College students typically choose one academic area to specialize in, for example, the social sciences, biology, language arts or business. Whatever your choice of a major, you'll probably have to complete many projects in your area that require a formal written report. And while the subject matter obviously will differ, the structure of a study report will be the same.
Write an introduction to your study topic that explains your objectives and what you expected to find as a result of the study. In many cases, you'll start with a hypothesis and explain why you expected a particular result.
Put your study in context. Explain any relevant background information and outline why you chose this topic to study. Discuss any regulations you had to follow in conducting the study. Provide a brief summary of the report to give readers an idea of what they're about to read.
Present your methods. Discuss the specific protocol you used to set up the study and present your statistical analysis plan. Describe the population you studied and why you chose it.
Present applicable safety data. Describe any adverse events that may have occurred during the study. Present your laboratory data and any other relevant safety data.
Write your conclusion. Discuss any conclusions you may have come to after conducting this study. Be sure to tell readers whether or not your original hypothesis held up after examination. Also, discuss any unintended results that may have surprised you. At this point, bring all of your data together to paint a clear picture of the study as a whole.
Wrap it up. Collect all relevant information and organize into tables, figures and appendices that will appear at the end of your report. Include all information readers may wish to refer to while reading the report.
Amanda L. Webster has a Master of Science in business management and a Master of Arts in English with a concentration in professional writing. She teaches a variety of business and communication courses within the Wisconsin Technical College System and works as a writer specializing in online business communications and social media marketing.