Report Writing: Structureand Content

Ngày đăng: 08/05/2015

Report Writing: Structureand Content

The key words for success  in report writing are: organisation,  clarity,  precision and logic. Once you know the basic structure,  writing a report will be easy.

Finding your material

First,  research   your topic for relevant  information for your report.   Next,  follow the report  structure headings   and add your own specific  headings,

with numbers,  to organise  that information   clearly

and logically.

Report Writing  Structure

The structure  for report writing  is the acronym: SID CRAB and stands for: for:

•     (Executive)  Summary

•     Introduction

•     Discussion

•     Conclusion

•     Recommendation/s

•    Appendix/  Appendices

•     Bibliography  or Reference  List.

Executive  Summary

Written   last,  but placed  first on the report, the Executive  Summary  must be a complete summary   of the whole  report.   It is a ‘stand  alone’ text so that busy people can quickly  access the report’s   main points and recommendations. It also allows  managers  to take the Executive Summary  only, to meetings  outside  the office. Therefore,   a good summary  must include:

•           an introduction  to the report,   including    its aim or purpose

•           the facts or main   points contained   in the report  (no  examples)

•           the findings   of the report

•           the recommendations   of the report,   that is, what action  is needed.


A report’s  introduction   must answer  certain questions  for the reader:  who authorised   the report and why; the aim or purpose  of the  report; the scope,  that is,  the boundaries  set for discussion,   and the problem  or proposition   that it will examine.    For example,  ‘This   report discusses … .’ An introduction  often gives some background  information  on the topic.


Your discussion  should  contain  specific  headings, and numbers.  You must:

•           organise   your researched  information clearly   and logically

•           create  headings  for your discussion   based on the information  you have gathered.

Use Harvard  in-text   referencing  to acknowledge your  research  and to separate  it from your own

‘voice’  or critical  analysis,   as you would  in an essay.

Note: Do not use ‘discussion’ as a heading as it is not specific enough.


The conclusion contains the findings of a report. For example:  ‘This report found that.. . .’

The conclusion often looks at implications of the findings on certain areas.


The report makes recommendations.  For example:  This report recommends that: … (List what needs to be done, using bullet points, to ‘fix’ or improve the problem).

The recommendations provide an ‘action plan’ based on the findings.

The report also looks at reasons for making the recommendations and their impact on the situation.


The appendix holds ‘extra’ information on the topic, that is, relevant information, such as statistics, not required in the main report but of possible interest to readers.

Reference Lis’t/Bibliography

Use the Harvard Referencing style to list references, as you would in an essay.

Presenting Facts clearly  and simply

Because reports are focussed on facts, the information must be logically presented, well• organised, and specific in its language use. To aid clarity, reports often use a numbering system with appropriate headings to organise information and to help readers find information quickly.   

For example:  2.0, 2.1, 2.2;  3.0,  3.1, 3.2.

There’s  more: Report-writing extras!

•     Letter of transmittal –  a covering letter addressed to the person/company who commissioned the report

•     Foreword or Preface –  similar to an introduction, but less formal.

•     Contents Page with page numbers is essential, since it acts as an index

•     Acknowledgements-  thanking people who may have helped.

**It is important  to remember that this report writing  structure is a basic outline  and that each School within  CBS and corporations may have a variation on this report-writing style that must be followed.

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