In some courses at higher learning institutions, a scholar must learn how to write a report. These students have to engage in research projects and qualify before they are awarded certificates. The education system is not being hard on you because it has to prepare you for the corporate world where drafting business research documents are the order of the day. Will you resign because your supervisor keeps assigning your responsibilities of writing the reports?
Your thesis document will stand out only if you have excellent report writing skills. Use the appropriate report writing format, make the sections brief but precise, and use simple language. If you are not sure about the report structure to use, find some report writing format sample(s).
What is a report?
It is describing observations after an investigation through a formal document. We will discuss the structure of a report with a few report templates and report examples for elaboration. We will also stick to the APA format of writing a report.
How to write a report format
Let us start by writing a report for educational reasons. You can add more sections to this format of a report if you are an undergraduate and above. High school students will find it is easy to use this format.
In report writing, draft the executive summary, abstract, table of contents, and list of figures after writing the other parts of the document.
Research report format
Here are the sections:
Write the title of your study topic, author’s name and date of submission.
Recognize those who enabled you to get the resources you needed for the research such as family, lecturer, institution, etc.
Table of contents
It is a list of headings and subheadings and their location.
List of tables and figures
It shows the location of the figures and tables that you used in the thesis document, including those that are in the appendices. Take a look at this example:
Abbreviation and acronyms
These are the abbreviations of organizations, technical words, and so on that will be used in the study. List them and state what they stand for. The paper is boring when you use full names of organizations or technical words that can be abbreviated. Here is an example of how they are listed in alphabetical order:
Abstract or executive summary
It is a three or four paragraphs summary of the whole research. Summarize the hypotheses, procedures, and significant findings.
It is a summarized explanation of the thesis statement, the purpose, background, and scope of the study to give the reader an overview of what the study document contains.
Cite the works of theories and studies that other scholars and professionals have carried out in the past whose knowledge will guide you when you are doing your study. State the limitations of the previous studies and what makes your research different from them. The reader will understand your research more after reading this section.
The part focuses on the techniques you used to collect your data. Describe the type of study you are doing, such as exploratory, explanatory, or descriptive. Write about the sampling procedure and technique, sources of data, data gathering instruments and process, and data analysis techniques that you will implement in the research.
The sample research methodology above continues in the image below:
Findings or results
State the facts and figures that you deduced from data analysis. Use tables, pie charts, graphs, and so on to explain the results. Do not discuss the findings in-depth because that will fall into the next section.
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Discuss your findings because the reader may not understand them just by stating them and showing the figures and tables.
Explain each of the solutions that you are recommending in a paragraph. Bear in mind that they should be in line with the major findings of the study and your hypothesis. Write about the assumptions and limitations of your investigation here. Recommend what you think other researchers should cover in the future about the research topic that you have investigated.
Cite the secondary data sources that you used in the research, such as magazines, websites, journals, books, articles, and so on. Add end-notes to your bibliography or cited literature if you wish. Use APA sixth edition format because it is the latest and the most recommended one.
READ ALSO: How to write a literature review
If you used any other materials that are too long to be included in the questionnaires, authorization documents from the institution you went to collect data from, tables, forms, figures, and more, please add them to this section. You can find a report writing example.
How to write a report for work
A business report can be an analysis of multiple chapters or a one-page paper depending on the information you need to deliver to the higher authority. Understand your audience. One supervisor may require a document that has more quantitative than qualitative data, while the other may need the opposite. When writing a business report that is detailed and covers several topics, please use the scholarly format that has been discussed earlier.
Is there a brief report structure for business?
You can use these templates and the example of a report for business purposes. There is no short version for a research document, but depending on the content of the research, you can leave out some sections. These six sections should not be left out no matter how much you want it to be brief:
- Title page or front page: It contains your name, job position, contacts, submission date, and research title.
- Executive summary or background of the study: Let the supervisor understand the topic, purpose, and scope of the study.
- Findings: Use a few tables and figures so that the document does become too long and meaningless.
- Conclusion: Interpret the findings that are related to the purpose of the investigation.
- Recommendations: Write solutions you are proposing in point form if it is straightforward research.
- References: Show the literature you cited.