A report writing is an official written document that is extremely organized. A report writing is based on evaluation and some form of work that involves practical, such as an examination, assessment, experimentation or analysis of practice in other organizations. They are written for a specific purpose, to enlighten, to convince, or to offer recommendations. They also report writing written for a particular audience. It generally draws deductions established discoveries and may propose a sequence of action or areas of additional research.
The purpose of report writing:
- Set out the topic and give details why the activity was embarked on
- Describe the kind of activity that was done and the manner in which it was done.
- Present the discoveries, deductions, and any commendations.
PREPARATION TOWARDS YOUR REPORT WRITING
I. Make sure you know the main aim of the report writing and who you are writing it to.
II. Have enough time to accumulate and arrange your facts (materials) in order for you to write, redraft, and proofread the report very well.
III. The style of your report writing should be in a formal academic style with simple sentences.
IV. The use of slang and unnecessary jargon should be prohibited in your report writing.
V. The paragraphs need to be brief and lay emphasis on one subject matter or area of discussion.
VI. If you want to make use of Tables and diagrams, don’t forget to add it to the reader’s understanding of the issues and that they are labelled properly.
STRUCTURE OF A REPORT WRITING
Report writing is divided up into a different number of sections with each having a heading. These sections can be further divided into different subsections. The use of Sections and subsections makes it stress-free for the reader and enables him/her to be able to pinpoint the information they want.
Normally, sections and subsections make use of a progressive numbering system with the help of Microsoft word processing software. Before you want to write a report it is advisable to check the requirement of that report.
These are what a formal report should have the following:
1. TITLE PAGE — The Title Page must have the topic of the report, who the report writing is for and the submission date. The title has to be informative and descriptive so that the person you want to present the report to will understand what it is all about mere seeing the title and unwanted details should be avoided.
2. ABSTRACT (EXECUTIVE SUMMARY)— This is the section that will be read to the person you are going to issue your report writing and should be written last. This serves as an appetizer for the reader for him or her to read more. The size of the abstract depends on the scope of the work being carried out with one or two paragraphs. It is usually 100 – 200 words.
In order to write a good abstract, the writer must have a series of brief questions so that he/she can answer them in his/her report writing. These questions would probably include in your report writing:
- What are the objectives of the work in your report writing?
- What approaches did you use for your investigation?
- What were the core discoveries and assumptions reached at the end of your research?
- Did your work lead you to make any commendations for yet to come actions?
Be precise so that the reader can have a proper understanding of your thoughts without having to read through the entire report. The abstract should have to be on a distinct page and centred heading (ABSTRACT) should be capitalized.
3. TABLE OF CONTENTS — This must be on a separate page on its own because It helps the reader to locate specific info and designates how the information has been arranged and what areas are being covered. It should also include a list of figures and a list of tables if they are used in the report writing.
4. INTRODUCTION — The Introduction has three main components and it should be written in an explanatory style. It is also called background or context.
I. The Background: This describes actions leading up to the current situation, what projects have been done before, and why the project or study is important.
II. The Purpose: This defines what the project or study is to accomplish, who sanctioned it and the specific terms of reference, what are the significant themes and issues and why you investigating it now.
III. The Scope: This show an outline of the report covers, any limitations and motives for them imposed on the project such as cost, time, barriers etc.
5. BODY — This varies according to the kind of report writing. It answers these six questions — Who? Why? Where? When? What? How? In an investigative report, it consists of all the basic information necessary to persuade the reader that the conclusions and recommendations are very reliable. This information must be offered in an orderly way. It can be further divided into four sub-sections such as literature review, methodology, results, and discussion.
I. Literature review
It is also called Review of Research. It is a publications survey of books, journals, authoritative websites, sometimes conference papers and magazines etc. reporting work that has been previously done on the topic you are reporting. It should merely include studies that have direct significance to your research.
It should be written like an essay in a conversational style, with an introduction, main discussion categorized in themes and a conclusion.
Introduce your evaluation by clarifying how you went about discovering your materials, and any clear trends in research that have emerged. Group your texts in themes.
You need to write this section of the report writing in such a way that a reader could duplicate the research you have carried out. There should be no uncertainty here, so you need to write in a very realistic informative style.
You need to state the process of how your investigation was carried out in your report writing. Explain why your particular method be it questionnaires, focus group or experimental procedure was chosen, including methods and any equipment being used. If there were contributors in your research, who were they? How many? How were they carefully chosen?
Write this section concisely but methodically – cross-checks what you did periodically, including everything that is important. You know what you did, but could a reader follow your narrative?
It is also called Data or Findings. This section has only one aim which is to present the findings of your research in a simple and clear manner as possible. The right format that will achieve this most efficiently e.g. text, graphs, tables or diagrams. Should be used. In order to make use of a graphical format, think about how the reader will look at the data. Choose only one format – avoid unnecessary repetition of the same information, for instance, a graph and a table. Try giving each figure a heading and interpret in words what the figure stand for. Writing in this section should be clear, truthful and informative.
This is perhaps the longest section and worth spending time on in your report writing. It brings the whole thing together, showing how your findings answer to what you explained in your introduction(summary) and the earlier research you surveyed in your literature survey. You need to discuss your findings show and why they show this, using concrete evidence from previous research as a yardstick to support your explanations.
This is where to mention in report writing if there were any arising problems, such as results being different from expectations, important data being missing, or changing of methods or participants and how they were or could have been resolved.
6. CONCLUSION — The Conclusion should be very brief. They should be presented in descending order of their relative importance and should not propose action. Conclusions should be presented with evidence.
7. RECOMMENDATIONS — The Recommendations should follow naturally from the conclusions in report writing. They should be offered in descending order of importance and may be in point form when several recommendations are being made.
8. REFERENCES — It is also called list of References or Bibliography in report writing. It is an accurate listing that is done in an alphabetical order of all the sources referred to. Full details of any works you have referred to during your report. Such as books, journals, websites and other materials.
9. APPENDIX/APPENDICES — The Appendix/Appendices contain important data, explanatory and illustrative material not included in the text.
KEY TIPS OF REPORT WRITING
. Use ‘serif’ font (such as ‘Times New Roman’) in report writing because they are easier to read. Fonts should be a minimum of 12 points and 1.5- line spacing is suggested unless otherwise specified. Titles and captions may be in a bold ‘sans-serif’ font (such as ‘Ariel’).