2012 report writing


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2012 report writing

  1. 1. WRITING & EDITING your Research Education Report Raffles Institution
  2. 2. LECTURE OBJECTIVES <ul><li>Consider these questions: </li></ul><ul><li>Why is it important to learn how to write an academic report? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we write an academic report? </li></ul><ul><li>How do we edit our report to achieve coherence? </li></ul>
  3. 3. REASONS – Three Ps <ul><li>P racticality. You need this skill till the end of your academic career </li></ul><ul><li>P ractice makes permanent. Have a head start over others if you start early </li></ul><ul><li>P resent insightful critiques of research articles </li></ul>
  4. 4. OVERVIEW <ul><li>An academic report is broadly divided into four main sections: </li></ul><ul><li>Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Methods </li></ul><ul><li>Results </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion </li></ul><ul><li>You might want to use different headings but the Content of your Written Report (WR) should cover these four broad sections. </li></ul>
  5. 5. OVERVIEW <ul><li>Four questions to think about: </li></ul><ul><li>What is your research topic? </li></ul><ul><li>How you went about investigating your topic? </li></ul><ul><li>What have you found? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the implications of your findings? </li></ul>
  6. 6. OVERVIEW <ul><li>Recommended length?? </li></ul><ul><li>Rough approximation… </li></ul><ul><li>1/3 Introduction </li></ul><ul><li>1/3 Methods & Results </li></ul><ul><li>1/3 Discussion (Key assessment criteria to be noted, cannot be too short!) – refer to Assessment </li></ul>
  7. 7. SCORING TIP! <ul><li>Always keep in mind the assessment rubric </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure your WR addresses these assessment rubrics! </li></ul><ul><li>2012 Report Writing Assessment Rubrics (Product) Form pg 36.doc </li></ul>
  8. 8. INTRODUCING YOUR PROJECT <ul><li>What is the Introduction? </li></ul><ul><li>Not the introductory paragraph of a GP essay!! </li></ul><ul><li>Covers the background of your topic </li></ul><ul><li>Ends with a statement of what you are examining or investigating for RE (i.e. your research objective ) </li></ul><ul><li>Broadly relates to the first part of your task </li></ul>
  9. 9. INTRODUCING YOUR PROJECT <ul><li>3 essential ingredients for an excellent introduction: </li></ul><ul><li>1. A strong justification for your choice of topic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To bring out the significance of your topic. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To set your topic within an important context. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. INTRODUCING YOUR PROJECT <ul><li>2. Having sufficient sources to substantiate your ideas or support your arguments </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Conduct a literature review if information is insufficient. </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. INTRODUCING YOUR PROJECT <ul><li>3. A clear research objective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>State clearly what you seek to investigate for your project work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. to explore the feasibility of your proposed idea; to examine the effectiveness of your implemented idea, etc </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This leads us nicely to the next section: Methodology </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. DESCRIBING YOUR METHODOLOGY <ul><li>Important but often omitted section </li></ul><ul><li>If omitted, the reader is left wondering where you had obtained your data from </li></ul><ul><li>This section tells the reader what you did to answer your research question, e.g. conducted a survey and an email interview, etc </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>2012 Writing a Research Report (Y1).doc </li></ul>Copyright (c) 2008 J&C Research Consultants Pte. Ltd.
  15. 15. REPORTING YOUR RESULTS (recapitulation of prev lecture…) <ul><li>1. State your research objective and describe your methodology before reporting your results </li></ul><ul><li>AN EXAMPLE: </li></ul><ul><li>To explore the marketability of our new proposed product [ research objective ], a survey was conducted with 120 respondents from RI [ methodology ]. The respondents were all males, aged … (Describe the survey sample) </li></ul><ul><li>Results showed that … [ report your results ] </li></ul>
  16. 16. REPORTING YOUR RESULTS <ul><li>2. Present a finding by first stating the conclusion and then support it with relevant data or the results from your analyses. </li></ul><ul><li>This is followed by the interpretations derived from the data. </li></ul>
  17. 17. FROM PREVIOUS EXAMPLE <ul><li>Results showed that males were willing to pay more for the new proposed product than females [ conclusion from the data ]. </li></ul><ul><li>On average, male respondents indicated that they are willing to spend $35 on the product, as opposed to females who are willing to pay only $25 [ relevant data ]. </li></ul><ul><li>Hence, it is recommended that marketing strategies should focus more on male consumers who are willing to pay more for the product [ interpretation/inference ]. </li></ul>
  18. 18. NOTE (once again…) <ul><li>Difference between reporting the results and interpreting it </li></ul><ul><li>Reporting is describing what the data show </li></ul><ul><li>e.g. On average, males were willing to spend $35 on the new product while females will pay only $25 </li></ul><ul><li>Interpretation involves a discussion of the implications (that is, we should focus marketing efforts on male consumers). </li></ul>
  19. 19. REPORTING YOUR RESULTS <ul><li>3. Use figures purposefully </li></ul><ul><li>Data with only two categories (such as Yes/No and Aware/Not aware) do not require a figure. </li></ul>
  20. 20. REPORTING YOUR RESULTS <ul><li>3. Use figures purposefully </li></ul><ul><li>Use bar charts instead of pie charts to present information more clearly. </li></ul>
  21. 21. REPORTING YOUR RESULTS Figure 2. Reason that captured respondents' attention
  22. 22. REPORTING YOUR RESULTS <ul><li>3. Use figures purposefully (cont’) </li></ul><ul><li>Note that pie charts are seldom used in academic reports </li></ul><ul><li>Captions for figures are placed at the bottom , not at the top. </li></ul>
  23. 23. REPORTING YOUR RESULTS Figure 2. Reason that captured respondents' attention
  24. 24. REPORTING YOUR RESULTS <ul><li>4. Honesty is the best policy: Integrity issues when reporting results </li></ul><ul><li>If the results did not turn out as expected, this is also a finding which means you might have to rethink your prior assumptions . </li></ul><ul><li>Do NOT falsify your results </li></ul><ul><li>A plausible reason for unexpected results is your methodology , e.g. convenience sampling (i.e. asking friends to respond to the survey), administering of survey, how questions were phrased, etc </li></ul>
  25. 25. REPORTING YOUR RESULTS <ul><li>4. Honesty is the best policy: Integrity issues when reporting results (cont’) </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss what was learnt from the research process and offer suggestions for how the project could be improved upon in future research </li></ul>Copyright (c) 2008 J&C Research Consultants Pte. Ltd.
  26. 26. DISCUSSING YOUR FINDINGS (reminder) <ul><li>Common mistake: Many projects fail to score a good grade because students interpret and discuss their findings very superficially. </li></ul><ul><li>Students can end their projects with an in-depth discussion of their project at these three levels: </li></ul>
  27. 27. DISCUSSING YOUR FINDINGS <ul><li>i) Interpret your results </li></ul><ul><li>Summarise all the key findings from your data. </li></ul><ul><li>E.g. Overall the results from our survey showed that our proposed exhibition is a feasible approach to showcase the life and work of our groundbreaker. Specifically, … (provide a summary of the key findings and their implications) </li></ul><ul><li>Provide an answer to the research objective stated in the introduction (gives closure to the entire project). </li></ul>
  28. 28. DISCUSSING YOUR FINDINGS <ul><li>ii) Discuss your methodology (i.e. the strengths and limitations) </li></ul><ul><li>Recognise that the data you collected is not 100% accurate, hence cannot take the results at face value . </li></ul><ul><li>Present the strengths of your research </li></ul><ul><li>Acknowledge the limitations of your project work (e.g. non-probability sampling, administering of survey, how questions were phrased, issues that were not examined, etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Offer suggestions for future research </li></ul>
  29. 29. DISCUSSING YOUR FINDINGS <ul><li>iii) Consider the broader implications of your results </li></ul><ul><li>End the report by linking it back to the introduction </li></ul><ul><li>Relate the implications of your results to the wider context that you have based your project </li></ul><ul><li>Revisit the challenges described in the introduction and offer suggestions or principles based on your results. </li></ul>
  31. 31. EDITING TIPS FOR A COHERENT REPORT <ul><li>1. Start with the method section </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ensure essential information is reported. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>2. Work on the results section </li></ul><ul><ul><li>make sure results are clearly presented and properly interpreted </li></ul></ul>
  32. 32. EDITING TIPS FOR A COHERENT REPORT <ul><li>3. Complete the introduction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>bring out the significance of your topic, check for proper referencing and proper substantiation of ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><li>4. Tidy up the discussion to mirror the introduction </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ensure that the report ends with a thorough and in-depth discussion </li></ul></ul>
  33. 33. Exemplars from Previous Years <ul><li>Most final RE Final Report longbin.pdf </li></ul><ul><li>2009 Y1 RE Exemplar Final Report_Gambling_with comments.doc </li></ul>
  34. 34. Reminders <ul><li>All reports should be ring bound into a booklet. </li></ul><ul><li>Proper in-text citation using APA format </li></ul><ul><li>Do not plagiarise! </li></ul><ul><li>Claims of plagiarism over PhD force minister to drop his title.docx </li></ul>
  35. 35. Product Group Report
  36. 36. FURTHER READING <ul><li>For more information on report writing, please refer to Project Works Volume 3: Strategies for Effective Report Writing. </li></ul>