The Structure of the Research Report

A research report in psychology follows a standard format, which includes the sections below, typically in the order listed. In some cases, a section (or subsection) will not be included. This is most commonly the case for the "Design" subsection and the "Appendix".


  • Title page
  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Method
    - Participants
    - Design (not always seen)
    - Materials (sometimes called "Apparatus")
    - Procedure
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • References
  • Appendix (or Appendices if more than one)

Some points to note. The sections or subsections are not numbered. They simply begin with the section name as the heading. The exception is the Title page and Introduction, where the title of the research report is given instead of "Title page" and "Introduction" headings. The Method has subsections as indicated above. The subsection "Design" is not always found in a research report. It may also be placed after the "Procedure section". Check the information sheet for the research report for your course to see whether a "Design" section is required and where it should be placed. Other sections can also include subsections defined by headings, but these can change from report to report. For example, the Discussion might have subheadings that break up the discussion into different parts.

It is a good idea to take a look at a complete research report to get an idea of how the different sections fit together . An example research report can be found here.