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public:t-701-rem4:imrad [2007/10/08 00:42] (current)
helgi created
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 +<code Latex>
 +\documentclass{article}
 +% \usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
 +% \usepackage{graphicx}
  
 +\title{A Framework for assignments and reports: IMRaD}
 +\author{Helgi Thorsson}
 +\date{}
 +
 +\begin{document}
 +\maketitle
 +
 +% \tableofcontents
 +% \listoffigures
 +% \listoftables
 +
 +\begin{abstract}
 +This article describes the IMRaD model for layout of assignments 
 +and reports. 
 +The model has four logical sections, 
 +Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion (hence the acronym IMRaD). 
 +Actual chapters may reflect these sections, 
 +but sometimes it is practical to join sections 
 +or break up a single one.
 +
 +\end{abstract}
 +  
 +\section{Introduction}
 +This report is intended to present a well-known general model 
 +for writing solutions to assignments and other topics 
 +with a simple structure.
 +
 +The model is taken from Chapter 12 in the book 
 +Technical Report Writing Today by Riordan and Pauley. 
 +While they call the model IMRD, the acronym IMRaD is often used 
 +since it can be pronounced as a normal word. 
 +Chapters 1-11 of the book deal with style, 
 +the relationship of the writer to the reader 
 +and other general subjects that add to and deepen understanding 
 +of the concepts of chapter 12. 
 +Nevertheless, the chapter 12 may be read alone.
 +Later chapters deal with other types of writing that 
 +are outside the scope of this article.
 +
 +The focus here is on reports, with additional descriptions of 
 +particularities for assignment solutions.
 +
 +\section{Method}
 +
 +An IMRaD report contains four main sections which are:
 +\begin{enumerate}
 +\item Introduction
 +\item Methods 
 +\item Results 
 +\item Discussion and conclusions
 +\end{enumerate}
 +
 +The \emph{Introduction} 
 +descibes the background of the work and puts it in context.
 +If the report only deals with a part of a larger project, 
 +its relationship to the overall work should be described.
 +The introduction should describe the status before the study 
 +and mention former studies when it helps setting focus 
 +for the subject of the report.
 +Former studies should not be described unless 
 +the report is an overview of either the history 
 +or the current status.
 +The introduction should end in a research 
 +question to be answered by the report.
 +
 +The \emph{Methods} 
 +section describes the procedure used to answer the research question. 
 +The description must be thorough enough for the reader to judge its 
 +correctness and how complete it is.
 +A common requirement is that the description is detailed enough 
 +for the reader to be able to repeat the experiment.
 +Then details may belong in an appendix rather than in the report itself.
 +If the choice of method needs to be justified, it should be done here.
 +If another method was tried but revealed itself unsatisfactory, 
 +it may be mentioned, but normally the history of the work is not detailed.
 +Results do not belong here but in the next section.
 +
 +The \emph{Results} 
 +section just shows the results of the method described in the Methods section. 
 +Summary statistics, figures and tables should be used 
 +when convenient for the sections purpose.
 +Details such as listing of individual measurements 
 +should most often be omitted or put in an appendix.
 +While this section should contain the explanations necessary 
 +for it to be understandable, interpretations and deductions 
 +are to be kept for the Discussions section.
 +
 +The \emph{Discussion} 
 +answers the research question and indicates how successful the work was.
 +Conclusions drawn from the results are presented and the significance 
 +of the work (for the author or others) explained as needed.
 +The discussion should also include further questions that 
 +got raised during the work, eventual continuation and 
 +possible improvements to the method.
 +
 +\subsection{Division into chapters}
 +
 +The IMRaD model can often be reflected directly by the separate chapters of the report. 
 +Sometimes, some sections are too small to merit a separate chapter, 
 +for example a detailed assignment may not need a separate introduction 
 +(for example hand in a solution of exercise 60 in chapter 3). 
 +Also, some sections might need to be further broken down. 
 +It might be better to put them into separate chapters rather 
 +than use sub-chapters uniquely to stick to the IMRaD model.
 +
 +\section{Other sections}
 +
 +The four main sections may need to be completed by four more sections: 
 +abstract, thanks, references and appendices.
 +
 +An \emph{Abstract} or a \emph{Summary} 
 +is needed when the report is long, 
 +in particular if reading it is not mandatory for the receivers. 
 +The abstract should be short, of the order of magnitude 100 words. 
 +The abstract may not say anything not stated in the report itself, 
 +it is not a conclusions chapter.
 +
 +\emph{Thanks}
 +may be a separate chapter. 
 +It should mention those that are close to being authors 
 +without being responsible for the report's contents, 
 +for example those delivering the data, 
 +treating it, people putting forward important ideas in conversations with the author 
 +as well as referrees and maybe readers of manuscripts.
 +
 +\emph{References}
 +must be listed if more are used than mentioned in the title 
 +and the textbooks of the course where the report is submitted.
 +All sources referred to in the text should be listed and no others.
 +If any standard is explicitly fixed in the course for the form of references in text 
 +and the layout of the list of references, it should be adhered to. 
 +Otherwise a general standard like API (American Psychological Institute) 
 +should be followed.
 +
 +\emph{Appendices}
 +may be used for material logically belonging to the report, 
 +but  too bulky to be part of  the main text.
 +While an exact description of the conduct of an experiment (for example sampling method) 
 +and detailed results are often necessary for the experiment to be replicated,
 +that material might make up a disproportionate part of the report 
 +and merit an appendix or two.
 +In that case, these aspects should be summarized in the main text, 
 +eventually through tables, summary statistics and figures.
 +
 +\end{document}
 +
 +</code>
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