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Getting Started With Your Report

Why write research reports?
Pre-writing activities
Audience analysis

Understanding the Sections of Your Report

General Technical Writing Guidelines


Works Cited

What are research reports and why would I write one?

Engineers, scientists, and managers write research reports to communicate the results of research, field work, and other activities. Often, a research report is the only concrete evidence of your research, and the quality of the research may be judged directly by the quality of the writing and how well you convey the importance of your findings. Even if you don't consider yourself a writer, then, it is still important to consider clarity, organization, and content when you are presenting your research in a research report.

Fortunately, research reports, which are similar to research articles, technical reports, lab reports, formal reports, or scientific papers (to name a few), have a fairly consistent format that will help you to organize your information clearly.  Most research reports contain the same major sections, although the names of the sections vary widely, and sometimes it is appropriate to omit sections or add others.  If you are submitting a research report for a class or to an organization, check for specific requirements and guidelines before beginning to write your research report.

This hypertext takes you through some ways to get started writing your report, explains all of the sections of a report, and offers some general technical writing guidelines.

You can navigate to any section of the hypertext by clicking on any of the content links on the side, or you can work through the whole workshop by using the next page and go back links at the bottom right of the page.

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This hypertext written by Angela Laflen
HTML and image maps by Erin Karper
August-September 2001

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