I want help with writing reports

Like most of the texts you write at university, reports generally have the basic structure of Introduction, Main Body, Conclusion. However, the main body structure can vary widely, since the term ‘report’ is used for many different types of texts with different purposes in different disciplines. It is wise to find out as much as possible about what type of report is expected. Your main sources of information are:

  • Written instructions for the assignment
  • Grade descriptors, rubrics or marking guides (i.e. a list of the parts of the report, how many marks each part is worth, and/or a list of the qualities which will achieve a pass mark, a credit, a distinction, etc.)
  • Instructions given in class by the lecturer and/or tutor
  • Further questions you ask the tutor or lecturer, e.g. in their consultation hours
  • Discussion with other students
  • Model report assignments (i.e. some lecturers, departments or schools keep copies of good assignments done by previous students, as models of the right style and structure: Ask about this.)
  • General guidelines produced by schools, departments or faculties
  • Online resources, particularly WRISE (Writing a Report in the Sciences and Engineering: see link on the right)

For more on this topic, see the links on the right...