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How to write a report?
Describe and interpret the study to test one or more hypotheses.
what is hypothesis?
A simple statement predicting a relationship between a cause and an effect.
What is the purpose of writing a research report?
One way of communicating the results of original research to the scientific community.
What are the four main steps to write report?
- 1. Read scientific literature --> identify arguemtns, theories, issues to assess. Review the literature in the INTRODUCTION of your research reportm which concludes with a statement of your aims and hypotheses.
- 2. Collect data of these hypotheses. Describe how collected in METHOD section.
- 3. Analyse these data using various statistical procedures. Report outcome in RESULTS section.
- 4. Interpret and explain these data, dicuss how your study contributes to original findings. Present these considerations in DISCUSSION section.
List down seven marker's criteria.
- 1. Interpreted and explained findings, thoughtful discussion of theoretical and practical implications of results and careful consideration of limitation of your research.
- 2. introduction in which hypotheses evolved logicallt and clearly from theoretical and empirical work you cited
- 3. Analysed data, specified results, gave details of any statistical procedures employed.
- 4. communicated the details of the experimental method CONCISELY and PRECISELY so that someone can replicate the study
- 5. Read sufficiently and cited that reading effectively and precisely to support your hypotheses and discussion.
- 6. Clear and accurate expression: Grammar,, spelling, punctuation
- 7. APA style
List the structure of report. With level heading
- Level 1 headings: Abstract, Introduction, References, Appendices.
- Method divided into 3 main subsections: Participants, materials, and procedures --> LVL 2 headings
List the order of writing report.
Hint 6 steps
- 1. Method: Describe how study conducted.
- 2. Results: Helps focus on main issues
- 3. Discussion: Helps focus whether hypothesis is supported
- 4. Introduction: Drafted the discussion, clarify arguement need to present in intro.
- 5. Abstract and Title: Summaries entire report. Clear of title
- 6. Reference and Appendices: Add them in.
What tenses should be use for report?
- Primarily past tense.
- Used PRESENT TENSE to refer other parts of report.
- FUTURE TENSE for hypotheses
When to use numbers?
- 1) if measurements
- 2) max to 2 d.p. UNLESS PROBABILITY
- 3) Number with less than 1 with 0 before d.p
- 3) % with no d.p
- 4) Number from 10 onwards
What should be in cover sheet, title and title page?
- Cover sheet: Name, student ID no, name of instrutor, code and name of unit, subject, course, date and time of submission.
- Title page: Running head + page number. First letter of each major word CAPITALISED. Name and university centered. Followed by Author's note - name and name of department and university, thanks to people who help with report, addresses for correspondence about the report, include postal and email address
NOTE: Title should also appear on 3rd page of your introduction. and
fewer than 15 words. Title outline relationship between principal variables or highlight the main issue.
Title: with variable manipulated - effects, influence, impact. with
no manipulation - association between/relationship between. Examining mediation/moderation - (pairs of variables are causally related) effect_Role of negative emotions, association between...
vary with age.
How to write abstract?
- On 2nd page after title page. Lvl 1 heading follow with a single, unindented paragraph.
- Complete summary of report in fewer than 150 words.
- Purpose: summarise topic and outcome of study - enable readers whether need to read further.
List the order of abstract.
HINT: 8 steps
- 1) introduce topic (importance). Rare to have citation inside.
- 2) Aim of study, include statement of hypotheses.
- 3) Specify no of participant, sex, age or ethnicity which are critical to study.
- 4) Summarise procedures participants completed.
- 5) Outline conditions to which participants were assigned
- 6) Describe measures or apparatus used
- 7) Specify principal findings. Give effect sizes.
- 8) Conclusion of study.
How to write introduction?
Begin on new page.
NOT headed as INTRODUCTION for lvl
1 heading instead the TITLE OF REPORT.
Purpose: explain why the study was conducted. comprehensive
review of relevant literature and develop a convincing justification for the aims and hypotheses of study
. 1/3 of report
- 1st para: Importance of study. Relate to people or animals or practical or theoretical issue that is tropical or vital.
- The rest: Present info - statistics, theories, conclusions from previous research demonstrating the problems that would arise if the main issue were not addressed.
- STEP 2:
- Summaries both past studies and explored own issue as well as theories that explain these findings.
- a) Theories from which own hypotheses were derived.
- b) Outline findings of previous studies that verify or contradict these theories
- c) identify problems or shortcomings of past research that will be addressed by study.
- STEP 3:
- Link previous and current study.
- STEP 4:
- Aim of research. Brief summary of research design and method.
- STEP 5: Normal prose and as complete sentences. Last para of introduction.
- a) Follow logically from a theory or an argument.
- b) Indicate the direction of a relationship
- c) Use words that match how the variables will be measured in study
- d) Testable - research cannot prove the absence of an effect.
How to write method?
HINT: 4 steps
on the same page and a LVL 1 heading. Divided into subsections which are lvl
Purpose: researcher can replicate study
must be complete and intelligible.
- Step 1: Describe participants/Subjects
- a) no of males and females
- b) the mean and standard deviation of their ages, or range of ages
- c) their occupation or category
- d) Demographics
- e) how they were recruited
- f) payment or reward participants receive
- g) criteria that determined eligibility to participate.
- for animals will be-
- a) name, strains, supplier of species
- b) no of males and female
- c) mean and standard deviation of their ages and weights
- d) lighting, temperature, fedding schedule
- e) info that could influence result.
- STEP 2: materials. responded? frequency? list? presented in? scale rating?
- if use technical equipment (computer program/equipment - separate subsection apparatus.
- apparatus. view? model? by? whom? to record?
- STEP 3: Describe procedure. during the time participants involve in study.
- a) summarise the instruction and feedback that participants received. lengthy verbal in appendix.
- b) how they were assigned to conditions?
- c) specify task that they completed
- d) indicate completed task alone or in groups*.
- 4) Describing the design.clarify independent and dependent variables.
How to write results?
HINT: 4 steps
- After method. Lvl 1 heading results.
- a) procedures used to treat the data
- b) descriptive statistics you calculated to summarise the data
- c) inferential statistics tests conducted to test hypotheses
STEP 1: treating data.describe method used to calculate score
, transform data and to assess statistical assumptions.
- STEP 2: Summarise data
- descriptive statistics, measures of central tendency and variability - mean and standard deviation for each of experimental conditions. or others etc.
- a) intro tables and figures in the text before presented in report
- b) no. to identify each table and figure
- c) highlight main patterns that emerge from these tables
- d) ensure no duplication in the text
- e) follow APA
- tables - Text should highlight the vital features of any table. Set table in sans-serif. a) use arabics numerals for caption.
- b) give title below caption.
- c) give unit in bracket
- d) italicise the title and capitalise the first letter of each major word.
- e) data should be aligned vertically
- f) ensure para not indented.
- g) set notes in a smaller font than the rest of table
- h) note that apply to whole table and label "note"
- i) if require use superscripts
- j) if applicable end with probability note
- Figures - graphs, pictures, diagrams.
- a) scale values on each axis
- b) vertical size approx 2/3 of hori size
- c)form a box with axis
- d) place axis tick marks inside box
- e) place axis tick values outside box
- f) label each axis
- points,lines,bars -
- a) hori axis represent one of independent variable.
- b) ver axis measure or dependent variable
- c) black, white, striped shadings - conditions of other variables
- line graphs
- a) hori axis represent numerical independent variable having most levels.
- b) ver axis dependent variable
- c) more than one line - other conditions
- d) data points as variously chaped symbols
- e) connect data with different sort of lines, solid/dotted
Legend - in its own box and place it inside figure box.
- Figure caption -
- a) use small snas-serif, boldface font
- use arabic numerals for the figure no.
- b) separate figure no from caption title with full stop
- c) italicise label
- d) caption title bried but meaningful, capitalise first letter
- e) double line spacing
- STEP 3: Testing hypotheses
- a) specify test
- b) present outcome
- c) integrate info with descriptive statistics
- Report results -
- a) specify direction of any difference
- b) present exact values
- c) whether difference is significant
- d) descriptive statistics
- numerical to 2d.p
- Report statistics -
- a) separate inferential statistics from sentence with a comma
- b)Italicise all statistical symbols that are standard alphabetic letters not Greek letters
- c) inferential statistical test - present name, degree of freedom in brackets, its value and exact probility
- d) for x2 test of independence include overall sample size in brackets
- e) for correlations - specify sample size rather than degree of freedom
- f) omit 0 that appears in front of d.p that take values only between 1 and -1
- STEP 4: Reporting units
- a) use SI unit. units should be abbreviated without full stops.
How to write discussion?
HINT: 7 steps
After results. Lvl
1 heading Discussion. 35% words of report. with
intro about 65%
- 1) Reiterating the aim/method of study. Summarise all the important findings and state whether they supported the hypotheses.
- 2) Discuss each principal findings that supported hypotheses. Interpret meaning of findings and discuss how they contribute to existing body of knowledge about research topic.
- a) summaries major similarities & differences between findings and previous research. if contradict: identify differences and explain
- b) summaries theories explanations that findings support & explain
- c) alternative explanation that could accomodate findings. e.g. spurious variables
- 3) Discuss non-significant findings
- a) Consider amendments to the study that could have increased its power.
- b)Challenge the suitability of any theory used to develop hypotheses.
- c) identify possible suppressor variables with obscure anticipated relationship
- d) outline theories that are consistent with the non-significant findings.
- 4) discuss unexpected significant findings: Explain any significant findings.alternative findings.
- 5) State practical and theoretical importance. integrate into a broader theories and framework. related to study but not central to hypotheses.
- 6) Suggest lmitation and future research. direction of causality, spurious variables, confounds, measurement errors, and generality.
- 7) concluding:
- a) Aim and principal findings in one or two sentences.
- b) Theories these findings support in one or two sentences
- c) complications or limitations of study
- d) potential benefits that would be experienced if the issue that was introduced in the first para was resolved.
What is referencing, appendices, dealing with variation in requirement?
referencing: cited in report must appear in ALPHABETICAL LIST after discussion. New page + lvl 1 heading references. Only sources cited in text appear in reference list.
- Appending appendices:
- a)Begin on new page after references with lvl 1 heading such as Appendix A or B.
- b) Table captions should include capital letter, hyphen, no. e.g. table B-1 refers to first table in Appendix B.
- c) Allude to every appendix in text.
- Dealing with variations in requirements:
- a) to give student ID or name on title page
- b) to right justify
- c) max no of words in abstract
- d) provide keywords following abstract
- e) whether refer as subjects/participants
- f) info on ethical procedures
- g) statistical assumptions and conditions were fulfilled
- h) include confidence intervals and effect sizes in result section
- i) effect sizes in abstract?
- j) info is required in appendices
- k) include supplementary material
- l) footnotes?
- m) exact probability values or 2-3 d.p
List the examples in report.
- pg 25: Remember the cover sheet.
- pg 26: Begin running head and page numbers.
- pg 27: a) The report should be double spaced.
- b) 1st sentence introduces topic
- c) Clause indicated the aim
- d) Part summaries the procedure and task
- e) Theoretical/practical implication
- g) emplicitly state the results + gives effect size.
- pg 28: a) Main text begins on a new page with title
- b) 1st and subsequent para are indented by about 5 spaces
- c) 1st sentence engage reader's interest
- d) remaining of 1st para highlight the importance of the topic
- e) whole intro - provide enough details to show the readers what authors did, found, concluded
- f) introduce some theoretical arguments
- pg29: a) Introduces evidence to evaluate the theory described in previous para.
- b) challenged the validity of this study.
- pg30: a) summaries the aim of the study.
- b) outline the method
- c) Hypothesis specifies direction and emerges from the theory described in previous paragraph.
- d) Methods, results and discussion do not begin on new page.
- e) Materials section gives specific details because subtle features of this manipulation could affect the results.
- pg32: a) whether the difference is significant, and the direction of this finding, are specified in the same sentence.
- b) e.g. t(98)=4.48, p<.001 : these statistical tests yield unlikely high effect sizes. In fact, the data are made up for this example report.
- c) fig. 1 illustrate the principal findings of the report.
- d) Fig appear with its caption on the same page as it is referred to in the text
- e) Sentence briefly reiterate the aim and method
- pg 33: a) Summaries the main results
- b) relates the results to propsed theoretical argument
- c) gives alternative explainations
- d) results related to previous findings
- e) Gives discussion of results that do not support the hypotheses
- f) Give possible limitations of the study
- pg34: a) gives suggestion for future research to overcome the limitations
- b) gives practical implications of the results
- c) Gives conclusion of the report
- pg35: reference begin on a new page