It should be able to stand alone in representing why and how you did what you did, and what the results and implications are.
It is often only one page long, and there may be a word limit to adhere to.
The process of having to describe your study in detail, in a logical sequence of written words, will inevitably highlight where more thought is needed, and it may lead to new insight into connections, implications, rationale, relevance, and may lead to new ideas for further research.
Barras (196) suggests that you ‘think of your report as part of your investigation, not as a duty to be undertaken when your work is otherwise complete’, and this Study Guide suggests that: writing is an integral part of the research process.
You will need to check which style of reporting is preferred in your field.
For example a scientific dissertation would probably have very clear separation between the results and the discussion of those results; whereas a social science dissertation might have an overall chapter called Findings, bringing the results and their discussion together.
You may also find the following Study Guides helpful: “The research is going well, so the writing should be straightforward - I can leave it until later”.
“I know I’m not good at writing so I keep putting it off”.
Although this is the first piece of writing the reader comes to, it is often best to leave its preparation to last as, until then, you will not be absolutely sure what you are introducing.
The introduction has two main roles: This can lead logically into a clear statement of the research question(s) or problem(s) you will be addressing.