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Hey guys! So I know.. how difficult it can be for some of us to write a report. You might even feel like giving up even before you begin! Well, in this post, I’ve listed step-by-step the key points on how to write a report so the next time you get one, you’ll ACE it! All the best!
So when I write a report, I use these 5 steps to make sure I hand over a perfect report.
First, you have to read the title carefully. Throughout the report writing process, you have to remember the aim of the report – it’s usually to explain something or to prove a point.
After you’ve read the report title, gather your research on the topic. There are many ways to gather research – websites, articles, books, magazines, journals, etc. Make sure that the sources you’re collecting information from is a credible source and remember to gather enough research so that you have enough content to cover the word count of your report.
Next is the planning step. This is where you sketch up the structure of your report.
“An hour of planning can save you 10 hours of doing.”Dale Carnegie
Usually, the report structure is mentioned in the assignment guidelines section. If it isn’t, then you can follow this:
- Contents Page: This is where you list down the headings, subheadings, and page numbers.
- Introduction: This is to explain what the report is about and what the point of this report is. It gives the reader an idea of what they will get out of reading this report.
- Body: This is where all your important content will be.
- Conclusion: Here, you explain and discuss your opinion on your findings.
- References: This is where you cite your sources – where you got your information from.
This step is where you use all the content you have gathered through research and fill them into their sections following the plan you drafted out in step 2. Read the content and write them in your own words. Use synonyms to change up some words and paraphrase the original content. Make sure you don’t copy directly from your reference sources because that’s plagiarism!
For your report, normally there are assessment criteria mentioned for you to take note of. One of the most important things to remember is, everyone will be submitting their reports. Now, your lecturers will be reading a thousand reports that look almost exactly the same – you don’t want to bore them to death, do you?
Give them something interesting to look at. This can be done in a few ways. There are many types of charts that can be used. Choose a suitable chart type based on the data that you have to display. This way, your findings will be displayed in a MUCH more interesting way compared to the rest. You will also DEFINITELY attract your lecturers’ attention and show the amount of effort you’ve put into your report.
Here are a few tips for you to follow:
- Arrange the content in a neat format. Normally, lecturers prefer to see neat and organized reports. If your report has a lot of information that can be presented in point form, use bullets or number them. This will make it easier for your lecturer to read through your report and even easier on their eyes!
- Display your statistical findings in an interesting table or chart type. There are many types of charts that can be used. Choose a suitable chart type based on the data that you have to display. It doesn’t have to be on a fancy paid website. You can use Microsoft Word and Excel to create the perfect chart. This way, your findings will be displayed in a MUCH more interesting way compared to the rest.
- Add some pictures. Colors can liven up your report. Choose some images related to your topic and add them to your report. (remember to source them!)
Now that you’re more or less done with your report, this is where you fill in the gaps. Take a while to do up the references section according to the referencing style that your lecturer asked you to follow (usually it’s Harvard or APA).
After that, make sure your tables, graphs, charts and images are all labelled. This is very important. A lot of students lose marks because they didn’t label their diagrams and graphs. You don’t want to lose marks in vain.. So remember this step!
Lastly, proofread. This is where you relax and read your report from top to bottom. Scan through everything and look out for any errors in your report. It could be a spelling error, grammar error, missing punctuation marks, literally ANYTHING. So just be on the lookout and do the final read.
And voila! You’re done! You can proudly hand over your report to your lecturer and do the rest of your work in peace! You will also DEFINITELY attract your lecturers’ attention and show the amount of effort you’ve put into your report.
This is all you need to know on how to write a report! If you found this article helpful, make sure to leave a thumbs up! Also, check out my other article on how to study effectively.
All the best!
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