1 Answer | Add Yours
The answer may depend on the field, but generally I think it's safe to say that a technical paper has several standard sectoins:
An introduction presents an overview of the problem being discussed or explored. This section can present a literature reivew (or "lit review"), which is a survey of the existing knowledge on that topic, including important findings and published statements. For example, this section might discuss the costs to a company if employees are dissatisfied (they will miss more days of work, there will be higher employee turnover, etc).
A methods or methodology section focuses on how the investigator will go about gathering information on or testing the subject at hand. For example, if the investigator is interested in determining workplace practices or attitudes (e.g. do employees feel satisfied at a particular job), the investigator may choose to conduct a series of interviews, distribute a survey, or both. In the methods section, the investigator would talk about a number of topics related to the way in which the research is conducted: e.g. is a sample of the employee population used? if yes, how is that sample selected? It's important to identify methods. Anonymous surveys may elicit more honest information, for example, than surveys that have identifying information; some employees would be reluctant to criticize the employer out of fear of retaliation.
A results section talks about what came of applying the above-discussed methods to the problem at hand. For example, the results of a series of interviews or the data from survey responses can be discussed here.
A discussion or conclusion section seeks to make sense of the results. The results of a survey, for example, are just numbers or disconnected data. The conclusion seeks to put the pieces of data together to make something meaningful emerge. This section is the final section in many technical reports.
A recommendation section is the final section of some technical reports. This section seeks to identify possible courses of action to solve a problem that has been identified in the conclusion section. For example, if employees are dissatisfied for one particular reason, this section can call attention to that one factor and suggest possible solutions or, at the very least, a need to address that factor related to employee dissatisfaction.
We’ve answered 319,195 questions. We can answer yours, too.Ask a question