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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 'Contents' section in a report?
This is where you list the conclusions of the report
This is where you list the recommendations of the report
This is where you list the main sections of the report
This is where you list the findings of the 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
2.
What is the purpose of the 'Methodology' section in a report?
This section explains what word processor you used to type the report
This section explains how you put the report together
This section explains how you wrote your report
This section explains how you carried out your enquiry
For example, the information could have been collected by interviewing people or from questionnaires
3.
What is the purpose of the 'Title page' in a report?
This gives the title of the report
This only gives the name of the author of the report
This is a decorative cover page for the report
This is a cover page that gives the contents of the 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?
This is where you make suggestions for other types of similar reports
This is where the results are analysed and interpreted
This is where you discuss how difficult or easy it was to write the report
This is where you discuss how good your report is compared with other similar reports
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 'Summary' in a report?
This summarizes only the conclusions of the report
This summarizes only the recommendations of the report
This summarizes only the findings of the report
This is a brief description of the 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
6.
What is the purpose of the 'References and Appendices' sections in a report?
The 'references' section lists the written sources used in writing the report. The 'appendices' section contains additional information used in the report
The 'references' section lists the people who recommend the report. The 'appendices' section contains additional information about these people
The 'references' section lists the diagrams used in the report. The 'appendices' section contains additional information about how to write reports
The 'references' section lists the statistical methods used in the report. The 'appendices' section contains additional information about report writing styles
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
7.
What is the purpose of the 'Introduction' in a report?
This is a summary of the report
This is an explanatory section
This is a list of topics to be discussed in the report
This is a list of recommendations
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
8.
What is the purpose of the 'Results' section in a report?
This is where you write what your report found
This is where you write what your report cost to write
This is where you write what your report recommends
This is where you write what your report concludes
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 'Conclusion and Recommendations' section in a report?
This is where new ideas are discussed
This is where the final result of the report and suggestions based on it are written
This is where the final references are written
This is where the final appendices are found
NO new information may be added in this section. If you wish, the 'recommendations' may be written as a separate section
10.
What is the purpose of the 'Acknowledgements' section in a report?
This is where you name the contents of the report
This is where you name the references that you used to write the report
This is where you name the people that have helped you to write the report
This is where you outline the findings of the report
This could include teachers, experts, librarians and computer staff
Author:  Frank Evans

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