Writing Reports
Writing a good report takes planning.

Writing Reports

Report writing is concerned with writing a document that gives information about an investigation, research or any other subject where facts are important. For example, your teacher could ask you to write a report about the leisure facilities that are available in your home town. Report writing is a formal style of writing and reports have to be written in a particular format. Here is a typical report format:

  • Title page
  • Acknowledgements
  • Contents
  • Summary
  • Introduction
  • Methodology
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Recommendations
  • References
  • Appendices

Note: Some of these sections will not be needed in reports that you do at school. Do this 11-plus English quiz and learn about report writing.

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  1. What is the purpose of the 'Acknowledgements' section in a report?
    This could include teachers, experts, librarians and computer staff
  2. What is the purpose of the 'Contents' section in a report?
    The sections should be listed in order of appearance followed by their page numbers. Diagrams, charts and graphs should also be included in the contents section
  3. What is the purpose of the 'Title page' in a report?
    Your name should be also be written in brackets underneath the title of the report
  4. What is the purpose of the 'Discussion' section in a report?
    The analysis and interpretation MUST be based on what YOU have discovered. You should also mention any difficulties or problems that you encountered and explain your findings wherever possible
  5. What is the purpose of the 'References and Appendices' sections in a report?
    The name of the author and the title of the book or other written source must be clearly stated: for school reports, it is not likely that you will be asked to provide more information about your sources. You should list the authors' names in alphabetical order. The 'appendix' should normally contain the following information: the interview questions used, statistical data, a glossary of difficult definitions and detailed maths calculations. The 'appendices' are used to keep all the information that would otherwise clog up the report and make it difficult to read
  6. What is the purpose of the 'Introduction' in a report?
    In the introduction, you should state your objectives, limitations and the method of enquiry used. Sometimes a brief background to the subject of the report is also useful. Note: In writing your report, you will have to decide whether you are going to use the active voice or the passive voice: it is best that you ask your teacher BEFORE you start working on your report
  7. What is the purpose of the 'Methodology' section in a report?
    For example, the information could have been collected by interviewing people or from questionnaires
  8. What is the purpose of the 'Results' section in a report?
    The 'Results' are also known as 'Findings'. You should state your findings in as simple a way as possible. Use graphical methods such as tables, graphs and charts. MAKE SURE that all your tables, graphs and charts are clearly labelled and correctly connected to the correct piece of text
  9. What is the purpose of the 'Summary' in a report?
    The 'summary' is also known as an 'abstract'. The summary should include the following points: a statement of the main purpose of the report, the methods used, the report's conclusions and its recommendations. Note: The 'summary' is the LAST THING that you write in your report
  10. What is the purpose of the 'Conclusion and Recommendations' section in a report?
    NO new information may be added in this section. If you wish, the 'recommendations' may be written as a separate section

Author: Frank Evans

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