RESEARCH PROJECT REPORT
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Article Published on November 15th 2008
Section Two Chapters

Section two chapters mainly deals with results, interpretations and final research findings. The results must be presented in tabular format. If possible present results graphically also. Some important points which may help in compilation of this chapter;
  • While discussing results give broad range within which the value for various parameters falls and accordingly write a qualitative description of the related parameter. Example:      “The rock mass rating (RMR) of the rock mass exposed on the right abutment falls within a range of 60 to 80 with an average value of 65. This indicates that the rock mass exposed on the right abutment is of good quality”  
  • The results must be presented in simple tabular format. Tabular format is a good means for comparison of results and it provides a convenience to the reader for better understanding.
  • If possible present results graphically also. This not only helps in better understanding of results but also, makes your text more attractive.
  • All interpretations made must be logically supported with the quantitative data or theoretical concepts.
  • Each interpretation must be presented as a separate point or as a separate paragraph.
  • How the results and findings of the present study will be used for the betterment of concerned scientific concepts or how they may be utilized for the welfare of the society. 
  • The results and findings may overcome the short comings or gaps in the existing theoretical concepts and analytical techniques, discuss briefly if any.
  • If your research has made other contributions describe them in detail.
Conclusion and Recommendations

In this chapter the entire research work is concluded and the recommendations, if any are made. Conclusions and recommendations are discussed in separate subheadings. While writing conclusions the researcher has to be very specific and systematic. By reading this section of the report the reader must easily understand that what the present research is all about. By reading conclusions the reader must clearly understand that exactly what you did, why you did it, what the results are, whether or not the research is supported by the experimental evidences and what are the final findings of the research. In this section the researcher has to conclude his entire research work into two or three pages. Recommendations made must be logical and well supported by the research findings. Each recommendation must be made as a separate point or paragraph. Do not made recommendations based on assumptions. Some important points, which may be helpful in compiling conclusions of the research work, are listed below;
  • Frame your conclusions first before you start writing. 
  • The conclusions must be presented in not more than 2-3 pages.
  • Always start with the definition and a brief background of the research problem, followed by the objectives, data collection, methodology, interpretation of the results and finally the findings of the research study. 
  • Each activity must be discussed in separate paragraph or point.
  • While writing about results give broad range within which the value for various parameters falls and accordingly write a qualitative description of the related parameter.
  • How the results and findings of the present study will be used for the betterment of concerned scientific concepts or how they may be utilized for the welfare of the society. 
  • The results and findings may overcome the short comings or gaps in the existing theoretical concepts and analytical techniques, discuss briefly if any.
  • If your research has made other contributions describe them briefly.
References

For any research work a researcher has to consult various published or unpublished literature in the form of research papers from technical journals, reports and other articles. It is quite common that you remember reading something but will not know where you read it. If you have kept a detailed record of your reading, you should be able to track these lost references. One of the very simple methods to keep a proper record of all the references is by making ‘reference cards’, already discussed in Chapter-3.

It is essential that whatever literature is utilized for the research purpose must be mentioned in the ‘references’ section of the research report. The format for reference writing may vary as per the instructions of individual institute/ organization.

The following points may be helpful in preparing references in the project report;
  • Arrange all references in the alphabetical order and as per the year of publication. 
  • Author/s name will come first followed by year of publication, Research title or book title, Journal name, Publisher, Volume No.
  • Make sure that the references written in the ‘references section’ have actually utilized in your research work. For this you must write the author name with the year of publication in parenthesis in the text where you have used it. Example:   “Significant increase in the factor of safety can be achieved by making the slope face concave in section (Hoek and Bray, 1997) ”.
Cover or Title Page

Cover page must contain a clear title, name of the institution or organization, name of the researcher and month-year of report preparation. The cover page may vary as per pre defined format set by the related institution or organization.  The cover page has to be attractive and must invite reader to go through the report. This may be done by placing good photographs or by placing some meaningful figures. The selected pictures or figures must be self explanatory and they must highlight the research problem. 

The font size and font style must be selected in such a way that the title and other details on the cover page are clearly readable and proportionate to each other. The cover page design basically depends on the creativity of the researcher.

For designing an attractive cover page following points may be useful;
  • Identify a good photograph, map or a meaningful figure which  directly  highlights  or relates to the research problem. 
  • If cover page is designed on A4 size (21 x 29.7 cm) paper, the title may be in font size 17 to 19  and good font styles may be, Arial Bold, Comic Sans MS Bold or any other as per the researchers choice.
  • Other details on the cover page are clearly readable and proportionate to each other in reference to the title.
Ethics in Project Report Writing

Writing and style makes a research report impressive and convincing. Writing is a difficult skill to master and it comes through practice and dedication. However, some important tips to help for better writing are mentioned below;
  • Always structure the work in advance. For this purpose, frame the research work in terms of order you plan to present in the project report. Plan the chapter scheme and then plan what content will go into each chapter. The sequence of the chapters must be systematic and there must be continuity in various chapters. This may help the reader to understand the research work very easily. 
  • For the content matter know what you want to say before trying to write it. 
  • Every sentence must contain one idea only and the sentences must be small. 
  • There must be continuity in sentences.  For this purpose use connecting words like; Further, In continuity to this, In addition to above etc. A well written text is a “chain of ideas”. 
  • While writing keep your reader’s need in mind. This means provide a “verbal map” of your document so that your reader know what to expect. Also place “verbal signposts” in your text to explain what is coming next. 
  • Distribute your text, within individual chapters, into headings and subheadings. The numbering of the headings and subheadings must be as ‘N.X’ and ‘N.X.Y’ , respectively where ‘N’ is the chapter number, ‘X’ is the heading number and ‘Y’ is the subheading number. 
Example:  

1.5    Advantage of Small Hydropower
1.6    The Study Area
1.6.1    Location and Access
1.6.2    Climate of the study area

Besides a researcher must concentrate on the style of report presentation. Some important tips on style of presentation are given hereunder;
  • Report must be professional looking. 
  • It must be interesting, informative, systematic and logical.
  • Writing style must be simple with small sentences and simple vocabulary.
  • While writing research project report be concise and precise. Do not attempt to write things for which you are not sure.
  • Use simple language.
  • Construct clear arguments.
  • There should not be any spelling and grammatical mistakes in the report.
  • Reference your work fully using an acceptable format.
  • Do not use such words for which you are not sure for their meaning.
  • Do not use difficult words to impress your readers.
  • Do not use overly simplistic language.
  • Do not make unnecessary repetitions in the text.
Presentation of Graphical Data and Photographs

The graphical data in a project report may be in the form of maps, figures and graphs. This data serves as “gems in crown” and quality of this data makes any report impressive.  The graphical data not only facilitates the reader with easy understanding but it also makes any report attractive. The following points may help to enhance the quality of graphical data;
  • Plan in advance what maps, figures and graphs are to be presented in the report. 
  • The text to be written in the maps, figures and the graphs must be readable and proportionate to the figure/maps.
  • There must be a similarity in all drawings in the report in terms of font size, font style, colour scheme and frame of the drawing.
  • In all maps and sections show legend covering all features shown in the map and sections (Plate 4.7 & 4.8). Maps must also be provided with North direction, strip scale and grid. 
  • While framing maps try to cover maximum area of the page. If the width of the map is more, then present it in landscape layout of the page.
  • Use cool colour tones for the filling of polygon features and use dark colours for line features.
  • In graphs clearly indicate what X-axis and Y-axis represents. Indicate units also, if any. If representing number of line or point data on a graph clearly mention each feature using a legend. 
  • Photographs are good means of presenting facts observed in field. Photographs are the evidences to support your writing. It  helps in making your text more impressive and informative. 
  • Make sure that the photographs to be presented in the report are of good quality and the features that you want to highlight are clearly visible.
  • For small scale features take close ups and place reference scale – paper strip scale or some standard object like hammer, pen etc.
  • Write clear description at the bottom of the photograph
 Project Report Submitting   

Fatigue and impatience can ruin the research project report. Therefore, it is expected that a researcher must spent a little more time making sure that the report is perfect before submitting it. Also make sure that before submission the following steps are completed;
  • Proof read the report carefully. It is a fact that every time you read your report you will improve it. 
  • Ask a friend or relative to read your project report, you may get some new ideas to enhance the quality of the report.
  • Ask an experienced researcher to read your report with this you may get some critical comments which will help in improving the quality of the report.
  • Give sufficient time to  your supervisor/advisor to read the research project report.
  • Ensure that your project report meet all the requirements laid down for the research project report by the funding organization/ institution to which the project report has to be submitted. 
  • Submit the project report with a covering letter to the contact person and address, before the last date of submission fixed by the funding organization/ institution.



.A ‘Research Project Report’ is a systematic compilation of research work which a researcher prepares after successful completion of the proposed research work. In very simple words research project report is a written record of entire project from start to finish and highlight all the activities and findings pertaining to the respective research project. A research project report comprises, in general, an introduction to the research problem, specific objectives for which research is conducted, data accumulation from primary and secondary sources, methodology used and the findings of the research.


Purpose of Research Project Report


The main purpose of the research project report is to explain, to the reader that how the research was conducted on a proposed research problem. A project report when read by a person unfamiliar with the research project, must clearly understand that exactly what you did, why you did it, what the results are, whether or not the research is supported by the experimental evidences and what are the final findings of the research. This written document is your spokesperson when you are not present to explain your project. The purpose which a project report serves is;
  • To make people understand about your research work. 
  • To serve as a written document. This may be utilised or referred by the later researchers.
  • To make people convince that your research is authentic and well supported by experimental results and logical concepts. 
  • To fulfil the requirements for the academic degree and to convince the examiners that you have developed an expertise in a particular area of study and you have enough understanding of the research subject.  
  • Project report also helps to demonstrate competency in a particular area of study. By your report you convince the reader that you have developed all the necessary skills required to carry out the research in the related field. 
  • To satisfy the sponsoring agency/ institution that you have utilised the funds or the resources, provided by the sponsoring agency/ institution, in a satisfactory manner and produced useful findings from the research study.
Content of a Research Project Report

What goes into a research project report is the most crucial and important aspect of any research project. Project report is a document which by itself demonstrates the overall quality of research work. As a fact there is no single format for a research project report. This is because every research project is different. Different disciplines, funding organization and academic institutions all have different formats and requirements. However, there are several key components which must be included in every research project report.

The key components for any research project report are;
  • An introduction to the research problem, an argument as to why that problem is important and an explanation on the limitation of the study.
  • Specific objectives of the research study.
  • An overview of the study area, location, physiography, climate or other relevant themes related to the proposed study. 
  • A review of literature relevant to the research problem.
  • A description of the research methodology adopted to perform the research.
  • A description on primary and secondary data collection and analysis.
  • A description on experimental data generation, if any.
  • Interpretation of results and final findings.
  • Conclusions and recommendations, if any.
In addition to this a project report must also include a self explanatory title page, abstract, list of contents, acknowledgements and references.

Preparations for Project Report   

The very first step for the preparation of the project report is to structure the  research work. This means to frame the research work in terms of order you plan to present in the project report. For this, first plan the chapter scheme and then plan what content will go into each chapter. The sequence of the chapters must be systematic and there must be continuity in various chapters. This may help the reader to understand the research work very easily.

Chapter Scheme and Content Matter

As such there is no standard format for the chapter scheme. The chapter scheme and the number of chapters may vary from study to study and may depend on the researcher’s choice. Even, for a researcher it is sometimes difficult to plan the chapter scheme. After the finalization of the chapter   scheme the next step is to frame the content matter to be covered in each individual chapter. 

While framing the chapter scheme and the content matter to be covered in individual chapter the following guideline may be useful;
  • Each chapter must address a particular activity only. Do not cover many activities in a single chapter. This may create unnecessary confusions and discontinuity in the write up.
  • The chapter name must be small and it should directly relate to the content matter to be discussed in that chapter. 
  • The chapter scheme must start with an introduction to the research problem followed by the overview of the study area, methodology used, interpretations of the results and should terminate at conclusions and recommendations.  However, the distribution of chapters and the content matter to be covered in respective chapters will vary from study to study and on researcher’s choice.
  • The content matter to be covered in each chapter must be covered under relevant headings and subheadings.
  • Each chapter must start with a brief introduction or preamble of the content matter to be discussed in the respective chapter.
Abstract

The abstract is a brief overview of the research project. It should not be more than one page and should include a brief introduction to the research problem, a statement describing importance of the study, brief description about methodology and the findings of the study. There is no one way to write an abstract, but it should be brief and should explain clearly that what your research is all about.


Acknowledgements

In this section of the project report a researcher acknowledge direct or indirect support extended by various individuals and organization/ institutions, without which the research project could not be completed successfully.  It is necessary that if one receives any kind of support for his/ her research work, it must be duly acknowledged and documented in this section. As such there is no standard format for acknowledgement section and it varies from individual to individual.

However, the following points may be useful for the writing of this section;
  • Those who have contributed the most in your research work must be acknowledged first. The contribution made by the advisor/s or supervisors is crucial in any research work. Therefore it is advisable that they must be acknowledged first.
  • Write specific and do not use abbreviations. Use full name or address of the individuals or the organizations those have extended support for your research work. 
  • Do not use such words for which you are not sure for their meaning. 
  • Do not use difficult words to impress your readers.
  • Do not use overly simplistic language and use decent vocabulary.
List of Contents, Tables and Figures

For the convenience of the reader, research project report must be provided with a list of contents, tables and figures. Normally, it is placed immediately after the acknowledgments in the report. Though, its position may change as per the prescribed format designed by some institutes/ organizations.  It is advisable to mention the name of chapters, headings, subheadings, figure No. with titles, Table No. with Table headings along with respective page Nos. in the list of contents.


Introduction

Introduction chapter must start with a clear definition of the research problem. It is important that in the initial paragraphs of this chapter you must explain that what the present research is all about and how you were motivated to select the present research problem. What is the importance of the present research and how the results and general findings will be helpful to the scientific community and community in general.  As such there is no standard format for introduction chapter and it varies from individual to individual. However, some important components of the research, which may be addressed in introduction chapter, are;
  • A clear definition with a background note on the present research problem. 
  • Importance of the study and describe how the results and the findings of the present research work will be utilized.
  • A description on the study area – details on accessibility of the study area, climate, physiography, sciesmicity and other relevant themes. The details must be well supported by maps, graphs and figures. This section may be dealt in a separate chapter.
  • Clearly mention the specific objectives of the present study. A brief description of each of the specific objective may further help the reader to clearly understand the objectives. 
  • A clear description of the methodology followed in the present study.
  • A description of analytical tools, software and other related material used for the present study.
  • A note on the limitation of the present study. 
  • A note on future studies and extension of the present research work.
  • A description on the Chapter scheme
Literature Review

Literature review may be presented as a separate chapter or may be discussed within related chapters. For example; literature review related to geological settings of the study area may be discussed within the chapter dealing with Geological Settings. Similarly, literature review related to various methodologies may be discussed in the main chapter on methodology. The place for literature review in the project report entirely depends upon type of research study and on the researcher’s choice.

 The literature review provides a conceptual framework for the reader so that the research problem and methodology of the present research is better understood. The literature review demonstrates to the expert reader that the researcher is aware of the breadth and diversity of literature that relates to the research problem.

It is important that a researcher provides an integrated overview of the proposed problem. For this the researcher has to show the awareness of the most important and relevant theories, studies and methodologies. The researcher has to show that how these are related to the present study and how these works are similar to and/or different from the present research.

The literature review is not simply a list or summary of books and articles that the researcher has read. Instead, it has to be combined and synthesized in an integrated description of the field of study.  A good literature review shows how the text compiled from various books and articles relate to the broad topic. It also demonstrates to the expert reader that a researcher have surveyed much of the appropriate literature. A good literature review also demonstrates that for the present study different approaches has been used and in combination of all researcher has produced an original study.

Literature review is a systematic study and needs a thorough study of the relevant study material.

The literature review has to be structured as per the following points;
  • Summarize the relevant literature and integrate it with other works with a relevance to the present research work. 
  • Briefly describe what results the previous researchers have produced. 
  • What theoretical concepts or analytical techniques relate to the present study? Describe these in detail.
  • What methodologies did the previous researchers used. If you have adopted one of these methodologies for the present research explain it in detail.
  • What is the most recent finding related to the present study.
  • What gaps and contradictions exist among these findings.
It is important to structure your literature review for the better understanding and the continuity of concepts. Do not start writing your literature review until you have developed a broad and deep understanding.
Main Chapters of the Report – Body Text

Main chapters of report or the body text comprise text matter, which deals mainly with the methodology, results, interpretations and final findings of the research. The format for these chapters may depend on the type of research study or on researcher’s choice. However, broadly main chapters of the report may be classified into two sections. Section one, comprising chapters mainly dealing with methodology whereas, section two chapters mainly deals with results, interpretation and research findings.


Section one Chapters

In these chapters methodology adopted and executed for the present study is discussed. These chapters must comprise the following;
  • Detailed discussion on the methodology adopted for the present study. 
  • Processed secondary data with relevance to the methodology adopted for the present study.
  • Primary data collection, analysis and its use in the present methodology.
  • Analysis of data using various analytical, empirical, experimental and computer programmes as per the methodology adopted.
  • Data presentation – tabular formats and/or graphical presentation as per methodology.

Last Update on Dec.2nd' 2008 1:00 AM