Summary

 

Types of Reports

 

Steps in the Writing Process

  1. Identify a Report Topic
  2. Understand Your Audience
  3. Develop and Refine Your Topic
  4. Create a Working Bibliography
  5. Evaluate and Synthesize Resources
  6. Take Notes on What You Read
  7. Organize Your Ideas and Create Structure
  8. Write the First Draft
  9. Revise and Edit the Report
  10. Cite References

 

1. Identify a Report Topic

Identifying something to write about is the first step in writing a report. The best way to begin searching for a topic is to conduct some initial research.

 

2. Understand Your Audience

When identifying a topic for your report, you should concurrently begin to learn more about the audience that will be reading your report.

 

3. Focus and Refine Your Topic

Almost any general topic that you identify will be too broad to write about in a comprehensive manner, so you'll need to narrow your topic. There are a number of techniques that writers use to help them focus and refine their topics.

 

4. Create a Working Bibliography

A working bibliography is an organized set of bibliographic information about the resources that you find during your research that might be helpful as you write your report.

 

5. Evaluate and Synthesize Resources

After you've identified resources, you can begin to evaluate if they will be useful to you.

 

6. Take Notes on What You Read

Once you've evaluated the various resources on your topic, you can begin to read them and take notes on what you read. There are three basic ways to take notes when researching a topic.

 

7. Organize Your Ideas and Create Structure

After you've taken notes on what you've read, you can begin to organize your ideas and create a structure for your report. Your report should have three main parts to it - the introduction, body, and conclusion - each serving an important function. Within the report there a variety of ways that you can structure your ideas.

 

8. Write the First Draft

Your goal in writing the first draft is to get your ideas onto paper.

 

9. Revise and Edit the Report

The goal during this step is to improve the manner in which you are communicating your ideas.

 

10. Cite References

Failure to cite references can be construed as plagiarism. Plagiarism is the act of using someone else's ideas in your paper without giving them credit for them. Plagiarism is a serious offense, which can result in expulsion. There are several different guidelines for citing references:

Information about the different types of documentation styles are available at the library and on the Internet.