- Reports are not only a part of university life, but are commonly used in most workplaces too. Reports help us to gather and analyse information, and present it concisely to a specific audience. Reports are often used to examine an issue and make suggestions for improvement.
- The English word Report comes from two Latin words:
• ‘Portare’ meaning to carry
• ‘Re’ meaning back or again.
Accordingly, the report is a way of carrying back information to somebody who needs it.
- Reports are different to essays in many ways, one difference being the structure.
- While essays are read linearly from beginning to conclusion, reports can be broken down into independent sections that can be read as stand-alone pieces. These sections contain headings and sub-headings to help the reader navigate the document.
- You should note that although this may be the case in the workplace, your tutor will read the entire document to provide you with feedback.
• Present information
• Can be scanned quickly and often out of order
• Contain short, concise paragraphs, and possibly dot points
• Make recommendations.
• Present an argument
• Should be read carefully and continuously
• Have cohesive paragraphs
• Rarely make recommendations.
To prepare a report, you first need to:
• Research information and literature surrounding the topic: statistics, interviews, news articles, journals, biographies etc.
• Analyse and interpret the information you find
• Organise your interpretation of the topic into key findings and observations
• Recommend actions to address your findings and their implications.
Make sure you check your unit outline and the assignment marking guide so you know what is expected in the report.
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