- This should be short and precise. It should tell
the reader of the nature of your research.
- Omit any unnecessary detail e.g. ‘A study of….’ is
The Abstract is a self-contained summary of the
whole of your report. It will therefore be written last
and is usually limited to one paragraph. It should contain:
outline of what you investigated (as stated in your
you chose to look at that particular area with brief
reference to prior research done in the field
hypothesis (prediction of what the
results will show)
brief summary of your method
- Your main findings
and how these relate to your hypothesis
conclusion which may include a suggestion for further
The Introduction ‘sets the scene’ for your
report; it does this in two ways:
By introducing the reader in more detail to the
subject area you
are looking at
- Through presenting your objectives and hypotheses
Explain the background to the problem
with reference to previous work conducted in the area
review).Only include studies that have
direct relevance to your research.
discuss the findings of other researchers and how these
connect with your study.
state your aims or hypothesis.
The Method section should describe every step of
how you carried out your research in sufficient
detail so that the reader understands what you
did. Information on your experimental design, sampling
methods, participants, and the overall procedure
employed should be clearly specified.
This information is usually presented under the
Your Results section should clearly convey your
findings. These are what you
will base your commentary on in the Discussion section, so the reader needs to be
certain of what you found.
- Present data in a summarised form
- Raw data
Do not over-complicate the presentation and
description of your results. Be clear and concise.
- Describe what the results were, don’t
offer interpretations of them
- Present them in a logical order
- Those that link most directly to your hypothesis
should be given first
Presenting Data in Tables and Graphs
- Do not present the same data in two or more ways
i.e. use either a table or a graph, or just text.
- Remember that a graph should be understandable
independently of any text, but you may accompany
each with a
description if necessary.
- Use clear and concise titles for each figure.
Say which variables the graph or table compares.
- Describe what the graph or table shows, then
check that this really is what it shows!
If it isn’t, you need
to amend your figure, or your description.
If you conducted a statistical analysis of your
Say which test you used
- Show how your results were analysed,
laying out your calculations clearly (ensure you
include the level of probability or
significance p or P, and the number of observations
- Clearly state the results of the analysis saying
whether the result was statistically significant
or not both as numbers and in
The Discussion section is the most
important part of your report. It relates the findings
of your study to the research that you talked about
in your introduction, thereby placing
your work in the wider context. The discussion helps
the reader understand the relevance of your research
to previous and further work
in the field. This is your chance to discuss, analyse
and interpret your results in relation to all the
information you have collected.
The Discussion will probably be the longest section
of your report and should contain the following:
A summary of the main results of your study
- An interpretation of these results in relation
to your aims, predictions or hypothesis,
e.g. is your hypothesis supported
or rejected?, and in relation to the
findings of other research in the area
- Consideration of the broader implications of
your findings. What do they suggest for
future research in the area? If your
results contradict previous findings
what does this suggest about your work or the work
be studied next?
- A discussion of any limitations or problems
with your research method or experimental
design and practical suggestions of
how these might be avoided if the study
was conducted again
- Some carefully considered ideas for further
the area that would help clarify or take
forward your own findings
The Conclusion section briefly
summarise the main issues arising from your report
- Give details of work by all other
authors which you have referred to in your report
a style handbook or journal articles for variations
in referencing styles
The Appendices contain material that is relevant
to your report but would disrupt its flow if it
contained within the main body. For example: raw
data and calculations; interview
questions; a glossary of terms, or other information
that the reader may find useful to refer to. All
should be clearly labelled and
referred to where appropriate in the main text (e.g. ‘See
Appendix A for an example questionnaire’).