If your report is based on the study of a particular problem, it has to be clearly exposed or defined. It has to say whether you’re trying to find or test a hypothesis, suggest a new theory, or simply record some observations made in certain conditions. When exposing the problem, you might want to point out the connection it has to other subjects or issues. A good report usually includes a clear and concise dissertation on the relationship between the problem at hand and the existent theories.
Verification or rejection of the hypothesis
If your report is based on an experiment or a series of experiments, you have to say what hypothesis you’re testing. This section can also include a dissertation on the effects that the future results of your experiment or experiments will have on the confirmation or rejection of these hypotheses.
Anyone who reads your report should be able to repeat the experiment or the observations and get similar results, using the same methods and materials – obviously, under the same conditions – that you used in your research. For this, you should thoroughly detail your methods, materials, equipment and conditions (temperature, pressure or any other environmental factor that was used in the experiment). You can also use graphs and photographs. Each step of the procedure should be carefully explained. If, in the course of the experiment, you observed that a way of doing something wasn’t giving proper results, state this clearly to avoid other researchers making the same mistake.
Data or observations
Numerical data is best presented in tables. This includes measurements and other statistical data. Observations, for example descriptions of flowers or the conduct of animals, should be presented in a simple and logical manner. Often, these last types of observations are registered chronologically as a diary.