15 julio, 2024

Research report: characteristics, structure, types, example

A investigation report It is a written document that has the purpose of communicating the findings of a study, reviewing all the information related to the investigation, from the methodological design and the theoretical foundation, to the data collection and the interpretation of the results.

It is intended with this work to capture all the knowledge that has been generated during the bibliographic exploration process, with the contrast of sources and after experimentation with certain variables. This with the aim of responding to the research questions, which are part of the problem statement.


Characteristics of the research report

The text of a research report must have certain qualities, which are essential in rigorous scientific work. Among these general characteristics we find:

– Expository sense: the text has the purpose of informing about a topic and the results of a study.

– Explanatory scope: the work aims to make the reader understand the data presented.

– Objectivity: the language must be objective, precise and understandable.

– Specialization: specific terms of the study area are handled.

– Grammatical uniformity: in the writing you can use the third person singular, the first person plural or the impersonal form.

– Combination of structures: several sentence modalities are usually presented, the most frequent being those with an enunciative, argumentative intention and, in specific sections, also descriptive.

– Single theme: the logical development of ideas is carried out around a single well-defined scientific problem.

– Standardized format: the work must comply with certain universal academic rules, such as the rules for referencing and citing primary or secondary sources.

Structure of a research report

Methodology manuals usually present a general structure made up of 10 sections, without counting the title or identification of the project.


Section that includes the title of the report, date of presentation, authors and tutor, if any.


It refers to a list of content, which includes the title and number of each issue addressed.


Synthesis of the key aspects of the study, including the objective, the methodological information and the findings.


It is the section in which context is provided to the study, addressing the reason for the research, as well as the scope it will have. It should also be explained under which philosophical precepts they will be handled, that is, where they consider the source of knowledge or the nature of knowledge to be found.

Objectives and hypotheses

Every research report must indicate the objectives of the study and the questions that will guide the approach to the problem, to which answers will be sought. Depending on the nature of the work, it may include a hypothesis, which will be validated or refuted with the results.

Background and theoretical framework

In these chapters, a tour of similar studies that have been carried out previously and that serve as knowledge base for the investigation is made. It also involves a review of the literature on the subject, the theoretical models that will be used, as well as the definition of the terms to be used.


The general design of the investigation supposes the description of the methods, procedures and instruments to be implemented for the collection of data, as well as for its analysis and interpretation. In this way, the study acquires the validity and reliability necessary to be accepted by the academic community.

Results and discussion

It constitutes the most important part of the report, in which the findings are presented in an organized manner by means of tables, graphs or diagrams, in the case of quantitative investigations. If it is quantitative, the analysis of the interviews and observations collected for the study will be included.

Conclusions and recommendations

Finally, the research report must close with the conclusions reached after the analysis and comparison of the information. Recommendations will also be included for future research in the area, new perspectives or questions on the topic addressed.


It is a compendium that gathers all the material that may deviate from the central focus of the study or with unnecessary detail in that part of the report. Generally, more specific data of the sample, statistics, graphs or other technical provisions that may be of interest to the audience are included.


This is made up of a list where the referential data of all the primary and secondary sources that were used in the investigation are placed.

Investigation Report Types

Research reports can be divided into two large groups, depending on the final purpose of the work:

Technical report

It is the one that addresses experts in a specific area of ​​research. It is usually characterized by the use of specialized terminology. It also emphasizes the methodology implemented during the study, as well as the reliability of the results obtained.

informative report

It is the one aimed at a general public or non-expert in the area, for which its main interest is in the research findings. This type of written work does not emphasize the method or the techniques applied, but rather the results, conclusions and their consequences in future studies.

Other authors classify research reports in the following modalities:


It is a document that seeks to inform and argue about a subject, based on the consultation of various sources.


It refers to those scientific works with which it is intended to achieve a professional title or another academic degree.

Scientific article for magazine

It involves the description of a scientific investigation that will be published as an original scientific report, provisional publication or recapitulative study.

newspaper article

It is a report or interview in which a scientific problem is analyzed and argued from different points of view.

Lecture, presentation or talk

It supposes an oral presentation with which it is sought to disseminate the results of an investigation to a general public or a specialized audience. It may require the use of resources such as videos, audios and projections that serve as a complement to the dissertation.


The most representative examples of research reports are usually degree theses and scientific articles. In both, a problem usually arises with questions, to which answers are sought throughout the research process.

Hypotheses may or may not be presented or simply apply certain methodology and measurement instruments, which will be explained in any of the cases. Finally, the results of the study and the possible conclusions or findings detected will be presented.

The difference between the thesis and the articles lies in their final purpose, since the former is considered as a requirement to obtain a degree. They also differ in the way they are disseminated, since the articles are usually published in specialized magazines.

Finally, the participation of an expert who has the role of tutor or mentor, but not as a direct researcher, will be another difference between both types of research report.

Themes of interest

Kind of investigation.

Scientific method.

Exploratory investigation.

Basic investigation.

Field research.

Applied research.

Pure research.

explanatory research.

descriptive research.


García de Berrios, O. and Briceño de Gómez, MY Epistemological approaches that guide the investigation of 4th. Level. Management vision. [S.l.], p. 47-54, Nov. 2010. ISSN 2477-9547. Available at saber.ula.ve
Rodríguez Gómez, G., Gil Flores, J. and García Jiménez, E. (1996). Qualitative research methodology. Granada (Spain): Cistern Editions.
Rivas Galarreta, E. (2005, January 25). Investigation reports. Recovered from monografias.com
Guerra, A. and González, O. The Investigation Report. FACES Magazine, University of Carabobo. No. 3. p. 35-42, January – March 1990.
Frias-Navarro, D. (2010). Recommendations for preparing the research report. Valencia (Spain): University of Valencia. Recovered from uv.es

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