Scientific Report Writing
Research for Your Report
Books, papers, reports etc.
CD-ROMS and DVDs
TV, documentaries etc.
Materials & Methods
The title should be informative and clearly indicate
what the report is about.
Avoid questions and answers such as:
Discusses the theoretical background to your work.
Precise and accurate
Relevant references and literature from previous
studies should be cited.
Aims of your study should be clearly stated at the
end of the introduction.
Materials & Methods
Should include all information for an exact repetition
of the work performed.
Itemised list of all materials used.
Should be written as instructions to the reader.
Do not use personal pronouns such as ‘I’, ‘We’ etc.
Eg. Add 2 drops of cell suspension to…
Comment on the most significant aspects of the
The data are usually presented in tables or graphs,
but do not present the data in several different
Any comments should be backed up with data:
The treatment was 50% more effective.
The treatment was more effective.
Tables, graphs and photos should be placed
immediately after where they are first referred to in
The reader should also be referred to the diagrams
at the appropriate time in the text and the most
important features pointed out to them.
Tables, graphs and photos (called figures), should
be sequentially numbered ie. Figure 1…Figure 2…
Usually the most important section of the report.
It should include comments on the results,
especially any unexpected results.
The results should be explained or justified in light of
the original aims.
Compare and contrast your results to relevant
Do not repeat data in detail from results section, but
you can include summary tables.
Comment on the success, or otherwise, of the
Make recommendations for improvements to your
Conclusions are usually included in the discussion,
but they can be separated.
Should be an accurate listing of all the sources
Entries must conform to the conventions of the
referencing system used (usually Harvard system).
Should be listed alphabetically.
Citation in text:
Eg. In a popular study Harvey (1992) argued that….
In the Reference List:
Eg. Author, Initials. (Year). title. Publisher, Place of Publication.
Identify an author or an organisation eg. Cancer Research or National
Include the date on which you viewed the site.
Eg. Cancer Research UK (2006). About Cancer
http://www.cancerresearchuk.org/aboutcancer. March 2006.
Plagiarism – the unacknowledged use of someone
else’s words, work or ideas.
Everything that comes directly from the text has to be
in quotation marks and referenced.
Paraphrasing (presenting someone else’s work in
your own words) should be carefully checked to
ensure that you are not just rearranging or replacing
a few words. You must still acknowledge the source
of the information.
Size 12 font
Pages should be numbered consecutively ie. 1..2..3..
A blank line is usually used between paragraphs, but
no indentation is used
Bulky raw data placed in Appendices
Use English and not American spelling
Additional UCAS Tariff Points
Successful completion of the report can earn you up to
40 additional UCAS tariff points.
Report submission date
Friday 22nd September 2006