Write a full report about the subject of your presentation.
The report must be a systematic, well organised document which defines and analyses the subject or problem. It may include:
– the record of the sequence of events
– an interpretation of the significance of these events or facts
– an evaluation of the facts or results of research presented
– a discussion of the outcomes
– conclusions
– recommendations
The Reports must be accurate, concise, clear and well structured
When you are researching, planning and eventually writing, continually ask yourself what the main purpose of the report is, what your objective is in writing it: is it to inform; to argue; to persuade; to evaluate?
Ask yourself what you need to find out, maybe in the form of questions that need to be answered, and then approach your reading from this starting point.
Try not to gather too much information. Again, keeping your topic or question in mind, reject anything which is not 100% relevant. When you’re making notes, always try to summarise the main points as concisely as possible. Remember to make a comprehensive record of any sources consulted in order to be able to correctly reference these.
The report has to have sections with headings and sub-headings, which are usually numbered.
Title page
This should include the title, your name and the name of the professor to whom it is being submitted, date of submission, your course
Contents page
A clear, well-formatted list of all the sections and sub-sections of the report. Don’t forget to put the page numbers! If applicable, there should be a separate list of tables, figures, illustrations and/or appendices after the main index.
Make sure that the headings in this list correspond exactly with those in your main body. It is best to do your list of contents right at the end.
Summary (may be called Executive Summary, Abstract or Synopsis)
This is a very brief outline of the report to give a general idea of what it’s about. A statement of:
– overall aims and specific objectives
– method/procedure
– key findings
– main conclusions and recommendations
Introduction
This should show that you have fully understood the task/brief and that you are going to cover everything required. Indicate the basic structure of the report.
Your introduction will often give an indication of the conclusion to the report.
Main body/findings
This is the substance of your report. The structure will vary according to the nature of the material being presented, with headings and sub-headings used to clearly indicate the different sections. A “situation>problem>solution>evaluation” approach may be appropriate.
It is not sufficient to simply describe a situation. I will be looking for analysis and for a critical approach, when appropriate.
Charts, diagrams and tables can be used to reinforce your arguments, although sometimes it may be better to include these as an appendix (particularly if they are long or complicated).
Do not include opinions, conclusions or recommendations in this section.
Conclusion
Your conclusion should draw out the implications of your findings, with deductions based on the facts described in your main body. Don’t include any new material here.
Recommendations
These should follow on logically from your conclusion and be specific. They should propose how the situation/problem could be improved by suggesting action to be taken.
References
This is a list giving the full details of all the sources to which you have made reference within your text. By far the most common method is the Harvard method.
Bibliography
This is either a separate list of sources which you have used during your research, but have not actually referred to in your writing, or this list together with your list of references.