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.
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?
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.
The main body of your report describes the topic – or problem – and includes the data and research you have collected. This is the longest section of your report.
You should break the topic into subsections with subheadings that guide the reader through the issue and present answers and conclusions. This makes it easier for your audience to scan the report for relevant information.
You should also include graphs or charts (where appropriate) and data and information you have gathered, providing detailed explanations and analysis to provide context.
The sections of a body of a report can include:
• Literature review
You may be required to provide a literature review, depending on the nature of your report. A literature review presents an overview of the existing research on a topic in a field.
You may also need to highlight the methodologies used in your report’s research and summarise the findings that arose from the research.
However, you will not necessarily need to include all these sections in your report, as it will depend on the assignment question.
The conclusion should summarise the findings of the report. This can be just one or two paragraphs that conclude and offer any recommendations.
- 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.
- 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.
- Times New Roman
- Use 1.5 point spacing between lines. This makes your report easier to read and assess.
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.
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).
Last name, First Initial. (Year published). Title. City: Publisher, Page(s).
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.
When your report is ready to be submitted, attach it as a Word document and save as ‘Assignment Number #, Your Surname.’