Saturday, June 29, 2013


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A survey report is a formal piece of writing based on research.
I  Structure:

State the purpose/aim of the report, when and how the information was gathered.

Main Body
All the information collected and analysed is presented clearly and in detail (break down the respondents into groups according to sex, age and place of residence, state the main differences between groups). Subheadings, numbers or letters can be used to separate each piece of information.

Sum up the points mentioned above. If necessary a recommendation can be included as well (one way of summing up is making some general comments).

II  Useful hints and phrases:
Present Tenses, Reported Speech and an impersonal style should be used in survey reports. Use a variety of reporting verbs such as claim, state, report, agree, complain, suggest, etc.

When reporting the results of a survey, the figures gathered should be given in the form of percentages and proportions. Expressions such as “one in four” or “six out of ten” can be used, or exact percentages e.g. 25% of the people questioned, 68% of those who filled in the questionnaire, etc. Less exact expressions such as: the majority of those questioned, a large proportion of, a significant number of, etc. can also be used.

III   Useful language for reports:

To introduce: The purpose/aim of this report, As requested, This survey was carried out/ conducted by means of…,the questionnaire consisted of etc.

To generalize: In general, generally, on the whole, etc.

To refer to a fact: The fact is that…, In fact, In practice, etc. 

To conclude/ summarise: In conclusion, All things considered, To sum up,  All in all, It is not easy to reach any definite conclusions, If any conclusions may be drawn from the data, It is clear that, The survey shows/indicates/demonstrates, etc.

 IV  A Sample Survey Report

Survey of Academic and General Reading in English
On 8th February 2012, a survey was conducted among 16 overseas post­graduate students at the University of England. The purpose of the survey was to discover the reading habits in English of the students.
The survey was conducted by means of a questionnaire given to the stu­dents to complete. The first part of the questionnaire dealt with the type of reading and its frequency. The second section was concerned with newspapers: the type of items read and those that were read first.
From the table of data, the most significant items are as follows. In the first section 81% of the students regularly read academic books" while 44% regularly read academic journals. Nothing else is read regularly or often by 40% or more of the students. The following comments can be made about the reading of newspapers, magazines and fiction. 75% sometimes read regional or local newspapers, 69% sometimes read books of fiction, 62% sometimes read general magazines, and 56% sometimes read national daily newspapers. On the other hand, 37% never read Sunday newspapers and 31% never read fiction.
In the second section, not surprisingly, 100% read news about their own country in newspapers and 56% read this first. 94% read international news,
25% read this first. 81% read about Britain and look at radio and TV informa­tion. The only other item that is usually read by more than 50% of the students is current affairs (read by 56%).
If any conclusions may be drawn from the data, they are, perhaps, as fol­lows. Overseas students presumably have little time for general reading: most of their reading time is spent on books and journals on their own subject. Out­side their studies, apart from reading news about their own country, interna­tional news, and news about Britain, they probably spend most time watching TV and listening to the radio.

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