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Presenting results & evaluating research report

Md. Shahriar Shafiq NFCE, IER, DU

What is research report?


A research report is a completed study that reports an investigation or exploration of a problem; identifies questions to be addressed; and includes data collected, analyzed, and interpreted by the researcher. It is composed for audiences, varies in length and format, and differs for qualitative, quantitative, and mixed approach research.
Creswell, 2008
Shah Shamim Ahmed, EER, IER, DU

What are the types of research reports?


Dissertation and Thesis Journal articles Conference papers Report for policy maker or school personnel

Shah Shamim Ahmed, EER, IER, DU

How should you structure the report?


Quantitative Study
Front Matter Title page Preface & acknowledgements (optional) Table of contents (optional) List of tables (optional) List of figures (optional) Abstract (optional) Body of the Paper Introduction Statement of the problem Purpose statement Research questions or hypotheses Theoretical or conceptual explanation Review of the literature Review of previous research Summary of major themes How present the study will extend literature Methods Sample & site Access & permissions Instruments & their reliability & validity Interventions (if used) Procedures of data collection Analysis of data Results Descriptive analysis of all data Inferential analysis to address Qs/hypothesis Tables and figures to display the data Discussion Summary of major results Relationship of results to existing studies Limitation of the study Implications for future research Overall significance of the study Back Matter References Appendices (e.g., instruments, table, etc.)

Shah Shamim Ahmed, EER, IER, DU

How should you structure the report?


Front Matter Title page Preface & acknowledgements (optional) Table of contents (optional) List of tables (optional) List of figures (optional) Abstract (optional) Body of the Paper Introduction Statement of the problem Purpose statement Research questions Procedures Rationale for qualitative approach Sample & site Access & permissions Data gathering strategies Data analysis approach

Qualitative Study
Findings Descriptive of site or individuals Analysis of themes Discussion Major findings Comparison of findings with existing studies Limitation of the study Implications for future research Overall significance of the study Back Matter References Appendices (e.g., instruments, table, etc.)

Shah Shamim Ahmed, EER, IER, DU

Title page
It contains running head, title, author(s), and institutional affiliation of the author(s). The running head is the abbreviated title, in uppercase letters, places at top left, and not more than 50 characters including the space. The title should be 10 to 12 words long. The title page and each subsequent page have a header and page number in the upper-right hand corner. The header consists of the first one to three words of the title placed above or five spaces to the page number. All pages should be numbered consecutively, beginning with the title page.
Shah Shamim Ahmed, EER, IER, DU

Abstract
The abstract is the comprehensive summary of the contents of the research report. It should not be exceed 120 words. It should be typed on a separate page with the word Abstract centered at the top of the page in uppercase and lowercase letters. It should be accurate, concise, specific, and self-contained. It should include a brief statement of the problem, a description of the research participants, a summary of the method used, the findings or results of the study.

Shah Shamim Ahmed, EER, IER, DU

Introduction
The research report begins with the introduction, which is not labelled. It presents the specific problem being investigated in the context of prior research and describes the research strategy. It begins with a general introduction to the problem area and perhaps a statement of the point of the study. It explains clearly the purpose of your study. It continues with a review of prior studies that have been conducted in the area and relating to the specific issue being investigated. After that you should tell what you did in the study.
Shah Shamim Ahmed, EER, IER, DU

Method
The method section follows the introduction. The purpose of it is to tell the reader exactly how the study was conducted.

It permits the reader to evaluate the appropriateness of the design of the study and be able to make an assessment of the reliability, and validity of the results.
To facilitate communication of the method section, it is typically divided into subsections.
Shah Shamim Ahmed, EER, IER, DU

Participants
The participants subsection should identify the major demographic characteristics of the participants e.g., age, gender, etc. You should tell how they were selected for the study, the number according to their characteristics and other factors that were considered during sample selection.

Shah Shamim Ahmed, EER, IER, DU

Instrumentation
This subsection describes the apparatus or instruments used and they were used. Sufficient detail should be included to enable the reader to obtain comparable materials or equipment. Commercial marketed equipment should be accompanied by the suppliers name and location as well as model number of the equipment or, in the case of a measuring instrument such as an achievement test, a reference that will able the reader to obtain the same test.
Shah Shamim Ahmed, EER, IER, DU

Procedure
The procedure section tells the reader exactly how the study was executed, from the moment the participant and the researcher came into contact to the time the participant left the study. It represents a step-by-step account of what the experiment and participant did during the study, including any instructions, stimulus conditions that were presented to the participants and the responses they were to make, and any control techniques that were used.

Shah Shamim Ahmed, EER, IER, DU

Internal validity
It is becoming common today for the qualitative research report that the researchers include a section in which they reflect on their personal biases and their disciplinary background.

They also describe that how they may affect the validity of their research.
Researcher should also discuss what strategies they used to ensure qualitative research validity (e.g., triangulation, lowinference description, extended fieldwork, and reflexivity).
Shah Shamim Ahmed, EER, IER, DU

Results (Quantitative research)


The purpose of the result section is to summarize the data were collected and their statistical treatment. Remember that any discussion of the results takes place in the discussion section. This section is limited to presenting the data and the analysis of the data. It should tell the reader how the data were analyzed and the results of the analysis. In presenting the results of statistical analysis, always state the alpha level used because it determines whether the results are statistically significant. When reporting the results of each statistical test, you should report the actual probability value of the computed statistic.
Shah Shamim Ahmed, EER, IER, DU

Results (Quantitative research)


Results of any inferential tests should be accompanied by the magnitude of the obtained value of the test, along with the accompanying degrees of freedom, probability level, and direction of the effect. Be sure to include sufficient descriptive statistics, such as means, correlations, and standard deviations, so that the nature of the effect can be understood. Generally, tables are preferred for presenting quantitative data and illustrate main effects most efficiently. Figure illustrate interactions most efficiently. If you use table or figure, make sure that you tell the reader, in the text of the report, what data it depicts. Then give a sufficient explanation of the presented data to make sure that the reader interprets them correctly.
Shah Shamim Ahmed, EER, IER, DU

Results (Qualitative research)


Perhaps it is the most important section in a qualitative research report. This is where the researcher provides the bulk of evidence supporting his/her arguments. The overriding concern when writing a result section is to provide sufficient and convincing evidence. Assertions made by the researcher must be based on empirical data. Qualitative researchers should try to minimize the situation in which their readers must take the researchers word for their arguments. The qualitative researcher says to the reader, Here is what I found and here are the details to support that vies (Bogdan & Biklen, 1998).
Shah Shamim Ahmed, EER, IER, DU

Results (Qualitative research)


The qualitative researcher needs to find an appropriate balance between description and interpretation to write a convincing results section. You do not need to overkill with extensive descriptive detail and little interpretive commentary. You do need to provide sufficient descriptive detail to support your conclusion and interpretive commentary. One effective strategy for writing a result section is to provide quotes from your research participants and to include short sections from your field notes and other data to bring your reader close to your research participants and to the real-world situations. You should provide some rich and vivid description of the context, setting, participants, cultural scenes, and interactions among the participants.
Shah Shamim Ahmed, EER, IER, DU

Results (Qualitative research)


The results section of a qualitative report usually includes more subheadings. The qualitative research results may organized around the research questions or research issues examined in the research an a priori literature-based conceptual scheme applied to the research data a typology that is developed during data analysis the key themes found in the data, or a conceptual scheme based on a grounded theory generated from the research data.

Shah Shamim Ahmed, EER, IER, DU

Discussion
The discussion section has the purpose of interpreting and evaluating the results obtained, giving primary emphasis to the relationships between the results and the hypothesis of the study. Begin the discussion by stating the answer of your research question generally. Follow this statement with an interpretation of the results, telling the reader what you think they mean. In doing so, you should attempt to integrate your research findings with the results of prior research. Note that this is the only place in the research report where you are given any latitude for stating your own opinion. When discussing the shortcomings, you should mention only the flaws that might have had a influence on the result obtained.
Shah Shamim Ahmed, EER, IER, DU

Discussion (cntd)
In general, the discussion should answer the following questions:
What does the study contribute? How has it helped solve the study problem? What conclusion and theoretical implications can be drawn from the study?

Shah Shamim Ahmed, EER, IER, DU

Quantitative criteria for evaluating quantitative research


Research Problem: Is it stated? Is it clear? Is it complete & accurate? Does it offer theoretical & practical values? The Literature Review: Is it clear, relevant, recent, based on studies reporting numbers? Are the citations & references accurate? Hypotheses and Variables: What are the hypotheses & what types are they? Does the study indicate the independent, dependent, intervening moderator, and control variables? Were operational definitions given for the variables? Were extraneous effects controlled in the study so that bias did not have an effect on the participants, their experiences, or the generalization of the results? Were certain variables manipulated?
Shah Shamim Ahmed, EER, IER, DU

Quantitative criteria for evaluating quantitative research (cntd)


Design: Was the study design identified? Were the scores from the measures valid and reliable? Were the statistics the right choice? Findings and Discussions: Did the findings fit the problem? How significant and important were the findings? Did the discussion section report conclusions & were they consistent with the studys results? Did the discussion section offer reasonable interpretations of why results did and did not match expectations? Did the discussion section suggest reasonable implications about what readers should do with the results?

Shah Shamim Ahmed, EER, IER, DU

Standards for evaluating the quality of qualitative research


Standards set in the inquiry community such as guidelines for publication. Positionality: The text should display honesty or authenticity about its own stance and about the position of the author. Community: All research takes place in, is addressed to, and serves the purposes of the community in which it was carried out. Voice: Participants voices must not be silenced, disengaged, or marginalized. Critical subjectivity: Researchers need to have heightened self-awareness in the research process and create personal and social transformation. Reciprocity: Reciprocity must exist between the researcher and those being researched. Sacredness of relationships: The researcher respects the sacredness of the relationships and collaborates on equal terms with participants. Sharing privileges: The researcher shares rewards with persons whose lives they portray. Lincoins philosophical criteria, 1995
Shah Shamim Ahmed, EER, IER, DU

Standards for evaluating qualitative research


It employs rigorous data collection, which involves multiple forms of data, extensive data, and a long period in the field collecting data. It is consistent with the philosophical assumptions and characteristics of a qualitative approach to research. These include an evolving design, the presentation of multiple perspectives, the researcher as an instrument of data collection, and the focus on participants views. It employs a tradition of inquiry, such as case study, ethnography, grounded theory, or narrative inquiry as a procedural guide for the study. It starts with a single focus on a central phenomenon rather than a comparison or relationship (as in quantitative research). It is written persuasively so that the reader experiences being there. Analysis consists of multiple levels of analysis to portray the complexity of the central phenomena. The narrative engages the reader because of unexpected ideas and believable and realistic information. It includes strategies to confirm the accuracy of the study. Creswells procedural criteria, 1998
Shah Shamim Ahmed, EER, IER, DU

Standards for evaluating qualitative research


Substantive contribution: Does this piece contribute to our understanding of social life? Aesthetic merit: Does this piece succeed aesthetically? Does the use of practices open up the text and invite interpretive responses? Is the text artistically shaped, satisfying, complex, and not boring? Reflexivity: How did the author come to write this text? Is there adequate self-awareness and self-exposure for the reader to make judgements about the point of view? Impact: Does this affect me? Emotionally? Intellectually? Move me to write? Move me to try new research practices? Move me to action? Expression of a reality: Does this text embody a fleshed out sense of lived experiences? Does it seem true? Richardsons participatory and advocacy criteria, 2000

Shah Shamim Ahmed, EER, IER, DU

References
For further study:
Creswell, J. W. (2008). Educational research: Planning, conducting, and evaluating Qualitative and Quantitative research. New Jersey: Merrill Prentice Hall. Fraenkel, J. R., & Wallen, N. E. (2009). How to design and evaluate research in education. New York: McGraw-Hill. Gall, M. D., Gall, J. P., & Borg, W. R. (2007). Educational research: An introduction. New York: Allyn and Becon. Johnson, B. & Christensen, L. (2008). Educational research: Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed approaches. Los Angeles: Sage. Lunenburg, F. C., & Irby, B. J. (2008). Writing a Successful Thesis or Dissertation. California: Corwin Press. Sharp, J. G. (2009). Success with your education research project. Cornwall, UK: Learning Matters
Shah Shamim Ahmed, EER, IER, DU