Report Writing Planning Purpose Structure Content Language Spelling and grammar
Planning Your Report Identify the information you need Identify the sources of information Carry out your research Sort and analyse your findings Prepare a first draft Produce the final version Append any complex data
Why write a report? To inform To recommend To facilitate action To prompt or persuade To instruct To record
Report Format Title Page Contents Page Introduction Main Text: in structured, headed sections (this helps reader to find relevant sections with ease) Conclusions & Recommendations Bibliography Appendices (optional)
Title Page Unit Title Assessment Title Your Name Course Group Tutor’s Name
Contents Page Headings (on left of page) Page Numbers (on right of page) Note! Remember to insert page numbers throughout the report to link with those listed on your Contents Page.
Introduction A good introduction should clearly explain the purpose of the report to the reader. It should also explain what the report covers.
Introduction (Example) This report was produced as part of an application to a national chain of photographic portrait studios to set up a studio franchise in Glasgow. The report discusses two laboratories in the Glasgow area: Loxley Colour and B& S Graphics. It compares the products and services available from both companies including information on prices, file type requirements, lab output processes and online ordering. This report concludes with a recommendation of the laboratory which would best suit the needs a photographic portrait studio franchise.
Main Text Logical order Headed sections to make it easier for the reader Use consistent headings and style
Headings Options include: Capital/lower case letters e.g. A. a) b) c) , B. a) b) c) Roman numerals e.g. I, II,III, IV Arabic numerals e.g. 1, 1.1.,1.2 Whatever you use, be consistent throughout the report.
Conclusions & Recommendations Summarise the main points made in the findings Select the essential points and explain their significance State any conclusions drawn from your research Clearly recommend action to take
Bibliography Reference ALL source material used during your research Use a form of Standard Bibliographic Citation, e.g. Author, Title of Book, Edition, Year of publication, ISBN; OR full website address, e.g. http://www.glasgowmet.ac.uk/ Should enable the reader of the report to trace the sources
Appendices Use for supporting detail Examples: Tables and Diagrams Plans Images Letters Statistics
Presentation Use paragraph breaks One main idea per paragraph Use a “double return” to create break Breaks up text and makes it easier to read Use single-sided A4 paper Number pages
Language Write in complete sentences Start each sentence with a Capital Letter and end with a full stop NOT a comma Use Capital Letters at the start of Proper Nouns i.e. names of people e.g. Joyce Wallace places e.g. Glasgow events e.g. the Commonwealth Games organisations e.g. Glasgow Metropolitan College job titles e.g. Managing Director
What is the difference between formal and informal writing?
Formal Language Longer sentences Full forms of verbs e.g. cannot, do not No slang or colloquialisms Impersonal (avoid use of “I” and “We”) Objective
Spelling and Grammar Proofread! Proofreading should pick up on all typos such as “from” as “form” Apostrophes Spellcheck! Beware of American spellings Will not eliminate legitimate words used wrongly e.g. “their” / “there”
Checklist All essential material included Organisation of material is logical Hierarchy of headings is consistent Attention is given to style and level of language Tables, diagrams and images are labelled clearly and anchored in text
Checklist All quotations acknowledged Referencing is complete and in accordance with a form of standard bibliographic citation No excessive detail or where relevant include as an Appendix