Being distinct from a traditional essay, the aim of which is to present and defend the author’s opinion about a certain topic, a report addresses an issue according to a set, structured format. Any report has sections with titles and subtitles. The purpose of the report is to provide information about an object, project, or process by conducting an in-depth analysis. There are different types of reports. As a rule, they are meant for academic, technical, and business purposes; they may also give recommendations or include a call for certain actions.
Straightforward Insights into Writing Reports
First off, you should define your target audience. Then think of what your readers expect from your report and try to write to their expectations. Before writing, ask yourself the following:
- Who is interested in my report?
- What is the aim of my paper?
- What should I include in the report?
Having defined a framework of your report, you should start gathering supporting information. Afterwards, you must organize it in an outline. Step-by-step planning will simplify your writing process and will assure the logical structure of your work. If you doubt your abilities, you can always buy custom essay at online writing services.
The report structure
To assure a well-organized and comprehensible report, stick to the following college report format:
- Title Section: In case you are writing a short report, the front cover must include all the important information, such as the author and the date. If your report is quite lengthy, provide the table of contents and definitions of terms.
- Introductory part: Traditionally, the first page of a report contains an introduction. Here you explain the problem and purpose of your report. It is also essential to add a list of terms, which you have not explained in the title section.
- Body: Whereas the introduction is written in simple language, this part may contain some technical terms and jargon. The body is comprised of several sections divided into subheadings. The information is given according to the principle of significance. Hence, the most important details come first.
- Summary: This part encompasses important facts, conclusions, and recommendations while being a concise overview of the whole report. Make sure you have listed all the relevant points, as many readers skip the whole work and read only this part. It is prudent to write a summary when you have finished writing the whole report.
- Conclusion: In this section, you summarize all the points you have mentioned in the body section.
- Recommendations: Here you list the measures that must be taken. Elaborate on your recommendations in order of importance.
- Appendices: This section is meant for experts in the field. It consists of technical details that back up your conclusion.
This format will simplify your writing process. Make sure all the sections, except the body, are written in simple English, and the information is arranged logically in the order of importance.
Your report must be presented in a short and comprehensible manner so that readers could get to the bottom of it effortlessly. Maintain the following formatting style to make your paper readable and well-organized:
- Font: Apply one font throughout your report. The most appropriate fonts are Arial and Times New Romans.
- Lists: By means of listing, you highlight crucial points. You can both bullet or number them.
- Titles and Subtitles: With the help of them, you can instantly find key information, because it is divided into manageable parts that can be easily digested.
Take into account these styles when writing your report:
- Maintain a succinct style: As your aim is to convey information, present it in concise logical sentences. Also, do not provide details unless it is obligatory. Remember that sentences should be consistent with the purpose.
- Prefer active voice to passive: Definitely, it will make your work simpler and more readable. Not only it requires fewer words, but also highlights a person/thing that is in charge of an action. For instance, it is better to say, “Poor customer service jeopardizes the reputation of the company” rather than “The reputation of the company is jeopardized by poor customer service.”
- Maintain grammar and punctuation rules: Proofread your report aloud and ask someone to revise it for you, as the computer cannot identify errors like ‘surrounding’ and ‘surroundings’.
Create a favorable impression
You should understand that the impression of your report defines its approach and reliability. Strange as it may seem but presentation matters. Thus, print your report on a top-quality paper and put it in a binder or a folder.
How to Write a Book Report College Level
A template for a book report
Note that this is just a template for your report, which can come in handy while writing your own work. Please note that your instructor may want you to write in the other book report format. In this case, show this format to your instructor to make sure it is appropriate.
This book report format is suitable for pre-college level students who are assigned to submit a report that analyzes a book they have read.
- In the first sentence, you should mention the name of the instructor and class you are writing for.
- The second sentence reads the title of the book and writer’s name.
- In the third sentence, you mention the number of pages and publisher’s name.
- The fourth sentence contains some bibliographic information about the book. It involves stating the publishing house of the book, the year of publication, its edition, etc.
In the next sentence, you reveal the reason for choosing a particular book.
Some of the commonest reasons are:
- You adore the writer.
- You love the genre of the book (a mystery, fantasy, a detective novel, etc.)
- You have read this book on somebody’s recommendation.
- It was compulsory to read at school/university.
- You fell for the cover.
You can also mention an optional sentence in case the cover of the book provides additional information. This can be:
- Was the book a bestseller?
- How many copies were printed?
- Awards the book received, etc.
In the first sentence of the paragraph, you should mention the name(s) of the protagonist(s) and explain his/her/their importance in the book. Definitely, that will be quite an extensive sentence or even several sentences.
Paragraph dedicated to other characters
You should allocate at least one sentence for each of the other significant characters and mention their names, as well as the role they play in the book. A good deal of books has more than 6 prominent characters, so by listing all of them, you will get an extensive paragraph.
Plot summary paragraph
This is seemingly the most complex paragraph, which you need to put in five sentences or so. If you have a bit more, do not worry and look through the points you must include:
- Define the type of the book (Mystery, Western, etc.).
- The setting.
- The period of time described in the book.
- Mention significant locations (buildings, ships, airplanes, houses, public places, etc.)
- Some other important features of the book (whether it was scary, intriguing, laughable or serious).
- Protagonist’s actions.
- What is the upshot of the book?
To make sure you have covered all the significant points, reread the book from cover to cover making some notes.
Personal Impression and Conclusion Paragraph
In this paragraph, you express your general impression of the book and discuss what you adore and dislike in the book. At the same time, in this part, you should bring your report to an end.
- Begin with a sentence that would indicate that you are writing a conclusion. (For instance, “My final thoughts on Martin Eden are that it is an absorbing and profound book, but I am not completely sure if I really got to the bottom of its message”).
- Say once again why you liked/disliked the book.
- Allocate two sentences to discuss the book’s advantages and disadvantages.
- Say what lessons you have drawn from the book.
- In the last sentence, you state whether you recommend the book or not.
Remember that your report should be 800 words in length maximum, which is two double-spaced pages.