What is the Structure of the Research & Analysis Project?

When writing up your Research & Analysis Project (RAP), it is recommended that you follow the structure set by the Oxford Brookes University. There are students who fail their report purely because they have omitted certain sections, for example:

  • the limitations of information gathering,
  • the limitations of the accounting/business models,
  • presenting their findings in graphs/tables format, etc.
To avoid making the same mistake, I highly recommend setting up a blank Word document and pasting in all the main headings and subheadings for each part (see below). This will act as a reminder for all the required sections/subsections so you won’t forget to answer any of them.

Here is how you need to structure your RAP:

PART 1 – Project objectives and overall research approach – 1,000 words

The first part of your Research Report ‘sets the scene’ It should include the following:

• The reasons for choosing your project topic area and the particular organisation that was the focus of your research work
• What you wanted to find out in your research work. i.e. your project objectives and research questions
• An explanation of your overall research approach. This should provide the reader with an understanding of the overall framework that you developed to meet your project objectives and answer your research questions.

PART 2 – Information gathering and accounting/business techniques – 2,000 words

The second part of your Research Report should provide more detail about (i) the information that you have gathered and (ii) the accounting and business techniques you have chosen to apply to this information. It should include the following:

• The sources of information from which you have obtained relevant data
• A description of the methods used to collect information, including online access
• A discussion of the limitations of your information gathering
• Identification of any ethical issues that arose during your information gathering and how they were resolved
• An explanation of the accounting and/or business techniques you have used, including a discussion of their limitations. 

PART 3 – Results, analysis, conclusions and recommendations – 4,500 words

The third part of your Research Report should provide a detailed account of what you have found from the application of your chosen accounting and business techniques to the information that you have gathered. It should include:

• Presentation of your results in an appropriate form e.g. tables, graphs, pie charts
• A critical analysis/evaluation of your results which includes an explanation of your significant findings
• Your conclusions about your research findings and how well you have met your project objectives and research questions
• Only if appropriate; recommendations on specific courses of action to identified individuals within your chosen organisation.

You must comply with the specified word count of 7,000 – 7,500 words. This includes everything from the title page to the end of your conclusions. To find out more, please read my RAP word count has increased to 7500 and what this means for you article.