Writing Up

Planning a Practitioner Research Project - Writing Up

Writing Up

You will want to organise your writing so that you introduce the research question and the inquiry's aims.

The reader will then need to be convinced that you have read around the topic thoroughly and contextualised school policy documentation.

  • You need to describe how you undertook your data collection and what you learned from doing this.
  • The findings section needs to be clear and comprehensive.
  • What conclusions you draw from the results need to be explained and you will need to discuss the implications of what you have discovered.
  • Finally you need to draw your study to a conclusion with some summative statements about the topic.

Set out your study with section headings to guide the reader. Do not be afraid to write in the first person. The reader will want to know why this topic interested you and what you came to learn as you embarked upon the project and brought it to completion.


Make sure that you have the inquiry area clearly defined in your own mind. If you are not clear about what you are writing about then you will have difficulty expressing yourself in the report.

It might be helpful to brainstorm the major issues and then plot links between them so that you have a web of ideas with lines or key words to show the relationship between them. Such a link may be a causal one, a contrasting one ("... on the other hand ...") or further evidence of the points you have been making.

All work should be word-processed. Word-processed reports should be well spaced and written on A4 paper. You will need to read through all of your written work before handing it in to ensure that it is free from spelling and punctuation errors. Pages should be numbered and appropriate attention given to accurate referencing of articles and texts.

Work which is untidy and contains typographic, spelling and punctuation errors is unlikely to receive sympathetic consideration.


You probably do not need to be reminded that plagiarism is a serious offence. However, you should remember that it is not limited to the submission of another student teacher's work, but includes the unacknowledged transcription to a significant degree of material from any source. Therefore, you must take strict care over references and the following practice should be observed.

  • References in the text of an essay should consist of the author's name followed by the date of the work: eg 'Smith and Wilson (1992) argue that.....'
  • Quotations should indicate the page number of quotation.
  • The complete references should be listed alphabetically at the end of the essay, under the author's name followed by the date of the work in parenthesis.
  • Titles of articles should be given in lower case, apart from the initial letter of the first word, and not in quotation marks.
  • Names of journals should be underlined or italicised, followed by the volume number (Arabic), part number and page numbers: e.g. Bruner, J.S. (1973) Organisation of early skills action, Child Development 44 (1): 1-11.
  • Titles of books should be underlined or italicised, all lower case apart from the initial letter of the first word: e.g. Bernstein, B. (1971) Class, codes and control, London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
  • Where more than one work by the same author has appeared in the same year, each should be indicated by the date followed by a, b, c, in both text and references: eg Smith (1990a).
  • Electronic sources should be cited as follows: Author's last name, initial(s). (Date of work, if known.), Title of work. Title of complete work [protocol and address] [path] (date of message or visit). So a World Wide Web reference could be: e.g. Light, M. (1997) A Level History, UK School History Resources Newsletter. http://www.liv.ac.uk/~evansjon/humanities/history/index.htm (14 June 2000)