Annotated Sample Research Report

Acute Laughter Increases Immediate Bloodstream BDNF Levels in Adult Humans,” by tutor Chris Keim, was written for PSYC 053 (Research Methods I). 

This assignment involved researching a topic of choice, designing a made-up experiment to investigate some aspect of that topic, and then creating a research report based on my design.  Research reports are made to plainly tell the reader what happened, why it happened, and what information was gathered in an experiment.  These pieces are very specifically written towards other people in the field and follow strict structure so that they can be navigated quickly.  A report includes an introduction to the topic and the experiment, a methods section describing exactly what was done, a results section including objectively what data was gathered, and a discussion section interpreting that data.  The report actually begins with an ‘abstract,’ summarizing the entire paper in all of its sections so that another psychologist can understand the report quickly.  

I have annotated spots that show important parts that make up research reports.  I have taken out information that is unimportant for our purposes, like some of the explanations in the methods section and some data from the results section.  The introduction and discussion sections have been left whole.  Ultimately a research report is driven by the experiment it is reporting, and the writing process follows the stages of the experiment: first comes the methods section, then the results, then the introduction and discussion sections are written, and finally the abstract.