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What are the necessities in a GPR Report? What sections should you have in there?
Every GPR report needs 5 sections. More are acceptable, but the following 5 are required! The layout I will share are for one purpose…to show the customer or funding institution that the work was completed in a way that satisfies the scope of work or research questions. The information in the report will be useful for a customer, but the report is the documentation that indicates you fulfilled your job.
1) Introduction – The single most important thing that must be included in the introduction is the scope of work or research question. This is because the rest of the report will justify that you satisfied the scope of work. Other things that could be included are background, setting, or environmental conditions (on longer reports these could be separate sections)
2) Methods – This section outlines the technique of GPR or any other method that you used. This is the overview or justification for using the technique. Is it appropriate? That question needs to be answered here. You could add a site specific paragraph or two for extra justification or to point out limitations of the project site.
3) Data Collection Parameters – This section outlines the survey strategy, system calibrations used on site, should have a picture of the actual system in use, etc. Here is where you outline why you addressed the project site in the specific way that you did. You could also include data processing procedures in this section or create another section in a lengthier report.
4) Results – This section focuses on results and should be VERY specific. For example, on a cemetery mapping project this section could open up with a sentence such as the following, “This project identified 26 responses indicative of possible unmarked graves. 14 of these are probable and 12 are more speculative.” You must put examples of data in this section that you used to make your interpretations. You could make this a “results and discussion” section or add a discussion as a totally separate section in lengthier reports or academic treatments.
5) Conclusions – This section summarizes the report and offers recommendations. These recommendations could be presented in a bullet pointed list for clarity. If the GPR results are inconclusive, then this is the section where you can suggest additional investigative measures.
This outline is relevant for large and small reports. I have used it for 1-pagers and lengthy 40 page reports. Even in a 1-pager that doesn’t have section headings you should still use this outline or something similar. It is logical and shows that you satisfied your scope of work or answered your research question.
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