Do you find research reports daunting to pick up and read?

At McCrindle we pride ourselves on making data visual and easily consumable.

Yet we know it can be hard to read through long research reports.

Here are five tips to help you read a research report.

1. Read the executive summary first

Executive summaries are designed to give you an overview of the entire report. They include standout findings and are often concise enough that shouldn’t take you too long to get through.

Hopefully once you’ve read the executive summary, it will intrigue and inspire you to continue reading.

2. Skim read the report

To find what sections might be of most interest to you, skim read the report. Read the bolded headings and make a note of bits that stand out to you.

3. Read it with a highlighter and pen to annotate

Have you ever read a book or report, made a mental note of something really interesting, then struggle to find it later on? Why not read the report with a highlighter or pen in hand to make notes?

Or if you’re not into printing, annotate the document using Adobe. This way you’ll easily be able to see the parts that most stood out to you.

4. Focus on the break out boxes

Research reports often comment on the overall findings, but they also drill down into insights for particular cohorts. Break out boxes might have insights in them relating to a particular gender, generation or other segment.

Break out boxes are often where the gold is, so make sure you read them and absorb all they have to offer.

5. Take your time

In a world of shorter attention spans and busy lives, it’s ok if you don’t read a full research report in one sitting. Take your time with it. Put it down and do something else, then come back to it.

The report exists to serve you, so feel free to take your time, and read when you’ve got the motivation!

 

Put these tips into practice and take a look at some of our latest reports:

Education Future report

Australian Community Trends report

 

For any inquiries, please contact shalom@mccrindle.com.au

About McCrindle Research

McCrindle is an Australian based social research, demographics and data analytics agency. Their research methodologies include national surveys, population modelling, and qualitative research including in-depth interviews and discussion groups.