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How to write a Research Report?

The thesis or research report describes the whole of the research, all aspects are covered. It must describe and substantiate the choices made, and is therefore assessed on all four categories of professional skills.

A number of aspects are important for assessing a research report. In general, you can base an impression on:

  • Logical structure
  • Clear display
  • Substantiation
  • Layout and readability
  • Language use
  • Evaluation

Construction of research report (building plan)

A thesis always has a number of compulsory components and therefore has a fixed structure. These parts are:

  • Title page
  • Foreword (optional)
  • Management summary
  • Table of contents
  • Preface
  • Core
  • Conclusion (s)
  • Recommendation (s)
  • Evaluation
  • Literature list (Bibliography)
  • Attachments

Basically, you first tell what you are going to tell (introduction), then you tell (Core) and then you tell what you have told (Conclusion). This will help the reader to follow the common thread. How the core is structured differs per thesis and largely depends on your assignment. You have already made the start in your Research Plan (from context to problem definition, assignment, objective, question and approach).

All the elements you “put on” at the beginning of the report are there to better understand the later parts. Your problem definition (your general problem and context) will have to be in line with the recommendations  (the solution for the company). The path you formulated in the research question (your main and sub-questions) leads to certain answers (your conclusions, see Conclusions and recommendations). And your theoretical framework gives you the information (concepts, models, methods) to see your results in the right light.

The core

The core is what makes your report unique! In it you describe your approach, implementation and the results. There is no standard template available for this. You have to apply structure yourself. Make use of substantively clear titles, subtitles, chapters and paragraphs (ensure clear numbering!).

In addition, it is important to provide good arguments to be credible. This is called the chain of evidence. With this you can convince the reader that you have tackled it in the right way and thus achieved a good quality end result.

When you graduate, you will be assessed on many components, the thesis is just one of them (under the heading ‘Description and Accountability of the Realized Approach (Thesis)’).

However, the thesis also describes the approach, which falls under a different assessment aspect (and thus under a different part of the form). The complete form is too big to use here. That is why we have made a kind of summary in which the most important aspects on which teachers assess your thesis are discussed.

After completing the assessment / feedback form, the challenge is to arrive at a final grade. The aim is not to convince others why your judgment is correct, but to find out what exactly is the reason (which aspects of the thesis) that someone else comes to a different judgment. The graduation supervisors and lecturers also do this in so-called calibration sessions.

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