How to Write a Structured Report

Structured Report writing is one of the best methods in which to convey the results of your work and research, in your field and not. Report writing is a valuable resource and of immense assistance in gathering and organizing your thoughts and discoveries. Technical reports should be arranged clearly and logically. A literary report, while still requiring clarity, may not have as much logic, but it needs to follow the author's thoughts. A technical report conveys technical information and must be accessible in non colloquial language. Correct use of language is a given so that the report will be understood by anyone.

Title Page

Include a title page at the beginning of your report. The title page indicates the main parts of your information: The report title, the organization or company for whom the report is written, the author's name and the institution that commissioned the report. The title should be informative and not too wordy. You could make the title a restatement of the investigated subject, e.g. "A Report on Hamlet," or "Kangaroos in the Wild". You could incorporate one of the study methods in the title, e.g. "Ants in North Carolina: A Cross-Sectional Investigation." You could include your hypothesis or theory or provide a brief description of the results of your report in your title. Work out who is your audience and write the report for them, pointing out how it is relevant to them. Divide your report into sections and give each section a purpose.

Write an abstract of your report. This is a description of document's contents in brief form, telling the reader what the report is about in a few sentences. Summarize the report in one paragraph of about 100-200 words. The abstract should be written after you have finished the report so that you can give the objective, methods used, and results and recommendations of your report. In the case of a literary report instead of recommendations you can include themes of the work or points the author wanted to leave with the readers.

Insert a table of contents after the abstract which will enable quick reference to the sections in your report and keep it organized. You can use headings and subheadings to point out what each section is about and make for easier reading of the report. Introduce the report by highlighting the subject, purpose and plan of your development. When writing the introduction keep in mind that you want to introduce readers to the problem you set out to solve, or the literary work you wish to examine. Include some background information and acquaint your readers with the history of this research or this particular author.

Present the results of your research in the next section. The preceding sections all pointed to this part and indeed it is the essence of the report. The results section is usually the longest section of the report and where you will discuss what you have invented, discovered, disproved, uncovered or worked out in your research. In a technical report, this is where you present such visual representations as illustrations, graphs, tables or observations. In a literary report you can use the section to expound on your discoveries or interpretations of a particular author's work or message. You should focus on the facts of your discoveries in the results section and extensively use your evidence. With the help of figures, tables, experiments, data, measurements, interpretations and language you will prove your thesis. Remember, though, in presenting your case, keep your language as plain as possible. Don't unnecessarily complicate meaning by inserting verbose words.

The conclusion is a short section in which you restate the main points that you made throughout the report. You can draw conclusions in this section, explaining them in terms of the facts you presented in the results section. You don't need to introduce any new data in this section, and if you think of something that should have been in the results section, go back and add another paragraph to that section. Provide suggestions based on the conclusions of your work. With literary reports you can include a recommendation of the author and the message he or she was espousing in his or her writing. Always keep in mind the audience that will be reading your report and address them as you present your findings.


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