Components of a good research report

A research report is a document or a publication that describes, in detail, the findings of the research and systematically narrates how the research was conducted.

Ideally, a research report is always written after the project is complete, and it gives the outcome of the whole research process. It also becomes a reference to other researchers who will be studying similar or closely related topics in the future.

After writing your proposal, getting it approved and conducting the research, it is now time to write your report. One thing that you should put in mind is that your report is more detailed and extensive than the proposal, even though the components are almost similar.

In a report, the result, discussion, and conclusion are included while in a proposal, those components are not included.

The Tittle

This should be brief but comprehensive enough to indicate the nature of the research work. The title in your proposal should be similar and correspond to the title in your report, even though you might want to twist it a bit.

The acknowledgement

This is the part where you appreciate all the people involved in your research, no matter their positions. In most cases, student researchers also include a declaration and dedication before the acknowledgement.

Non-student researchers have an option of just including the acknowledgement, even though they are not restricted to declare and dedicate their work.

The Abstract

This is the summary of your work in a few sentences.

It includes the problem addressed in the research, the solution, the objectives, and the methods of the project.

Table of content

A long and detailed project report should have a table of content, a list of illustrations/ figures and a list of tables, all in this order. Each should be numbered with lower-case Roman numerals. The table of content includes an abstract as well. A table of content can be generated automatically, on your computer after you are done writing your report.


This section introduces the context of the report. It includes the statement of the problem, the purpose of the research, and the significance of the study.

It begins with a capsule statement and proceeds to introduce the subject to the stranger. Furthermore, it should give enough background to enable an informed layperson to place your research problem in a context of common knowledge and should show how its solution will advance the field or be important in some other work.

The statement describes the significance of the problem, referring to appropriate studies or statistics.

Literature review

Describes the research problem and indicate the research that has been done and accomplished. You, as a researcher, give evidence of your own competence in the field. Show the readers why the previous work needed to be continued, and a discussion of work done before should lead to a clear idea of how you built upon past research and how your work differs from theirs.

Research methods

The comprehensive explanation of the research is addressed to other specialists in your field. This section is the heart of the project and is the primary concern of the technical reviewers.

The methodology contains sub-topics such as research design, target population, data collection procedure and data analysis.

Research design explains the technique that you used to conduct your project.

A target population is not necessary if your research is not based on humans as subjects. In cases where you are studying human behaviour and other related scientific topics such as diseases, it is advisable to give brief background information about your target population.

The data collection procedure explains systematically how you collected your collection area, i.e., field or lab?

Data analysis explains the methods used in analyzing your raw data to come up with the final results.

While writing about research methods, remember to:

— Be realistic about what have accomplished.

— Be clear about the focus of the research.

— Be specific about the means of evaluating the data or the conclusions.

— Be certain that the connection between the research objectives and the research method is evident.


The results are basically the findings of the project. This does not really give any explanations, but it basically shows a representation of what the results are. The results are always presented in form of graphs, charts, diagrams, and tables.

Your results should be your original work and should also be clear enough to understand without reading the discussion.


In simple terms, this section explains and interprets, in detail the results and what it means to the project. It gives a deeper understanding of what the original findings turned out to be.

While discussing the results, be as detailed as possible and give relevant information that is only necessary for your work.

Conclusion and recommendation  

After carefully analyzing, presenting and discussing the results, what is your final thought?

The conclusion allows the researchers to give their honest opinions on the outcome of their research. These conclusions are solely based on their own opinions and not referencing this from anywhere.

After the conclusion, follows the recommendations. What do you recommend based on your experience with this whole research process? Recommendations are useful for the readers to identify what the challenges were, during the research. This is also important for the participants and research teams to identify the changes they should make in their next research participation. Basically, recommendations are meant to bring change in the process of improving the research experiences. What was missing and what needs to change?

List of references

While writing your report, use a similar style throughout the document. Use a style that is suitable for your research type.

The style of the research report should be consistent to generate one reference style.

I have put together comprehensive guides to using the common citation styles and formats in the content writing category. Check it out to learn more about how you can reference your work.

You can also check out my guides on how you can write a grant-winning proposal and also the step-by-step process of doing research.

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