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The Mayfield Handbook of Technical & Scientific Writing
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Section 2.4.2

Research Reports

Research reports present the results of formal investigations into the properties, behavior, structures, and principles of material and conceptual entities. Almost any physical phenomenon or concept may be investigated in a research framework. The following are some key differences between formal research, and other less structured kinds of inquiry.

  1. Problem definition: the rigorous reduction of the inquiry to a narrow question with a quantifiable answer. The most significant preliminary phase of research writing is that of effective problem definition. This process is one of identifying an interesting question and narrowing the research inquiry to a manageable size.
  2. Research approach: the structuring of the research according to a methodology associated with a specialized field of inquiry. Specialized fields have research methodologies that are followed in investigating problems. These range from general methods of interviewing and literature researching to highly specialized procedures for using materials and mechanical devices to establish appropriate conditions for generating data. Adapting a sound research methodology to the investigation of your problem is a major milestone in the conduct of your inquiry.
  3. Research report: the presentation of the research and its results in a rigorously formatted document that follows a conventional structure. In presenting your research, you pull all its elements together into a focused, coherent document. Research reports contain a standard set of elements that include

    front matter


    end matter

The following research report illustrates report format and provides examples of the kinds of material contained in the various sections of an experimental document. Note that the report has been excerpted.

[Image: Research Report Title Page]

[Image: Research Report Abstract]

[Image: Research Report Table of Contents]

[Image: Research Report List of Figures]

[Image: Research Report Page 1]

[Image: Research Report Page 2]

[Image: Research Report Page 3]

[Image: Research Report Page 4]

[Image: Research Report Page 5]

[Image: Research Report Page 6]

[Image: Research Report Page 7]

[Image: Research Report Page 8]

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## Research Reports ##
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