What is the Structure of a Report?

The format of a report is determined by the type of report and the assignment criteria. While each report has its structure, most follow this basic template:

Executive Summary in Report

A single part that summarizes the findings in your report, similar to an abstract in an academic paper, so readers know what to expect. These are more commonly used for official reports and less frequently for school reports.

Introduction

Before you get into your findings, your introduction summarizes the overall issue that you’re about to address, with your thesis statement and any necessary background information.

Body

The report’s body, divided into headings and subheadings, describes all of your significant discoveries. The report’s body takes up most of the space; whereas the introduction and conclusion are only a few paragraphs long, the body might be several pages long.

Conclusion

In the conclusion, you bring all of the facts in your report together and make a final interpretation or judgment. This is usually where the author expresses their ideas or concludes.

If you know how to write a research paper, you’ll notice that report writing follows the same introduction-body-conclusion pattern, with the addition of an executive summary at times. Reports typically have their own set of requirements, such as title pages and table of contents, which we will discuss in the following section.

What information should be in a report?

There are no hard and fast rules about what should be included in a report. Every school, organization, laboratory, task manager, and teacher can create a format based on specific requirements. In general, keep an eye out for the following needs, which appear frequently:

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Page title:

A title page is frequently used in official reports to keep things ordered; if a person has to read numerous reports, title pages make them easier to keep track of.

Table of contents:

The table of contents, like in books, directs readers to the section of interest, allowing for speedier browsing.

Page numbering:

When creating a lengthy report, page numbering ensures that the pages are in the correct order in the event of a mix-up or typo.

Headings & Subheadings

Reports are often organized into sections, which are separated by headings and subheadings to enable browsing and scanning.

Citations:

If you want to cite information from another source, follow the citation guidelines.

Page of works cited:

A bibliography after the report identifies the sources you used as well as their credits and legal information.  

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