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Report Writing: Steps to writing a report

Steps to writing a report

Writing your report is an ongoing process of writing and re-writing. It's important to realise that you don't need to begin at the introduction and write until you get to the conclusion.  Often the body is written first. 

Expect to have to redraft your report a number of times.

Steps to writing a report

1. Analyse the assessment task:  Be specific about the words in the question.  'Discuss ...' is different from 'Compare ...' 

2. Brainstorm your ideas:  Write down what you think you already know, draw out keywords from the question, look at dictionary/encyclopedia definitions of the main concepts.

3. Research your topic:  Gather your resource material early on - you may need to tailor the direction of your work towards the information that is available. Good resources may be in heavy demand. You may need to interloan material from another library.  Look through our e-book resources and databases/journals.  It's easy to forget they exist, but they're a wealth of current information.  If you're not finding much after 20 or 30 minutes, don't hesitate to ask a Librarian for assistance.  You can email, chat, phone, or ask us at the desk.

4. Organise your information: Keep a note of every source you look at from the start - it will make referencing much easier. We have a useful Research Data Summary sheet to help you gather information for your referencing list. 

5. Write an outline: If you have a rough outline prepared, you can sort your information into useful categories as you read through resources.

6. Write a first draft: Load your draft report to Turnitin to check that you have referencing and paraphrasing correct.  Find out more about how Turnitin works.

7. Re-write to improve the draft

8. Edit and proofread:  ask someone else to read your work to check it.

9.  Gather your references:  We have an extensive guide to APA referencing with helpful examples for most kinds of sources.

10. Write your abstract at the end



The information in this guide has been adapted (with permission) from the University of Newcastle Library guide to report writing

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