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Essay and report writing skills
Essay and report writing skills

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6.1.1 Report planning

Table 2 highlights the elements of a science or technology report, though the same general principles apply in other disciplines too.

Table 2 The main elements of a science or technology report
ElementPurposeDescription
titleattracts the reader's attentionexplanatory of the content, concise and relevant
abstractgives a brief summaryshort paragraph clarifying the scope of the report and the main findings
introductiongives the purpose of the investigation being reportedexplains why the investigation was undertaken and gives essential background information
main textdescribes how the study was conductedthe ‘meat’ of the report containing, for example (depending on the discipline):
gives results of the study• method of investigation/ approach taken and why
interprets results• record of observations or measurements
• references to appropriate theories
• discussion
• unique or distinctive facts and explanation of how these relate to the broader context or body of evidence
conclusionsdescribes what the study has shownincludes the meaning of the results of the investigation, what has been demonstrated and any recommendations for action

You need to assemble and order your material, perhaps under a set of headings (which can be added to or sub-divided). Your plan will help you to include material that is relevant and to the point.