How to Write a Report

How to Write a ReportUnderstand the assignment. If your teacher, professor, or boss gave your guidelines for your report, make sure you read them (and reread them). What is the assignment asking of you? Are you supposed to inform your audience about a topic? Generally if you are writing a report for an elementary, middle or high school class, you will be asked to present a topic without inserting your opinion. Other assignments might ask you to persuade your audience about a certain way of perceiving your topic, or analyze a topic. Ask your teacher about any questions you might have as soon as possible. [1]

  • Keep in mind that if your purpose is only to inform your audience, you should not put your own opinion into your report or add any persuasive elements.

Choose a good topic that you love. Feeling sultry about a topic will drive you to do your best work possible. Of course, sometimes you will not have the option to choose your topic. If this is the case, attempt to find something about the assigned topic that you can get sultry about. Always make sure to run your ideas by your teacher to make sure that it is okay that you treatment the report in this way. [Two]

  • If your assignment is to give a report on a particular event of the 1960’s in America, and you don’t like history but you do like music, concentrate your report on the way the music in the 1960’s tied into the event that occurred during that time. But make sure to include lots of details about other things based on the topic too.
  • Pick an original topic. If you are providing a report to your classmates, attempt to pick a topic that is original and engaging. If you are the third person to give a report on Disneyland that day, chances are you very likely won’t have your classmates attention. To avoid repetition, ask your teacher what topics have already been picked.

  • If the topic you want has been chosen, attempt to find a different angle to present it in. For example, if you dreamed to do your report on Disneyland, but somebody already chose that topic, you could concentrate your report on one specific section of Disneyland, like Adventureland. You could discuss what inspired its creation, the different rails you find in that section, and any major switches that have happened to Adventureland recently. [Trio]
  • Keep in mind that you can switch your topic. If you begin to research the topic you have chosen and realize that you can’t find any information on the topic, or that your topic is too broad, you can always switch your topic, so long as you are not commencing your project the day before its due.

  • If you find that your topic is too broad, attempt to pick a specific part of the topic to concentrate on. For example, if you dreamed to do your report on World Fairs, but realized there are way too many of the them to talk about, and they are all too varied to discuss as a entire, choose one specific world fair, such as the Panama-Pacific International Exposition, to concentrate on.
  • Come up with a thesis statement . Thesis statements are the main idea of your report. A thesis statement summarizes what you want to prove in your report for your reader. All of your subsequent topic sentences of figure paragraphs should tie back into this thesis, so make sure that it is general enough to stand via your essay. If you are simply reporting on a topic, create a thesis statement that does not contain any opinion-based information. If you are creating a thesis that is meant to persuade someone about a topic, or that is meant to deeply analyze a topic, the thesis should contain an argument that you intend to prove in your essay. [6]

  • Example of straightforward report thesis (Thesis 1). The three main halls of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition were packed with modern creations of the day and were an excellent representation of the innovative spirit of the Progressive era.
  • Example of a persuasive or analytic report thesis (Thesis Two). The Panama-Pacific International Exposition was intended as a celebration of the Progressive spirit, but actually harbored a deep racism and principle of white supremacy that most visitors chose to overlook or feast.
  • Create an outline. Outlines help you to visualize how your essay will look. Outlines can be straightforward lists, idea webs or concept maps. Begin with your thesis statement and then pick the three major ideas related to your thesis statement that you will want to cover in your essay. Write down details about each main idea.

  • Your main ideas should support your thesis. They should be the evidence that provides support to your argument.
  • Example main ideas for Thesis 1. Exhibits at the Court of the Universe, Exhibits at the Court of the Four Seasons, Exhibits at the Court of Abundance.
  • Example main ideas for Thesis Two. Racism in the ‘Joy Zone’, the statue of ‘The End of the Trail’, and the presence of ‘Race Betterment’ lectures at the fair.
  • Determine how you will format your report. The structure of your paper depends on your topic. If you are writing a report on a person, it would make the most sense to structure your report in chronological order.

  • For Thesis 1, the report would be structured as a spatial guide to the fair–the report would discuss the main exhibits in each of the major buildings at the fair (the Court of the Universe, the Court of the Four Seasons, and the Court of Abundance.)
  • Write your introduction. Your intro is where you introduce your topic and state your thesis. Your intro should be engaging but not corny–the objective should be to hook the reader so that they want to read the rest of your report. You should provide some background information on your topic and then state your thesis so that the reader knows what the report is going to be about. When you are revising make sure you look at the very first word in every sentence and attempt not to let any of them be repetitive.

  • Example Intro for Thesis 1. The Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE) of 1915 was intended to feast both the creation of the Panama Cave, and the technological advancements achieved at the turn of the century. The three main halls of the PPIE were packed with modern creations of the day and were an excellent representation of the innovative spirit of the Progressive era. [7]
  • Write your figure paragraphs. The bod paragraphs are where you state your evidence that supports your thesis. Each assets paragraph consists of a topic sentence and evidence supporting the topic sentence. The topic sentence introduces the main idea of the figure paragraph and links the paragraph back to the thesis. [8]

  • Example topic sentence for Thesis 1. At the PPIE, the Court of the Universe was the heart of the exposition and represented the greatest achievements of man, as well as the meeting of the East and the West.
  • For a report that is about a person, a topic sentence might be something like, “John Doe had a rough childhood that shaped who he became.” Obviously you would put in more specific information relevant to the person you are reporting about.
  • Support your topic sentence. After you write your topic sentence in the figure paragraph, provide evidence found in your research that supports your topic sentence. This evidence can be descriptions of things mentioned in your topic sentence, quotes from experts on the subjects, or more information about the topic listed.

  • For the topic sentence listed above about the Court of the Universe, the assets paragraph should go on to list the different exhibits found at the exhibit, as well as proving how the Court represented the meeting of the East and West.
  • For a report about a person, you would provide evidence that proved John Doe had a hard childhood and that his practices led him to become the famous person he was.
  • Write your conclusion. This paragraph both summarizes your thesis again, and provides your final thoughts on your topic. It should reiterate to the reader what the reader should be taking away from your report. [9]

    Cite your sources. Your teacher or professor should tell you whether to use MLA, APA or Chicago style when writing your essay. Format any quotes you use, as well as your bibliography accordingly.

    Format your report. Attempt to go after your teacher’s formatting instructions to the letter. If he or she made no formatting instructions, go with something clean and classic. Standard format for academic reports in the United States is 12-point Times Fresh Roman or Arial font, double-spaced lines, and 1-inch margins all around.

    Part Five of Five:
    Finalizing Your Report Edit

    Read through your report from an outsider’s perspective. Does the point you are attempting to make come across clearly? Does all of your evidence support your thesis? If you were someone reading your report for the very first time, would you feel like you understood the topic after reading the report?

    Get someone else to read your report. Having a 2nd pair of eyes can be helpful to make sure your point is clear and your writing doesn’t sound awkward. Ask your helper, do you understand what I am telling in my report? Is there anything you think I should take out or add? Is there anything you would switch?

    Proofread your report. Check for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. Are there any awkward sentences that you can rewrite? [Ten]

    Read your report out noisy. Reading out noisy will help you to identify any sections of the report that might sound awkward (like if there are run-on sentences.)

    Put your paper aside for a few days. If you have time to put the paper away and clear your head before proofreading, it is a good thing to do. Taking a break from your paper will help you to spot more errors and parts that don’t make sense when you come back to it.

    Don’t be afraid to let a friend or family member read it too!

    How to Write a Report

    Understand the assignment. If your teacher, professor, or boss gave your guidelines for your report, make sure you read them (and reread them). What is the assignment asking of you? Are you supposed to inform your audience about a topic? Generally if you are writing a report for an elementary, middle or high school class, you will be asked to present a topic without inserting your opinion. Other assignments might ask you to persuade your audience about a certain way of perceiving your topic, or analyze a topic. Ask your teacher about any questions you might have as soon as possible. [1]

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