Let’s dive into the specifics of writing a report. Follow the seven report writing steps outlined below to get from a concept to a finished paper.
Determine a topic depending on the assignment
Before you begin writing, you must decide on a topic for your report. The topic is frequently assigned to you, as in most corporate reports, or determined by the nature of your job, as in scientific reports. If that’s the case, you can skip this step and continue.
If you are in control of selecting your topic, as is the case with many academic papers, this is one of the most significant parts of the writing process.
Choose a topic that meets these two requirements
There is sufficient information: Choose a topic that is neither too broad nor too narrow, with enough information to fill your report without padding but not so much that you cannot cover everything.
It’s something you’re curious about: Although this is not a strict need, it does improve the quality of a report if you are interested in the subject.
Of course, don’t forget to consider the assignment’s directions, particularly the duration, before making your decision.
The research for commercial and scientific reports is usually your own. However, sometimes the Company or body you work for might provide you with one. Though there is still plenty of digging for external sources in both.
Unless you’re required to use class materials, you’re on your own for research for academic papers. That is one of the reasons why picking the correct topic is so important; you will not get very far if the topic you choose lacks sufficient investigation.
The trick is to look solely for credible sources: government documents, other reports, research papers, case studies, books by well-known writers, and so on. You are welcome to use research cited in other comparable studies.
A quick trip to the library can also help in a hurry if you can’t find what you’re looking for online.
Construct a thesis statement
Write a thesis statement to help you conceptualize the major idea of your report before proceeding. The thesis statement, like the topic sentence of a paragraph, summarizes the essential point of your writing, in this case, the report.
Once you’ve gathered enough data, you should begin to discover trends and patterns in the data. This is your thesis statement if all of these patterns infer or lead up to a larger, overarching idea.
Use an outline is for all types of writing, but it is especially effective for reports because of its emphasis on organization. Because reports are frequently divided into headings and subheadings, a thorough outline ensures that you don’t overlook anything while writing.
You should begin thinking about your outline throughout the research phase when you find patterns and trends. If you’re stuck, make a list of all the important points, facts, and evidence you wish to provide. See if you can group them into broad and particular categories, which you can then put into headings and subheadings.
Make a preliminary draft report
The most time-consuming process is usually writing the rough manuscript, or first draft. This is where you put all of the information from your research into words. To avoid becoming overwhelmed, simply follow your outline step by step to ensure you don’t forget anything.
The first rule of writing a rough draft is to not be scared to make mistakes. Expecting your first draft to be flawless adds a great deal of pressure. Instead, write in a natural and relaxed manner, and worry about precise aspects such as word choice and error correction later. At least, that’s what the latter two steps are for.
Rewrite and revise your report
When you’ve finished your rough draft, it’s time to go back and fix the mistakes you overlooked the first time. (However, before you plunge right back in, it’s a good idea to sleep on it so you can start editing fresh, or to take a short break to unwind from writing the rough copy.)
We recommend that you first reread your report for any serious errors, such as cutting or relocating entire words or paragraphs. Sometimes your statistics will not match up, or you will misinterpret a vital piece of evidence. This is the time to correct any “big picture” errors and rewrite any longer sections that are necessary.
Proofread and double-check your report for errors
Finally, go over your report one last time to optimize your wording and check for grammatical or spelling errors. You looked for “big picture” errors in the previous stage, but now you’re looking for detailed, even nitpicky issues. Word checkers like Grammarly for example, flags these flaws for you.
There’s no simpler steps to writing a report than these steps listed above. Speak with our Consultant if you have a challenge in your academic research or report. We’d be glad to help.