A report is a structured non- fiction document that presents information about something you have researched. A report:
Like an essay, a report needs to:
Parts of a report:
Use the tabs above to explore the sections of a report in more detail.
For an example report, see the Victoria University of Wellington's handbook on how to write a business report.
The title page is the first page of your report.
It should clearly describe what the report is about and who wrote it. If commissioned, the organisation should be included as well. The date it was prepared can also be included on the title page.
At TAFE SA the title page should include your assignment question as a statement, your name, your Student ID number, the name of the topic you are studying (e.g Certificate I in English Proficiency) and your lecturer's / tutor's name.
An example of a title page for a report:
How global warming affects the environment.
Name: Joe Bloggs
Student ID: 000123456
Subject: Certificate I in English Proficiency
Tutor's name: Penny Smith
The Table of Contents enables the reader to easily find the various sections of your report. It should:
You can use word processing software, such as Word, to create a Table of Contents automatically. You need to use headings style in your formatting for this to work.
An example of a Table of Contents:
Table of Contents
|Abstract or Summary
|2. Findings and Analysis
|2.1. First point
|2.2. Second point
|2.2.1. Subheading for second point
|2.3. Third point
|2.3.1. Subheading for third point
An abstract or a summary should:
It is best written when the report is finished, so that everything is mentioned.
An example of an abstract:
This is a report on global warming, how it affects the environment and how to make the environment sustainable. This topic was investigated by conducting extensive research and by carrying out a number of different experiments. The results of the investigations indicated that global warming is a major issue for the world. It is necessary to take action now to address it.
An introduction to a report should:
A sample introduction to a report:
This report gives a brief explanation of the issues associated with global warming, and what action can be taken to address them. Global warming is an extremely important issue. Key findings, conclusions and recommendations are all included in this report.
Unlike the other sections of your report, which are written in plain English, this section can include jargon and technical terms. The focus is on clarity and understanding, so use both text and graphics. The body contains:
All quoted and paraphrased material require citations.
Typical formatting ot the body of a report:
Global warming is ...
2.1. POINT 1
2.1.1. Element of point 1
Increasing ocean temperatures have...
2.1.2. Another element of point 1
Evidence of affected marine life....
2.1.3. Another element of point 1
rising sea levels
decrease in fisheries
2.2. POINT 2
2.2.1. Element of point 2
Atmospheric pollution is another contributing factor...
2.2.2. Another element of point 2
Industrial wastes have....
2.2.3. Another element of point 3
Government regulations for industry ...
2.3. POINT 3
[ Continue with this pattern]
No new information should be introduced in the conclusion.
An example of a report conclusion:
In the future, if global warming is not addressed by all sectors of society, the environment will not be sustainable because...
The recommendations section of your report should outline any future action that your conclusion leads you to recommend.
An example of report recommendations:
As a result of this report on global warming and its conclusion, it is recommended that the following courses of action be carried out...
Recommendation 1: Education
That this organisation implement an environmental education program immediately, compulsory for all employees.
Recommendation 2: Infrastructure
That a Sustainability Group be established to review the efficiency of the organisation's equipment and report to management within six months.......
Recommendation 3: Policies
That the Sustainablity group review current policies and procedures and make recommendations to management within three months
Recommendation 4: Finances
That the organisation allocate 5% of profits to sustainablility projects over the next 5 years. ...
A reference list should contain details of all the sources that you have referred to in your report.
Not all reports include a reference list. However at TAFE SA a reference list is mandatory to show your research.
The reference list for a report is the same as a reference list for an essay.
For more information on constructing a reference list, please see Reference Lists in How do I reference my information?
The appendices contain information and technical data that would make the report too bulky if included in the body of the report.
This material explains and supports the information you have included in your report. Often it is only the experts who refer to this information. The average reader will accept your statements, if they know you have included this data.
Appendices can include:
Appendix A - Table of average surface temperatures in USA, 1901 -2015
Source: United States Environmental Protection Agency https://www.epa.gov/climate-indicators/climate-change-indicators-us-and-global-temperature
Appendix B - Survey conducted by SurveyMonkey in July 2017 for TAFE SA students
|Are you concerned about Global Warming?