How to Write a Report
Students often confuse research report and research paper. Though these two types of paper have a lot in common, there are still significant differences. Follow our guidelines for writing the research report, and they will help you to create a great paper easily. We hope we can help you clarify this issue, and you won’t confuse these two types of papers ever again.
Tips on How to Write a Research Report
1. Consider your assignment instructions.
Most likely, your teacher has given you strict instructions for your report. Review them carefully before you start. Keep the most significant requirements in mind while writing the report, such as format, how many sources you need to use, and the main theme of the report. Moreover, remember the things for which your report will be graded for – pay attention to them.
2. Research your subject.
The research for your report can require the reading of a book for the literature report or the searching of sources that contain more detailed information than was learned in class. If you need to conduct research on a massive scale, but you are not fond of reading thousands of books, read annotations and introductions only. This will help you deal with many new concepts and theories easily, and you will find those that are suitable for your research. Also, make sure before submitting that you follow the right format for research report writing approved by your educational institution.
3. Define your thesis statement and start writing an outline.
Keep in mind that your thesis needs to make a point. It has to summarize what you want to prove in your report. Once you have written your thesis, continue to develop your point to form the outline. All you need is to write down two or three core ideas of your report project. After that, write down the detailed information about each idea. The concept that is closely interconnected with your thesis statement should come first.
4. Start writing your report.
The body of the report consists of some general sections like an introduction, body paragraphs, conclusion, and bibliography. The introductory part should contain a short summary of the issues you will be discussing in the report. To write your body paragraphs, use the ideas you generated in the outline. Each concept should have its own paragraph and should be interconnected. To sum up what you previously have written, summarize why your statement is the right one in a few sentences. The last important thing to write in your report is a bibliography. Do not forget to check the assignment requirement to know in which format you need to create your reference list.
5. Proofread your report.
Check your paper before showing it to the teacher. Make sure you followed the structure of research report writing, since this type of paper requires more strict division in sections than even an essay. If you feel bored simply by the thought of proofreading your paper, try new editing techniques, such as backwards reading, or separating your paper into tiny bits, reshuffling them and proofreading one tiny part at a time. This will help you maximize your concentration, so you will be able to spot petty mistakes and typos.
Writing a report is not an easy task, especially when you are writing it for the first time. A report is a type of research paper that is created for a particular goal. Contrary to an essay, a report is not a continuous form of writing. It must be divided into sections. There are various types of reports you may be asked to create: literature reports and reviews, research report and progress reports, analytical and examination reports, laboratory reports and design portfolios. With the help of this guidelines for writing the research report, report paper writing will be significantly easier and less stressful for you.
Steps for Writing a Research Report
1. Analyze the task.
Make sure you understand the difference between a research paper and a research report. Here’s a list of main characteristics of a research report:
- It is based on a broad topic.
- Its purpose is to inform your readers.
- You focus on the general discussion of the problem or issue.
- The information is only gathered and summarized, and no specific conclusions are drawn.
- You present the interpretation and analysis of other people, not your own.
- It does not result in a new conclusion or way of solving the problem.
2. Develop a plan.
You don’t need to create a detailed timeline and stick to it regardless of circumstances. You should understand, however, that a research report consists of a string of smaller tasks and activities, and a solid plan will help you better understand the stage you are on and how much you still have to do. It is also a very effective way of avoiding the stage of panic, where you have no idea what and how to write. All you need to do is simply check up with your plan and get to work. 🙂
3. Conduct the research.
Remember that you need to gather a lot of information for a quality report. For example, if your research notes contain 20 pages, in the process of writing a report you are likely to cut off at least half of the information. Make sure that you have enough data to write a substantial research report.
4. Create the first outline.
This is the stage of pure creativity. Forget all the advice on how to write a research report, sit down and start writing. Try to remove everything that holds you back or makes you think twice about the process – just write. The more you write, the more material you will have for your research report.
5. Polish the paper.
Now it’s time to break emotional attachment to your work and start proofreading as sharp as a razor. Cut out everything that seems a little bit excessive, and make sure you don’t have any questions to the content. For example, if you are editing your paper, and a certain paragraph feels a little bit odd, either cut it or clarify the content.
Mistakes to Avoid in Report Writing
– Do not forget to read the questions for the report carefully.
– Do not copy someone’s report for your own – it is called plagiarism and it is illegal.
– Do not lay aside your report until the last minute.
– Do not forget to cite the sources.
– Do not get distracted while writing your report.
– Do not use unknown sources. When choosing information from the Web for the report, make sure you are using reputable sources information.
Consequently, a qualitative report is the one that received a positive feedback from your tutors. In any case, any type of feedback from the tutor can give you an essential support to improve your writing skills. Use readers’ responses to determine your primary areas of attention to consider in your next draft of the report.
How to Choose a Topic for Your Research Report
- Feel free to choose something broad and epic, since research reports deal with broad topics, contrary to research papers.
- Make sure you have something new to add to the discussion and provide information that will interest your audience.
- Write three to five fields that interest you, and look up recent discoveries and innovations in each field. Choose the one which has a lot of information to offer.
- If the topic you’ve chosen is very specific, make sure you explain enough so it will be understandable for the general audience.
- Most importantly, make sure that you feel passionate about the topic – this will help you gather a lot of information and create a meaningful research report.
Do you have tremendously helpful advice on report writing? Feel free to share it in the comments section below!