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Academic Report Cheat Sheet by

English for Academic and Professional Purposes


A report is an inform­ative formal piece of writing concerning a particular person, place, situation, plan, etc.
It is slightly different to an essay in the sense that it is a far more formal and profes­sional way of conducting an analysis of your topic.
statement of the results of an invest­igation or of any matter on which definite inform­ation is required - Oxford English Dictionary

Types of Report

Laboratory report
This type of report conveys and analyzes the results of a scientific experiment.
Business report
This analyzes a situation and uses business theory to provide solutions or recomm­end­ations.
Case study report
This examines a real-world situation (the 'case') and analyzes it using approp­riate theory (the 'study').
Project report
This briefly discusses project's object­ives, budget, & outcomes
Research report
his gives the results of research which has been conducted, for example through surveys (via questi­onn­aires or interv­iews).
Progress report
This informs a supervisor about progress on a project over a certain period of time.
Design report
This report is used by engineers and describes and evaluates a design used to solve a particular problem.
Field Report
Phenomena under study

These reports are used so that:

New ideas can be realized
Point-­of-view can be known and learned to be accepted
Decisions can be made to help influence people's choice
Altern­ative recomm­end­ations become available in crucial decisi­on-­making

Essential Elements of a Report

Title Page
may include report title, purpose, writer's name and affili­ation (school or company)
Table of Contents
pages are in cascading order
List of abbrev­iations and/or glossary
Executive summary / Abstract
brief overview that stands alone
find info "at a glance­"
summarize each section of report in 1-2 sentences
sometimes follows a required word count
introduces topic and its background and signif­icance
identifies specfic problem
defines any important terms used
includes results and discus­sions
treatment of problem is divided into different aspects
definition of problem, analysis of its features, stages, and/or causes, & proposals for diff. ways of managing the problem
summarizes report's main points
no new info here
present specific sugges­tions for action that arise from the analysis and findings of the report
Biblio­graphy/ Reference list
alphab­etical order
table/­fig­ure­/ma­terial that is too long but necessary
numbered and titled
included in table of contents


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