What is report writing | Structure of report writing

Today, you will learn how to write a good report. This document will provide a general introduction to writing reports. You will eventually master the ability to write a well-decorated report regardless of whichever field you are in. You will learn to outline the typical structure of a report and construct a step by step design to produce reports that are clear and well structured. Have a glance through the detailed article from one of the academic writing expert working at

What is report writing?

The purpose of the report is simple. You are going to target an audience while writing a report. Every report has its distinctive purpose and it should be deprived of any emotions.  A report does not reflect any individual views or opinions. It is just about displaying the content just the way it is. 

Just like any other writing, report writing also needs a certain amount of analysis. You have to gather your data and information and present it. Everything that you mention in your report should be informative and it should be authentic. 

Make sure the contents of your report are supported by enough evidence. A report is mostly considered true in every sense. The reader is going to assume that whatever it is written in the report is almost the truth. Therefore, you should make sure you are not writing any vague statements that are derived from your personal opinions. 

Your report should be structured well. The reader should be able to locate the contents of your report with headings. The reader should not feel difficulty in locating the information that he/she wants to see. It requires you to critically analyse everything and most importantly you should be able to present the facts and figures appropriately. 

The contents of your report should be easily recognizable and understandable. This is the reason why it is always recommended to make as many sections as possible. You should label every headings and section appropriately. There is some information that couldn’t be placed in between the contents as they might clutter the information. 

You can add that information in the appendix section. 

Pointers to write a good report

  • Make note of the requirements for the report.
  • Make an outline of the report.
  • The information that you have gathered should be structured constructively. 
  • Recognize all the problems and issues – Problems centre the theme of the report. The whole report revolves around the problems and issues that you discuss and investigate
  • Follow and keep records of all the reading materials and notes that you have created. 
  • Organise all the data and information you have gathered. It should be manageable so that you can use them in the sections of your report properly. 
  • For a student of stature, your report should meet the level of the particular academic standards. 
  • The direction of the report must be kept straight. Make sure to revise the problem statements and objectives so that you do not deviate from the agenda. 
  • It is important to write the content easy to understand. The reader must feel free to read the content. 
  • Repeat the above steps again and again until you make sure, it is professional and ready for submission. 

Report Writing Structure

There are different genres of academic writing.  The report is one of the fields of academic writing and it is very crucial when it comes to structuring the report. Every section of your report should be informative and it should be easily recognizable by its heading. Therefore, it is important to label properly. 

Gathering the data and information from the source is just 50% work. The remaining effort is given to the structure of the report. Structure of the report is everything. It is being emphasized these matters because all the elements of the structure are not the same. 

Now you will learn all the details of each element of the report. 


The title is nothing more than the topic of the report. The title should be kept very concise. The agenda of your report should be clearly understood from the title. Do not keep it long yet it should describe the report. The title of the report should provide an insight into the whole content. 

You might commit the blunder of putting more words in the title while trying to make it informative. You should avoid doing that. Also, do not make it too general that it becomes out of the context. The title should be compact enough and it should be able to describe the purpose of the report very precisely. 


Abstract, by the name you can derive. This is the actual briefing of your report. You are going to describe what you aiming to report in the paper. Imagine as you if you are asked to describe a long story in 2 or 3 sentences. You will automatically think of saying the main parts of the story only. 

Just like that, make your abstract a maximum of 1 page and not more than that. Save the deep discussions for the later part. You have to start your report in a subtle manner to maintain the consistency of your report. Also, if you think the report is not going to be very long, you can skip the abstract part as well. 

  • State the purpose and methods used in the research of the report
  • You can describe the main research findings.
  • Does your report have the scope for future investigations or not? 

Above are the main points to consider in the abstract of your report. 

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In the introduction, you give an overview of the entire report. You summarize the whole report and share the limitations of your report. 

You have to mention an insight into the directions of the report. The reader must be having a clear idea by now.


Here you are going to discuss the actual problems and issues. All the information and statements will be given here. 

You state all the reports and findings in a very detailed manner. You will be given all the jurisdiction you need to explain everything about the report. Make sure you have described all the content in a number of sections to make sure the reader understands everything completely.


The methodology is the part where you show the methods, how did you get the sources and what methods did you use to conduct your research. Here you are basically showcasing the techniques that you used to conduct the research. Also, you should mention the reason why you particularly chose the respective research technique. 

In a report, there might be chances when you have conducted the research through several interviews and investigations of some journals and published books. You might want to mention the people who were involved in it. What were the contributions of the people that you interviewed? What sort of information did they provide in the making of your report?


Result section is where you mention the results only. You do not discuss the results here. The section completely consists of facts and figures. You might add some graphs and charts to describe the result. 

It would be easier for the reader to understand and draw conclusions from them. Although, the conclusion part comes later. Showing your results before the conclusion helps the reader to make their own opinions and conclusion. 


This is the most anticipated part for all the readers. The conclusion is part that where every data and thesis provided is evaluated. You convey the reader about the most significant part that needs to be considered. You highlight the most important issues and problems. 

There are 2 main things that you need to consider to write the most appealing conclusion. 

  • You should recommend the solutions and actions that need to be taken in response to the issues and problems
  • You should also show the limitations of your research and suggest the readers for further research. 


Here you will share the resources that helped you in constructing your research. You could refer published books, articles and journals, you could have also researched the items online. You should mention the websites that you scrolled to get the information. 

It is always recommended from the beginning that you must choose the best and authentic resources for your research. The resources that you mention in the reference are is going to give credibility to your content.

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It is the section where you display all the graphs and charts explicitly. You might wonder why there is a separate section used to describe the figures. It is because it is not wise to include in between the contents of your body. It clutters the whole content and some of the statements might get skipped while reading. 

Appendices help the reader to understand the facts and figures explicitly and also take note of the figures to fully understand your report.


It is the easiest part but it totally depends on your professor. Therefore, you should consult your professor for writing the bibliography part. Bibliography differs for all the writings depending upon the instructions.

How to make a perfect report writing format outline?

A good report writing needs to start with an outline. Using an outline helps you to put all the information together for the perfect and final report.

  • When you start an outline make sure at each point of the outline, use two or three sentences to describe what will you gonna explain it, Don’t elaborate, just 2-3 lines are enough to follow later. You can also input some ideas for the overall design as well.
  • For instance, first in the table of the content section, just simply add what you want- cover page or slide, you can even make a note if you’d like to add the pages for only the main sections
  • Next in the Appendices section, you have to list all the sources which you have used. You have to link every source here from which you have taken help as a reference.
  • Then come the most important part of your report writing is the outline of the body section. In this, you can easily create an internal outline of sections and sub-sections which you can easily follow when you will start writing later.

How report writing is different from essay writing?

There are many vital differences in report writing and essay writing format, but the major difference is the purpose, a report writing is to inform the reader and on the other hand essay writing is an academic exercise. Here are more differences:

  • A report writing is basically divided into the sections with headings, whereas in an essay there is only the title at the top and no headings as such. Just a lot of writing with a paragraph break.
  • Reports are of different types such as Academic reports which are like journal articles, laboratory reports that scientists write, business reports etc, whereas on the other side essays are usually written on academic topics, not on the practical issues.
  • The main aim of report writing is often to make a recommendation for action or present the facts whereas the aim of an essay is to explore, discuss and show the reader that you can easily present the arguments on any topic.
  • Reports writing are very common and can be written in everyday life. You can easily see them in businesses while on the other hand, Essays writers write more in Arts and Humanities topics, such as English, history etc.

Report writing – Language techniques tips


Keep the sentences short and clear. Do not use complicated words to make it more academic. You should keep the language simple enough to help the reader to understand the context of your writing. The best way is to avoid long sentences. You should avoid framing the sentences more than 15 words. 

Linking words

You should always use linking words in your paragraphs. The linking words such as “although”, “therefore”, “hence”, “however” etc. These linking words help the reader to be in the continuity of the sentences and also it makes the sentences more understandable.

Common English

Explain jargon or technical language (if you’re writing for a non-technical audience) and include these terms in a glossary.

Avoid Passive Writing

Use the words that are used more commonly in society. Do not use advanced English or complex vocabulary. People tend to avoid the phrases that they do not understand. There might be a chance that the reader might skip the main statement that you wanted to convey due to the complex vocabulary. 

To make your business report sound more objective, you can use the “third person”. For example, “This report outlines the advantages and disadvantages of company pension schemes.” Read an article from Open colleges Australia on why you should avoid passive writing.

Characteristics of a good report

  • The language is kept simple but it should be informative. Even if it is a technical report, the language should be kept as if you are explaining to the reader in layman’s term. 
  • The statements must have clarity. The reader must be able to understand clearly what you are intending to say. The sentences should have proper spacing and concise. 
  • The paragraphs should be lengthy. It helps the reader to stay engaged in the contents. 
  • A positive approach should be kept in writing. Even if you are writing about a negative event. It should be reported in a positive manner. 
  • Punctuation must be used properly, otherwise, the statements might be misunderstood or misinterpreted by the reader. 
  • The approach can be generalised in two ways – Personal and Impersonal. The report should be written after deciding the approach. You should most likely prefer to write to a third person. 
  • The readability of the report should be a priority. Here readability means keeping the contents in a presentable and attractive manner. 
  • You should maintain the accuracy in your content. Use the facts and figures wisely and make sure they are referenced from authoritative sources. 
  • Avoid writing the sentences in a haphazard manner. The continuity is very important. Make sure all the sentences are formed in a logical sequence. 
  • Presentation of the report must be attractive. 

Stages of report writing


The first thing that you do is to find the purpose of your report. Your report could belong to any two forms – It could be either statutory or nonstatutory. The structure of your report depends on that. The same aspect is going to make an impression on the reader’s mind. 

To further simplify it. Your report could be either based on your personal findings or it could be from other sources.

Consolidating the information

Data may be divided into two types. They are primary data and secondary data. The primary data has to be collected by investigations, observations, interviews or surveys. The secondary data has to be collected from various records of the company. 

Sometimes, some books may be used to collect secondary data. In certain cases, data have been collected from outside the company. You may want to begin by reading relevant literature to widen your understanding of the topic or issue before you go on to look at other forms of information such as questionnaires, surveys etc.

There are different kinds of data. Managing your data and presenting them could be a typical task but that matters a lot. You would have collected the data for nothing if it doesn’t make any sense to the readers. 

There is primary data and secondary data. Primary data is collected with your own findings and the secondary data is collected from statistics displayed by some other entity. 

There are other kinds of data and information. The data in the form of written statements that could be found in journals and published books. You could gather that information from the literature written by the reputed writer. The data could be in the form of a questionnaire for thesis

Sometimes, some books may be used to collect secondary data. In certain cases, data have been collected from outside the company. You may want to begin by reading relevant literature to widen your understanding of the topic or issue before you go on to look at other forms of information such as questionnaires, surveys etc.

Organizing the content

Gathering the data is half the task. Organising them in a presentable in very important. Relevant pieces of information should be grouped together one by one. You should decide when and where you want to use the information in your report. 

It will be creating several sections in your report where you would explain the statements. You will be putting forward your research questions. The statements that you are putting forth should be supported by enough evidence. This is where you are going to use your pieces of information wisely. 

Analyse the data

You should be analysing your data well. There are chances where data collected from one resource could contradict the data collected from another source. You should be very precise. The whole thesis might get tangled and the reader might lose confidence in your content. 

In order to analyse your order, you should arrange the data in a manageable way. You will be drawing conclusions from your own data. The conclusions could be drawn properly when you are able to analyse the data well. 


Report writing should not be considered that simple. It is the most reputed way of writing because the readers trust your content as good to be true. Plus, that is the main thing that interests the reader. 

The way you report your content affects the reader’s mood. They might feel overwhelmed or they could feel sudden inertia with the content. Therefore, you should keep your language technique simple and neutral of all emotions.


It is always recommended to revise the report more than once after completion. You could always find the areas of improvement. You might come across a point where you feel you could have improvised. 

There is always room for correction. Plus, it helps you in ensuring the credibility and longevity of your own report. Formatting should be done properly and words should be edited in order to make a clear and concise expression of writing


The presentation also needs to be considered. Now, that you have made sure about the quality of your content. Next, you should focus on making it appealing to the reader’s eye. 

It is always good to try and make your report more presentable. Proper spacing, using figures and diagrams for explanation attract the reader. A good presentation always grabs the attention of the reader. 


Last but not least, you should always stay connected to your professor. No matter how good you are, you still be needing your professor’s help at some stage of your writing. Plus, taking the feedback from your professor always helps in becoming a good writer. Your professor will very well identity the areas of improvement then you. Your professor will ensure the enrichment of your writing quality.

By Alex Walter

Alex Walter has been working as an academic consultant with for last one year. Alex holds a master degree in Psychology and currently on the verge of completion of PhD. With academic knowledge , Alex has guided many students in picking the right career choices. Alex also has a great experience in writing on academic topics