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Reporting your findings

The resources that follow provide ideas for producing reports that will communicate messages effectively.


Originally published in Evidence and Policy [Vol 13 no3, 477-97]. Re-published with permission of Policy Press (an imprint of Bristol University Press, UK)’


Support Guides

Evaluation Support Scotland

Evaluation Support Scotland has produced two support guides that provide accessible information about communicating the outcomes of evaluations or other types of investigation.

  1. Evaluation Support Guide 3.3 Report Writing.

This six-page document gives information about planning and constructing a report. There is guidance about reporting quantitative and qualitative findings and drawing attention to the headline results.

  1. Evaluation Support Guide 3.2 Writing Case Studies.

This five-page guide also provides information about planning and structuring case studies. There is a FAQs section.

  1. Evidence for Success. The Guide to Getting Evidence and Using it.

Part 2 of this document has some useful ideas about how to communicate evidence to change policy and practice, drawing on understandings of policy cycles. This has been developed from the experience of practitioners, policy makers, researchers and funders and is highly practical. It provides an overview of policy influencing principles.


Reporting and writing


Reporting Research Findings: Evaluation Resources from Wilder Research

This nine-page document provides information on preparing written reports. There are useful tips on presenting numerical and qualitative data.

Report and Support Use of Findings: Better Evaluation.

This three-page document provides ideas on report findings, including more creative approaches. There are also suggestions about how to develop recommendations from the findings and to support the use of findings in practice.

Top Tips to Communicate Research Effectively: Scottish Third Sector Research Forum.

This accessible three-page document provides ideas different ways to present findings.


Quantitative Data Presentation

Making Data Meaningful Part 2: A Guide to Presenting Statistics. The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.

This resource is accessible and clearly written. It contains lots of advice and tips. There are sections on presenting data in tables and charts with examples of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ presentations and on writing style and wording.

Interactive Graph Chooser. Depict Data Studio.

This web-based, interactive resource gives detailed guidance on each type of graph explaining what they can present. There is the option of viewing an excel spreadsheet for how data was entered to produce the selected graph

Style ONS. A Guide to Writing About Statistics. Office for National Statistics.

This resource provides guidance on using tables and charts. There is a section on how to report findings on the internet and social media. The section on the ONS House style may be useful for prompting reflection on language and the general tone of any reporting.