: These are like footnotes but are located at the back rather than the bottom of each page. These would include all of the references for all works cited in the Review of Related Literature or any other sections of the report as well as the references for quotations, either direct or indirect, taken from other sources, or any footnote comments that might have been included. These are listed in numeric order as presented in the text.

Bibliography or Literature Cited: These are the bibliographic reference for each of the works cited in the End Notes.

Appendix: Any tables, figures, forms, or other materials that are not totally central to the analysis but that need to be included are placed in the Appendix.



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