• A report is a formal statement of the result of an investigation.
• In academic writing there are two main types of reports;
o Investigation report (e.g. case study)
o Evidence based report (e.g. evaluation report)
• You must know the purpose of the report.
• Is it a case study report for an ethnographic research report?
• Is it an investigation or an evaluation about something?
• Is it an assignment for your course?
• Must know who will be reading the report and why; because it will clarify the purpose of the report to you and to identify an appropriate form.
• Is it intended to shed light, and if so the findings from the data evidence is crucial.
• Is it reporting on something observed, and if so the findings will relate to conclusions and possibly recommendations.
• What is the report subject or focus, title or question?
• Describe your research in several sentences to define your focus.
• What are the main questions that define your research?
• Draft several working titles and choose the one which will help you keep to the point.
• In an observation report you have to make recommendations and check your focus with them.
• In an investigative report you need to know whether, your findings based on data analyses, what your aims or rationale are and whom your key authorities are.
• Make sure of what guidelines or information have been given for the report.
• Planning is crucial, experiment with the most logical order of presenting the information you have collected.
• There is 5 stages of a report:
o Summary (abstract) and
• The 4 stages of writing a report:
o Revising and editing
• Make sure that your:
o Introduction still reflect on your findings
o Aims are rationale
o Literature review support your arguments
o Bibliography and references is up to date
o Methodology is used correctly
o Results in findings should be presented in a way that draws the readers attention
o Discussion includes conclusions and recommendations/ evaluations
• Structure of a report:
o Title – avoid overlong and snappy or newspaper style titles.
o Contents – useful for lengthy reports.
o Summary / abstract – usually written after initial draft on main report.
o Introduction – is the problem or issue that is the subject of the project.
o Main Body includes – Purpose, Literature review, Methodology / data collection, what you found out and discussion.
o Conclusions – what your conclusion is,
o Bibliographical references – List of material used in the report.
o Acknowledgements – mention people who helped you
o Appendixes – extra material which you referred to
o Glossary –
• Linguistic feature of report writing:
o Topic sentences
• The main consideration for both style and language is clarity.