How to Write a Report for an Assignment
Academic assignments are very unpredictable. There are various fields, for example, Computer Programming or MBA, that you can be tested on, and one of them is writing a report. Whereas writing an essay is rather general, when report writing, you have to concentrate on factual information while taking any scientific and technical courses. Want to know how to write a report for a university assignment?
This article contains the instructions and guidelines concerning report writing, its target audience, and the problems to be addressed while completing the task.
If you’re a student struggling with a report writing assignment, you might wonder, “ Who can write my assignment for me ?” It’s understandable to feel overwhelmed and seek assistance when faced with a challenging academic task. Fortunately, many online writing services can help you complete your report writing assignment. These services offer professional writers who are experts in various fields and can provide high-quality, original content within your deadline. Before choosing a writing service, research and read reviews to ensure that you select a reputable and trustworthy company. With the right assistance, you can successfully complete your report writing assignment and achieve academic success.
How to Write a Report-Type Assignment: 9 Key Elements to Consider
A report is a short, well-planned, concise document written to address a specific purpose (to analyze a situation or issue) and audience (educators, a chief, subordinates, etc.) When writing a report, you should ensure that you address the highlighted issue adequately, providing evidence for each and every fact you mention. However, if you struggle with any of these steps or don’t have the time to complete the assignment, you may consider using a homework writing service . If you ask, “How to write my report?” the following points will be useful for you:
- Title Page. Every paper should have the name given to a particular type of work. You can learn how to write academic-style titles from Mark Fullmer, a teacher of English writing 101/102. If we are speaking about a report, you should state it in the title. Other details that you may need to include are your name, the university, and the date of submission if you are a student. And if you’re a worker who prepares a report for a chief, don’t forget to mention the organization’s name.
Have a look at the example.
- Executive summary report. A good report should have a summary that is approximately ½ of a page. The main details that should be included are a briefing on the main ideas discussed in the report, the analysis methods used, findings, and conclusions/recommendations, if any. It is important to clarify this so that your tutor/chief understands what you are doing right from the start of the report.
- Table of content. There should be a page of your report where a list of chapters/subsections with headlines and the page numbers are presented. Make this guide useful for your readers as they will easily find what they will be interested in, whether the findings or research methods chapters.
- List of abbreviations and symbols. If you are writing, for example, a technical report, there should be a separate list of the abbreviations used in your report. The technical language can be comprehensible for you and your professor, but others will struggle with most technical terms . Moreover, if you use some formulas for calculating, provide these symbols in this list as well.
- Introduction. The first chapter of your report should introduce the topic under discussion, some known information, and your approaches to the topic and how they relate to the other works.
- The main body. A good report, the topic of which is well-researched, should have 3 sections in the main part – methods, results, and discussion. In this part, you should include the research methods that are used and procedures that are followed to achieve the results of your analysis, then, you are also required to discuss your findings.
- Conclusions and recommendations. The concluding chapter should include an overview of the main ideas discussed in the report. Highlight your most central findings without including new ideas. Additionally, you can make suggestions for further research in the field you report on.
- Reference list. Every academic paper should have references, and there is no exemption when writing a report. Even if you are supposed to consider a particular subject on your own, you can’t escape from someone’s findings or ideas. Provide a list of the sources you consulted when conducting your research. Details to be included in the reference list are the data of all books, papers, reports, etc., you refer to in the text. In general, all sources are listed in alphabetical order by the surname of the author.
- Appendices. This section comprises all derivations, details, schemes, and listings that make your research/analysis in-depth. You may ask why it is necessary to separate this section. Can you imagine how boring it will be to read your report when there are tables, tables, and schemes on its pages? There is such a page for that purpose, but it is not always obligatory to have it in reports.
How to Make a Good Report: 5 Skills Needed
You may think that you need just a pen and a piece of paper to write a report. Indeed, you must have a set of skills to complete this assignment successfully. What are they?
- The skill to estimate adequately the time needed to complete the assignment. Usually, a student may procrastinate till the last minute as he/she is sure that it is a very easy task to write a report. Or vice versa – he/she believes this work requires much time. As a result, they spend a week or even weeks entirely on writing a report. What happens, then? Demotivation in studying and a ‘jumpy’ eye are guaranteed to you. As you understand, you should apply all essential time management skills to boost your productivity.
- The skill to define the scope of the study. A full understanding of the field of study is very important, but it plays into your hands when you know all the points that should be covered in the research project. So, it has to be defined at a preliminary stage of writing a report to arrive at more logical findings/conclusions. Outline the limitations of your study and the data specifications for your research paper.
- The researching skills. The research process involves finding out more about the topic under the question. What does it include in researching? Firstly, using effective tools to collect information. Secondly, refining search queries to obtain better research results. Thirdly, evaluate information found in different sources based on accuracy, validity, and appropriateness for your report. If you have all these skills, you are close to professional report writing.
But what if you don’t have the time or the skills to complete the assignment? In this case, you can use a “do my homework” service to help you with your report. These services can provide expert assistance with research, analysis, and writing to help you produce a high-quality report that meets your requirements and deadlines. Be sure to choose a reputable service that provides original and plagiarism-free work. With the help of a “ do my assignment ” service, you can save time and get the grades you need.
- The skill to plan and structure a piece of writing. According to CogniFit , the skill to plan forms our executive functions. It is a process that allows us to choose what needs to be done and what doesn’t. If you can create a framework for your paper writing, it will help you be excellent at it. Even short pieces require planning to be concise and to the point. Your report should fulfill its purpose to answer the assignment question according to a specific structure.
- Proofreading and editing skills. You probably want to present your report in the best possible light. Without any doubt, you are tired when finishing the assignment. Without proofreading your work, you might submit a paper with numerous grammar errors, unpunctuated sentences, or spelling mistakes. Moreover, you should remember what style you are required to use – whether it is an APA, MLA, or Harvard. All of them have peculiarities you should pay attention to while producing a report.
After reading this article, don’t just sit and enjoy the victory over report writing. The battle has not started and has not even been won yet. Let today be the day when you know how to write good academic reports. Subsequently, you’ll start writing reports as required. Practice makes perfect!
However, even with practice, some students may still struggle with report writing for various reasons, such as a lack of time or poor writing skills. In such cases, an assignment writing service can come in handy. These services provide professional assistance with report writing, ensuring that you receive a well-structured and well-written report that meets your academic requirements. These services employ experienced writers with the necessary skills and knowledge to handle different reports.
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Writing your assignment
The Writing your assignment resource is designed and monitored by Learning Advisers and Academic Librarians at UniSA.
The purpose of a report is to investigate an issue and 'report back' findings which allow people to make decisions or take action and depending on your course. The report may require you to record, to inform, to instruct, to analyse, to persuade, or to make specific recommendations, so it is important to check your task instructions and identify the approach you are required to take. Your completed report should consist of clear sections which are labelled with headings and sub-headings, and are logically sequenced, well developed and supported with reliable evidence . In this section you will learn more about writing a report, including process, structure and language use. The report writing checklist at the end of this section can help you finalise your report.
- The main purpose of a report is usually to investigate an issue and report back with suggestions or recommendations to allow people to make decisions or take action.
- You will need to find information on the issue by reading through course materials and doing further research via the UniSA Library and relevant databases.
- Report writing requires you to plan and think, so give yourself enough time to draft and redraft, and search for more information before you complete the final version.
- The report is typically structured with an introduction, body paragraphs, a conclusion and a reference list.
- It usually has headings and subheadings to organise the information and help the reader understand the issue being investigated, the analysis of the findings and the recommendations or implications that relate directly to those findings.
- A report can also include dot points or visuals such as graphs, tables or images to effectively present information.
- Always check the task instructions and feedback form as there might very specific requirements for the report structure.
Locate the task instructions in your course outline and/or on your course site, and use this activity to plan your approach.
- Reports overview (pdf)
- Using headings in your writing (pdf)
- Abstracts and introductions (pdf)
- Writing introductions (pdf)
- Writing paragraphs (pdf)
- Literature reviews (pdf)
- Writing conclusions (pdf)
- Constructing graphs, tables and diagrams (pdf)
- Psychology example report (pdf)
- More example reports (link)
Click through the slides below to learn about the key characteristics of academic writing.
- Academic vocabulary and phrases (pdf)
- Expressing yourself clearly and concisely (pdf)
- Tentative language (pdf)
- Writing objectively (pdf)
- Academic phrasebank - Courtesy: Uni of Manchester (link)
- Study and research support
- Academic skills
What is a report and how does it differ from writing an essay? Reports are concise and have a formal structure. They are often used to communicate the results or findings of a project.
Essays by contrast are often used to show a tutor what you think about a topic. They are discursive and the structure can be left to the discretion of the writer.
Who and what is the report for?
Before you write a report, you need to be clear about who you are writing the report for and why the report has been commissioned.
Keep the audience in mind as you write your report, think about what they need to know. For example, the report could be for:
- the general public
- academic staff
- senior management
- a customer/client.
Reports are usually assessed on content, structure, layout, language, and referencing. You should consider the focus of your report, for example:
- Are you reporting on an experiment?
- Is the purpose to provide background information?
- Should you be making recommendations for action?
Language of report writing
Reports use clear and concise language, which can differ considerably from essay writing.
They are often broken down in to sections, which each have their own headings and sub-headings. These sections may include bullet points or numbering as well as more structured sentences. Paragraphs are usually shorter in a report than in an essay.
Both essays and reports are examples of academic writing. You are expected to use grammatically correct sentence structure, vocabulary and punctuation.
Academic writing is formal so you should avoid using apostrophes and contractions such as “it’s” and "couldn't". Instead, use “it is” and “could not”.
Structure and organisation
Reports are much more structured than essays. They are divided in to sections and sub-sections that are formatted using bullet points or numbering.
Report structures do vary among disciplines, but the most common structures include the following:
The title page needs to be informative and descriptive, concisely stating the topic of the report.
Abstract (or Executive Summary in business reports)
The abstract is a brief summary of the context, methods, findings and conclusions of the report. It is intended to give the reader an overview of the report before they continue reading, so it is a good idea to write this section last.
An executive summary should outline the key problem and objectives, and then cover the main findings and key recommendations.
Table of contents
Readers will use this table of contents to identify which sections are most relevant to them. You must make sure your contents page correctly represents the structure of your report.
Take a look at this sample contents page.
In your introduction you should include information about the background to your research, and what its aims and objectives are. You can also refer to the literature in this section; reporting what is already known about your question/topic, and if there are any gaps. Some reports are also expected to include a section called ‘Terms of references’, where you identify who asked for the report, what is covers, and what its limitations are.
If your report involved research activity, you should state what that was, for example you may have interviewed clients, organised some focus groups, or done a literature review. The methodology section should provide an accurate description of the material and procedures used so that others could replicate the experiment you conducted.
The results/findings section should be an objective summary of your findings, which can use tables, graphs, or figures to describe the most important results and trends. You do not need to attempt to provide reasons for your results (this will happen in the discussion section).
In the discussion you are expected to critically evaluate your findings. You may need to re-state what your report was aiming to prove and whether this has been achieved. You should also assess the accuracy and significance of your findings, and show how it fits in the context of previous research.
Your conclusion should summarise the outcomes of your report and make suggestions for further research or action to be taken. You may also need to include a list of specific recommendations as a result of your study.
The references are a list of any sources you have used in your report. Your report should use the standard referencing style preferred by your school or department eg Harvard, Numeric, OSCOLA etc.
You should use appendices to expand on points referred to in the main body of the report. If you only have one item it is an appendix, if you have more than one they are called appendices. You can use appendices to provide backup information, usually data or statistics, but it is important that the information contained is directly relevant to the content of the report.
Appendices can be given alphabetical or numerical headings, for example Appendix A, or Appendix 1. The order they appear at the back of your report is determined by the order that they are mentioned in the body of your report. You should refer to your appendices within the text of your report, for example ‘see Appendix B for a breakdown of the questionnaire results’. Don’t forget to list the appendices in your contents page.
Presentation and layout
Reports are written in several sections and may also include visual data such as figures and tables. The layout and presentation is therefore very important.
Your tutor or your module handbook will state how the report should be presented in terms of font sizes, margins, text alignment etc.
You will need good IT skills to manipulate graphical data and work with columns and tables. If you need to improve these skills, try the following online resources:
- Microsoft online training through Linkedin Learning
- Engage web resource on using tables and figures in reports
- Critical thinking
- Finding information
- Understanding assessments
- Time management
- Paraphrasing and quoting
- Referencing and avoiding plagiarism
See all available workshops .
Short on time? Watch a video on:
- Essay writing – 6:28
- Paraphrasing and quoting – 22:22
- Using active and passive voice – 9:58
- Editing your work – 5:12
Have any questions?
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Report: Things you need to know...
Reports are usually written to record the methodology, results and conclusions of an investigation (this may be as a result of primary research (often practical and undertaken by you) or secondary (analysis of current literature and evidence)
They are written for easy reading and discussion so headings, sub-headings, numbering, bullet points, images, tables and graphs can all be used. Use concise, business-like language so that the reader of your report can easily understand.
Reports can be written in a variety of ways, there is not just one correct way (check assignment guidelines). A report may consist of sections such as:
- Title - be specific.
- Introduction – aim(s), objectives and why this is an important area for investigation?
- Methodology – what you did to investigate and/or research this subject?
- Findings and discussion – what you found out and what the findings mean?
- Conclusions – what conclusions you made?
- Recommendations - if needed.
- Report structure What sections to include when writing a formal academic report.
Table of Contents
When making a report in Word it can be very useful to use the tools built into the program to assist your structuring.
How to Insert a Contents Table.
Microsoft Word Tutorial step by step Creating a table of contents page with Microsoft Word.
Step 1 Use styles. Headings should be formatted with header 1 (e.g. Chapters) and subheadings should be formatted with header 2. Step 2 Click on the “References” tab to select the option “table of contents”. Step 3 Customise your table of contents style and format by selecting “custom table of contents”. Step 4 Click "Update" to refresh the table of contents page.
To designate a section as a Heading.
Highlight the heading words and then in the ribbon select Home and then Styles.
To create the Contents Table.
On the ribbon select References and select Table of Contents.
Figures and Tables
When writing reports you will often include media (Tables and Figures) which needs to be clearly identified and labelled.
If Referencing directs the reader to external sources of information, then clearly naming your internal media gives the reader the direction they need within the report.
Tables are representations of the data and show numbers in column or rows. Figures use that data to show the information in a more visual manner, assisting the reader in their understanding. While labeling the table, the label or numbers are centered and written on the top of the tables.
Table 1: Title
Figures refer to any visual information including but not limited to charts, diagrams, graphs, photos, etc. which are not Tables. They can be in the main sections of the report, or if they contain supplemental material they may be contained in an appendix e.g. survey questions used in a primary research project. Figures should always be numbered in the order they appear within the document e.g. Figure 1, and always underneath the image.
Figure 1: Photo of a cat
Or if from a source of information - Figure 1: Photo of a cat (Heap, 2020)
Tech: How to......
Insert a caption for a picture
Insert a table of figures
Figure Caption / Figure Legend : sometimes these terms are used interchangeably. Figure captions provide more detail to the reader ensuring they can understand the figure without having to read the main body of text. Factors to include in a good caption: Figure X: title, materials and methods, results and any supporting definitions.
An appendix comprises supplementary and extra content that is not crucial to the main body of the text, yet it can aid in offering a more comprehensive comprehension of the research problem or provide information that is too extensive to be incorporated within the main paper.
The appendix provides the reader with information needed to understand or clarify an element discussed within the main body e.g. the questions used in a survey.
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