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Key characteristics of good research report

As more than 50% students fail their Research and Analysis Project (RAP) in every session and mostly there are common reasons for their failure. By a review of the causes for failing after each submission period, a conclusion has been reached that the students have issues with the research process. The “Research” is seen by students as something done by academics and not practitioners. Research can be a new experience for many student, and it is very different than the standard learning and taking the exams they are used to. It comes as no surprise that many students have difficulty in starting their project work.  These problems can be really seen and understood in the comparison of a “good: and “weak” projects.

The good Research and Analysis Projects (RAPs) are characterised by (1) Very specific and achievable project objectives; (2) A logical structure of the Research Report, supported and guided by a clearly explained overall research approach; (3) A proper, systematic approach to the process of gathering information that is relevant to the topic issues in the studied company and the report objectives; (4) The analytical and evaluative approach to the process of gathering information based on integrating and applying knowledge of relevant accounting and business theories/concepts/models important for meeting the original research report objectives.

In sharp contrast, reasons for the failed RAPs are (1) Either no objectives are set, or objectives that are too general or unrealistic are proposed;  (2) The absence of a clear statement of the overall research approach and a very inappropriate report structure and content is in place; (3) The gathering if information is unplanned and is not appropriate to the issues in the studied company or relevant to the Research Report objectives; (4) The gathered information, including information derived from relevant academic theories/models etc. is described instead of analysed and evaluated same with the issues in the studied company, and no conclusions and relevant recommendations are made to the Research Report objectives.

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