Assignment GuidanceHandout 2Overall Structure
Writing a Report
Business, industry and educational institutions often demand short technical reports. Theymay be proposals, progress reports, trip reports, completion reports, investigation reports,feasibility studies, or evaluation reports. As the names indicate, these reports are diverse infocus and aim, and differ in structure. However, one goal of all reports is the same: tocommunicate to an audience.
Your audience for a report written for a Foundation Degree falls into two main categories.Your colleagues and managers may read your report to extract knowledge, for example if youare creating a report that focuses on the use of technology in your institution, it may highlightfor them some areas of strength to beapplauded and some areas where action isrequired.Your tutors will not usually read your report inorder to extract knowledge; instead, they willlook for evidence that you understand thematerial and ideas your report presents. Your document, then, should not only conveyinformation clearly and coherently (such asnumbers, facts or equations), but should also,where appropriate, detail the logical processesyou relied upon (such as interpretation,analysis, or evaluation).
This document describes a general format for a short report, which you canadapt to the needs of specific assignments. Bear in mind that a format,however helpful, cannot replace clear thinking andstrategic writing. You stillneed to organize your ideas carefully and express them coherently. Beprecise and concise.
The essential information here is your name, the title of the project, and thedate. Be aware of any other information your instructor requires. The title of areport can be a statement of the subject. An effective title is informative butreasonably short. Ornamental or misleading titles may annoy readers.