Writing a Research Report
This review covers the basic elements of a research report. This is a general guide for what you will see in journal articles or dissertations. This format assumes a mixed methods study, but you can leave out either quantitative or qualitative sections if you only used a single methodology.
This review is divided into sections for easy reference. There are five MAJOR parts of a Research Report:
2. Review of Literature
As a general guide, the Introduction, Review of Literature, and Methods should be about 1/3 of your paper, Discussion 1/3, then Results 1/3.
Section 1: Cover Sheet (APA format cover sheet) optional, if required.
Section 2: Abstract (a basic summary of the report, including sample, treatment, design, results, and implications) (≤ 150 words) optional, if required.
Section 3: Introduction (1-3 paragraphs)
• Basic introduction
• Supportive statistics (can be from periodicals)
• Statement of Purpose
• Statement of Significance
Section 4: Research question(s) or hypotheses
• An overall research question (optional)
• A quantitative-based (hypotheses)
• A qualitative-based (research questions)
Note: You will generally have more than one, especially if using hypotheses.
Section 5: Review of Literature
▪ Should be organized by subheadings
▪ Should adequately support your study using supporting, related, and/or refuting evidence
▪ Is a synthesis, not a collection of individual summaries
Section 6: Methods
▪ Procedure: Describe data gathering or participant recruitment, including IRB approval
▪ Sample: Describe the sample or dataset, including basic demographics
▪ Setting: Describe the setting, if applicable (generally only in qualitative designs)
▪ Treatment: If applicable, describe, in detail, how you implemented the treatment
▪ Instrument: Describe, in detail, how you implemented the instrument; Describe the reliability and validity associated with the instrument
▪ Data Analysis: Describe type of procedure (t-test, interviews, etc.) and software (if used)
Section 7: Results
▪ Restate Research Question 1 (Quantitative)
▪ Describe results
▪ Restate Research Question 2 (Qualitative)
▪ Describe results
Section 8: Discussion
▪ Restate Overall Research Question
▪ Describe how the results, when taken together, answer the overall question
▪ ***Describe how the results confirm or contrast the literature you reviewed
Section 9: Recommendations (if applicable, generally related to practice)
Section 10: Limitations
▪ Discuss, in several sentences, the limitations of this study.
▪ Research Design (overall, then info about the limitations of each separately)
▪ Other limitations
Section 11: Conclusion (A brief closing summary)
Section 12: References (APA format)