Comm in Uni Culture-Cpt 4 - 4 Reporting Research Findings...

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27 Reporting Research Findings 4 Reporting Research Findings Very often, you will have to write reports, which are documents containing factual and objective information that you have collected through research. Analytical research reports, which are written after having gathered important information from primary research resources such as surveys or experiments, rather than published documents, present original data that you collect and analyse. Learning to write them well, especially the Results and Discussion section, sometimes called Findings or simply Results , is an important skill you will need to learn. This chapter suggests ways to write the Results and Discussion section of analytical reports in effective and convincing ways. To accomplish this, you will need to do the following: Use text and visual aids properly Interpret results Use headings and sub-headings Use language of reporting appropriately Refer to figures correctly 4.1 Use Text and Visual Aids Properly In the Results section, you are expected to present the data in words with the help of tables, charts and graphs to make your data clear and easy to understand. However, you should remember that you write a report; you do not draw a report. The text is primary. The graphics support the text. Figure 1 shows, on the left, an inappropriate reporting of results merely with a heading and a chart and, on the right, the appropriate way of reporting findings, that is, using text (a paragraph or more) and drawing the reader’s attention to a figure that makes the description clearer. Note that the chart is located after the text which explains it.
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28 Reporting Research Findings Note that simple findings usually do not need a visual aid, nor do you need a visual aid for every finding. Visual aids are usually used to make complex findings explained in the text easier to grasp. However, there are simple but crucial findings and visuals are sometimes created to give these facts more impact or emphasis, as above. Remember that in the Results section you need to be objective. That is, you need to report your findings without any biased comment or slant. An example of biased reporting is as follows: The survey shows that an overwhelming percentage of the respondents — 83% — feel that punishing cyberbullies is not necessary, a disappointing finding. You will notice that the words in bold betray the writer’s feelings and attitude towards the subject under discussion. Such comments should be avoided. Figure 1: Inappropriate and appropriate ways of reporting findings Yes No 21% 79% Yes No 21% 79% Figure 2: Percentage of respondents who know how to do CPR Letting a visual do the reporting 2.1. Extent of knowledge of CPR Reporting a survey finding using a paragraph (or two) and referring to
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