Report Writing Guidelines
Title Page Contains: A clear layout Brief title which describes the report The author’s name The date report written The course title or company name
Contents Page Contains: A heading Parts of the report and page numbers in columns May use subheadings For example:
Contents 1. 2. Introduction Findings Staff views Management views The clients’ views
Page 1 2 2 3 4
Introduction Contains: The purpose of the report Background to the report How the information was gained
Findings Contains: Numbered headed sections Each section containing clear factual information with each point listed separately Analysis of data Graphs, charts, diagrams, pictures included where appropriate or referral made to the appendices
For example: 2.4 Holidays abroad Holidays abroad are becoming increasingly popular with more holiday makers taking short breaks overseas in addition to their summer holidays. (See appendix 2 for 10 most popular destinations). 2.5 Holidays in Britain
Conclusions Contains: Statements of opinion Summary of findings
TIP Conclusions should not contain any new material and should not be too long. There must be enough evidence in findings to justify your conclusions Conclusions should be based on the findings Recommendations Contains: Suggestions for action based on findings Should say why recommendation should be done
TIP Convention is to start with the word ‘That’ If a report is for information only, it does not require recommendations Appendices Contains: Table(s) of information, questionnaires, examples, graphs, charts and diagrams if not included in the findings section.
Bibliography Contains: The author, date title and publisher of books, articles or reports used for information, written in alphabetical order by author’s last name. Page numbers of any references used Underlined titles of books, reports or journals Website addresses with the date accessed For example: Best, R. (2002) Holidays Today, Bristol Book Company Smith, L (Oct 2003), Top Ten Holiday Resorts, Holiday Review, pp9-11
Level 3 extension work
To achieve a level 3 you would need to write reports with more detail. Reports would require Terms of Reference instead of an Introduction, and if appropriate you would follow this by a section called Background where you would include any information that would give clarity to the reasons why the report might be required. This would be followed by a separate Methodology section. If the report is to be read by a number of people, it is useful to provide an Executive Summary which is placed before the Terms of Reference. This summarises key points of the report – who asked for it, when what the report is on, how research was carried out, key points from the findings, key points from the conclusions and whether recommendations were made. The summary is kept as brief as possible and written in continuous prose form
Terms of Reference This is written in sentence form as a paragraph. This states: Who asked for the report and the date on which they asked What the report was on Whether the report included recommendations
Exercise 1 Write the terms of reference based on the following information: A report was asked for on what improvements needed to be made to the SNIPS hairdressing salon. The report was requested by David James the salon owner on 5 June 2006
Methodology This section of a report states how the research was carried out. It is written under the heading of Methodology as numbered points. These would include any secondary research (this is when you refer to work already done and published by others), and primary research (direct research that you do. This can be by for example: Collecting data from experiments Collecting data from questionnaire Collecting data from structured interview Collecting data from observation
Exercise 2 Consider how you might carry out the research to write the report for the salon owner in exercise 1, and write below in the format required your answer:
Get the answers checked with a tutor or supervisor if you are unsure.
If you have managed to complete these exercises well done!