In addition to the requirements relating to the length of a project report, its contents must also comply with a number of requirements.
It is essential that you use project work as an opportunity for practising your skills in gaining the ability to clearly communicate academic issues while complying with the standards of academic writing. This means that your project must comply with a set of pre-defined requirements – both in relation to its contents (the sections of the report) and to the formal guidelines on form (source references, quotations, etc.)
You must remember, however, that you will find no absolute and universal plan for how to write a good project report. Nevertheless, it is possible to outline some key elements which should usually be included in project reports compiled by those studying Communication and Digital Media. These elements form the basis of the project report, and any additional elements which may be added to your report will depend on your problem formulation.
The following is an outline of the ‘basic elements’ of a project report. The basic elements will not necessarily need to be included in the following order, whether you choose a slightly different structure depends on your topic, approach, etc. Moreover, all basic elements do not need to be included in each section.
Project reports may be structured in many different ways. What matters is that the structure creates logic and establishes a sense of cohesion.
- Front page: Project title, the names of all group members, the name of the supervisor, semester (and study programme), the name of the university and submission date (month and year).
- Title page: This page must include the project title, the names of all group members, the name of the supervisor, semester (and study programme), the name of the university, submission date (month and year) and the length of the report.
- Table of contents: An overview of the sections included in the project, any annexes, appendices, etc.
- Introduction: This is where you introduce your readers to your project; which issues you examine in your project, why you find this exciting, why is it relevant, etc. In the introduction you must also define your topic and clearly present and substantiate your problem formulation in short.
- Theme framework: In this section you must account for the relevance of your project in relation to the theme framework of the semester.
- Methodology: This section includes the theoretical and methodical considerations of your project. This is where you prove that the conclusions of you project are of an appropriate academic level, and it is important to include this particular section in your project. In this section, it its often natural to present the overall structure of your report (see the section on the philosophy of science).
- Theory: This section should provide an account of the relevant concepts and theories which form the foundation of your project.
- Analysis: In this section, you should apply your chosen theories to your topic/issues and provide an analysis.
- Conclusion: Your conclusion should briefly emphasise the key points of your project. It is essential that you illustrate how your problem formulation and conclusion clearly correlate. As a general rule, your conclusion must not contain any information which has not previously been introduced in the project.
- Discussion: Your discussion must be based on your problem formulation and analysis and state arguments for and against the essential points of the project.
- Reflection: In this section, you can provide a discussion on how you project and issue relate to other issues in society. This provides an opportunity for you to prove the relevance of you problem and to inform your readers of the opportunities for further research within this issue. Your reflection does not need to provide answers to all your questions – following your conclusion on your problem formulation, this provides a chance for you to think in more abstract terms.
- Process analysis (process description): A reflected analysis/description of the group’s cooperation and working process.
- Reference list: You reference list must contain all sources used in your project (books, articles, information material, websites, videos, etc.).
- Annex: The annexes of your report comprises elements which you could not include in your report or wish to include in an effort to add value to your report. This might be a video, a website or another product created by you which cannot/should not be printed.
In addition, reports may contain other elements, such as ‘empirical presentation’, ‘considerations related to product development‘ or a model of the project.