English report writing examples, format, and more

English report writing examples, format, and more

English report writing examples are vital when students are starting out writing reports.  From these you can learn a lot of different elements such as the purpose and format for writing reports.  In this post, we’re going to do a deep-dive on these two questions with examples of English report writing to help.  

That said, If you want a more detailed lesson that focuses on these skills, join our Academic Writing course by clicking ‘start learning below’.  As part of this you get access to our fully-interactive lesson, complete with:

  • Video explainers;
  • Interactive practice activities;
  • Worked examples/models; and much, much more.

If that sounds good to you – hit ‘start learning’ now.  Otherwise, let’s turn now to why we write reports.

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Why do we write reports?

At high school we might write book reports – on something we may (or may not – bad students) have read.  At university/college, it’s quite different – there are a lot of different types of reports that we may end up writing.

These include (but are in no conceivable way limited to): 

  • Research reports;
  • Business reports;
  • Law reports;
  • Medical reports;
  • Lab reports, etc.

The list of English report writing topics (and the number of examples we’d need if we did them all justice) would make this a very looooong postAnd that would be boring to read – which is the last thing we here at HeadStart want to do to you.  

Good news though as most reports have a range of different parts that – and the format and content of most of these tend to be pretty similar.  So let’s turn to English report writing format now.

English report writing format: the key parts

Introductions

The introduction will, as the name suggests, introduce the topic of the report.  This could include the background/context, problem or other relevant information that helps the reader understand why the topic of a given report is important and worth reading about.

Other things that might be included are things like the purpose of the report, any particular objectives that it will meet, and/or an overview of what will be discussed in the report.  If it is a research report, the introduction might also include the scope and limitations of research, and any hypotheses made by the researchers.  

The introduction might also include a literature review – explained in more detail in an upcoming blog post (so be sure to subscribe to stay up to date with that when it comes) and below.

Discussion

Given that so many different majors/subjects use ‘reports’ as part of what they do, trying to describe them all seems a bit futile/pointless.  Let’s just say this: the same way as a body of an essay holds most of the information – the discussion section does the same for a report.  

If you are writing a business case study – most of the information will be in here.  If you are writing a research report – well, first you’ll need the method and results sections (explained below) but then you’ll talk about what you find and why it’s interesting/how it connects to other research here.  

When writing your discussion (as when writing reports in general) it’s essential that you remember your reader – structure your work logically so that they can follow your ideas through your report.  This is something we go through at length in our Academic Writing course so be sure to enrol in that if that’s something you want to work on.

Conclusion

As the name suggests, the conclusion aims to ‘wrap everything up’.  In this part, writers might want to remind their readers what the purpose the report was (e.g., the problem, research aim/hypotheses, etc.) and point out how the report has addressed it.  If there are any recommendations or implications arising from the report, this will generally be mentioned here as well – this could include any future actions that might need to be taken, etc. 

References

If a report using other academic sources as support in any way – it needs to have a reference list.  We went into this in some detail in our very popular post on citations and referencing so if you’re not sure about this, check that out.  

English report writing format: the extra bits

Reports are a very flexible type of writing – different subjects, universities – even different lecturers in the same department have quite different ideas of what they should look like.  Some lecturers will insist that students submit a title page, while others will want to see a contents page for longer pieces of writing.  

Longer pieces of writing might even need to have an abstract/executive summary – a short (~150 word) summary of what the whole report is about that appears at the start of a report.  This is particularly common for science and business report writing.  

A lot of reports will also need a literature review.  This is a critical summary of recent/relevant research within a given field.  The purpose of a literature review will vary depending on the assignment but often it’s designed to help ‘locate’ a piece of work within a field.  This, in turn, will help to identify the purpose of the report – is it trying to solve a problem, confirm something, make an argument, etc.?

Alternatively, if you’re writing a research report – you’ll probably need things like a methodology, a results section, and appendices.  We go into all of these things in detail in our lesson on report writing. If this sounds like it’d be useful for you, hit ‘start learning’ below and start down the road to academic success today!

Looking for more English report writing examples?

No problem!  We have lots of real-life models, examples, guided lessons, and practice exercises that you can use to enhance your academic English today.  Hit ‘start learning’ below and begin your journey to academic success today!

Otherwise, that’s us for our HeadStart Guide on note taking methods  – we hope it’s been useful! As always, we’d love to hear from you if you have any questions or comments – write us a post below or follow us on Facebook.   Or, if you want to get more of these blog posts straight to your inbox – join our mailing list.  Or if you have a question or a topic that you’d like us to write a blog post (or even better – a full lesson) about – email us!  We read every email.

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