Features of reports

Text Version

Features of reports

  • Referencing and quotations in reports follow the same guidelines required for essays.
  • A system of numbered sections with headings is typically used.
  • Just as in the essay, a good report will describe, analyse and evaluate a problem or issue. Unlike an essay it will describe the method used to investigate the problem, and formulate a set of recommendations based on the findings of the report.




  • Often a problem or case study which sets up a hypothetical situation
  • Based on reading, field work or practical work


  • Responds to a question or a proposition
  • Is based on research
  • To investigate, analyse and present information
  • Usually to make recommendations to solve a problem


  • To articulate a well-argued response to a question or proposition
  • Established in the topic and is often a client or manager


  • An academic audience
  • Contains an executive summary or abstract
  • Comprises sections with headings
  • May use bullet points, tables, graphs to convey information


  • Does not typically include sections or headings
  • Does not typically include use bullet points, tables, graphs
  • Third person
  • Formal language


  • Third or first person
  • Formal language

Success depends on:

  • the demonstration of good research skills
  • the quality of the recommendations to respond to an issue
  • the presentation and analysis of relevant information


Success depends on:

  • the demonstration of good research skills
  • the identification of a cogent argument
  • the quality of reasoning and evidence
  • how well it analyses and evaluates the issue

Different types of reports typically include different sections.
For the requirements for reports in Business and Economics, see the Q Manual. For all other disciplines, look at the Faculty examples in Assignment Structures and Samples.