What are the characteristics of an engaging Action Research Report?

I will be completely honest, when I thought about writing my action research report; it did not occur to me that I would want it to be engaging. I thought informative and insightful, but not really engaging. So, the essential question this week really made me think. I feel that my research is meaningful to me, but I am not sure that it relates to a lot of other teachers. I chose to read the research by O’Halloran (2000) and found it to be very interesting. I enjoyed the section titles he chose and I was interested to read about his findings. However, I was left wishing I were more creative and could turn my research into something as interesting and enjoyable to read.

I decided to embark on a search for ways to make my action research more engaging to readers. One suggestion from Koshy (2005) was to “Be creative in your presentation. This is possible within any given format. Some of my students use bubbles, cartoons and photographs containing evidence when they present their findings.” I also found that making my research personal can be engaging. This can best be done when describing why I chose to research resiliency in first grade students. Parsons, Hewson, Adrian, & Day (2013) wrote, “this first section works best when it is personal and when it gives reasons as to why you are interested in the problem you have chosen to investigate. If possible, tell a story.” I actually found this to be very helpful. I can see using a story to hook the potential readers of my action research report. I also believe that adding humor in the first section (if possible) would be helpful.

Finally, I came across an article that resonated with me because it gave me a different idea of how my action research paper could be helpful to others. It could be an example that could help others generate ideas for their own action research. “In addition to providing guidelines and examples for students to follow, action research paper examples also function as idea generators. Many students are uncomfortable with action research, whether because of a limited understanding of the process or nervousness regarding execution of the research plan. These students often struggle with developing an action research thesis, and need research paper examples to guide them in the right direction. By reviewing research paper examples crafted by other students, the can get their own creative juices flowing. Perhaps there is a problem they wish to address that is similar to one read in a research paper; perhaps they even want to address the same problem, but in a different way” (Vivaessays.net, n.d.). In order for other to want to use my research as an example, I now see that I need to make it engaging to read.


Koshy, V. (2005). Writing Up and Reporting Your Action Research. Retrieved November 21, 2015, from Google Books: https://books.google.com/books?id=ZZ-AM5Cg21IC&pg=PT132&lpg=PT132&dq=how+to+write+an+engaging+action+research+report&source=bl&ots=T3S1PaIDxv&sig=p2tFN-tMsTIAz342oJWH46Mc31U&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiA0vXjvqPJAhUQ5GMKHTTdAeM4ChDoAQg1MAI#v=onepage&q=how%20to%20write%20an%20engaging%20action%20research%20report&f=false

O’Halloran, D. (2000, June). 1 The Joy of Writing: Creating a Class Culture for Writing. Retrieved November 20, 2015, from George Mason University: https://gse.gmu.edu/assets/docs/lmtip/vol1/D.OHalloran.pdf

Parsons, J., Hewson, K., Adrian, L., & Day, N. (2013). Organizing Your Research Report. Retrieved November 21, 2015, from Google Books: https://books.google.com/books?id=S3UiGKfzSUUC&pg=PA131&lpg=PA131&dq=how+to+write+an+engaging+action+research+report&source=bl&ots=s243rS99UI&sig=pCAz_1r6O1dIOkG3RDTTEKZ_H0A&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiTrfvHvqPJAhUQ32MKHafUCuQQ6AEISzAF#v=snippet&q=how%20to%20write%20an%20engaging%20action%20research%20report&f=false

Vivaessays.net. (n.d.). How to Use an Action Research Paper Example? Retrieved November 21, 2015, from VivaEssay: http://vivaessays.net/putting-an-action-research-paper-example-to-good-use.aspx


2 thoughts on “What are the characteristics of an engaging Action Research Report?

  1. I like the idea of using a story. When reading through the papers this week I did notice that a story is much more engaging than just the facts. I have also seen this to be far more effective when we have elder talk on Fridays at school. The students listen far better if they tell a story. But if the elder just tells them how to act the students lose focus pretty quickly. Trying to craft your data into a story might be challenging but it will be worth it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was approaching my paper in the same way as you, with no thought at all to being engaging. I like what you said about “making my research personal”. I think this is one of the things I will use to make my paper more engaging, because I found myself more engaged in the papers that I was able to relate to.


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