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Business Research Methodology

REPORT WRITING

Topic & Structure of the lesson


Topic Outline
Introduction Types of Report Principles of Report Writing Planning & organizing a research Project Harvard system of referencing Bibliography Footnotes Checklist Oral Presentations

March 21, 2014

Introduction
The final step in the research process is the preparation and presentation of the research report. The most important part of the research process. If the report is confusing or poorly written, all the time and effort spent in gathering and analyzing data will be useless.

Research Report may vary in scope and treatment


There may be minor changes in the format as per requirements of University/ Funding Organizations/ Editorial Board of Research Journal, the ,main intention is to enable the researcher to communicate his/her ideas and results efficiently to the readers. Consistently follow whichever format and style you choose for research reporting throughout the report.

Types of Research Reports


BRM/SIP Reports in Business Schools

Various Assignments/Projects assigned


Dissertations submitted for obtaining research degrees like M.Tech. or Ph.D. in a University. Reports submitted to the sponsoring organizations such as DST, UGC, CSIR etc.

Publications in form of research papers in research journals


Report of research to a client organizations (Contact research or consultancy research)

Pre-Writing Considerations Dissertations/Thesis


Put yourself in the position of the reader Draft the purpose of report To whom addressed Time available for development of the report Style & Composition of the Report Written in Clear & Logical Manner Simple Language Should convey precise information in a reader friendly manner.

Principles of Report Writing


Consistency Connectivity Continuity Highlighting Openness Clarity Compatibility (Boundedness) Self Sufficiency

WRITTEN REPORT GUIDELINES


Consider the Audience: Make the report clear; use only words familiar to the readers, and define all technical terms. To make the comparison use percentages, rounded-off figure, ranks or ratios; put the exact data in a table within the text or in the appendix. Use graphic aids (charts, graphs, picture, etc.) for clarification. Address the Information Needs: Research report is designed to communicate information of decision makers. Make sure it clearly related the research findings. Be Concise, Yet Complete: Most managers will not want to read about the details of a research project. Knowing what to include and what to leave out is a difficult task. Researcher has to take into account the information needs of the decision maker when writing report.

WRITTEN REPORT GUIDELINES (Cont)


Be Objective: Sometime the results will not be easily accepted by the client. The findings may conflict with the decision makers experience and judgment, or on the wisdom of previous decisions. There is a strong temptation to slant the report. A professional researcher, however, will present the research findings in an objective manner (i.e. without bias). Writing Style: Use short words and sentences. Be concise Consider appearance. Use graphs and charts, used primarily to illustrate visually. Avoid Clinches. Write in the present tense. Use the active voice Placing short quotes from respondents.

Format of Reporting Separate Document

Management /Executive Summary


A condensed statement of what is important in the report, one-to two-page synopsis is a must for most research reports. Since many executives read only this, it is extremely important that this section be both accurate and well written. This is not a miniature of the main report. Rather, it provides the decision maker with those research findings having the most impact on the decision to be made. The management summary is written specifically for decision makers and should enable them to take action. Management summary should include:
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Objectives of the research project. Nature of the decision problem. Key results. Conclusions (based on the research). Recommendations for action

Appendix
The purpose of the appendix is to provide a place for material, which is not absolutely essential to the body of the report. This material is typically more specialized and complex than material presented in the main report, and it is designed to serve the needs of the technically oriented reader. The appendix will frequently contain copies of the data collection forms, details of the sampling plan, estimates of statistical error, interviewer instructions, and detailed statistical tables associated with the data analysis process.

DATA PRESENTATION
Describing figures or a technical procedure, graphic aids can help communicate this information to audience more quickly. Graphic aids used in research reports (tables and graphs) make report easier to read, understand, and improve its physical appearance. General Guidelines for Presenting Graphic Aids It is best to place an illustration within the text if the reader will need to refer to it while reading the report. If the information is supplemental it can be placed in the appendix. All graphic aids should contain the following elements: Table/figure number permits easy location in the report. Title should indicate the contents of the table/figure. Box head & stub head. Box head contains the captions of tables columns, stub head contains the labels for the rows. Footnotes explain a particular section in the table/ figure.

DATA PRESENTATION

Store West North East South Central Total

Number of persons entering 4,731 4,821 3,514 3,534 2,210 18,810

Percentage of total 25 26 19 19 11 100

Data can be presented in tabular or graphic form. Graphical form presents the data in terms of visually interpreted ways. Graphics call attention to important points that cant be explained clearly in table. They are a quick and attractive means of conveying numbers, trends, and relationships. Select the best graphic format. Pie, bar, & line charts are used most frequently in business communication They provide direct visual representation of complex data.

ORAL PRESENTATION
Check all equipment (e.g., lights, microphones, projectors, and other visual aid equipment) thoroughly before the presentation. Analyze you audience. How will they react to the research findings? Will they be in agreement? Hostile? Indifferent? Gauge your opening statements accordingly.

Its usually wise to begin a presentation with ideas about which there is agreement.
Practice the presentation several times. If possible, have someone comments on how to improve its effectiveness. Start the presentation with an overview tell the audience what you are going to tell them. Face the audience at all times.

ORAL PRESENTATION (Cont)


Use notes only to make sure you dont forget any important points. Use visual aids effectively graphs/ tables should be simple and easy to read.

Avoid distracting mannerisms while speaking.


Constant or unnecessary motion is bothersome.

Remember to ask the audience if they have questions after report is concluded.

ORAL PRESENTATION (Cont)


During the question period one should. Concentrate on the question. Dont think about the answer until the speaker has completed his or her question. Dont fake an answer. Admit that dont know the answer, then tell that will try to find it. After the presentation, find out where that person can be reached to give the answer to the question. (Make sure to keep the promise!) Answer questions briefly and support answers with evidence whenever possible.

References:
17

1.

Management Research Methods Krishnaswamy, Sivakumar & Mathirajan; Pearson


Education

2. 3. 4. 5.

Business Research Methods Cooper, Schindler; Tata Mc Graw Hills Marketing Research G C Beri; Tata Mc Graw Hills. Business Research Methods William G Zikmund; Thomson. Marketing Research Tull, Hawkin; PHI

March 21, 2014