This article is prepared to guide and help students write a standard and professional report with proper referencing and citation styles. At the end of this report, you will learn the step by step strategy of how to write research reports, research reports format examples and samples, etc.
• Why is a report important
• Writing to be read.
• The mechanics of writing.
• Stylistic Conventions
• The structure of the report.
• Referencing & Citation
Why is a Report Important?
• It is an educational exercise.
• For evaluation of the work.
• To reach a wider audience.
• Preserving what has been done.
Writing to be Read
“A report is written to be read, by someone else. A report which is written for the sake of being written has very little value”.
A good project report:
• Demonstrates the author’s familiarity, expertise, and competence with the problem.
• Makes it easy to the reader to understand any part of the report.
• Explains rather than describes the problem and possible solutions to minimize reader effort.
The Mechanics of Writing a Good Report
• Always keep your potential readers in mind.
• Repeatedly review what you have written.
• Put yourself in the position of the reader.
• Start early (Document your progress)
• Keep a notebook/diary handy and record all relevant information.
• Keep it simple
• Shorter sentences
There are all kinds of stylistic conventions relating to technical writing that you should try to follow. For example:
• Do not use shortened forms such as “don’t” for “do not”.
• Avoid slang words.
• Use British English and write in complete sentences.
• Divide your writing up into paragraphs.
• Paragraphs should focus on developing single ideas.
You must be consistent.
Where consistency should be maintained include:
• Bullet points;
• Use of hyphens;
• Use of capitalization;
• Technical terms;
• Use of symbols.
The Structure of the Report
• Preliminary pages
• Literature Review
• Results & Discussion
• Conclusion & Recommendation
• Title Page
• Certification Page
• Table of Contents
• List of Tables
• List of Figures/Charts
• List of Abbreviations
“A good introduction should tell the reader what the project is about without assuming special knowledge and without introducing any specific material that might obscure the overview. It should encourage the reader to read the whole report”.
• Background - What is the setting of the problem?
• Problem Statement – What exactly is the problem you are trying to solve?
• Objectives – What are the expected deliverables?
• Justification – The general benefits.
• Scope of work – Define the scope and limitations.
“The review should describe, summarize, evaluate and clarify literature related to the work. It should give a theoretical base for the project and help the reader understand the nature of the research problem that needs to be solved.”
Materials and Methods
How have you solved the problem?
• Materials - Present the materials were used to solve the problem.
• Methods - Present the method used to solve the problem.
Results and Discussion
• Present the results
• Interpret the results
• Indicate what can be concluded from the results.
• Discuss any limitations inherent in your research methodology.
Conclusion and Recommendation
• Summarize what has been done in the work.
• Answer the questions:
• How far have you gone towards achieving you initial objectives?
• What are your suggestions for further work?
Referencing & Citation
• A good project report will show the author is aware of relevant work done by others in that field.
• Use IEEE referencing and citation format.
• Be careful about information you get from websites – include the date the site was accessed.
• The Citation format gives the reader immediate information about sources cited in the text.
• In IEEE citations, the references are numbered and appear in the order they appear in the text.
• When referring to a reference in the text of the document, put the number of the reference in square brackets. Eg: 
IEEE Referencing Format
Author(s). Book title. Location: publishing Company, year, pp.
• Book Chapters
Author(s). “Chapter title” in Book title, edition, volume. Editor’s name, Ed. Publishing location: publishing Company, year, pp.
• Article in a Journal
Author(s). “Article title”. Journal title, vol., pp, date.
• Articles from Conference Proceedings
Author(s). “Article title.” Conference proceedings, year, pp.