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How to Write A Report In 7 Easy Steps


1. Research

In addition to course materials, we encourage you to conduct independent research via reputable online sources, scholarly journals, articles and text books. Ensure you keep a record of these sources so you can reference them at the end of your report.

2. Outline

Create a plan for your report by writing down the topics you will need to cover or questions you need to answer. The following questions should be considered:

  • Why have I been asked to write a report?
  • What do they need to know?
  • What is required in the report?
  • What is the problem or question to be solved?
  • What is the purpose of the report?
  • What key points need to be covered?
  • What research is required?

3. Write

Introduction

Your introduction should present your report topic and provide background information. It should also state the purpose of the report and outline what will be discussed in the body of the document.

Body (Paragraphs)

The main body of your report should break the topic into paragraphs that guide the reader through the issue and present answers/conclusions.

Conclusion

The conclusion should summarise the findings of the report. This can be just one or two paragraphs that conclude and offer any recommendations.

4. Format

Headline

  • Choose a headline that is succinct. Less than 6 words is ideal.
  • Ensure your headline communicates the main idea of your report.
  • Use a bold, 14-point font.

Sub-headings

  • Break your document into paragraphs for ease of reading and to introduce a new topic or idea.
  • Use sub-headings for groups of paragraphs relating to the same topic or idea.

Font

  • Times New Roman
  • 12-point

Spacing  

  • Use 1.5 point spacing between lines. This makes your report easier to read and assess.

5. Reference/Cite Your Sources

Plagiarism is not permitted so make sure you cite and reference all sources you use in your report. A list of references should be included at the end of your report in list format. The Harvard Reference system should be used.

Example Citation

In-text citations are used when quoting or paraphrasing a source within a report. They contain a fragment of the full reference.

“Quote…” (Last name, year published).

Example Reference

Last name, First Initial. (Year published). Title. City: Publisher, Page(s).

6. Proofread

Read through your report and check spelling, grammar and punctuation to ensure your writing is accurate and legible. It’s also a good idea to have someone else read over your report as they may pick up errors you have missed.

7. Submit

When your report is ready to be submitted, attach it as a Word document and save as ‘Assignment Number #, Your Surname.’