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Report Writing

By: Mdm. Nadia Bt. Mohamed

social sciences. accurate and difficult to misinterpret. It should be noted that reports are considered to be legal documents in the workplace and. they need to be precise. thus. findings pertaining to a given or specific task are written up into a report. . engineering and business disciplines.What is a report? y A report is a very formal document that is written for a variety of purposes in the sciences. Generally.

How many different types of reports are there? y laboratory reports. case study reports. progress reports. research reports. health and safety reports. field study reports. proposals comparative advantage reports. technical reports. feasibility studies. and on it goes « . cost-benefit analysis reports. financial reports. instruction manuals.

How does the structure of a report differ from the structure of an essay? y Reports are organised into separate sections according to the specific requirements of the given task. coherence and logical development to the report. While it is important that paragraphs are structured and there is unity. . it is not a continuous piece of writing like an essay. Each type of report serves a very specific purpose and is aimed at a very particular audience.

For example. but this is because reports are not usually read from cover-to-cover by one person.y Report writing may seem repetitive to us. a manager may read only the synopsis or abstract and act on the advice it contains while a technical officer may read only the section that explains how things work. On the other hand. a personnel officer may look at only the conclusions and recommendations that directly affect his or her working area. .

A contents page y This includes the page numbers of each section within the report and any appendices that are attached to the report. . These are attached to the report before the contents page. It does not include the title page or abstract.

Becoming more popular. Only numbering style is indicated below. y Sample numbering system used in report writing . a numbering system is used to indicate each section or subsection.The report itself y The report is broken into sections and each section and subsection has a heading. Often. however. is changing the font size of headings to indicate the importance of each heading.

4. INTRODUCTION1. Aim y y y y y y y 1. Literature review 2.2.1. Literature review of journals 2000 . Scope 1. RECOMMENDATIONS REFERENCES APPENDICES . Fish stock numbers 3.3.1. Background to study 2.1.6. Sediment levels of Blue River 3. Weed infiltration rates 3. Likely areas to be flooded 4. Water flow of Blue River 3.3. PROCEDURE2. CONCLUSIONS 1.2001 3. ANALYSIS Of DATA3. Salinity levels of Blue River 3.1.2. Data collection method 2.

. A further proposal would be offered if council decides to proceed with the recommendations of this study. It does not include building specifications of the dam itself. y Scope y This shows what the report includes and excludes.Parts of the report y Introduction y Aim y In this section you indicate the purpose of the report. For example: y This feasibility study indicates the environmental feasibility of the proposed damming of the Blue River between Johnson's Creek and Blackstump Creek.

Background to study y This section contains any relevant details regarding the background information that may be needed to make sense of the information in the report. It may outline the history of a project. or major players in the project .

The Shire Council had conducted investigations into providing a dam for the region in the mid-1980s but plans were halted due to public dissatisfaction with the outcome of those investigations. This feasibility study report should thus enable Council to make a final decision regarding improving water supplies to the Shire.Example: y In January 1999. and conclusions and recommendations from the entire study should be tabled at Council's Planning Committee meeting scheduled for 12 January 2002. . This is one of its three priority areas for the period 20012002. The outcome suggested no significant negative environmental or economic impacts would be felt. the Shire Council proposed that the final stages of the feasibility study should be conducted. In June 2001. The Kalkadoo Shire Council has made it a priority for this situation to be remedied so that this situation does not occur in the future. Further environmental studies needed to be conducted over a longer period to determine the impact of the dam on neighbouring farms and Crown land reserves. This series of investigations was completed in December 2000. Kalkadoo township experienced severe water shortages as a result of prolonged drought periods during 1997 and 1998.

y In reports that are based on data you have collected yourself. This is the section where you would discuss the main issues arising from your research. you would probably use a different heading because your data would come mainly from texts and journal articles.Procedures y In this section. this section would detail the methods you used to collect that data and why those methods were chosen. like the report used in the example so far. all reports use specific data and ways of collecting it that would be included in this section. Even though it may be called something different. y In research reports. you would briefly outline how you collected the data that will provide the basis for analysis that will produce conclusions and recommendations.You would also outline the steps taken during the process of collecting data and carrying out research .

and in the land regions that would be directly affected by flooding. Water flow rates were measured according to rate of flow 100ml per hour. Weed infiltration rates were recorded. . Weekly recordings were made of the types of species already present in the areas of study. Sediment and salinity levels were measured according to the percentage of suspended siltation carried in the fastest flowing section of the river channel. These rates were recorded three times per week during the study. and identification of new varieties was monitored. data was collected and analysed according to the criteria outlined for environmental impact studies as set out in the Queensland Department of Primary Industry's Environmental Studies Handbook (2001). Specific areas within the study region were targeted and fish stock numbers randomly checked using sonar equipment. and more often during the change of tides.Example: y An example is set out below:During this six-month feasibility study. Fish stock numbers were recorded once per month where tagged fish were counted and measured. both in the river itself. These measurements were also taken three times per week.

charts. y Each set of data may be displayed in more than one way and each diagram or visual should have a title. you outline the data you have collected. graphic displays should always be used to summarise the findings you have made from the data you have collected. y Graphs. tables. maps. . and should be thoroughly labelled. figure or table number. y Each set of data is systematically displayed and analysed in a paragraph under the appropriate diagram.Analysis of data y This section is perhaps the longest section in most reports and it is where. using visual displays.

Damming the river will not significantly increase sedimentation downstream. Sediment levels of 1. there should be at least one corresponding conclusion.5% and 1. This increase is still within the acceptable range according to guidelines (given by the Department of Primary Industries). sediment levels will increase between 0. Damming the Blue River between Johnson's Creek and Blackstump Creek would not affect average water (flow rates upstream or downstream from this area).02% and 0.2% are considered to be acceptable.05% during the dry months. Dot points are used when the sequential order is not important. . For each section under the main heading 'Analysis'. Upstream. For example: y The Blue River flow rate is significantly higher than was expected.Conclusions y The conclusions are dot pointed and are drawn directly from the analysis section of the report. y Sediment levels remained between 0.0%.

Recommendations y These are your suggestions for further action based on your conclusions. y Damming of this area could lead to significant economic advantages. y References y A reference list with publication details of sources used should be included after the conclusions/recommendations section. . Not all reports will ask for recommendations. For example: y The damming of the Blue River between Johnson's Creek and Blackstump Creek should proceed. Some will have a section where both conclusions and recommendations are given. Recommendations are numbered as they normally follow sequentially. Any appendices follow the reference list.

Comprehensive flow rate charts for the period 1998-2000 are included as Appendix 1. Here are some examples of appendices: National Science Foundation Home page http://www.Additional sections that may be required y Appendices include things like raw data sheets. For example: Water flow rates indicate that there is no significant change between 1998 and 2001. Behavioural.You draw your reader's attention to the appropriate appendix by indicating this briefly at the appropriate place in the report. Economic Science Go to Science Resources Statistics.nsf. then Featured Publications and look at Women. extra or supplementary y y y y y y y information or diagrams. maps of regions etc. Minorities and Persons with Disabilities Look at the appendices: Technical Notes and Statistical Tables Note how tables are shown in Appendix 2: Statistical Tables .gov Go to Program Areas³Social.