We explain what a research report is, the elements that compose it, the characteristics of each one and various examples.
What is a research report?
A report of investigation it is a type of academic or professional document that accounts for the findings and results obtained during a research project of any nature.
Generally, these studies aim to answer a series of questions or check some kind of hypothesis in the matter, and it is in the report where it is information It is developed, explained and systematized, ready for presentation to third parties.
All research reports should be guided by the principles of a text expository and argumentative, offering the reader the information in a leisurely, organized and clear way. It is based on the principle of objectivity and rigour, since opinions, assumptions or fiction have no place in such reports.
Commonly, these types of texts are composed of:
- An index, which allows the reader to navigate the content of the report and know where everything is.
- A introduction, which offers you an overview of the subject, the state of affairs before starting the investigation, objectives, scope and limitations of it, that is, its context and its motivation, and also clarifies all those terms that you need to manage to enter the body of work.
- A methodological framework, which explains what was the procedure put in place to carry out the investigation and why, the instruments are detailed, the methods and the decisions taken with respect to the conduct of the same, always justifying their reasons properly.
- A theoretical framework, in which the hypotheses or the questions that triggered the investigation and the authors that served to formulate them in an appropriate or pertinent manner are detailed, as well as the antecedents that in the formulation of the project were illuminating.
- A results section, which details in an orderly and systematic way what the research showed in its different stages, areas or mechanisms, always based on citations, figures, comparative tables, graphs and other conceptual tools that put what was found in perspective.
- Nail conclusions, in which the results obtained are analyzed and placed within the relevant material, historical or thematic context, to explain what exactly was found and why it is important, and what it means in light of the whole picture.
- A bibliography, where complete reference will be made to all information sources consulted (books, magazines, articles, recordings, etc.), providing the necessary information so that others can consult them in turn.
- A section of annexes, where all the supplementary or additional information will go that allows to go further into the subject of the investigation, even if it is not strictly pertinent to it. Here you can go cuts, graphs, tables, etc., which may or may not be referred to within the body of the work.
These types of reports are frequent in different areas of human knowledge, from the sciences and technological research, until marketing, the administration, the sociology, statistics and many others.
Examples of research report
Here are some useful links to get an idea of the content of a research report, by way of examples:
Some simple examples of research techniques are:
- Interview It consists of asking questions directly to the subject or the subjects of study, generally in an isolated place, in order to obtain an approximation to what they think, feel or have lived, which can then be processed statistically or by other methods, to obtain a truth. It is particularly useful in the field of social sciences.
- Observation Fundamental in every scientific principle, observation consists in simply confronting the phenomenon that one wishes to understand and describe, taking note of its peculiarities, of its surroundings, in short, detailing it. It is usually the first basic step of all kinds of knowledge.
- Questionnaires Similar to the interview, they take place in the field where the subjects of study are located: the streets of a city, the interior of a factory, an educational community, and so on. There, a defined number of people are asked to answer a series of questions and with that information percentage data, statistical approximations are constructed and conclusions are obtained.
- The experiment As we said before, it consists in the replication of an observed natural phenomenon, but in a controlled environment, in order to be able to measure, observe and reproduce its effects, and thus be able to understand its causes and consequences by minimizingunknown or unforeseen variables.