A good structure for a report would be as follows:
- Title Page – showing the title of the report, the author, the person for whom the report is prepared, and the date of completion
- Summary/Synopsis/Executive Summary (approx 10% of word count) – this will identify:
- The purpose of the report
- The scope of the report – issues covered/not covered
- The important results and findings
- The conclusions and recommendations
- Acknowledgement of any assistance in researching and compiling the report
- Table of contents – not including the title and contents page!
- Body of report – this will include:
- Introduction – what is the report about
- Discussion – divided into sections and sub sections, presented clearly and confined to fact rather than analysis/opinion
- Conclusion – this should:
- Relate back to the findings in the body of the report
- Include a clear summary of the main points
- Outline the findings of the research
There should be nothing in the conclusion that has not already been mentioned in the body of the report.
- Recommendations – these should:
- Emerge from the conclusions
- Suggest what is to be done, who is to do it and how/when it is to be done
- Be justified based on findings, not just the opinion of the writer
- Appendix/Appendices – containing supplementary material too detailed for the main body of the report, such as tables, charts, statistics, questionnaires etc
(Adapted from Source: NCI Learning Centre: Study Skills/Writing Skills/Writing Reports)
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