Secrets of Writing Successful Academic Research Reports

While it is common knowledge that academic writing, like words from a textbook, differs greatly from the conversational writing found into blogs or magazines, many have trouble when writing a successful research report. Aside from the change in language, it is important to remember the structure required to be considered a proper academic report. There is a specific formula that should be used as a guideline and will always keep a paper on track. By sticking to a few simple rules, anyone can write a research report that they can be proud to call their own. This list will go over the necessities that a good writer needs while staying true to the academic tone they wish to set.


Stay Organized

Academic papers, essays, and reports are all common in an academic setting. For many people, it is all too easy to stray off topic to meet the length requirements of the report. By doing some preparation before sitting down to write, the whole process will run smoothly. First, obtain the necessary materials to research the topic such as websites, articles, books, and newspapers. Once there is a good amount of knowledge on the topic, form an outline. Go through the research and gather any information that can be put into groups of similar subject matter. When creating the outline order, put the units of information in order from least interesting to the most compelling. Displaying thoughts and ideas like this will give the report a unique flow which will make it easier, and more exciting, to read. Once the outline is complete use it as a blueprint while writing so, the paper never strays too far off topic.

Keep the Report in Order

There is a standard formula that many academic papers tend to stick to. First, comes the introduction, next is the research, and last there is the conclusion. While it may sound a bit too simple, it has gained popularity for a reason. This method of organization draws in the reader with an overview of a topic, then goes on to explain in-depth research, and then sums it all up at the end. It is a clean and concise way to get the point across. Of course, there are other methods that people use, and the success of these would depend on the subject matter as a whole. For example, some writers want to surprise their readers with a slow build up and only reveal the topic at the end. While this works well with one thesis or another, research-based papers should stick to traditional methods.

Watch the Language

As mentioned in the introduction, academic writing is much different than conversational pieces. It is true that research should be understood by the reader, although it should never come across as overly casual. Research reports are considered academic for a reason. Encyclopedias and dictionaries do not use sarcastic phrases or slang, and neither should the report. It should read like a smart, well-informed piece that leaves the reader with a better view on the subject than before they started reading. The format and wording would be best with a smooth flow as well as intelligent and suitable language. During the process of putting pen to paper, use wording that comes across like a professor giving a lecture. Similar to reading a textbook, the facts and evidence that support the topic should be clear, concise and always accurate.

Check the Facts

After the completion of the report, many people have the urge to throw down the laptop and just be done with the project. Some of the time, this might end up fine, though more often than not there are typos, misspellings, and inaccurate information that can make the report useless. The proofreading part of this process is almost as important as the writing itself. There are few things less academic than missing commas and spelling errors. The writer should read over the paper once and search for any typos and grammatical errors. If possible, they should also get someone else to read it. A fresh pair of eyes often sees things that writers do not. After the first run through, go back and double check any facts that are hazy or uncertain. 100 percent of the facts in a research report should be true with reliable sources to back them up. By reading the paper over and fixing any errors, the paper will then be the polished masterpiece that any writer needs.

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