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RIPHAH International University,

Faisalabad
MPhil English (Linguistics)
Research Methodology

Topic:
writing a Research Report
Presented by: Zoulfiqar Ali

Source Person: Prof. Dr. ADNAN TAHIR


Introduction
• The purpose of the written report is to present the results of
your research, but more importantly to provide a persuasive
argument to readers of what you have found.
• There are three main ways of reporting your findings:
o Written reports, journal articles and oral presentations.
• Before starting your research, find out whether you are going
to be restricted by structure, style and content of your final
report.
• Think about your audience and produce your report
accordingly.
Components of a
Research Report
1. Title page 8. findings/analysis
2. Contents page 9. Conclusions
3. List of illustrations 10. Recommendations
4. Acknowledgements 11. Further research
5. Abstract/summary 12. References
6. Introduction 13. Bibliography
7. Background 14. Appendices.
8. Methodology/methods
1. Title page
• This contains the title of the report, the name
of the researcher and the date of
publica tion. If the report is a dissertation or
thesis, the title page will inc lude details
about the purpose of the report, for example
‘A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the
requirements of The ABC University for the
degree of Doctor of Philosophy ’. If the
research has been funded by a particular
organisation, details of this may be included
on the title page.
2. Contents page
• In this section the contents of the report is
listed either in chapter or section headings
with sub-headings, if relevant, and their
page numbers.
3.List of illustrations
• This section includes title and page number
of all graphs, tables, illustrations, charts, etc.
4.Acknowledgements
• You may wish to acknowledge the help of
your research participants, tutors, employers
and/or funding body.
5.Abstract/summary
• This tends to be a one page summary of the
research, its purpose, methods, main findings
and conclusion.
6.Introduction
• This section introduces the researc h, setting
out the aims and objectives, terms and
definitions. It includes a rationale for the
research and a summary of the report
structure.
7.Background
• This section includes all your background
research, which may be obtained from the
literature, from personal experience or both.
You must indicate from where all the
information to which you refer has come, so
remember to keep a complete record of
everything you read. If you do not do this, you
• could be accused of plagiarism which is a form
of intellectual theft.
When you are referring to a particular book or
journal artic le, you should find out the accepted
8.Methodology and Methods
This section includes a description of, and justification for,
the chosen methodology and research methods. The
length and depth of this sec tion will depend upon whether
you are a student or employee. If you are an
undergraduate student you will need to raise some of the
methodological and theoretical issues pertinent to your
work, but if you are a postgraduate student you will need
also to be aware of the epistemological and ontological
issues involved.
If you are an employee you may only need to provide a
description of the methods you used for your research, in
which case this section can be titled ‘Research Methods ’.
Remember to include all the practical information people
will need to evaluate your work, for example, how many
9.Findings /Analysis
This section includes your main findings. The content of
this section will depend on your chosen methodology
and methods. If you have conducted a large
quantitative survey, this sec tion may contain tables,
graphs, pie charts and associated statistics. If you
have conducted a qualitative piece of research this
sect ion may consist of descriptive prose containing
lengthy quotations.
10.Conclusion
• In this sect ion you sum up your findings and draw
conclusions from them, perhaps in relation to other
research or literature.
11.Recommendations
Some academic reports will not need this sec tion.
However, if you are an employee who has c onducted
a piece of research for your company, this section
could be the most important part of the report. It is for
this reason that some written reports contain the
recommendation section. This section lists clear
recommendations which have been developed from
your research.
12.Further Research
It is useful in both academic reports and work-related
reports to include a section which shows how the
research can be continued. Perhaps some results are
inconclusive, or perhaps the research has thrown up
many more research questions which need to be
addressed. It is useful to inc lude this section because it
shows that you are aware of the wider picture and
that you are not trying to cover up something which
you feel may be lac king from you r own work.
13.References
• Small research projects will need only a reference
section. This includes all the literature to which you
have referred in your report. Find out which
referencing system your college or university uses. A
popular method is the Harvard system which lists the
authors ’ surnames alphabetically, followed by their
initials, date of publication, title of book in italics,
• place of publication and publisher.
If the reference is a journal article, the title of the
article appears in inverted commas and the name
of the journal appears in italics, followed by the
volume number and pages of the article. This is
the method used in this book.
13.References (cont...)
• At this present time the way you are asked to
reference material from the internet varies, so speak
to your tutor about what information is required. In
general, this should inc lude the author’s name, the
date the work was created, the title of the page
and/or the title of the work, the URL and the data
you accessed the site.
14.Bibliography
• Larger dissertations or theses will require both a
reference section and a bibliography. As discussed
above, the reference section will include all those
publications to which you have referred in your
report. If, however, you have read other work in
relation to your research but not actually referred to
them when writing up your report, you might wish to
include them in a bibliography. However, make sure
they are still relevant to your workbooks to make
your bibliography look longer and more impressive is
a tactic which won’t impress examiners.
15.Appendices
• If you have constructed a questionnaire for your research, or
produced an interview schedule or a code of ethics, it may
be useful to include them in your report as an appendix.

In general, appendices do not count towards your total
amount of words so it is a useful way of including material
without taking up space that can be used for other
information. However, do not try filling up your report with
irrelevant appendices as this will not impress examiners. When
including material you must make sure that it is relevant – ask
yourself whether the examiner will gain a deeper
• understanding of your work by reading the appendix. If not,
leave it out.
Other information which could be included as an appendix
are rec ruitment leaflets or letters;prac tic al details about eac h
research participant; sample transcripts (if permission has
been sought); list of interview dates; relevant tables and
graphs or charts which are too bulky for the main report.
TEN REASONS WHY REPORTS FAIL
• There is no logical structure.
• Ideas are not well thought out.
• Work is disorganised.
• Assumptions are made which cannot be justified by
evidence.
• There are too many grammatic al and spelling mistakes.
• Sentences and/or paragraphs are too long or too
obscure.
• It is obvious that ideas and sentences have been taken
from other sources.
• There is too much repetition.

There is too much irrelevant information.

Summary and conclusions are weak.
Summary
• There are three main ways of reporting your findings:
Written reports, journal articles and oral presentations.
• Before starting your research, find out whether you are going to
be restricted by structure, style and content of your final report.
• Think about your audience and produce your report
accordingly.
• A traditional written report includes the following:
1. Title page 8. findings/analysis
2. Contents page 9. Conclusions
3. List of illustrations 10. Recommendations
4. Acknowledgements 11. Further research
5. Abstract/summary 12. References
6. Introduction 13. Bibliography
7. Background 14. Appendices.
8. Methodology/methods
Thank you!!!