You are on page 1of 3

HOW TO WRITE A REPORT (CAE)

A report is a systematic, well organised document which defines and analyses a subject or problem, and
which may include:
the record of a sequence of events
interpretation of the significance of these events or facts
evaluation of the facts or results of research presented
discussion of the outcomes of a decision or course of action
conclusions
recommendations

Reports must always be:


accurate
concise
clear
well structured
Initial preparation
Always analyse your brief carefully, making sure that you fully understand the topic, question or case,
that you know what the purpose of the report is, and who it is being written for. The clearer these things
are in your mind, the easier the report will be to write and the more effective it will be.
When you are planning and eventually writing, continually ask yourself what the main purpose of the
report is, what your objective is in writing it: is it to inform; to argue; to persuade; to evaluate? What does
your reader want to see in the report and what will they do with it?
Report structure
Unlike essays, reports are written in sections with headings and sub-headings, which are usually
numbered. It contains clearly differentiated paragraphs. Below are the possible components of a report, in
the order in which they would appear.
Reason of writing (Introduction)

The aim/objective/purpose of this report is to compare/examine/evaluate/describe/outline (some


suggestions)/analyse (some suggestions)/expose/present/give information on/regarding
the/recommend/consider/suggest
This report aims to... etc.
Nouns: information (remember: not informations), ideas, suggestions, situations, conditions,
comments
in order to improve/decide
In case of survey/discussion: It is based on a survey conducted among/It is the result of a
discussion which took place among
This report is intended to.. / is based on

Body (2 paragraphs maximum)


Headings from the task

It should be considered, it is worth considering


The first observation to make is (concerns)
First of all/Firstly

Secondly/ Furthermore/Moreover
Lastly/Finally
In fact
According to (the majority of respondents)
However, although, alternatively
In spite of (the fact [that])/Despite (the fact [that]) + Noun, Pronoun or ...ing
Predicting the future: The outlook for ... is (far from [+ing])
bright/optimistic/depressing/daunting
The future looks bleak/remains uncertain/is promising
This seems unlikely in the near/foreseable future
It has been stressed that

Making/giving recommendations
I would strongly recommend that ... should + bare infinitive
In the light of the results of the survey I would advise against...
I feel it would be to our advantage if...
The best solution is/would be to...
This will have an impact on + noun
Conclusion(s)
As long as/provided that these recommendations are taken into consideration
In conclusion...
The reseach shows/demonstrates
From the research/the evidence we conclude that

SAMPLE
You and a number of students from different countries have been working in an international company
for a month as part of a work experience programme. The human resources manager of the company has
asked you to write a report saying how useful the programme has been for the participants and including
recommendations for future programmes. Write a report on the programme using the comments below
which you collected from the students feedback forms.
Teamwork
Great international mix
Some of the students need more language training
Pity we couldnt finish the project!
Not enough time
I didnt always understand everything
Working in different departments
Very interesting. Staff very helpful and friendly
Would like more time in fewer departments
I learnt a lot about office work
In general
Well organized
Not enough time for us to compare ideas and experiences
Made some really good friends
Report on the Spring 2010 Work Experience Programme

Introduction
This report is based on feedback collected from participants in the Spring 2010 work experience
programme. I will summarise these comments and offer some recommendations for future programmes.
Organisation of the team
Most participants commented favourably on the international flavour of the team and enjoyed the
opportunity of working closely with people from other cultures. Several people mentioned that they had
forged close relationships with their co-workers. It was widely felt however that a number of students
would have benefited from a specialized language course before beginning the programme, as some
communication problems were experienced. It was also felt that more time was needed in order to
complete the project.
Organisation of the work
In general, students appreciated the opportunity given to experience the work of the company at first
hand, and commented on the helpfulness of the permanent staff. It was felt by some, however, that the
experience would have been more productive if students had been given more time in each department, as
this would have enabled them to gain a deeper insight into the workings of individual departments. It was
also felt that more time was needed for the exchange of ideas and experiences.
Conclusion
Feedback was overwhelmingly positive and it is hoped that a similar programme can be put into place in
future, taking into account the suggestions made above.