Types of Research Reports: The results of a research investigation can be presented in several ways such as a technical report, popular report, article, monograph, or oral presentation. The method of presentation to be used in a particular study depends on the circumstances under which the study arose and the nature of the results. Banks, financial institutions, and insurance organizations are generally fond of the short balance sheet type of annual reports to their customers and shareholders. Mathematicians prefer to write the results of their study in the form of algebraic notations. In the field of education and psychology, the report on the results of experimentation is accompanied by detailed statistical tabulations.
Academic institutions mainly prefer to write the result in form of a technical report and then prepare several research papers to be discussed at various forums. In the technical report, the main emphasis is given on the method used, assumptions made in the research study, and the detailed presentation of the findings including their limitations and supporting data. Research performed in public or private organizations is usually presented in the form of technical reports. The technical report mainly covers a summary of results, nature of the study, methods used, analysis of data, conclusions, bibliography, technical appendices, index, etc. The popular report emphasizes practical aspects and policy implications. This report gives importance to simplicity and attractiveness through clear writing and minimizing technical details with an attractive layout. The popular report mainly contains the findings and their implications, recommendations for action, the objective of the study, methods used, results, and technical appendices. There can be several variations of the form in which a popular report can be prepared.
Research reports may be classified or written in form of books, commissioned research reports, publications in professional journals, presentations before the audience, or reports prepared for mass media.
Book published based on an empirical study that contains quantitative data or qualitative interpretation. Postgraduate thesis or doctoral thesis can be published in form of books or it may be available in University as a reference thesis. Books are written for different audiences, researchers, and members of the public having a particular interest in the specific research area.
The commissioned research reports:
These reports are prepared for the benefit of the organization or governmental agency that has funded the research project. Scientists or research fellows should write the research report at the end of the study to a funding agency such as DBT, DST, ICMR, DRDO, AICTE, CSIR, etc. These reports should mention the output of the research project in form of publications, patents, collaborations, etc.
The research report may be published in form of research papers in reputed professional or scientific journals. They publish only those papers which are original, concise, present critical and innovative ideas.
Oral presentation before an audience:
The output or findings of research projects are made available to researchers through conferences, workshops, and seminars. The papers are presented in form of a research report with only those research findings which are relevant to the theme and based on scientific methodology and new ideas. The oral presentation is effective when supplemented by various visual devices, slides, wall charts, and blackboards. A written report may be circulated before the oral presentation and referred to frequently during the discussion. This method is commonly implemented in academic research institutes to discuss the research outputs and policy implications with other scientists or researchers either in a conference, seminar, or group discussion.
Report prepared for mass media:
A research report may be published in the newspapers or magazines to know the detailed fundings of the research to the public. The reports related to social science, medical sciences, politics, discovery, etc. are generally published in newspapers. This report should give only central facts or major findings or outcomes without any statistics, hypotheses, or methodological details. Sometimes, this report may be published in a simple local language.
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