How to Write a Proper Report

Learning to compile research results and turn the data into a comprehensive report that will educate the reader is a crucial tool for a well-balanced knowledge base. Not only does writing a report teach you to immerse yourself in the studies, but also will enhance your vocabulary. While each report will vary, a quality report consistently requires a similar foundation: appropriate language, correct spelling, a proper introduction, discussion of the topic and a closing statement.

Begin by planning out the paper. In a brainstorming session, consider why you are writing the report and what you will need to discuss to thoroughly inform the reader about the topic at hand. Make a plan for the paper, including the layout from introduction to closing. Using a layout will make writing your paper considerably less difficult: introduction, body text, research and studies, results and discussion/conclusion.

The introduction should begin with a concise overview of the topic and briefly state the purpose for the research. State interesting highlights or facts about the topic, foreshadowing the more detailed narrative and captivating the reader. Only essential information should be shared here. Many writers find that penning the introduction at the end is more beneficial to the report.

The body of the report is extremely important. Here you will present a more-detailed analysis of the topic. A thoroughly researched topic should be easy to write about because it will provide much more information. A variety of literature can be used, such as books, articles, interviews and other reports.

If you are discussing more than one research problem or method, separate each in its own paragraph. Explain the aim for the research and what it entailed, such as materials, controls and lab experiments. Be concise, but do not omit the essentials that someone who desires to conduct this research would need to know. Any warnings or tips and tricks beneficial in conducting the research would also be included in this step. Do not include results in this section. Save the results for another paragraph specifically focusing on the conclusion of the individual research method.

The results are also very important. Any graphs or figures used in the research will be included in this section. In as much detail as possible, comment on the findings of the research. You may discuss the results on the topic as a whole or individually on each research method discussed. Compare the results with other research studies.

In the discussion/conclusion paragraphs, you may mention the results or reference the information found in the graphs, but avoid summarizing. Typically, a proper report should present points to conclude your research or other useful areas of pertinent study. Frequently, a concluding phrase will begin with something similar to, "In conclusion..." or "In summary...."

  • To format the page, the right margin should be 1.5 cm and the upper and lower margins at 2.5 cm. The left margin should be 4 cm if using a binding and 3 cm if not. The font should be clear and easy to read, such as Times New Roman or Arial and at size 12. The paragraphs should be separated from one another and the first line of each should be indented.
About the Author

Andrea Drinkard began writing in 2005, specializing in proper nutrition, and disease and treatment articles. She has been featured in "Cosmopolitan" magazine. Drinkard holds Bachelors of Science in biology and kinesiology from the University of Alabama.