Effective Tips for Writing Your Report

Some people see reports as public speaking – it is pretty scary but important to do sometimes. The only way to get rid of that intimidating feeling and get the work down is facing the problem and dealing with it like an adult. If you learn to prepare nice reports you will surely stand out in the class or at work, as report writing skill is the one every great student and worker has to master. Thus, stop thinking and start writing without fear, as these tips will always be here to guide you.

But first, remember a few things. You begin with the introduction of the topic and some background info. Then you go straight to the core, providing explanations and discussing the main matter. Afterwards, you review everything you said above, deriving conclusions. And finally, you write a summary that will go to the top and explain the overall content.

Here is a quick reminder for you:

  • Intro goes first – present the subject
  • Body goes second – discuss and explain the subject
  • Conclusions go last – tell briefly what you stated, and give further instructions
  • Executive summary – written last, presented first, shows what you have written in a short form

Now, let’s get rolling!

➤ Identify the purpose

Think why are you writing the report and what it should do: persuade someone of something or just pass the information. Be sure you know what you want to write about and what exactly you need the readers to understand from the paper or do after reading. Everything flows from the purpose, so whether you have been assigned a report at university or work, ask the person who has given you the task for details and explanations of the exact objective of writing.

➤ Mind the audience

If you want to create an effective report, you need to understand who will read it.

If this is the person who knows the field and understands what you do and how you do it, you can use technical jargon, and not get into all details too much. However, if the person is an outsider, you will have to be more specific and use the words such individual will be able to understand. Keep your audience in mind while crafting a report, and try to look at what you are conveying from their perspective to understand how it will be easier for the to perceive the information.

➤ Organize the working process

If you have clarified the purpose and the audience, you can go straight to researching. Do not waste time and find the relevant material you can get adequate data from. When you have what you need, you can draft the report in the order presented above.

➤ Know the limits

Your main goal is to pass the idea to the reader – no more, no less. Therefore, do not try to fill in the white space if you feel like the work is not as long as reports usually are, and do not try to cut the info if it clearly needs to be communicated and explained. However, when you feel like you have said what you wanted, and there is no redundant data in the report – you are done, no matter what kind of length you think the report ‘should’ be.

➤ Consistent and smooth

As weird as it sounds, people tend to forget that reports have to be structured. They are not just pieces of the text. It is important to structure reports as every other work and make sure they have the clear intro, body, and conclusion +summary. Make the thoughts flow logically and smoothly into one another to make the paper comfortable to read, and make sure you do not jump from point to point randomly.

➤ Looks matter

Even though it is hard to imagine a more formal paper than a report, you can get creative with it if you want to. Try to make the report look appealing by using color if possible, and headers that easily guide readers through the data. You can add graphs, tables, and charts where needed, and it will sure look better than a few pages of plain text.

➤ Check when done

When you are done with the report, do not forget to check it and correct mistakes. Do it at least twice, as you will not get all of the errors from the first time, and ask a peer to review the report to tell whether it can be submitted or there is a need in changes.