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Report Writing


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  • Read from: Origins of Scientific Writing The Early History Questions: relevant for the audience? appropriate for the channel? Correct for the register? Show slide together with cartoon - little words with big meaning -
  • Transcript

    • 1. Report Writing A call for clarity
    • 2. Today’s Session
      • Structure
      • Purpose
      • Formal Grammar & Style
      • Research arguments
      • Plagiarism
    • 3. Possible Structures
      • Basic form: IMRAD
      Introduction Methods (and Materials ) Results Discussion General to Specific Specific to General
    • 4. Possible Structures
      • Title page
      • Acknowledgements
      • Contents
      • Abstract
      • Introduction
      • Literature Review
      • Methodology
      • Results
      • Discussion
      • References
      • Appendices
    • 5. Possible Structures
      • Abstract
        • Short summary of the project. It covers what you did, why it is interesting and important, and what you have found. Draft it early, write it last. It must be a ‘polished jewel’.
      • Introduction
        • Outlines what you have done, why and how. It gives background and states ethical issues, research question(s) and the limitations of the study.
      • Literature Review
        • This gives the context of and background to the study. It covers relevant previous research
      • Methodology
        • It gives the general approach taken and the choices of specific methods
      • Results
        • This gives te presentation of the data and its analysis and interpretation
      • Discussion
        • This gives the answers to the research question(s) and discussion of them in the light of previous research and implications they might have in the future.
      • References
        • This provides a full list of works referred to in the study
      • Appendices
        • This includes copis of surveys, questionnaires and other relevant materials (eg interview transcripts)
    • 6. Effective Report Writing
      • Brevity
      • Relevance
      • Jargon
      • Simplicity
      • Consistency
      • Affirmative
      • Active
    • 7. Summary
      • A report will be effective if it is:
        • short
        • purposeful
        • readable
        • thorough
        • useful
      • The ability to write a good report is a professional skill.
      • It is one well worth acquiring.
    • 8. Formal Grammar & Style
      • Avoid contractions
        • Export figures won’t improve until the economy is stronger
      • Use appropriate negative forms
        • The government didn’t allocate much funding
        • The problem doesn’t have many viable solutions
      • Avoid addressing the reader as “you”
        • You can see in table 1
    • 9. Formal Grammar & Style
      • Limit the use of run-on sentences.
        • Personnel have encountered problems with absenteeism, stress, etc.
      • Limit the use of direct questions.
        • What can be done to lower costs?
      • Place adverbs within the verb.
        • Economic wealth has declined slowly.
    • 10. Style - Vocabulary
      • Researchers looked at the way strain builds up around the fault.
      • Researchers observed the way strain accumulates around the fault.
    • 11.
      • Expert systems can help out the user in the diagnosis of problems.
      • Research expenditures have gone up to nearly £460m.
      • Building a nuclear power plant will not get rid of the energy problem completely.
      Style - Vocabulary
    • 12.
      • Researchers have been looking into this problem for fifteen years now.
      • The issue was brought up during the investigation.
      • The emission levels have been going up and down .
      Style - Vocabulary
    • 13. Style - Vocabulary
      • The government has made good/considerable progress in solving environmental problems.
      • We got/obtained encouraging results.
      • The results of a lot of/numerous different projects have been pretty good/encouraging.
    • 14. Style - Vocabulary
      • A loss of jobs is one of the things that will happen/consequences if the process is automated.
      • The reaction of the officials was sort of negative .
      • The future of federal funding is up in the air .
    • 15. Research Arguments
      • Central to research arguments are:
        • Claims - main claims and sub-claims
        • Reasons
        • Evidence
      • [make a claim] because of [a reason]
      • [make a claim] because of a reason [based on evidence]
      • [make a descriptive claim] based on [evidence]
    • 16. Qualifying your claim
      • Use probability
      • Distance yourself
      • Be wise with generalisations
      • Use weaker/stronger verbs which support your claim
    • 17. Qualifications and Claims
      • A reduced speed limit will result in fewer road accidents.
        • A reduced speed limit may result in fewer road accidents.
          • A reduced speed limit might/could result in fewer road accidents.
    • 18. Probability
      • It is certain that
        • It is almost certain that
      • … reduced speed limit might/could result in fewer road accidents
    • 19. Distance
      • Consumers have less confidence in the economy today than ten years ago.
        • Consumers seem to have less confidence in the economy today than ten years ago.
          • Consumers appear to have less confidence in the economy today than ten years ago.
            • It would seem that consumers have less confidence in the economy today than ten years ago.
    • 20. Generalisation
      • Many consumers have less confidence in the economy.
        • A majority of …
        • In most parts of the country …
        • Consumers in most income brackets have …
        • With the exception of ..
        • Apart from …
        • Except for …
    • 21. Weaker Verbs I
      • The results indicate/establish that there is a link …
      • Table 9 suggests/shows that students need help in writing effective reports.
    • 22. Weaker Verbs II
      • The results given in table 4 validate/support the second hypothesis.
      • Changes in consumer confidence may have influenced/distorted the results.
      • Figure 12 depicts/clarifies the genetic relationship.
    • 23. Combinations
      • Be confidently uncertain
      • The use of seat belts prevents physical injuries in car accidents
        • Weaken the verb
          • Add probability
            • Weaken the generalisation
              • Add distance
    • 24. Plagiarism 1
      • Good copying is … scholarship
      • Bad copying is … plagiarism
    • 25. Plagiarism 2
      • Copying a paragraph as it is from the source without any acknowledgement
      • Copying a paragraph making only small changes, such as replacing a few verbs or adjectives with synonyms
      • Cutting and pasting a paragraph by using the sentences of the original but leaving one or two out, or by putting one or two sentences in a different order
    • 26. Plagiarism 2
      • Composing a paragraph by taking short standard phrases from a number of sources and putting them together with some words of your own
      • Paraphrasing a paragraph by rewriting with substantial changes in language and organisation, amount of detail and examples
      • Quoting a paragraph by placing it in block format with the source cited
    • 27. Research Phrases
      • "It has long been known..."
      • "A definite trend is evident..."
      • "Typical results are shown."
      • "It is believed that..."
      • "It is generally believed that..."
      • "Correct within an order of magnitude."
      • "A statistically oriented projection of the findings..."
      • "It is clear that much additional work will be required before a complete understanding of the phenomenon is possible."
    • 28. Remember
      • Draft … draft … draft
      • Revise
        • The first draft tells the story of the research – and you are the principle audience.
        • Second and third drafts are about crafting the story for your reader; can they follow my arguments?
      • Polish
        • Style
        • Spell check
    • 29. And finally
      • … You will complete it and
      • It will have been worth it.
      • Honest!