Dibrugarh University Solved Question Papers: Basics of Academic Project Preparation (May' 2019)

2019 (May)
COMMERCE (Speciality)
Course: 604 (Basics of Academic Project Preparation)
Full Marks: 80
Pass Marks: 24
Time: 3 hours
The figures in the margin indicate full marks for the questions
1. (a) Fill in the blanks:                                                 1x4=4
1)         Research cannot proceed without a research problem.
2)         Questionnaire contains define set of  questions.
3)         The numerical characteristics of population are called Parameters.
4)         A research report is a record of Research activities.
(b) Write True or False:                                                1x4=4

1)         Qualitative research is variable based.          False
2)         Schedule method in comparison to questionnaire method is costly.           True
3)         Checklist is a list which consists of a list of items with a place to check ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.    True
4)         The process of examining new data to detect errors and omissions is called coding.             False, Edition
2. Write short notes on any four of the following:           4x4=16
a) Research Plan: After identifying and defining the problem as also accomplishing the relating task, researcher must arrange his ideas in order and write them in the form of an experimental plan or what can be described as ‘Research Plan’. This is essential especially for new researcher because of the following:
(a) It helps him to organize his ideas in a form whereby it will be possible for him to look for flaws and inadequacies, if any.
(b) It provides an inventory of what must be done and which materials have to be collected as a preliminary step.
(c) It is a document that can be given to others for comment.
Research plan must contain the following items (Components of a research plan)
1. Research objective should be clearly stated in a line or two which tells exactly what it is that the researcher expects to do.
2. The problem to be studied by researcher must be explicitly stated so that one may know what information is to be obtained for solving the problem.
3. Each major concept which researcher wants to measure should be defined in operational terms in context of the research project.
4. The plan should contain the method to be used in solving the problem. An overall description of the approach to be adopted is usually given and assumptions, if any, of the concerning method to be used are clearly mentioned in the research plan.
b) Limitations of Secondary Data: Following are the disadvantage of secondary data:
a)      The data collected by the third party may not be a reliable party so the reliability and accuracy of data go down.
b)      Data collected in one location may not be suitable for the other one due variable environmental factor.
c)       With the passage of time the data becomes obsolete and very old.
d)      Secondary data collected can distort the results of the research. For using secondary data a special care is required to amend or modify for use.
e)      Secondary data can also raise issues of authenticity and copyright.
f)       Keeping in view the advantages and disadvantages of sources of data requirement of the research study and time factor, both sources of data i.e. primary and secondary data have been selected.
c) Structured Interview: Structured and unstructured: this interview involves the use of a set of predetermined questions and of highly standardized techniques of recording.  The interviewer follows a rigid procedure laid down, asking questions in a form and prescribed order. It is used in descriptive studies. Unstructured interviews are characterized by a flexibility of approach of questioning. It doesn’t follow a system of predetermined questions and standardized techniques of recording. The interviewer has greater freedom. This method is used in exploratory or formulative studies.
d) Sampling Error: The results derived from a sample study may not be exactly equal to the true value in the population because estimates are based on a part and not on the whole population. Sampling gives rise to these errors which are known as sampling errors.
There are two types of Sampling Errors:
1. Biased Errors: When the selection of a sample is based on the personal judgements of the investigator then the results are prone to bias errors.
2. Unbiased Errors: The Unbiased Errors are those which are arise due to a chance.
Even though the utmost care has been taken in the selection of a sample, the sampling error may occur because the subjects drawn from the population have individual differences.
e) Bibliography: Bibliography is one of the most important step in writing a research report. The bibliography, which is generally appended to the research report, is a list of books in some way pertinent to the research which has been done.  The entries in bibliography should be made as follows:
1. For books and pamphlets
Ø  Name of the author, last name first.
Ø  Title, underlined to indicate italic.
Ø  Place, publisher, and date of publication.
Ø  Number of volumes.
Example: Kothari, C.R., Quantitative Techniques, New Delhi, Vikash PUBLISHING House Pvt Ltd., 1978.
2. For magazines and newspapers:
Ø  Name of the author, last name first.
Ø  Title of article, in quotation marks.
Ø  Name of the periodical, underlined to indicate italics.
Ø  The volume or volume and number.
Ø  The date of issue.
Ø  The pagination.
Example: Robert V., “Coping with Short-term International Money Flows”, The Bankers, London, September, 1971, p.995.
3. (a) Define research. What are its features? Discuss the role of research in the following major areas: 3+5+6=14
1)         Marketing.
2)         Production.
3)         Banking.
Ans: Meaning of Research: Research is an art of scientific investigation. Research covers the search for and retrieval of information for a specific purpose. Research has many categories, from medical research to literary research. Basically research is a search for truth with the help of some study, observation, comparison and experiments. It is search for knowledge with the help of objective and systematic method of finding solution to a problem.
Definition of Research: According to P.M. Cook, “Research is an honest, exhaustive, intelligent searching for facts and their meanings for implications with reference to given problem. It is the process of arriving at dependable solutions to problems through the planned and systematic collection, analysis and interpretation of data. The best search is that which is reliable, verifiable and exhaustive so that it provides information in which we have confidence.”
Characteristics of Research: The characteristics of research are as follows:
a)      Systematic Approach: Each step must on your investigation be so planned that it leads to the next step.
b)      Objectivity: It implies that true research should attempt to find an unbiased answer to the decision making problem. Its means true research have a pre-planned objective.
c)       Relevancy: A research should be relevant according to objective and according to information required for that. It furnishes three important tasks:
Ø  It avoids the collection of irrelevant data or information and saves money and time.
Ø  It compares the information to be collected with researcher’s criteria for action.
Ø  It enables to see whether to research is proceeding in right direction.
Significance of Research in Business Decision Making:
The role of research has greatly increased in the field of business and economy as a whole. In modern of development three factors increase the interest in a research to business decision making.
1.       The manager’s increased need for more and better information.
2.       The availability of improved techniques and tools to meet this need.
3.       The resulting information overload.
Role of research in important areas of business through research, an executive can quickly get information of the current scenario. The following are the major key areas in which research play a key role in making effective decisions.
1.       Marketing: Marketing Research stimulates the flow of marketing data from the customers and his environment to Organization marketing research tools are applied effectively or studies of various variable and these are:
a)      Demand forecasting.
b)      Consumer buying behaviour.
c)       Measuring advertising effectiveness.
d)      Media selection for advertisement.
e)      Product positioning.
f)       Product potential.
Marketing Research involves following:
a)      Product Research: Assessment of suitability of goods with respect to design and price.
b)      Market Characteristics Research (Qualitative): Who uses the product?
c)       Relationship between buyer and user, buying motive, how a product used, analysis of consumption rates, units in which product is purchases, consumer attitudes, brand loyalty etc.
d)      Size of Market: Market potential, total sales quota, territorial sales quota, quota for individuals etc.
e)      Competitive position and trends research.
f)       Sales Research: Analysis of sales record.
g)      Distribution channel research.
h)      Advertising and promotion Research: Testing and evaluating the promotion program.
i)        New product launching and product positioning.
2.       Production: Research helps you in an enterprise to decide in the field of production on:
a)      What to produce.
b)      How much to produce.
c)       When to produce.
d)      From whom to produce.
Some others areas where research methodology can be applied are Product Development, Cost Reduction, Work Simplification, Profitability improvement and Inventory control.
3.       Banking and finance: The banking and finance sector is increasing day by day. To survive in the competitive market, every bank has to be on the top in providing services. In addition to this every bank must be aware of the attitude and behaviour of their customer. For this purpose it is necessary for every bank to have deep analysis and research on its customer behaviour. Research guides the bank and financial institutions in the following matter:
1.       New avenues of business development.
2.       Guidelines for investments.
3.       Guidelines for managerial growth.
4.       Performance and benchmark study of the bank with other competitive banks.
5.       Business trend analysis and forecasting.
(b) What is research problem? What are its components? Discuss the points that are to be considered while selecting a research problem.          2+5+7=14
Ans: Meaning of Research Problem
A research problem in general refers to some difficulty which a researcher experiences in the context of either a theoretical or practical situation and wants to obtain a solution for the same. The Research Problem is one which requires a researcher to find out the best solution for the given problem, i.e., to find out by which course of action the objective can be attained optimally in the context of a given environment. There are several factors which may result in making the problem complicated. For instance, the environment may change affecting the efficiencies of the courses of action or the values of the outcomes; the number of alternative courses of action may be very large; persons not involved in making the decision may be affected by it and react to it favourably or unfavourably, and similar other factors. All such elements (or at least the important ones) may be thought of in context of a research problem.
Components of Research Problem:
1)      There must be an individual or a group which has some difficulty or the problem.
2)      There must be some objectives to be attained at. If one wants nothing, one cannot have a problem.
3)      There must be alternative means for obtaining the objectives one wishes to attain. This means that there must be at least two means available to a researcher for if he has no choice of means, he cannot have a problem.
4)      There must remain some doubt in the mind of a researcher with regard to the selection of alternatives.
5)      There must be some environment to which the difficulty pertains.
Points to be taken into consideration while Formulating Research Problem:
1)      Statement of the problem in a general way: First of all the problem should be stated in a broad general way, keeping in view either some practical concern or some scientific or intellectual interest. For this purpose, the researcher must immerse himself thoroughly in the subject matter concerning which he wishes to pose a problem. In case of social research, it is considered advisable to do some field observation and as such the researcher may undertake some sort of preliminary survey. Then the researcher can himself state the problem.
2)      Understanding the nature of the problem: The next step in defining the problem is to understand its origin and nature clearly. The best way of understanding the problem is to discuss it with those who first raised it in order to find out how the problem originally came about and with what objectives in view. If the researcher has stated the problem himself, he should consider once again all those points that induced him to make a general statement concerning the problem.
3)      Surveying the available literature: All available literature concerning the problem at hand must necessarily be surveyed and examined before a definition of the research problem is given. This means that the researcher must be well-conversant with relevant theories in the field, reports and records as also all other relevant literature. He must devote sufficient time in reviewing of research already undertaken on related problems. This is done to find out what data and other materials, if any, are available for operational purposes.
4)      Developing the ideas through discussions: Discussions concerning a problem often produces useful information. Various new ideas can be developed through such an exercise. Hence, a researcher must discuss his problem with his colleagues and others who have enough experience in the same area or in working on similar problem. This is quite often known as an experience survey.
5)      Rephrasing the research problem: Finally, the researcher must sit to rephrase the research problem into a working proposition. Once the nature of the problem has been clearly understood, the environment has been defined, discussion over the problem have taken place and the available literature has been surveyed and examined, rephrase the problem into analytical or operational terms is not a difficult task. Through rephrasing, the researcher puts the research problem in as specific terms as possible so that it may become operationally viable and may help in the development of working hypotheses.

4. (a) What is secondary data? What precautions would you take while using secondary data? Also distinguish between primary data and secondary data.            2+5+7=14
Ans: Secondary Data: Secondary data are the data collected by a party not related to the research study but collected these data for some other purpose and at different time in the past. If the researcher uses these data then these become secondary data for the current users. These may be available in written, typed or in electronic forms. A variety of secondary information sources is available to the researcher gathering data on an industry, potential product applications and the market place. Secondary data is also used to gain initial insight into the research problem. Secondary data is classified in terms of its source – either internal or external. Internal, or in-house data, is secondary information acquired within the organization where research is being carried out. External secondary data is obtained from outside sources.
Essential Characteristics of Secondary Data (Precautions)
A researcher must see that the secondary data posses following characteristic:
1. Reliability of data: The reliability can be tested by finding out such things about the said data:
(a) Who collected the data?
(b) What were the sources of data?
(c) Were they collected by using proper methods?
(d) At what time were they collected?
(e) Was there any bias of the compiler?
(f) What level of accuracy was desired? Was it achieved?
2. Suitability of data: The data that are suitable for one enquiry may not necessarily be found suitable in another enquiry. Hence, if the available data are found to be unsuitable, they should not be used by the researcher. In this context, the researcher must very carefully scrutinise the definition of various terms and units of collection used at the time of collecting the data from the primary source originally. Similarly, the object, scope and nature of the original enquiry must also be studied. If the researcher finds differences in these, the data will remain unsuitable for the present enquiry and should not be used.
3. Adequacy of data: If the level of accuracy achieved in data is found inadequate for the purpose of the present enquiry, they will be considered as inadequate and should not be used by the researcher. The data will also be considered inadequate, if they are related to an area which may be either narrower or wider than the area of the present enquiry. From all this we can say that it is very risky to use the already available data. The already available data should be used by the researcher only when he finds them reliable, suitable and adequate. But he should not blindly discard the use of such data if they are readily available from authentic sources and are also suitable and adequate for in that case it will not be economical to spend time and energy in field surveys for collecting information. At times, there may be wealth of usable information in the already available data which must be used by an intelligent researcher but with due precaution.
Difference between Primary Data and Secondary Data:
Primary Data: Data which are collected for the first time for a specific purpose are known as Primary data. For example: Population census, National income collected by government, Textile Bulletin (Monthly), Reserve bank of India Bulletin (Monthly) etc.
Secondary Data: Data which are collected by someone else, used in investigation are knows as Secondary data. Data are primary to the collector, but secondary to the user. For example: Statistical abstract of the Indian Union, Monthly abstract of statistics, Monthly statistical digest, International Labour Bulletin (Monthly).
From the above discussion we get the following differences:
(a) Primary data are those which are collected for the first time and thus original in character. While Secondary data are those which are already collected by someone else.
(b) Primary data are in the form of raw-material, whereas Secondary data are in the form of finished products.
(c) Primary data are collected directly from the people related to enquiry while Secondary data are collected from published materials.
(d) Data are primary in the hands of institutions collecting it while they are secondary for all others.
(b) What is interview? What are its objectives? Why is interview skill so important in conducting an interview?   2+5+7=14
Ans: Interview: Interview is an act the employer to get the maximum amount of information about the candidates to judge their suitability for the posts under consideration. It is a purposeful exchange of ideas, the answering of questions and communication between two or more persons.
Objectives and importance of Interview:
a) To verify the accuracy of information provided by the candidate.
b) To obtain the additional from the applicant which is not stated in his resume?
c) To analyse the technical and creative skill of the candidate
d) Helps in establishing the mutual relation between the employer and employee.
e) It is useful for the candidate so that candidate can know the type of work expected from him.
f) It helps the candidate assess his skills and know where he lacks and the places where he needs improvement.
g) The interview also helps the company build its credentials and image among the employment seeking candidates.
Interview Skills
The work of investigator starts once the type of interview is chosen. The interviewer while performing his/her duty can do much to create good interview condition, ‘train’ the respondent accordingly. The four main areas of interview skills that are required in research work are mentioned below. These are:
a)      Asking the questions.
b)      Listening to the replies.
c)       Recording the answers.
d)      Reporting back the overall findings.
The essence of this approach is that the interviewer should be proficient enough in these four areas.
The first part of interview is asking questions. The interviewer asks the pre-set question in order with emphasis on certain words to help the respondent understand the question.
The second part of interview is listening to the reply. This part is easy and more interesting. In this stage the investigator should listen to the reply carefully and should not be distracted if the respondent sounds boring.
In addition to asking and listening questions, the duty of the interviewer is to records the answer. This technique is easy for close-ended questions. But in case of open-ended question the job is more difficult. The investigator should record in writing what is said verbatim without correcting grammar or slang.
The last stage of interview skill is reporting back the overall findings. After leaving the place the duty of investigator is to edit the questionnaire and record other details which include time and place. Further, he has to make his experience in this regard too. Thus, in the interview process the interviewer must be very careful while constructing the interview schedule because must of success depends on interview schedule and analyzing the interview results.
5. (a) What is questionnaire? Explain the characteristics of a good questionnaire. Also distinguish between a schedule and a questionnaire.      2+8+4=14
Ans: Questionnaire Method: In this method a list of questions pertaining to the survey is prepared and sent to the various informants by post. The questionnaire contains questions and provides space for answers.  A request is made to the informants through a covering letter to fill up the questionnaire and send it back within a specified time.  This method is adapted by private individuals, research workers, private and public organisations and even by govt.
Requirement of good Questionnaire: The following general principle/requirements are useful in framing questionnaire:
a)      Covering Letter: The person conducting the survey must introduce himself and state objective of the survey.  A short letter stating the purpose of survey should be enclosed along with the questionnaire.
b)      Number of questions: The number of questions to be included in the questionnaire would strictly depend upon the object and the scope of the investigation and number of the questions should be as small as possible.  Because if the questionnaire is lengthy, the rate of response will be lower.
c)       Should be Arranged Logically: The question should be arranged logically so that a natural and spontaneous reply to each is induced. For example it is illogical to ask a person about his income before asking him whether he is employed or not.
d)      Short and Simple: The question should be short and simple to understand and technical terms should be avoided.
e)      Personal Question:  Personal question should be avoided such as income, income tax is paid etc.
f)       Necessary Instructions: The instructions about the unit of measurement or the time within which questionnaire should be sent back etc should be provided.
g)      Objective Answers: The descriptive questions should be avoided while framing the questionnaire.  As far as the question should be of such nature that can be answered easily in ‘yes’ or ‘no’.
h)      Calculation: Question requiring calculation should be avoided. If calculus is included, informant may not answer the questions.
i)        Attractive: The quality of paper used and printing should be of high quality. Sufficient space should be given for answering.
Difference between Questionnaire and Schedule: 
Both methods are important.  The points of difference are:
1)      Mode of Sending:  The questionnaire generally sent through mail to informants to be answered as specified in a covering letter without further assistant from the sender.  The schedule is generally filled out by the research worker or the numerator.
2)      Cost Effective:  To collect data through questionnaire is relatively cheap and economical since we have to spend money only on preparing the questionnaire and in mailing to the respondents.  Schedule is relatively more expensive since considerable amount of money has to be spent in appointing numerators.
3)      Rate of Response:  Non-response is usually high in case of questionnaire as many people do not respond and return the question without answering.  It is very low in case of schedule method.
4)      Identity:  In case of questionnaire it is not always clear who replies, but in schedule the identity of respondent is known.
5)      Collection Time:  The questionnaire method is likely to be very slow, but in case of schedules the information is collected well in time as these are filled by numerators.
6)      Contacts: Personal contact is generally not possible in case of questionnaire, but in case of schedules direct personal contacts are established with respondents.
(b) What is sampling? What are the characteristics of a good sample? Also distinguish between census and sampling? 2+8+4=14
Ans: Meaning of Sampling: Sampling may be defined as the selection of some part of an aggregate or totality on the basis of which a judgement or inference about the aggregate or totality is made. In other words, it is the process of obtaining information about an entire population by examining only a part of it. In most of the research work and surveys, the usual approach happens to be to make generalisations or to draw inferences based on samples about the parameters of population from which the samples are taken. The researcher quite often selects only a few items from the universe for his study purposes. All this is done on the assumption that the sample data will enable him to estimate the population parameters. The items so selected constitute what is technically called a sample, their selection process or technique is called sample design and the survey conducted on the basis of sample is described as sample survey. Sample should be truly representative of population characteristics without any bias so that it may result in valid and reliable conclusions.
According to Goode and Hatt, “A sample as the name applies, is a smaller representative of a large whole”.
According to Pauline V Young, “A statistical sample is a miniature of cross selection of the entire group or aggregate from which the sample is taken”.
According to Bogrdus, “Sampling is the selection of certain percentage of a group of items according to a predetermined plan”.
Essential Feature of Sampling Techniques
The sampling techniques have following good features and these bring into relief its value and significance:
1.       Scientific Base:  It is a scientific because the conclusion derived from the study of certain units can be verified from other units.  By taking random sample, we can determine the amount of deviation from the norm.
2.       Economy:  The sampling technique is much less expensive, much less time consuming than the census technique.
3.       Reliability:  If the choice of sample unit is made with due care and the matter under survey is not heterogeneous, the conclusion of the sample survey can have almost the same reliability as those of census survey.
4.       Detailed study: Since the number of sample units is fairly small, these can be studied intensively and elaborately. They can be examined from multiple of views.
5.       Greater Suitability in most Situations:  Most of the surveys are made by the techniques of sample survey, because whenever the matter is of homogeneous nature, the examination of few units suffices.  This case in majority of situations.
Difference between Population and Sample
Population: Statistics is taken in relation to a large data. Single and unconnected data is not statistics. In the field of a statistical enquiry there may be persons, items or any other similar units. The aggregate of all such units under consideration is called “Universe or Population”. Under Census survey detail information regarding every individual person or item of a given universe is collected.
Sample: If a part is selected out of the universe then the selected part or portion is known as sample. Sample is only a part of the universe. It is not essential to investigate every individual item of the Universe.
The following are the differences between Census and Sample method of investigation:
(a) Under Census method, each and every individual item is investigated whereas under sample survey only a part of universe is investigated.
(b) There is no chance of sampling error in census survey whereas sampling error cannot be avoided under sample survey.
(c) Large number of enumerators is required in census whereas less number of enumerators is required in sample survey.
(d) Census survey is more time consuming and costly as compared to sample survey.
(e) Census survey is an old method and it less systematic than the sample survey.

6. (a) What is tabulation? What are the essential parts of a good table? Explain the requisites of a good table.  2+6+6=14
Ans: Tabulation: When a mass of data has been assembled, it becomes necessary for the researcher to arrange the same in some kind of concise and logical order. This procedure is referred to as tabulation. Thus, tabulation is the process of summarising raw data and displaying the same in compact form (i.e., in the form of statistical tables) for further analysis. In a broader sense, tabulation is an orderly arrangement of data in columns and rows.
Various parts of the table
In general, a statistical table consists of the following eight parts. They are as follows:
(i) Table Number: Each table must be given a number.
(ii) Title of the Table: Every table should have a suitable title.
(iii) Caption: Caption refers to the headings of the columns.
(iv) Stub: Stub refers to the headings of rows.
(v) Body: It contains a number of cells. Cells are formed due to the intersection of rows and column.
(vi) Head Note: The head-note contains the unit of measurement of data.
(vii) Foot Note: A foot note is given at the bottom of a table.
(viii)Source Note: The source note shows the source of the data presented in the table.
Features of a Good Table
1. Every table should have a clear, concise and adequate title so as to make the table intelligible without reference to the text.
2. Every table should be given a distinct number to facilitate easy reference.
3. The column headings (captions) and the row headings (stubs) of the table should be clear and brief.
4. The units of measurement under each heading or sub-heading must always be indicated.
5. Source or sources from where the data in the table have been obtained must be indicated just below the table.
(b) What is research report? Explain the various types of research report. Mention the qualities of a good research report.                 2+8+4=14
Ans: Introduction to Research Report
The final step in any research is to complete the findings into a summarized format. It is often said that without a research report the research remains valueless as it cannot be communicated accurately and effectively to the persons who are responsible for policy decisions.
Meaning of Research Report: A research report is more or less an official document that presents the information for an interested reader. It involves investigation and analysis and the facts may lead to conclusions and recommendation. The facts must be accurate, complete easy to find and usually must be interpreted. They provide valuable record for the business. They can also be made use of in future.
A research Report can be Defined as: “The process of communicating the results of an investigation. It is a document which reflects the research conducted and the care that has been exercised throughout the study”.
Types of Report
Research reports vary greatly in length and type. In each individual case, both the length and the form are largely dictated by the problems at hand. Various types of research report are outlined below:
a) Technical Report: In the technical report the main emphasis is on the method employed, assumptions made in the course of the study and the detailed presentation of the findings including their limitations and supporting data.
b) Popular Report: The popular report is one which gives emphasis on simplicity and attractiveness. The simplification should be sought through Clear writing, minimization of technical, particularly mathematical, detail and liberal use of charts and diagrams.
c) Oral Reports: An oral report is a piece of face to face communication about something seen or observed. An oral report is a simple and easy to present. This type of reporting is required, when the researchers is asked to make an oral presentation. Making oral presentation is somewhat difficult compared to written report. This is because; the reporter has to interact directly with the audience. Any faltering during oral presentation can leave a negative impression on the audience. In oral presentation, communication plays a big role. Lot of planning and thinking is required to decide
a)      What to say
b)      How to say
c)       How much to say
d) Written Report: A written report enjoys several advantages over the oral one:
1.       An oral report can be denied at any time. But a written report is a permanent record. The reporter cannot deny what he has reported once.
2.       A written report can be referred to again and again.
3.       A written report can change hands without any danger of distortion during transmission.
e) Informal Reports: An informal report is usually in the form of a person to person communication. An informal report is usually submitted in the form of a letter, or a memorandum.
f) Formal Report: A formal report is one which is prepared in a prescribed form and is presented according to an established procedure to a prescribed authority. Formal report can be statutory or non statutory.
g) Routine Reports: These are of two types:
1.       Progress Reports: When government departments give work on contract they insist on such reports from contractors. These enable the government to know whether the work is progressing according to schedule.
2.       Annual Confidential reports on employees. Most organizations make a periodic evaluation of the performance and general conduct of their employees. Periodical reports are prepared at regular intervals to indicate the working of a section or a department. These reports are usually prepared by filing in a printed form since the information required is of a routine nature and can be tabulated.
h) Special Reports: These reports cannot be prepared by filling in forms; they require special skills in collecting facts and presentation. The people who prepare these reports are responsible and senior persons. Special reports may be categorized into following categories:
i) Inventory Report: Inventory report is customary for every organization to take stock of equipment, furniture and stationery etc., at regular intervals. The person, who checks the stock, fills in his findings in a prescribed form.
j) Survey Report: Survey report is written when a particular area or field has to be surveyed and its condition observed and recorded.
k) Project Report: Project report is prepared after a proposal takes shape and usually after the preliminary survey has been completed.
l) Inspection Report: Inspection report is written when an inspection is assigned to a person, an auditor, an officer from the Head-office, or any senior officer may be assigned the task of making an inspection of a branch or a section.
m) Investigation Report: Investigation report is prepared after an investigation has been made when a problem cannot be easily solved; the cause need careful searching, analysis and consideration. When there are losses, labour problems, poor sales, customer complaints, falling sales, a senior person or a committee of senior persons is appointed to investigate the causes. It is difficult to make an investigation and the task requires collection of facts which are not easy to get. The collected data have to be analyzed and interpreted; conclusions have to be drawn from the analysis and solutions to the problem have to be recommended.
Characteristics of a Good Research Report
A research report must posses the following qualities
1)      Grammatical Accuracy: The grammatical accuracy of language is of fundamental importance. It is one of the basic requisite of a good report as of any other piece of composition.
2)      Accuracy of Facts: The scientific accuracy of facts is very essential to a good report.
3)      Simple and unambiguous language: A good report is written in a simple, unambiguous language.
4)      Reader Orientation: A good report is always reader oriented. While drafting a report, it is necessary to keep in mind the persons who are going the read it.
5)      Objectivity of Recommendation: If recommendations are made at the end of a report, they must be impartial and objective. They should come as a logical conclusion to investigation and analysis.
6)      Clarity: The report writer must proceed systematically. He should make his purpose clear define his source, state his findings and finally make necessary recommendations. He should divide his report into short paragraphs giving them headings.
7)      Relevance: The facts presented in a report should be only accurate but relevant also.

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