Once you have finished taking notes on what you have read, begin to organize your ideas and create a structure for your report. Your report should have three main parts: introduction, body, and conclusion. Each section serves an important function.
- Introduction: the introduction of the report begins with a broad statement and communicates very general ideas about the topic.
- Body: the body of the report communicates the main points and supporting ideas.
- Conclusion: the conclusion of the report summarizes and restates the main ideas and ends with a general statement about the topic.
There are a variety of ways that you may choose to structure your ideas within the report. A few structuring techniques are described below:
- General to specific: begin by discussing the main point in general terms and then moving to more specific information.
- Chronological: provide information in a date and/or time sequence.
- Problem-solution: discuss a problem and then offer possible solutions for the problem.
- Familiar to unfamiliar: discuss what is familiar to the reader prior to discussing unfamiliar or new information.
- Comparison: compare two ideas to each other on the basis of their similarities and differences.
- Causation: explain the cause-and-effect relationship between two ideas.