Get Writing! Essays & reports

How to write a report

Try this:

Write down in no more than 50 words what you consider to be the purpose of a report.

Think about this:

Your answer may well depend on the subject you are thinking of studying and on your previous experience (e.g., work or study). Essentially a report can be simplified into three general principles:

  • How was it done?
  • Why was it done?
  • What does it mean?

For example if you decide to study a science subject you will probably be asked to write reports on any experiments you do. If you structure your report on the experiment by using the three principles above you will make sure that you construct a clear report on what you have actually done.

In general, a good report is one that you don't need to reread, it is clear and the information that it contains is easy to find. The structure is fairly rigid, usually divided into sections, probably with subheadings, each performing a very specific task. For example a scientific report will be a structured account of an investigation or experiment that you have carried out; whereas a business report may require you to imagine that you are making recommendations to your boss or colleagues for a particular course of action. You need to strive for relevance and conciseness, and your report should proceed in a logical and ordered way. Don’t forget that you will need to practice and act on the feedback from your course tutor and you will undoubtedly improve your report writing skills.

To find out how to write an essay look at Try this: How to write an essay.

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