Pupils and students are often faced with the need to write a report and almost always make mistakes. It is, after all, easy to confuse it with other genres.
To ensure that the report as a task does not cause you confusion, we suggest you read the material in this article. Here you will find important tips on how to prepare and format a report.
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What Is a Report?
A report is a type of work in a scientific, popular science, or scholarly-educational style aimed at an oral presentation. However, reports can also be business, political, and reporting.
It is essentially the recording of a speech on paper as an aid or for further verification and archiving.
Any report contains a written form, which may be quite free or regulated. It depends on the purpose and topic of the event – academic conference, meeting, meeting, workshop, discussion club, or school lesson.
It is a fairly simple genre that students are introduced to in middle school or high school. It is also a very common type of student and research paper – and in this case, it is the result of scientific research carried out by a person.
Unlike the abstract, the report is more branched out in terms of topic and subject matter. It can cover the field of a particular science as a whole or several of its branches. Although these genres do not vary greatly in scope.
A summary, on the other hand, tends to focus on a narrow, specific topic. A summary involves a concise presentation and a mapping of key ideas, and is therefore based predominantly on one or two sources.
The preparation of a report implies the use of a much larger number of sources. And the report differs from the communication also in terms of length: it is approximately twice as long.
A report has certain characteristics that distinguish it from other genres. First of all:
- compliance with the methodology of the scientific field to which the report belongs;
- use of a certain scientific method;
- a clear structure;
- references to scientific sources;
- use of specific evidentiary terminology
How to write a Report?
Preparing to write a report should begin in advance. First, decide on a topic that you are interested in and understand. Then you can prepare according to a similar algorithm:
- Outline the future report;
- Write down the most important points;
- Choose examples that best illustrate your thoughts;
- Make a reading list to go through. Consult teachers, bibliographic resources, academic websites, etc.
- Work through the sources you have selected;
- Write down the scientists’ conclusions about your problem and formulate your own opinion about it. Scientists’ opinions may differ dramatically. It is a good idea to present such differences in the form of a table, diagram, etc;
- Supplement the thesis with examples, facts, figures, and quotations;
- Write a full text in a scientific style, taking into account the space and time requirements. Note that in 10 minutes you will have time to read about 4 a4 pages;
- Check the text for errors, relevance to the topic, and style;
- Find out how well-versed you are in the topic and whether you can answer additional or clarifying questions;
- Practice reporting without stuttering or constantly looking at the text, freely commenting on additional material, and arguing your views.
There are 2 main ways of writing a report. The first is to formulate an abstract and then subsequently write a report based on this and edit it for publication in a research collection.
The second way is to write a complete text for print and isolate from it the key theses for the oral presentation.
How to Format a Paper?
Following a clear, common structure is important for students and pupils alike. It will help you develop the skills you need to write a complex research paper.
In general, your report should contain the following elements of composition:
- title page – the title of the paper, an indication of the name and surname of the author and the teacher;
- table of contents – a list of section titles
- Introduction – a part that must contain information about the relevance, practical value, and aims of your paper. It occupies 5-10% of the total number of pages. The introduction may not be a separate section;
- the main part – several sections devoted to the main topic of the research. The report is usually accompanied by additional illustrative
- material – presentations, images, diagrams, and charts. Each section should present the most important information in the abstract and also include comments on the infographics;
- conclusions – a final summary of each section or a general summary. They should be clear and concise. They should not exceed 10% of the total number of pages. Conclusions can also be omitted as a separate section;
- a list of sources used – a list of approximately 5 sources for a school report and at least 10 sources for a scientific report. Remember that reports today are carefully checked for signs of plagiarism and list all sources you have used.
An oral presentation should be 5 -10 minutes for pupils and up to 30 minutes for students and scientists. By the way, the best college essay writing service can help you to deal with it.
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Focus your attention on features of scholarly report and how to format it:
The generally recommended length is 8-12 A4 pages (a report of 4-6 pages is allowed for schoolchildren);
- the observance of a logical sequence of statements;
- accurate formulation, high information content, proof of statements;
- for a more concise and visual presentation of information, use tables, charts, diagrams, etc., which should be presented separately with slides;
- presentation of lists using bulleted or numbered lists;
- use of scientific terminology and a minimum of abstract vocabulary;
- use of speech clichés, indicating the source of the message and showing cause-effect relationships, impersonal verbs, participles, and
- complex syntactic constructions;
- avoiding personal pronouns, emotionally imaginative words and phrases, artistic epithets, and comparisons;
- the possible presence of quotations from other scientific works.
Particular attention should be paid to the design of the bibliography. Each source should be indicated according to the sample: initials and surnames of the author or authors, publication name, city, publisher (as a rule, without inverted commas), year of publication, and the number of pages.