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Write research report

Research report

Why are you sharing your research?

Perhaps the most important question to begin with: why do you share your research? When you write a research report, that’s what you do. Do you write a report about your research only because it is a requirement of, for example, an education. Still, why are you sharing your research?

The why determines how best to build your report. A report is more than just throwing information over the fence. Information alone does not yet provide knowledge, explanations and additions of discussion and a scientific method give guidance to that information. They create structure that reveals the purpose of the research.

The why of your research report is important to be able to provide clarity to your reader. Why should he or she read your report?

So start with that reader, that’s where you’ll find the footing as to why you’re even writing about your project and your results.

Structure of your report

structure of your report

If you know why, then you can determine the structure of your report. If you know what about your research you want to share with your reader, you can determine the right easy order to provide the reader with the information. So your goal determines the right structure.

The summary of course has a fixed place just like mentioning your sources but for the rest? Are you going to present your literature research first or the problem first? If you were to read this research report, according to what pattern would you like to be given the information? What is a logical order to be slowly guided to the conclusions?

Ensure a good distribution between theory and the actual content of your project. The scientific method of your research is important. But especially in light of the conclusion you want to convey to your reader. A research report is an accountability but certainly also a substantive finding that you share. For example, the substantive answer to your research question.

Which parts (method, literature, research question, purpose or conclusion) you deal with in which order is therefore only very partly fixed. When writing, think in which order you would like to use it for an understanding.

Because this is different than you might be used to, it takes some getting used to. On the basis, however, it is partly simpler: you make a logical story out of it instead of a report of your activities.

Specific aspects in your field


Each field has its own specifications. In particular, the magazines or other media where you publish follow other guidelines. How you use resources, font use, title placement, and various other layout technical aspects are often prescribed depending on your field.

In addition, there are fixed parts for the type of project you are performing. In a subject such as customer research, you write down different elements than a research report on quantum mechanics. Each research has its own unique elements. It is necessary to take this into account.

Writing a research report differs from doing research

So many ways there are to do research, so few ways, or actually there is only one way, are there to write your report: focus on your goal and choose the build-up so that your message comes across. That you also have to put the theory and some questions clearly to the fore, fine. Your message has to be fully substantiated! But don’t pin too much on all parts.

So the structure is determined by the message you convey. This actually determines every word: from the title to the table of contents and from page 1 to problem and from conclusions to the summary. Each part or chapter has its own function in this.

An open door: pay attention to the contents!

Open doors are not there to walk by, that is what actually happens often. Most of the content may be in the individual paragraphs. However, the main content can be found in the different titles. So make sure your chapter titles not only to give notice of the type of information but also of the actual content of your chapter. And that goes for every other cup.

You can learn more about that content and a build-up through the SLIM method. The SLIM method enables a much better writing result.

If you want more help, or do you need a good writing method, check out the other sources below or sign up for our free or paid courses.

Good luck writing!

Other report types sometimes involve a different format. However, if you apply the main message of this article there too, you can determine the best structure.

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