Structure of research report

Structure of research report

The structure of the research report, dissertation or thesis is based on a standard format which contains the following sections:

  • Preface
  • Text
  • Supplementary

This section consists of the following:

Title Page
The title page is the first page after the front cover and should include the research title which has been approved by the Faculty, name of candidate according to the registration records, and the statement “…submission of research report/dissertation/thesis for the fulfillment of the Degree of
Master of …/Doctor of Philosophy” and finally the year of submission. Refer to Appendix A for example of front cover and Appendix B, C and D for examples of the title page.

Original Literary Work Declaration
This subsection is compulsory. Please refer to the format given in Appendix C.

Generally the abstract is written after the completion of the text of the research report/dissertation/thesis. It summarizes the structure of the whole text and the major facts it contains. It should be written in the language of the research report/dissertation/thesis and translated to Bahasa Malaysia or English and contain not more than 500 words. The abstract should be placed on the page immediately after the title page.

Most research reports, dissertations or theses have their subsection to convey appreciation to those who have been involved in the study.

Table of Contents
The Table of Contents lists the chapters, topics and sub-topics together with their page numbers. Sub-topics and topics should be labelled according to the chapter, for e.g., the first topic in Chapter 1 should be marked 1.1 and the first sub-topic, 1.1.1. The use of letters in parenthesis for e.g., (a), (b), (c) is appropriate as a means of differentiating sub-topics of the same topic. This numbering system provides a clear picture of the relationship between chapters and topics and shows how they are connected.

List of Figures
This list contains the titles of figures, together with their page numbers, which are listed in the text. For e.g., figures in Chapter 3 are numbered sequentially: Figure 3.1, Figure 3.2.

List of Tables
This list contains the titles of tables, together with their page numbers, which are listed in the text. The numbering system is according to chapter, for e.g.: tables in Chapter 3 are numbered sequentially

List of Symbols and Abbreviations
The symbols and abbreviations must be in accordance to international convention.

List of Appendices
This list is optional and contains the titles of appendices placed in the supplementary section.

Candidates and supervisors should ensure that the text follows the agreed conventions of the individual
Faculty. Normally, the text consists of the following chapters:

This chapter contains the introduction to the issues in which the research is concerned, the aims and objectives of the study, and the outline of the research approach.

Literature Review
This chapter surveys previous literature and studies relevant to the field of study. The literature review should be comprehensive and include recent publications.

This chapter describes and explains the research methodology used in the study. The sub-topics
for this chapter include the key research questions, the research design, and the research procedures adopted. It may also, where appropriate, indicate sampling methods, research
instruments and statistical methods employed. The purpose of this is to inform the reader on the methods used to collect the data and generate the findings reported.

Results are commonly presented in the form of text, figures and tables, complete with data analysis.

This chapter contains the interpretation of the results. The findings of the research should be compared and contrasted with those of previous studies presented in the literature review. The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the findings of the research.

In this section, the findings are summarized and their implications discussed. This section may include suggestions for future work.

Specific items which were not included in the main body of the text, should be put in this Supplementary Section. Typically, this section includes the following:

Research instruments such as questionnaires, maps or computer programmes.

Appendices consist of additional illustration of data sources, raw data and quoted citations which are too long to be placed in the text. The appendix supports the written text of the research report/dissertation/thesis. Appendices can be divided into Appendix A, B, C.

All works or studies referred to in the research, report/dissertation/ thesis in the form of quotations or citations must be included in the bibliography. The references should be written consistently in the American Psychological Association (APA) format or in another format approved by the faculty. Each reference should be written in single spacing format and a double space should be left between references. This list of references should not be numbered.