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7 Steps to a Successful Research Report

If your child's about to tackle a big project, she can follow these simple steps to stay on track.

research methodology steps in report writing

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Steps in Report Writing in Research Methodology

Research reports are the product of slow, painstaking, accurate inductive work. The usual steps involved in writing report are:

Though all these steps are self explanatory, yet a brief mention of each one of these will be appropriate for better understanding.

Logical analysis of the subject matter: It is the first step which is primarily concerned with the development of a subject. There are two ways in which to develop a subject

The logical development is made on the basis of mental connections and associations between the one thing and another by means of analysis. Logical treatment often consists in developing the material from the simple possible to the most complex structures. Chronological development is based on a connection or sequence in time or occurrence. The directions for doing or making something usually follow the chronological order.

Preparation of the final outline: It is the next step in writing the research report “Outlines are the framework upon which long written works are constructed. They are an aid to the logical organization of the material and a reminder of the points to be stressed in the report.”

Preparation of the rough draft: This follows the logical analysis of the subject and the preparation of the final outline. Such a step is of utmost importance for the researcher now sits to write down what he has done in the context of his research study. He will write down the procedure adopted by him in collecting the material for his study along with various limitations faced by him, the technique of analysis adopted by him, the broad findings and generalizations and the various suggestions he wants to offer regarding the problem concerned.

Rewriting and polishing of the rough draft: This step happens to be most difficult part of all formal writing. Usually this step requires more time than the writing of the rough draft. The careful revision makes the difference between a mediocre and a good piece of writing. While rewriting and polishing, one should check the report for weaknesses in logical development or presentation. The researcher should also “see whether or not the material, as it is presented, has unity and cohesion; does the report stand upright and firm and exhibit a definite pattern, like a marble arch? Or does it resemble an old wall of moldering cement and loose brick.” In addition the researcher should give due attention to the fact that in his rough draft he has been consistent or not. He should check the mechanics of writing—grammar, spelling and usage.

Preparation of the final bibliography: Next in order comes the task of the preparation of the final bibliography. The bibliography, which is generally appended to the research report, is a list of books in some way pertinent to the research which has been done. It should contain all those works which the researcher has consulted. The bibliography should be arranged alphabetically and may be divided into two parts; the first part may contain the names of books and pamphlets, and the second part may contain the names of magazine and newspaper articles. Generally, this pattern of bibliography is considered convenient and satisfactory from the point of view of reader, though it is not the only way of presenting bibliography. The entries in bibliography should be made adopting the following order:

For books and pamphlets the order may be as under:

Example Kothari, C.R., Quantitative Techniques, New Delhi, Vikas Publishing House Pvt. Ltd., 1978.

For magazines and newspapers the order may be as under:

Example Robert V. Roosa, “Coping with Short-term International Money Flows”, The Banker, London, September, 1971, p. 995. The above examples are just the samples for bibliography entries and may be used, but one should also remember that they are not the only acceptable forms. The only thing important is that, whatever method one selects, it must remain consistent.

Writing the final draft: This constitutes the last step. The final draft should be written in a concise and objective style and in simple language, avoiding vague expressions such as “it seems”, “there may be”, and the like ones. While writing the final draft, the researcher must avoid abstract terminology and technical jargon. Illustrations and examples based on common experiences must be incorporated in the final draft as they happen to be most effective in communicating the research findings to others. A research report should not be dull, but must enthuse people and maintain interest and must show originality. It must be remembered that every report should be an attempt to solve some intellectual problem and must contribute to the solution of a problem and must add to the knowledge of both the researcher and the reader.

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Report Writing in Research Methodology

A report is a well-written formal document that briefly describes the process and findings of a research. It outlines the systematic investigation, recommendations, and gaps that need further inquiry. A well-crafted research report tells you about all the main areas of a research process. In this article, we will talk about how to write a report in research methodology.

Importance of a report in research methodology

Below are some points that make the report crucial in research methodology:

A report contributes to the existing knowledge. Through this report, we can communicate effectively with the findings of the investigation.

A research report identifies knowledge gaps that can be investigated further. The report shows what and how much has been done.

A research report makes you able to show research information in a concise and precise manner.

A report is a time-efficient document because you don’t have to spend much time detailing the findings. Rather, it is written briefly and you can send it through email to the concerned people.

Structure of a report in research methodology

You can write the report in the following structure:

The title of your research should point to the objectives, aims, and findings of your systematic investigation.

The table of contents will make the readers able to navigate your research report.

In the abstract section, the reader can have an overview of the important aspects of research such as method, data collection, and findings. While writing the abstract you should follow the format of 5ws and 1H; what, where, when, who, why, and how.

You can write aims and the problems that become the cause of your research. You should also indicate whether you have achieved your objectives of the research or it requires further work.

In a literature review, you will write a survey that highlights existing knowledge about the research topic. In the literature review, you can present the research hypothesis and its implications.

In this portion of the investigation, write in-depth information briefly about the research process that includes methodology, data collection, sample, research subjects, and analysis.

In this portion, you are expected to show the results and findings of your systematic investigation.

Now, you will further explain the results of the research that you outlined earlier. Justify for each finding and show whether the outcomes are according to the hypothesis or not.

Finally, you will write a summary of your research in which you will talk about the whole report of research methodology.

In this section, mention all the primary and secondary sources used during research.

Tips for writing a report in research methodology

Before writing a report in research methodology, you must create an outline of its core areas and then write its detail concisely. Below are some tips you can follow while writing a report:

Always keep your audience in mind so that you can determine the tone while writing the report. If the report is for a general audience, you can present information in a simple way. While if you are writing for a particular audience, you can use field-specific or technical terms as well.

In report writing, exclude all irrelevant information and only highlight important findings and data. Just present the abridged version of the systematic investigation.

You can use illustrations and visual presentations to make your data more efficient. You can use charts, graphs, and relevant images to bring additional credibility to systematic investigation.

The title of the report should be clear and precise. It must contain keywords of your research. The title should show a clear idea of the investigation so the readers can easily grasp the focus of the research.

After completion of report writing, you must proofread and edit it wherever it needs before you publish the report. The second look will make the information valid and authentic. You can ask someone to go through your report or use any editing and proofreading software as well.

A report is a concise document that is the essence of research. So, you should be very careful while writing a report after conducting research. It should be accurate, clear, and concise. Its findings can communicate with the readers.

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What Is a Research Methodology? | Steps & Tips

Published on August 25, 2022 by Shona McCombes and Tegan George. Revised on January 30, 2023.

Your research methodology discusses and explains the data collection and analysis methods you used in your research. A key part of your thesis, dissertation , or research paper , the methodology chapter explains what you did and how you did it, allowing readers to evaluate the reliability and validity of your research and your dissertation topic .

It should include:

Table of contents

How to write a research methodology, why is a methods section important, step 1: explain your methodological approach, step 2: describe your data collection methods, step 3: describe your analysis method, step 4: evaluate and justify the methodological choices you made, tips for writing a strong methodology chapter, frequently asked questions about methodology.

Your methods section is your opportunity to share how you conducted your research and why you chose the methods you chose. It’s also the place to show that your research was rigorously conducted and can be replicated .

It gives your research legitimacy and situates it within your field, and also gives your readers a place to refer to if they have any questions or critiques in other sections.

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You can start by introducing your overall approach to your research. You have two options here.

Option 1: Start with your “what”

What research problem or question did you investigate?

And what type of data did you need to achieve this aim?

Option 2: Start with your “why”

Depending on your discipline, you can also start with a discussion of the rationale and assumptions underpinning your methodology. In other words, why did you choose these methods for your study?

Once you have introduced your reader to your methodological approach, you should share full details about your data collection methods .

Quantitative methods

In order to be considered generalizable, you should describe quantitative research methods in enough detail for another researcher to replicate your study.

Here, explain how you operationalized your concepts and measured your variables. Discuss your sampling method or inclusion and exclusion criteria , as well as any tools, procedures, and materials you used to gather your data.

Surveys Describe where, when, and how the survey was conducted.

Experiments Share full details of the tools, techniques, and procedures you used to conduct your experiment.

Existing data Explain how you gathered and selected the material (such as datasets or archival data) that you used in your analysis.

The survey consisted of 5 multiple-choice questions and 10 questions measured on a 7-point Likert scale.

The goal was to collect survey responses from 350 customers visiting the fitness apparel company’s brick-and-mortar location in Boston on July 4–8, 2022, between 11:00 and 15:00.

Here, a customer was defined as a person who had purchased a product from the company on the day they took the survey. Participants were given 5 minutes to fill in the survey anonymously. In total, 408 customers responded, but not all surveys were fully completed. Due to this, 371 survey results were included in the analysis.

Qualitative methods

In qualitative research , methods are often more flexible and subjective. For this reason, it’s crucial to robustly explain the methodology choices you made.

Be sure to discuss the criteria you used to select your data, the context in which your research was conducted, and the role you played in collecting your data (e.g., were you an active participant, or a passive observer?)

Interviews or focus groups Describe where, when, and how the interviews were conducted.

Participant observation Describe where, when, and how you conducted the observation or ethnography .

Existing data Explain how you selected case study materials for your analysis.

In order to gain better insight into possibilities for future improvement of the fitness store’s product range, semi-structured interviews were conducted with 8 returning customers.

Here, a returning customer was defined as someone who usually bought products at least twice a week from the store.

Surveys were used to select participants. Interviews were conducted in a small office next to the cash register and lasted approximately 20 minutes each. Answers were recorded by note-taking, and seven interviews were also filmed with consent. One interviewee preferred not to be filmed.

Mixed methods

Mixed methods research combines quantitative and qualitative approaches. If a standalone quantitative or qualitative study is insufficient to answer your research question, mixed methods may be a good fit for you.

Mixed methods are less common than standalone analyses, largely because they require a great deal of effort to pull off successfully. If you choose to pursue mixed methods, it’s especially important to robustly justify your methods.

Next, you should indicate how you processed and analyzed your data. Avoid going into too much detail: you should not start introducing or discussing any of your results at this stage.

In quantitative research , your analysis will be based on numbers. In your methods section, you can include:

In qualitative research, your analysis will be based on language, images, and observations (often involving some form of textual analysis ).

Specific methods might include:

Mixed methods combine the above two research methods, integrating both qualitative and quantitative approaches into one coherent analytical process.

Above all, your methodology section should clearly make the case for why you chose the methods you did. This is especially true if you did not take the most standard approach to your topic. In this case, discuss why other methods were not suitable for your objectives, and show how this approach contributes new knowledge or understanding.

In any case, it should be overwhelmingly clear to your reader that you set yourself up for success in terms of your methodology’s design. Show how your methods should lead to results that are valid and reliable, while leaving the analysis of the meaning, importance, and relevance of your results for your discussion section .

Remember that your aim is not just to describe your methods, but to show how and why you applied them. Again, it’s critical to demonstrate that your research was rigorously conducted and can be replicated.

1. Focus on your objectives and research questions

The methodology section should clearly show why your methods suit your objectives and convince the reader that you chose the best possible approach to answering your problem statement and research questions .

2. Cite relevant sources

Your methodology can be strengthened by referencing existing research in your field. This can help you to:

3. Write for your audience

Consider how much information you need to give, and avoid getting too lengthy. If you are using methods that are standard for your discipline, you probably don’t need to give a lot of background or justification.

Regardless, your methodology should be a clear, well-structured text that makes an argument for your approach, not just a list of technical details and procedures.

Methodology refers to the overarching strategy and rationale of your research project . It involves studying the methods used in your field and the theories or principles behind them, in order to develop an approach that matches your objectives.

Methods are the specific tools and procedures you use to collect and analyze data (for example, experiments, surveys , and statistical tests ).

In shorter scientific papers, where the aim is to report the findings of a specific study, you might simply describe what you did in a methods section .

In a longer or more complex research project, such as a thesis or dissertation , you will probably include a methodology section , where you explain your approach to answering the research questions and cite relevant sources to support your choice of methods.

In a scientific paper, the methodology always comes after the introduction and before the results , discussion and conclusion . The same basic structure also applies to a thesis, dissertation , or research proposal .

Depending on the length and type of document, you might also include a literature review or theoretical framework before the methodology.

Quantitative research deals with numbers and statistics, while qualitative research deals with words and meanings.

Quantitative methods allow you to systematically measure variables and test hypotheses . Qualitative methods allow you to explore concepts and experiences in more detail.

Reliability and validity are both about how well a method measures something:

If you are doing experimental research, you also have to consider the internal and external validity of your experiment.

A sample is a subset of individuals from a larger population . Sampling means selecting the group that you will actually collect data from in your research. For example, if you are researching the opinions of students in your university, you could survey a sample of 100 students.

In statistics, sampling allows you to test a hypothesis about the characteristics of a population.

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Home » Research Methodology » Writing the Research Report

Writing the Research Report

Research Report is the major component of the research study. Report writing is the important stage in the research activity . The hypothesis of the study , the objective of the study and the data collection and data analysis can be well presented in report. This report writing will help others to understand the findings of the research . Report writing is integral part of research and hence it cannot be isolated.

research methodology steps in report writing

Report writing is not a mechanical process but it is an art. It requires skill.

Different Steps in Report Writing:

It is the critical stage and hence it requires patience. These is no mechanical formulate to present a report, though there are certain steps to be followed while writing a research report. The usual steps in report writing can be indicated in the following manner:

It is pertinent to follow these steps and hence it is essential to understand these steps thoroughly.

(a) Logical analysis of subject matter:

When a researcher thinks of doing a research, he must select subject and topic of his research work. The subject must be of his own interest and there must be scope for further research. Such can be selected and developed logically or chronologically. He must find out mental connections and associations by way of analysis to finalize his subject. Logical treatment often consists in developing from the simple possible to the most complex strictures. He can use the deductive method or inductive method in his research work. Secondly the alternative in selecting research subject is to use chronological method. In this method, he should concentrate on the connection or sequence in time or occurrence. The directions for doing or making something usually follow the chronological method. In this method, he should concentrate on the connection or sequence in time or occurrence. The directions for doing or making something usually follow the chronological order.

(b) Preparation of final outline:

Outlines are the framework upon which long written works are constructed. It is an aid to logical organization of the material and remainder of the points to be stressed in the report. He should rely on review of literature . The earlier research works can provide basic information as well as thinking to the researcher to pursue his subject.

(c) Preparation of rough draft:

The purpose of the report is to convey to the interested persons the whole result of the study in sufficient detail and so arranged as to enable each reader to comprehend the data an so determine for himself the validity of conclusions. Taking into account this purpose of research, the  research report writing  has its own significance. The researcher has already collected primary data and secondary data. He has also set his objectives of the study. Taking into account the objectives his study, he should make an attempt to prepare a draft report on the basis of analysis of the data. He should prepare a procedure to be followed in report writing. He must mention the limitations of his study. He may analyze data systematically with the help of statistical methods to arrive at the conclusions. The research is fact finding study which may lead the researcher to point out suggestions or recommendations.

(d) Rewriting and Polishing the rough Draft:

Research is a continuous process. Research is not the essay writing. Researcher must consider the data, write down his findings, reconsider them, and rewrite. This careful revision makes the difference between a mediocre and a good piece of writing. The researcher must concentrate on weakness in the logical development or presentation. He should check the consistency in his presentation. He must be aware that his report writing must be of definite pattern. He must also take at most care of the language of writing a report.

(e) Bibliography:

This helps the researcher to collect secondary source of the data. This is also useful to review the earlier research work. He should prepare the bibliography from the beginning of his research work. While selecting a topic or subject of research, he must refer books, journals, research projects and enlist the important documents in systematic manner. The bibliography must be in proper form. The researcher must have separate cards, indicating following details, readily available with him, so that he can make a note of it while he refers to a book/journal/research report.

The bibliography must be included in the appendix of his research report. It must be exhaustive to cover all types of works the researcher has used. It must be arranged alphabetically. He can divide it in different sections, such as books in first section, journals in second, research reports in third etc. Generally the prescribed form for preparation of bibliography is as given below:

The book must be noted in following manner:

The article can be mentioned in following manner:

(f) Final Report:

The final report must be written in a concise and objective style and in simple language. The researcher should avoid expressions in his report, such as “it seems”, “there may be” and like ones. He should avoid abstract terminology and technical jargon. He may refer to usual and common experiences to illustrate his point. The report writing is an art. No two researchers may have common style of report writing. But it must be interesting for a common man to add to his knowledge.

However report on scientific subject may have most technical presentation. The scientists may be familiar with technical concepts and they may find it valuable if such report is mostly technical in form.

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