Research Report Format

GLOBE Student Research Report Format

It can be difficult to know where to start when writing any kind of paper. The table below is an outline for completing a final report. This outline will also help students structure their paper and present their experimental results most effectively.

You can also download a copy of this report

Adapted from the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair Guidelines - En Español

Abstract Write a brief description of the report (maximum 250 words) that summarizes the purpose of the project, hypothesis, procedures, principal results and conclusions.
Title Page and Table of  Contents Include the report title, names of students if parental consent has been obtained, school, teacher and date on the title page. Include a table of contents on the second page.
Research Questions and Hypothesis Clearly state the research problem/question and hypothesis. Explain what prompted the research, discussing the importance of the research in a greater context. Summarize background information from a literature review that helps the reader understand the research question.
Materials and Method Describe in detail the materials and procedures used to collect data and to make observations. State what GLOBE protocols and/or data sets were used. Provide sufficient detail so that a reader could repeat the experiment from the information in the paper.
Data Summary Present the data in tables and graphs. All plots, graphs and tables should be numbered and include a title and a caption. All axes should be labeled and include units. Do not include the raw data in the research paper; this belongs in the research journal.
Analysis and Results Summarize the data analysis and results. Include statistical analysis of the data. Determine and describe the experimental error. Explain any mathematics and equations that were used in the analysis. Be sure to account for, and discuss, the uncertainties present in the data set.
Conclusions Present the conclusions reached about the research question. Explain how these conclusions were derived based on the methodology and data analysis. The results and conclusions should flow smoothly and logically from the data. Compare the results with theoretical values, published data, commonly held beliefs and/or expected results.
Discussion This section is to put the conclusions into context. Discuss possible improvements that could be made if the project were to be repeated; impacts of the research beyond the classroom; and suggestions and extensions for further study. Compare the findings with other research.
Acknowledgements Credit those who assisted in the research, including individuals, businesses and educational or research institutions.

List books, journal articles, websites and other communications used in your investigation or cited in your report in alphabetical order. Use the APA (American Psychological Association) format for references.

Journal article example:
Dale, V.H. (1997). The Relationship Between Land-use Change and Climate Change. Ecological Applications, 7, 753 - 769.

Book example:
Jackson, D.L. & L.L. Jackson. (2003). Farm as Natural Habitat: Reconnecting Food Systems with Ecosystems. Washington, D.C.: Island Press.