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Tips for Writing Research Reports (Semester is almost over)!

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Presentation on theme: "Tips for Writing Research Reports (Semester is almost over)!"— Presentation transcript:

1 Tips for Writing Research Reports (Semester is almost over)!

2 Basic Tips Writing a research report is like telling a story. You must persuade the reader that research is needed to address a problem. You must persuade the reader (through your literature review) that other authors have addressed or failed to address the problem. You must use the literature review to provide a rationale for your research questions, operational definitions, and research methods. Your methodology section should logically flow from the literature review.

3 Basic Tips for Data Analysis Chapters Don’t try to report on every piece of data in your survey or interviews. Your main goal should be to provide a demographic profile of your respondents and to answer your primary research questions. For most students, you will have three or four primary questions to address in this chapter.

4 Outline of Data Analysis Chapter Introduction to Chapter (identifies the content of the chapter) Demographic Analysis of Respondents Analysis to Support Question #1 Analysis to Support Question #2 Analysis to Support Question #3 (etc). Conclusion (what were the main things you found out in this chapter)

5 Format for Quantitative/Descriptive Studies Include tables (integrate with text) Don’t describe every cell in table in your text. Only describe primary findings – for example largest comparisons across cells – what info is needed to answer your research question Refer reader to the table for additional findings. Findings of no differences among groups or categories are significant only if they pertain to your primary research questions

6 Format for qualitative studies Use to answer primary research questions. May be formatted to analyze specific questions asked respondents (only if most or all respondents answered those questions). Alternatively, it may be organized around specific response categories or major themes identified in the research. Purpose of narrative is to tell the participant’s story or the writer’s story of gaining new knowledge of the participant.

7 Padgett (1998, p. 119) describes qualitative writing in this way: Most successful qualitative reports have a rhythmic quality, weaving excepts from the data into a seamless exposition of the study’s themes and interpretation. They manifest originality of thought and creativity in conceptualization. They are knowledgeable and confident, but not pompous….Whereas quantitative researchers present their findings in aggregate numerical form, qualitative researchers select and present “raw data” in the final report. Interposing excepts such as vignettes and portions of the narrative certainly adds spice for the reader.

8 Tips for Conclusions Chapter Summarize what you found out, highlighting the most important things. State how the findings support or contradict previous research Make recommendations for practice or policy based on your findings. Make sure you include implications for social work. Describe any limitations of the study. What future research should be conducted on this issue How did this project address the concepts of empowerment, social justice, and diversity.

9 Other Components of Project/Thesis Signature Page Title Page Abstract (summary of purpose, methodology, and major findings) – one page. Table of Contents (broken down into major subheadings for each chapter) Reference list (use APA format only) Appendices (instruments, cover page, consent forms, etc).

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