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Guidelines for the Final Report and Presentation


The written report should be a good summary of your work. It should be complete in the sense that a reader will gain a grasp of the entire scope of the project. But it should be compact in the sense that only information that is important should be included.

The information contained in the earlier documents -- the Research Proposal and the Research Design documents -- should be contained in this document as well, although not reproduced as distinct documents. Rather the information about business background, research purpose & objectives, methodology, etc., should be integrated into your report. This gives you an opportunity to refine what you had written earlier, which can be important especially if your approach has been modified at all.

Chapter 13 of Trochim gives a useful summary of some of the principles of good written and in-person presentations of research results.

Report Format

Please use the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 5th Edition, 2001, as the style guide for the written report. Among other things, this means that citations are not given as footnotes. Footnotes are OK for explanatory or tangential information not appropriate for the text and not big enough to deserve an appendix.

Report Length

Length is not an objective in itself – these papers can and will be of varying lengths. The paper probably does not need to exceed 35 pages in total length, including roughly 25 pages of text in the main body of the report. You will probably find that you wish to include appendices, including your questionnaire or discussion guide or other data collection instrument, key statistical tables, and other supplemental material which is important for the record but not appropriate for the main body of the report.

The length is not a critical factor -- just try to avoid turning an extremely thick, wordy report or one containing voluminous attachments.

Suggested Report Contents

The sections of your report may vary as a function of the topic and the methodology you have used. The following is merely a suggested starting point.

  • Title Page

  • Table of Contents

  • Summary (one page)

  • Background and Business and/or Academic Perspective

  • Literature Review

  • Findings from Secondary Sources

  • Research Purpose

  • Research Questions and Hypotheses

  • Methodology

    • Type of survey or other technique

    • Information to be gathered

    • Sampling plan

    • Reasons for this methodology and its limitations

  • Analysis

  • Approach

  • General results

DBA801 -- Quantitative Research Methods -- Curtis -- Summer 2008 -- Page 12

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