Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Structure
  3. Presentation
  4. Planning the report
  5. Writing the first draft
  6. Revising the first draft
  7. The report layout
  8. Headings
  9. Finalizing the report and proofreading
  10. The summary

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Technical Report Writing:

It is a formal report sketched to transfer technical information in a clear and easily attainable format. It is divided into sections that permit different readers to reach different levels of information.

Structure

It contains the following sections:

Title Page

The title of the report must be included. Assessment reports also require the main text word count and the summary word count.

Summary

A summary of the report will include important features, conclusions and results.

Contents

Lists and numbers all the headings of section and subsection with page numbers.

Introduction

Write the objectives of the report. Take straight into the report itself. A copy of the introduction must not be in a lab handout.

The Sections which make up the body of the report

Divide into headed and numbered sections. These separate the main ideas in a logical order.

Conclusions

A logical, short conclusion of the theme is developed in the main text.

Presentation

Following presentation guidelines are suggested:

Script

The report should be single-sided printed on white paper. Those printed reports are not acceptable that are handwritten or dot-matrix.

Margins

All margins must be of 2.54 cm.

Page Numbers

Do not number the summary, title, or content pages. Number all other pages starting from 1.

Binding

3 staples spaced down the left-hand margin or a single staple in the top left corner. For longer reports, binders can be used.

Planning the report

There are some outstanding books containing guidance about the writing process and how to begin. Following are the main stages:

  • Assemble your information. Sources include lecture notes and laboratory handouts, the reference book, and journals from the University Library in the Department office. Keep the precise record of all the published references which you plan to use in your report, by noting down the following information;

Journal article:

  • Name of journal
  • Title of article
  • Author
  • Volume number
  • Year of publication
  • Page numbers
  • Issue number

Book:

  • Title of the book
  • Publisher
  • Edition
  • Author
  • Year of publication
  •  The visionary phase of planning. Write down ideas and topics from the material you researched. Next, organize them into groups that are logical. Keep a record of topics that are not relevant to the groups so that they may be useful later. Arrange the groups into a logical order which covers the topic of your report.
  • Arranging the report. Using your logical order of grouped ideas, write out an uneven outline of the report with headings and subheadings.

Writing the first draft

Start writing with the main text, not the introduction. Follow your outline regarding headings and subheadings. Don’t worry at the stage of spelling, style, or word processing.  If you get confused, go back to your outline plan and make more preparatory notes to get the writing speed again.

Make rough outlines of diagrams or graphs. Do not write the summary at this stage. When followed by the introduction, write the conclusion next.

Revising the first draft

At this stage, your document will start to take professional and technical document shape. In revising the draft, you must remember the following important principle;

The soul of a successful technical report lies in how precisely and concisely it transfers the deliberate information to the intended readership. Most important is that when you read through what you have written, you should ask yourself these questions;

  • Does that paragraph/sentence/section say what I mean to say and what I want? If not, write it in a different method.
  • Are there any sentences/words/paragraphs which could be removed without any effect?

If so, remove them.

The report layout

The look of a report is no less important than its content. A good-looking, clearly organized report has a better chance of being read. Use a standard font for the main text. Use bold, different font sizes, italic, and underline where needed. Too many changes of typing style can look very rough.

Headings

Use headings and subheadings to guide the reader and to break up the text. The use of typing size and numbering and style can clarify the structure

Finalizing the report and proofreading

Your report is now near completion with an introduction, conclusions, main text in sections, and bibliography. Now, you should add the contents, page numbers, and title pages and write the summary.

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The Summary

The summary should give the main results and summary and indicate the scope of the writing. Many people may read the report summary but a few may read the full report.

  • Purpose – a short statement of the report and a guide to the report.
  • Length – short, not more than 300 words.
  • Content – provide information, not only the report description.
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