This article features "dictionary look up". Just double click on any word to get an instant definition (uses a pop-up).

A Simple Guide to Report Writing

A business report is a formal document. It should be concise, well organised, and easy to follow; using headings, sub-headings, sections.

Sections should be numbered: - major section 1,2,3 etc. - first level of sub-section 1.1, 1.2 etc., 2.1, 2.2, 2.3 etc. - second level 1.1.1, 1.1.2, ......, 1.2.1, 1.2.2, ..... etc.

Report format:

Title page - subject of the report, author, date

Terms of reference - who ordered the report, when and why, any conditions

Contents page - all section numbers and titles, using exactly the same wording as in the report

Abstract - brief summary of report - task, summary of conclusions and recommendations

Introduction - background information

Main body of report - findings, description, facts, opinions, etc. This must be well structured

Conclusion - summary of results

Recommendations - usually in the form of a list

Appendices (not always necessary) - additional details, tables, graphs, detailed analysis. These must be numbered and cross referenced in the text

Glossary (not always necessary) -explanation of any specialist terms

Bibliography - references to any books, journals, etc. which were used either for background reading, or directly quoted in the report.
They should be arranged alphabetically by the author's name The reference should include: author, date of publication, title, edition,
place of publication, publisher.

General guidelines:

  • If using Word™ or a similar package, use (but don't just rely on) the spell-checker.
  • Check your grammar and punctuation.
  • Make sure you read it through and that you understand it.
  • If you can get someone else to read it - even better.
  • Make a copy - if you're using a PC make two separate copies, and keep them safe.
This text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.