Report Writing Workshop
When an assignment brief requires your answer to be written in the form of a report you
should follow the guidelines below.
When compiling an assignment, your tutor must see evidence of:
Research you have done
NOTES: - Using only the internet for research rarely leads to in-depth
- Always supplement your research by material from books.
- Wikipedia might be accurate, but as it is compiled by lay-people, it may
contain errors. Always supplement this research, preferably from books.
- Any research materials used must be accurately referenced and citation
should be used where necessary.
Your own interpretation of what has been researched
A critical evaluation of the research material
Practical application of the research material to your work, and / or examples that you
have seen during your working life.
Is the inclusion of other peoples work in your work, without identifying the source of
Materials copied may include material written by an outside source, or by a fellow
The college is implementing an application called TurnItIn, which will be used to check
all student assignments for possible plagiarism.
This is a serious academic irregularity. It is a breach of the Student Agreement and
will be dealt with under the disciplinary code. It is also a criminal act of fraud.
General Report Formatting Guidelines
Use Styles for all formatting, including headings, figure names, tables,
bulleted/numbered lists, etc.
The report should be word processed using Arial (or another sans-serif font), size 11
or 12 font.
The report should be presented using an appropriate folder together with the
assignment brief and a front sheet.
Make it easy for the reader to find what they would like to look at in the report. Also
make it easy for a tutor to find specific tasks.
Don’t use more words than necessary to convey the content
Write for a particular target audience.
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Stick to the structure of the formal report, not as a letter or as answers to specific
question, but use these for content and guidance.
Include all original resources where possible (e.g. project brief that was evaluated).
Acronyms – Must be expanded on their first use within the report, for example
“Using a specific S.D.L.C. (Systems Development Life Cycle) will…”
After this is done once, the acronym can just be used from that point on in the report
The Structure of the report
Start each one on a new page:
Title Page 2
Header & Footer 3
Contents page 3
Table of figures 3
Introduction / Abstract 3
Main body of report 3
Recommendations & Conclusions 3
Features of each section
Include the following:
Brief descriptive title
Unit number and name
Course / qualification
Preferably don’t include a page number on this page. (Specify your header and footer to be
“different on the first page” or use a section break)
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Header & Footer
Always include the following details:
Page number (preferably bottom right of each page)
Contents & page numbers – use the automatically generated Table of Contents in Word, and
ensure hyperlinks are used.
Table of figures
If many figures are used, a table could be included here to contain a list of these with page
numbers and hyperlinks.
Introduction / Abstract
Objectives of the report, alluding to the contents of the report
Can also be an Executive summary, which should include all necessary details for a company
executive to read this summary only, in-stead of the whole report
May include who the target audience is for the report
Main body of report
General guidelines for inclusion (this may vary depending on the subject of the report)
Present the situation – brief factual description
Investigation eg what is wrong
Summary of the results of this exploration
Possible courses of action
o Costs and benefits of alternatives
Methods used should always be explained
Recommendations & Conclusions
Based on main body of report
What should be done
Why should it be done
Recommendations on how the solution can be implemented, with possible time schedule
and which other people should be involved
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Suggestions for future work / further investigation / future considerations or
Material to which you have referred in the report
Include all original materials used for / during the report.
Each one must be numbered (e.g. Appendix A, Appendix B, etc)
A list of all sources of information used in writing the report accredited to the author.
Preferably use Harvard referencing where possible.
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