Report/Thesis Preparation

After the research process, the researcher is required to prepare a report in order to present details about his research work. He may refer the target journal or university guidelines on how to prepare a report, but certain general points need to be considered while writing a report/thesis:

  1. The layout of a report should basically consist of:
  • Preliminary pages – These pages include the title of the report, the date, acknowledgements, and foreword. Then, it contains a table of contents followed by a list of tables and a list of graphs and charts, if any.

 

  • Main text – The main text of the report should have the following:

Introduction: This section includes brief details about objectives of the research, methodologies adopted, scope as well as limitations of the study.

Summary of findings: After Introduction, statement of findings and recommendations is provided in non-technical language.

Main report: Here, the main details of the research are presented logically in a sequence of easy-to-identify subsections.

Conclusion: At the end of the main text, the researcher should sum up his findings and results clearly and precisely.

 

  • End matter – Finally, appendices for technical data and bibliography (i.e., list of consulted books, journals, reports, etc.) should be provided in the end. Index can also be given specially in a published research report.

2.  Writing style should be concise, objective and in simple language, while avoiding vague terms such as it seems, there may be, and the like.

3.  Charts and illustrations should be used in the report only if they provide clear and precise information.

4.  Calculated confidence limits and constraints faced during the research process may also be mentioned in the report.

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The Research Process

Hypothesis Testing

Once the data analyzing process is complete, the researcher is ready to test the hypothesis, which was formulated earlier. Hypothesis testing involves systematic methods, which are used to evaluate the data and aid the decision-making process. Various statistical measures are used to test the data: parametric analysis (Ttest, ANOVA, Regression, etc.) and non-parametric analysis (ChiSquare, Kruskal Wallis, Mann“Whitney, etc.). These testing methods differ depending on the types of measurements and tools used for those measurements. One must choose the appropriate statistical method in order to obtain meaningful results. Based on the results of the calculations, hypothesis testing will result in either the hypothesis being accepted or rejected. The hypothesis is ruled out or modified if its predictions are incompatible with the experimental tests.

 

Generalizations and Interpretation

This is the final stage of the scientific research process. While testing, if the hypothesis is upheld several times, the researcher may form generalizations, i.e., build theories based on it. Generalizations give an indication of the actual achievement of the researcher. In case, the researcher had no hypothesis while starting the experiment he tries to explain his findings on the basis of some already established theory. This is known as interpretation. It is a process, which makes it easier to understand the factors that explain what was observed by the researcher during the course of his study. It also provides a theoretical conception, which serves as a guide. Interpretation may lead to new questions, thus leading to further researches.

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Execution of the Project

After the researcher has collected the data, the next step in the research process is the execution of the project (i.e., implementation phase of the project). This step is very important in the research process as it ensures that the research is being executed systematically and in time. If the execution of the research proceeds on correct lines, then the collected data would be adequate and dependable. If structured questionnaires are to be used for the survey, then data, i.e., both questions and the possible answers, may be machine-coded for easy and convenient usage. If interviewers are to collect data, then they should be accordingly selected, and proper training should be given to them. The researcher should ensure that the survey is under statistical control, i.e., the collected information is in agreement with the pre-defined standard of accuracy.

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