# Structuring a scientific report and drawing conclusions

## In a nutshell

Once all the scientific research has been gathered, it needs to be evaluated so that conclusions can drawn. Scientific literature is other scientific research which has been peer reviewed.

## Report structure

A scientific report is a report that describes, explains and analyses the results produced from a method. A scientific report usually has the following structure.

#### Section | #### Description |

**Abstract** | A summary of the whole report, including the conclusion and discussion. |

**Introduction** | A summary of the aims and reasoning for the investigation. |

**Method** | Details of how the experiment was carried out. |

**Results** | Presentation of the processed results using graphs, tables and diagrams. |

**Discussion and conclusion** | Discussing the findings, what they mean and evaluating the results. |

## Making conclusions

A conclusion is a summary of all of the main findings discussed in the report. This is important for readers to understand what the main points are in the report, identify the final point of the report and be aware of future suggestions to improve the results.

### PROCEDURE

1. | Process raw data so that it is easy to understand and compare. |

2. | Plot graphs so that relationships between variables can be evaluated. |

3. | Describe patterns in the data. |

4. | Evaluate whether the data supports or contradicts your hypothesis. |

5. | Suggest reasons for these patterns using evidence from scientific literature. |

6. | If your results contradict the existing literature, think about why this might be. |

7. | Make suggestions for further experiments to investigate the hypothesis further. |

## Correlation vs causation

A correlation between two variables does not necessarily mean there is a causative relationship between the two. This may be due to chance or a third variable which links the two variables together.

Statistical tests are used to determine the probability of whether or not the relationship between variables is due to chance.

- If the statistical test shows that there is a very low probability that the results were due to chance, the results are
**significant.** - If the statistical test shows that there is a moderate to high probability that the results were due to chance, the results are
**not significant.**

To evaluate the impact of a possible third variable, further investigations are carried out. It is also important to make sure that the control variables in these investigations are carefully controlled so that only the independent variable is affecting the dependent variable.