Home>Writing Tools>Report


REPORT = Record, Announce, Overview
A report is a formal document that is written for a variety of purposes in the various sciences, education and business disciplines.
A report provides useful and fresh information. Information is presented in an intense way in reports. A report is usually time- and context-specific.

There is a wide range of reports serving different purposes. A report can be either written or oral. It can be an account of work done, work in process, or an event.

A report is organized into separate sections according to the specific requirements of the report. A report can be organized logically in regard to time, sector or order of priority. A report should be comprehensive and it should read well.

A report is comprehensive when it includes all the relevant information. A report may be composed of different kinds of materials:

  • Descriptivie material (providing detailed accounts)
  • Defining material (providing the precise meaning)
  • Analyzing material (discussing in detail, examining, criticizing, reviewing)
  • Comparing material (finding similarities and differences)
  • Interpreting material (giving and explaining meanings)

You need to state clearly the nature of the various parts of the text: factual information, opinions, beliefs, interpretations. Written reports follow the standard set for documentary writing.

Remember that there are reports, memos and statements used in the business world and office environments. The names of documents are not always consistent. Documents having the same content can be referred to by different names.

Travel or Visit Report
Writing reports on travel or visits is a common practice in the working life. A report should include all information of relevance to the reader. Such a report includes departure and arrival times and all the relevant events, e.g. the work done and the meetings held.
All data on travel or visits can be brought together as a report for future action to be taken. These can be of benefit when planning and organizing future travel. Here are some questions to help you in your report writing:

  • What was the destination of your travel/visit?
  • When did it take place?
  • Who took part in it?
  • Who were the hosts or guides?
  • What were the aims?
  • What places/issues were explored or visited?
  • What observations were done?
  • What was interesting?
  • What should be taken into account when making new travel plans?

Research Report
A research report must be clear, exact and structured because it is a tool in the evaluation of research and its results. A research report should be detailed enough for the reader to know exactly what kind of research, why and how the research was done. The research undertaking should be repeatable with the research report as the basis.

The actual report can be supported by attachments. A research report consists of the following:

  • Cover sheet with the title
  • Table of contents
  • Abstract
  • Introduction (including research aims)
  • Experimental Details or Theoretical Analysis
  • Results
  • Conclusions and Discussion
  • References

If a research undertaking is very narrow in scope, the table of contents and abstract can be omitted.

Project Report
A Project Report is a written record of your entire project from start to finish. It is based on your project plan. A Project Report points out the achievements and how the plans have been implemented.

A project report includes:

  • Project context
  • Aims and results
  • Project organization
  • Project’s financial aspects
  • Evaluation
Final Report.doc