How to Write a Report for an Assignment: Your Complete Guide

Michael Balter
Feb 27, 2023
7 minutes
New Article
Table of contents

What Is a Report?

How Should You Structure a Report?

How to Write a Report: 7 Steps to Follow

In Conclusion

So, you’re tasked with writing a report. While it may seem like a cakewalk, it’s anything but. It requires strong research, analysis, and academic writing skills.

That said, don’t let this assignment intimidate you. With a good guide and some practice, you can ace this assignment. In any case, you can always count on our online assignment writing service to help you with any request.

While it’s up to you to develop your report-writing skills, we can help you out with this comprehensive guide on how to write a report. Below you’ll find everything you need to craft an A-worthy report yourself:

  • What a report is and how it’s different from other assignments;
  • A typical structure for this type of paper;
  • A step-by-step guide on writing one from scratch.

What Is a Report?

The purpose of a report is to recapitulate factual knowledge on a specific topic, usually without giving your opinion on it. That’s what sets it apart from essays, where you have to include your standpoint on the topic.

Academic reports come in many flavors. The most common of them include:

  • Informational reports focus on explaining a particular topic through facts in an organized, impersonal, and objective way.
  • Case studies describe a particular event, person, organization, or phenomenon that serves as an example for a wider research problem.
  • Book reports summarize a work of fiction or non-fiction and sometimes contain an evaluation part.
  • History reports describe a historical event or period, its causes, and consequences, all while relying on facts.
  • Research reports focus on the research conducted by the author, from the methodology to the study’s undergoing and conclusions.

How Should You Structure a Report?

Most reports have to include these nine elements:

  1. Title page. It should contain your name, class or course, instructor’s name, the educational establishment’s name, and the paper’s title.
  2. Executive summary. Think of it as an abstract for your work – it sums up your paper in one paragraph.
  3. Table of contents. Typically used for long reports, it helps readers quickly find this or that section of the paper.
  4. Glossary. If your work includes abbreviations, symbols, or niche terms, you can decipher them in this section.
  5. Introduction. This paragraph is where you present your topic and give some background information that your readers should be aware of. You should also clearly formulate your thesis statement and describe how you’ll approach your topic.
  6. Main body. The longest part of the paper, the main body, is the part where you describe all the facts you’ve discovered during research.
  7. Conclusion. It’s the part where you sum up all the information you presented in the main body. You may also express your interpretation or opinion here (if allowed).
  8. References. This is the list of all sources you cite in the paper, formatted according to the style you have to use.
  9. Appendices. It’s the section with all graphs, tables with data, or illustrations you referenced in the main body.

Typically, you should also include the following elements throughout your paper:

  • Page numbering;
  • Headings and subheadings;
  • Citations.

Keep in mind: this is a general structure. Before you use it, consult your assignment and see if any instructions there contradict it.

Plus, some elements are defined by the format of writing assignment you’re required to use. For example, the title page is obligatory for APA papers, while it’s optional for Chicago and MLA formats. Page numbering and citation requirements will also differ across styles.

How to Write a Report: 7 Steps to Follow

So, you’ve received your assignment, and you’re ready to start working on it. How should you approach it? Follow these seven steps toward a five-star report.

1. Choose Your Topic

If it hasn’t been assigned to you already, you need to choose the topic of your report yourself. Be mindful: your choice can make or break the quality of your paper. For example, if you pick a topic that’s too niche or complex, you may not have enough reliable sources to include in the paper.

But what makes a topic good for writing a report? Here are three questions to ask yourself:

  • Is there enough information on this topic?
  • Does it spark interest in you?
  • Is it original and specific enough?

If you get “yes” for all three questions, this topic can be a good pick for your assignment.

2. Do Your Research

Now that you have your topic, it’s time to gather all the sources for your work. Here are a few tips on doing research for this and any other academic paper:

  • Check out similar reports or papers – you can use sources provided there, too;
  • Take notes for every source you may use later on – you can even start creating an outline right away;
  • Keep in mind that you may have obligatory sources to include – don’t overlook them;
  • Stick to reliable sources only: research papers, official documents, reputable organizations and institutions specializing in the topic, case studies, etc.;
  • When searching online, filter out results by the top-level domain (.edu for educational establishments, for example) and prioritize using Google Scholar.

3. Create an Outline

If you struggle with starting to write and end up staring at a blank screen, making an outline is a time-tested way to overcome writer’s block.

An outline is a rough plan for your paper. It typically consists of preliminary headings and subheadings, along with short descriptions of each section’s content and sources. 

Your outline doesn’t have to be perfect or well-written! It’s just a way to organize your ideas and information you found during the research.

It’s best to start working on your outline the moment you kick off your research. This way, you won’t forget about a great source or point later.

4. Craft Your Thesis Statement

A thesis statement is that one sentence where you describe what your report is all about. But don’t confuse it with the topic – your thesis statement should be more specific than the topic you initially settled on.

Let’s say you initially chose “the impact of social media on mental health” as the topic for your assignment. Once you do your research, you’ll notice plenty of sources highlighting its negative consequences on mental health. This pattern will help you phrase your thesis statement.

For this example, the thesis statement can be, “Although it has the power to connect people around the globe, social media can lead to a decline in self-esteem, fear of missing out, anxiety and depression, and Snapchat dysmorphia.”

5. Write the First Draft

Now, it’s time for the most time-consuming part of the writing process: crafting the first draft. Your outline will help you a great deal, though: all you need to do is expand on it – and you’ll have your first draft.

You don’t have to start writing at the beginning. The introduction is typically the toughest to craft, along with the conclusion. So, just look at your outline and start typing wherever you feel like it.

You also don’t have to work on your draft linearly. Writing one section close to the end and then working on another one at the beginning is completely fine. You can ensure that you don’t repeat yourself and that your paper’s logic holds up later on.

Don’t worry about the quality of your writing at this stage; just keep writing. First drafts are never perfect, but you’ll polish off yours later on.

A Few Words on the Writing Style

When you get to the writing process or want to buy an assignment from professionals, keep in mind: you’re expected to use the academic assignment writing style. This means you should:

  • Be concise and to the point;
  • Avoid using informal words, phrases, and expressions;
  • Remain objective in your writing;
  • Write in the third person.

6. Review & Edit the Draft

Ideally, you should let your first draft sit for a day or two. This way, you can revisit it with a fresh pair of eyes. If that’s not an option, put it away for at least 15 minutes.

When you return to your first draft, it’s time to:

  • Reread your draft – you can do it out loud to catch weird turns of phrases and convoluted sentences;
  • Make your text more concise and simple;
  • Check the text for errors in logic, unsubstantiated claims, and repetitions – and fix those;
  • Proofread your text (you can use tools like Grammarly to make this part easier).

7. Format Your Report

Finally, it’s time to take care of the most boring part: formatting. To ace it, check the formatting style you have to use – and follow it to a T when it comes to:

  • Citations;
  • References list;
  • Page numbering;
  • Title page;
  • Headers and footers;
  • Appendices.

In Conclusion

Writing a report is hardly a cakewalk. But it’s not impossible, either! All you need to do is set aside enough time for this assignment, do thorough research – and forget about writing a perfect draft on the first try. You should also stick to being objective and factual in your paper (otherwise, it won’t be a report, right?). By the way, we can now help you to do my assignment on any topic! So the report can now be available in two languages from our team. Good luck!

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