Natural sciences, mathematics, and engineering require students to have skills in carrying out research and to report it once it is done. The research paper is an academic paper that presents to your readers how you worked on a research and the results that you were able to gather including the conclusion/s, implication/s that you were able to make. Most of you have done research in a previous class, so writing this kind of an academic paper should not be that unfamiliar to you. Below is a review of the sections of a research report and some writing tips.
Parts/Sections of a Research Report
1. Abstract — one short paragraph that mentions the relevant aspects of the research such as its topic, methods, and results. It is written in the past tense as it reports what has been already done.
2. Introduction — discusses the significance of the research topic and what has been done in previous studies on the same topic. It usually ends with an explanation of how the current research (your research) will address a gap in the research along the area together with your research question/s.
3. Method/s — This section documents the research design, participants, instrument/s, and data analysis of your research. What is crucial in writing this part of the paper is striking a balance between being comprehensive and being relevant. Exclude insignificant, minor steps taken during the research process like photocopying/reproducing extra fifty copies of your questionnaire in anticipation that some participants will be replaced.
4. Results and Discussion – It is best to present the results in a non-linear format, such as tables, graphs, or charts. Always label non-linear forms, so your readers can understand these figures. There should be a paragraph or two that will interpret each of the non-linear forms; remember not to repeat what is already obvious when looking at the figures. Refer to your research questions to guide you as to the sequence of the discussion to be done. As you discuss, mention if your present findings/results confirm or differ from what has been previously reported.
5. Conclusion/s, Recommendations, Implication/s – This part summarizes what your research was able to uncover, what the findings suggest, and offer ways on what future research can do and improve on if they want to do something similar to your study.
Evaluation of a Research Report Outline
- Is the problem clearly stated?
- Is its significance recognized?
- Are specific questions raised?
- Are there enough previous studies reviewed?
- Is the review of the previous studies organized?
- Is there an adequate and clear description of the project?
- Are the samples/participants described?
- Are data gathering instruments appropriate?
- Is/Are the statistical treatment/s