Research Report


Reports are used to describe research findings, analyze those findings, and make recommendations. When writing a report, writers need to do more than present the facts. Writers also need to interpret their results and help readers understand the information they have collected. Research reports are designed to describe research methods, analyze findings, and make recommendations.



For this assignment, write a 4-5 page Research Report in which you explore a controversial, still evolving topic related to digital citizenship or using technology/the internet (see list below). The following SIX sections should be included in your Research Report along with the Works Cited page:

Executive summary or abstract: summarizes the major sections of the report.

Introduction: defines a research question or problem and explains why it is important to the reader. The introduction clearly states the purpose and main point of the report, and provides background information on the topic.

Methods: describes how the research was carried out. Explain your methods step by step in a way that would allow your readers to replicate your research. Each major step will usually receive at least one paragraph of coverage. Explain how you did each step and why you did it that way.

Results/Findings: presents the results of the research objectively. Choose at least four of the most important findings/results from your research and describe what you found.

Discussion: analyzes the results and explains what they mean. Show how your results answer your research question. Sometimes this section can be merged with the previous section of Results/Findings.

Conclusion/Recommendations: restates the main point of the report and offers specific recommendations. Your goal is to leave your readers with a clear sense of what you discovered and what should be done about it.

Works Cited/Appendices: Provide bibliographic information for any sources you have cited in MLA format. Include any other materials you collected or created such as surveys, questionnaires, perhaps charts, graphs, or other documents that your reader might find useful.

A Note on Sources: You should present findings from meaningful sources, not useless or outdated material (limit your research to essays published in the last 5 years, and books published within the last 10 years). You must find one book, one article from a journal, and one (reputable website). The other two types of sources are up to you. Useful databases to search include the EBSCOHost, JStor, Academic Search Premier, and the Philosopher’s Index. The books should be useful in finding proper history, facts, quotes, and/or unfamiliar material to the general public.



Your audience is an academic interested in understanding more about what is being said and written your topic.You are making yourself the expert on this topic so you should address your audience like you are the expert.


In an ongoing effort to increase our media literacy, you will be engaging with various sources as media in order to cull a larger conversation happening around your topic. You will be inserting yourself in this conversation.


Research reports must conform to MLA formatting guidelines:
12 point, Times New Roman font
1” margins all around (except at top, where header is)
Double-spaced with no extra spaces between paragraphs
Proper heading with name, professor’s name, class title, and date
Proper headers with last name and page numbers, ½” from top of page
An interesting and descriptive title
Works Cited page that includes citations of your sources

You can find MLA format sample pages at Purdue’s Online Writing Lab




Wednesday, June 24: Introduction to Paper 4

Tuesday, June 30: Individual conferences with professor

Wednesday, July 1: In-class peer review activity

Thursday, July 2: Work day for Research report. Research report due in Dropbox on eLearn by 5.00 PM. No late work will be accepted.


List of possible topics. You MUST choose your topic from the list and narrow it down to your research questiononce you’ve begun your report.

Reddit or user-generated news

Revenge porn

The sharing economy

Storage of personal data by corporations or governments

Crowdfunding campaigns

Net neutrality


For-profit, online universities and MOOCs


Plagiarism/cheating online

Cookies and tracking software

Internet censorship


Parental controls

The deep web


Bitcoin and digital money

Open source software


Emoticons and emojis (the general proliferation of symbol-language)

Internet “addiction”

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