Field Trip Reports
Another type of report which you may be required to write is an account of fieldwork. Field trips provide you with an opportunity to learn about geographical and ecological issues in the real world, so make the most of them.
Field Trip Notes
They usually include a conducted component and/or some form of group investigation. Below are some general points based on guidelines produced by the Geography Division.
- During the fieldtrip you should listen to any guided discussion but also be prepared to make your own observations and contributions
- It is important that you take notes and make field sketches (if appropriate) whilst you are in the field. Notes could include material presented by lecturers or ideas which arise during discussion, plus your own reflections or questions about an issue. All of this information will be invaluable when you have to report on your experiences
- If you are carrying out an investigation, make sure that you take careful notes of everything you do so that should you (or someone else) wishing to repeat the investigation you could replicate it exactly
- Keep good notes on and during the field course so you don’t have to do it when you get back and have forgotten it
Reporting on conducted work or group project work requires a slightly different approach, and some guidelines are given below.
Conducted Fieldwork Components
Conducted work is a common component of many field trips, where you are either given information about a particular topic or are guided in discussion of an issue whilst in the field. When reporting on conducted activities you should include the following information:
Include a brief account of where the fieldwork took place, the overall aims of the fieldwork, and what you were investigating.
Include a detailed account of what you observed and, if required, some comment on its significance. Include photographs and field sketches and refer to other relevant research that has been done. Do not provide a day by day account but try to arrange the material to show your understanding of what you’ve studied. To help with this, look out for any recurring themes.
Tie together the report with a succinct account; draw together the key issues as a series of bullet points.
Groupwork Components of Fieldwork
During some fieldcourses, particularly at later stages of your degree, you may be required to carry out group project work where you are either given a procedure to work through or devise your own investigation. The report on this type of activity is similar to that required for a final year project and should include the following components:
Introduction and Aims
Outline the issue or problem which you are investigating; concisely sum up the aims and objectives of the group work.
It may be necessary to provide a brief background to the area in which the project work was undertaken, a map of your study site, and reference to relevant literature to set the study in context. Don’t forget to reference properly!
Now describe the methods used to investigate a problem. Include full details of the techniques you have used together with a description of your sampling methods and sites if appropriate and the analytical or statistical techniques you have used.
Outline and briefly describe the results using suitable tabular, graphical, pictorial and other methods. All figures and tables must be integrated within the text of your report, although you may choose to present raw data as an appendix at the end of your report.
After recognising the different relationships revealed by the data, develop explanations for your findings with reference to other published work. At the end of your discussion come to some conclusions regarding the original problem; or it may be inconclusive. The Results and Discussion chapters are particularly important because they demonstrate your ability to perceive the significant relationships which exist between the different elements of the problem.
This is a very important part of the project report. It shows whether you have understood the problem and can draw the appropriate conclusions. They should be stated concisely, possibly in a numbered sequence if there is more than one, and may be supported by a table or a diagram.
"Get into a routine - same time, same place for your studying; get into a good study habit."
Emma Burton, Community Pharmaceutical Healthcare student
"Don't leave studies until the end! "
Candy Koenig, Pharmaceutical and Chemical Sciences student
"Make good use of your diary and enter dates to plan when you need to do the work."
Course Work Grades explained
- 70%-100%: First Class
- 60 %-69%: Upper Second Class
- 50%-59%: Lower Second Class
- 40%-49%: Third Class
- 0%-39%: Fail