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Report Writing
The Function of Scientific Report

The main purpose of scientific report writing at university is to communicate the results of your experiments. The process of writing a scientific report also gives you valuable practice in articulating the theoretical and empirical bases of a particular experiment, what you did, and what you interpret your results to mean. This type of assignment at an undergraduate level at university mimics the style of report you would be required to produce in postgraduate research and for communication through publication with your scientific/technical peers. This unit gives a general description of the sections of a scientific report; however, you should check with your lecturer or tutor about the practices adopted by your department or school as there may be differences in approach, style and presentation required by different department.

Here is an outline of the aspects of your scientific report the marker is likely to consider:

key-bullet Clear discussion of the theoretical and empirical implications of the research

key-bullet Acknowledgment and exploration of the limitations of the research

key-bullet Hypotheses that derive logically from previous research/review of the literature

key-bullet Precisely specified results

key-bullet Appropriate use of figures such as tables, graphs, diagrams

key-bullet Clear reporting of methodology

key-bullet Adequate and sufficient review of previous literature

key-bullet Appropriate report structure

key-bullet Clear, accurate and appropriately formal expression

(Adapted from O'Shea, 1996)


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