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The following are some indications of how the research report should be structured:
- Introduction. Generally begin with an introduction in which the theoretical, methodological and social relevance of the project is explained. This is followed by an outline of the project, in other words, the way in which the information was obtained, as well as a brief reference to the problems that are being research.
- Defining the research problem. This entails specifying what the focus of the research is and what research questions will be answered by means of the research.
- Theory construction. In the first section of the report a theory is constructed. The relevant literature is surveyed and, based on this survey, the theoretical tools (concepts, paradigms and the like) that the researcher intends using, are developed.
- Developing the hypotheses. Possible answers to the research questions are provided in the form of hypotheses. These hypotheses are the product of the literature review.
- Methodological discussion. In this section the methodology of the research must be clearly described. This will include a precise description of the procedures and techniques used.
- Outcome of the research and interpretation. The greater part of the report will deal with the results of the research. The mass of data that has been collected must be ordered and presented in a logical and manageable format and interpreted in terms of the theory. The report should clearly identify the research as being descriptive, analytical or both.
- Conclusions and recommendations. Since most research is problem-orientated, the results will generally enable the research to recommend possible solutions to the problem or problems that are under investigation. The conclusion must be based on the results and interpretation, and the recommendations must flow from the conclusions.
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