1. The Standard Research Report
The standard research report doesn't have to be boring -- especially if you find a topic you are passionate about. Even if your topic has been assigned to you by your teacher, you can still find parts of the topic that are more interesting to you. A standard report starts with taking notes on reference materials found at the library. When performing research, you should start with an encyclopedia. Most good encyclopedias will recommend books on the topic. You may also want to talk with the librarian in the kids' section of your library. Often he or she will have outstanding recommendations for books on your topic.
Once you've obtained the needed research, you can then outline your project and group like research together. For example, going back to the Greeks, if you were researching the history of the Olympics, you might group together information on how the Olympics started, information about the connection to the gods, and information concerning the sports participated in. Your outline might look something like:
II. How the Olympics Started
III. The Olympics and the Greek Gods
IV. Sports in the Greek Olympics
V. The Olympics Today
For each of the outline points, you will see Roman Numerals as the largest general section. These would correspond to sections of your reports. More specific information would be indented and given an A. B. C. -- these will correspond to paragraphs or sub-sections if you have enough information. In a sub-section, you might have further detail, requiring 1. 2. 3. -- in this case, these numbers would correspond to paragraphs.
Once you've outlined your report, and you know what you will be writing, you will sit down and write a draft based upon your outline. You might want to have a parent look over your draft to check for spelling errors. Finally, you will need to write a final draft and add a list of the reference material you used, called a bibliography. In a bibliography, you use the following format:
Author Last Name, First Name. Title of Book. City, State: Publishing Company, Year Published. Pages.
Sometimes, you will use a magazine article for your research. In this case you would write:
Last name, First Name. "Title of Article," Name of Magazine. Date. Pages.
Finally, many individuals use the Internet for research. If your parent allows you to do this, you account for a website by writing:
Last name, First name. "Title of Page," Name of Website. Date. Accessed date. Web address.