How to Write a Report: A Guide

Matt Ellis

A report is a nonfiction account that presents and/or summarizes the facts about a particular event, topic, or issue. The idea is that people who are unfamiliar with the subject can find everything they need to know from a good report. 

Reports make it easy to catch someone up to speed on a subject, but actually writing a report is anything but easy. So to help you understand what to do, below we present a little report of our own, all about report writing. 

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What is a report? 

In technical terms, the definition of a report is pretty vague: any account, spoken or written, of the matters concerning a particular topic. This could refer to anything from a courtroom testimony to a grade schooler’s book report. 

Really, when people talk about “reports,” they’re usually referring to official documents outlining the facts of a topic, typically written by an expert on the subject or someone assigned to investigate it. There are different types of reports, explained in the next section, but they mostly fit this description. 

What kind of information is shared in reports? Although all facts are welcome, reports, in particular, tend to feature these types of content: 

Reports are closely related to essay writing , although there are some clear distinctions. While both rely on facts, essays add the personal opinions and arguments of the authors. Reports typically stick only to the facts, although they may include some of the author’s interpretation of these facts, most likely in the conclusion. 

Moreover, reports are heavily organized, commonly with tables of contents and copious headings and subheadings. This makes it easier for readers to scan reports for the information they’re looking for. Essays, on the other hand, are meant to be read start to finish, not browsed for specific insights. 

Types of reports

There are a few different types of reports, depending on the purpose and to whom you present your report. Here’s a quick list of the common types of reports:

Reports can be further divided into categories based on how they are written. For example, a report could be formal or informal, short or long, and internal or external. In business, a vertical report shares information with people on different levels of the hierarchy (i.e., people who work above you and below you), while a lateral report is for people on the author’s same level, but in different departments. 

There are as many types of reports as there are writing styles, but in this guide, we focus on academic reports, which tend to be formal and informational. 

>>Read More: What Is Academic Writing?

What is the structure of a report?

The structure of a report depends on the type of report and the requirements of the assignment. While reports can use their own unique structure, most follow this basic template:

If you’re familiar with how to write a research paper , you’ll notice that report writing follows the same introduction-body-conclusion structure, sometimes adding an executive summary. Reports usually have their own additional requirements as well, such as title pages and tables of content, which we explain in the next section. 

What should be included in a report?

There are no firm requirements for what’s included in a report. Every school, company, laboratory, task manager, and teacher can make their own format, depending on their unique needs. In general, though, be on the lookout for these particular requirements—they tend to crop up a lot: 

As always, refer to the assignment for the specific guidelines on each of these. The people who read the report should tell you which style guides or formatting they require. 

How to write a report in 7 steps

Now let’s get into the specifics of how to write a report. Follow the seven steps on report writing below to take you from an idea to a completed paper. 

1 Choose a topic based on the assignment

Before you start writing, you need to pick the topic of your report. Often, the topic is assigned for you, as with most business reports, or predetermined by the nature of your work, as with scientific reports. If that’s the case, you can ignore this step and move on. 

If you’re in charge of choosing your own topic, as with a lot of academic reports, then this is one of the most important steps in the whole writing process. Try to pick a topic that fits these two criteria: 

Of course, don’t forget the instructions of the assignment, including length, so keep those in the back of your head when deciding. 

2 Conduct research

With business and scientific reports, the research is usually your own or provided by the company—although there’s still plenty of digging for external sources in both. 

For academic papers, you’re largely on your own for research, unless you’re required to use class materials. That’s one of the reasons why choosing the right topic is so crucial; you won’t go far if the topic you picked doesn’t have enough available research. 

The key is to search only for reputable sources: official documents, other reports, research papers, case studies, books from respected authors, etc. Feel free to use research cited in other similar reports. You can often find a lot of information online through search engines, but a quick trip to the library can also help in a pinch. 

3 Write a thesis statement

Before you go any further, write a thesis statement to help you conceptualize the main theme of your report. Just like the topic sentence of a paragraph, the thesis statement summarizes the main point of your writing, in this case, the report. 

Once you’ve collected enough research, you should notice some trends and patterns in the information. If these patterns all infer or lead up to a bigger, overarching point, that’s your thesis statement. 

For example, if you were writing a report on the wages of fast-food employees, your thesis might be something like, “Although wages used to be commensurate with living expenses, after years of stagnation they are no longer adequate.” From there, the rest of your report will elaborate on that thesis, with ample evidence and supporting arguments. 

It’s good to include your thesis statement in both the executive summary and introduction of your report, but you still want to figure it out early so you know which direction to go when you work on your outline next. 

4 Prepare an outline

Writing an outline is recommended for all kinds of writing, but it’s especially useful for reports given their emphasis on organization. Because reports are often separated by headings and subheadings, a solid outline makes sure you stay on track while writing without missing anything. 

Really, you should start thinking about your outline during the research phase, when you start to notice patterns and trends. If you’re stuck, try making a list of all the key points, details, and evidence you want to mention. See if you can fit them into general and specific categories, which you can turn into headings and subheadings respectively. 

5 Write a rough draft

Actually writing the rough draft , or first draft, is usually the most time-consuming step. Here’s where you take all the information from your research and put it into words. To avoid getting overwhelmed, simply follow your outline step by step to make sure you don’t accidentally leave out anything. 

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes; that’s the number one rule for writing a rough draft. Expecting your first draft to be perfect adds a lot of pressure. Instead, write in a natural and relaxed way, and worry about the specific details like word choice and correcting mistakes later. That’s what the last two steps are for, anyway. 

6 Revise and edit your report

Once your rough draft is finished, it’s time to go back and start fixing the mistakes you ignored the first time around. (Before you dive right back in, though, it helps to sleep on it to start editing fresh, or at least take a small break to unwind from writing the rough draft.) 

We recommend first rereading your report for any major issues, such as cutting or moving around entire sentences and paragraphs. Sometimes you’ll find your data doesn’t line up, or that you misinterpreted a key piece of evidence. This is the right time to fix the “big picture” mistakes and rewrite any longer sections as needed. 

If you’re unfamiliar with what to look for when editing, you can read our previous guide with some more advanced self-editing tips . 

7 Proofread and check for mistakes

Last, it pays to go over your report one final time, just to optimize your wording and check for grammatical or spelling mistakes. In the previous step you checked for “big picture” mistakes, but here you’re looking for specific, even nitpicky problems. 

A writing assistant like Grammarly flags those issues for you. Grammarly’s free version points out any spelling and grammatical mistakes while you write, with suggestions to improve your writing that you can apply with just one click. The Premium version offers even more advanced features, such as tone adjustments and word choice recommendations for taking your writing to the next level. 

how to write a report on a article

How to Write a Report on a Newspaper Article

Writing reports or reviews on newspaper articles is an important practice, mainly because it allows reviewers to discern the accuracy and credibility of a reporter's information. Reporting on a journalist's findings requires critical thinking, and the ability to consider peripheral ideas that could form an article's content. Once an article has been analyzed using a variety of references, the reviewer should have a solid idea of the article's accuracy.

Select a credible and reliable newspaper article. If your article is derived from an online source, ensure the website is not a blog, does not contain typographical errors, and is not laden with advertisements. Be sure that the article is current. As you read and re-read your article, highlight various significant points or write several notes on a separate sheet of notebook paper.

Create a short introduction to begin your report. Your introduction could include background information about the article, a potential problem with the article's content, and your proposed solution. Similar to an essay's thesis, your article's introduction should give a general blueprint for the rest of the report.

Compose a summary of the article. Columbia University suggests that you include the author's main point, purpose, intent and supporting details in your summary. The summary is where you state facts about the article, not your opinion on those facts.

Use your references and facts from the article to form an opinion and to provide critical analysis of the article. The references will help you support your opinion. Thinking critically about an article's content requires you to ask questions about the author's intentions in writing the article and the article's target audience.

Form a conclusion about the article and your findings. Do not restate what you have already mentioned, but carry the article further to express its relevance to a contemporary social issue or a future dilemma. Your conclusion will neatly wrap up your argument, and give the reader other points to consider.

Things You'll Need

K. Nola Mokeyane has written professionally since 2006, and has contributed to various online publications, including "Global Post" and Modern Mom. Nola enjoys writing about health, wellness and spirituality. She is a member of the Atlanta Writer's Club.

How to Write a Report

Last Updated: January 8, 2023 References Approved

This article was co-authored by Emily Listmann, MA and by wikiHow staff writer, Amy Bobinger . Emily Listmann is a private tutor in San Carlos, California. She has worked as a Social Studies Teacher, Curriculum Coordinator, and an SAT Prep Teacher. She received her MA in Education from the Stanford Graduate School of Education in 2014. There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article has 42 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 8,466,445 times.

When you’re assigned to write a report, it can seem like an intimidating process. Fortunately, if you pay close attention to the report prompt, choose a subject you like, and give yourself plenty of time to research your topic, you might actually find that it’s not so bad. After you gather your research and organize it into an outline, all that’s left is to write out your paragraphs and proofread your paper before you hand it in!

Sample Reports

how to write a report on a article

Selecting Your Topic

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Tip: Always get approval from your teacher or boss on the topic you choose before you start working on the report!

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Researching the Report

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Tip: Writing a report can take longer than you think! Don't put off your research until the last minute , or it will be obvious that you didn't put much effort into the assignment.

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Tip: It can help to create your outline on a computer in case you change your mind as you’re moving information around.

Writing the First Draft

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Tip: Assume that your reader knows little to nothing about the subject. Support your facts with plenty of details and include definitions if you use technical terms or jargon in the paper.

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Revising Your Report

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Tip: If you have time before the deadline, set the report aside for a few days . Then, come back and read it again. This can help you catch errors you might otherwise have missed.

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Expert Q&A

Emily Listmann, MA

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About This Article

Emily Listmann, MA

It can seem really hard to write a report, but it will be easier if you choose an original topic that you're passionate about. Once you've got your topic, do some research on it at the library and online, using reputable sources like encyclopedias, scholarly journals, and government websites. Use your research write a thesis statement that sums up the focus of your paper, then organize your notes into an outline that supports that thesis statement. Finally, expand that outline into paragraph form. Read on for tips from our Education co-author on how to format your report! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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Writing a Report

Report writing is a specific skill, it isn't just writing an essay with lots of bullet-points ...

What is a Report?


Be nuanced, don't assume that all things of a similar type are the same…

It is often easy to mistake one sort of activity for another when they at first glance appear to be doing the same thing . To the uninformed one sort of game may look much like another, one kind of race might look any other race, one song by Coldplay might sound like any other. That said, even a brief examination of these things will begin to highlight differences, differences in style, intention and approach. This is particularly the case with writing. At first glance all writing may appear to be doing the same thing , arranging words in order to communicate a message. Now that is of course fine, as far as it goes, but clearly it doesn't go far enough.

We all know that there is a significant difference between composing a personal statement as part of a job application and writing a text message to a friend arranging a night out. A letter to your bank manager is going to sound considerably different to a message written in a Valentine's Day card expressing your undying love . As with most things we do, we need to think smart before we act and not just take the easy path of assuming that one approach to any activity will work at all times and for all things, without alteration.

Before tackling anything it is important to understand the nature of the task… ​

With this in mind we need to think very carefully about how a report differs from, let us say, an essay, as these are very different kinds of writing with different purposes and shapes. It might help to ask some basic questions here:

The identity of a report.​

Reports differ depending on context. A military report, a medical report and a legal report will have different purposes and different approaches. There are some key questions that need to be asked before starting on a report in your own subject area.

To be fair there is a lot of overlap between an essay and a report. They both require focus on a brief or problem, they both require careful attention to structure and evidence. Both essays and reports stand or fall on the quality of preparation and research conducted.

However the differences are real ones. An essay is a more elegant form of writing, it works best when the writer is discussing, arguing and questioning. A report, on the other hand, is a more functional piece of writing and works best when it is presenting hard data based on clear evidence in an unambiguous way, leading to clearly focused recommendations..

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How to Write an Article Review: Tips and Examples

how to write a report on a article

An article review format allows scholars or students to analyze and evaluate the work of other experts in a given field. Outside of the education system, experts often review the work of their peers for clarity, originality, and contribution to the discipline of study.

When answering the questions of what is an article review and how to write one, you must understand the depth of analysis and evaluation that your instructor is seeking.

What Is an Article Review

That is a type of professional paper writing which demands a high level of in-depth analysis and a well-structured presentation of arguments. It is a critical, constructive evaluation of literature in a particular field through summary, classification, analysis, and comparison.

If you write a scientific review, you have to use database searches to portray the research. Your primary goal is to summarize everything and present a clear understanding of the topic you’ve been working on.

Writing Involves:

Types of Review

There are few types of article reviews.

Journal Article Review

Much like all other reviews, a journal article review evaluates strengths and weaknesses of a publication. A qualified paper writer must provide the reader with an analysis and interpretation that demonstrates the article’s value.

Research Article Review

It differs from a journal article review by the way that it evaluates the research method used and holds that information in retrospect to analysis and critique.

Science Article Review

Scientific article review involves anything in the realm of science. Often, scientific publications include more information on the background that you can use to analyze the publication more comprehensively.

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Formatting an Article Review

The format of the article should always adhere to the citation style required by your professor. If you’re not sure, seek clarification on the preferred format and ask him to clarify several other pointers to complete the formatting of an article review adequately.

How Many Publications Should You Review?

When you know the answers to these questions, you may start writing your assignment. Below are examples of MLA and APA formats, as those are the two most common citation styles.


Using the APA Format

Articles appear most commonly in academic journals, newspapers, and websites. If you write an article review in the APA format, you will need to write bibliographical entries for the sources you use:

Using MLA Format

The Pre-Writing Process

Facing this task for the first time can really get confusing and can leave you being unsure where to begin. To create a top-notch article review, start with a few preparatory steps. Here are the two main stages to get you started:

Step 1: Define the right organization for your review. Knowing the future setup of your paper will help you define how you should read the article. Here are the steps to follow:

Step 2: Move on and review the article. Here is a small and simple guide to help you do it right:

These three steps make up most of the prewriting process. After you are done with them, you can move on to writing your own review—and we are going to guide you through the writing process as well.

Organization in an assignment like this is of utmost importance. Before embarking on your writing process, you could outline your assignment or use an article review template to organize your thoughts more coherently.

Outline and Template

As you progress with reading your article, organize your thoughts into coherent sections in an outline. As you read, jot down important facts, contributions, or contradictions. Identify the shortcomings and strengths of your publication. Begin to map your outline accordingly.

If your professor does not want a summary section or a personal critique section, then you must alleviate those parts from your writing. Much like other assignments, an article review must contain an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. Thus you might consider dividing your outline according to these sections as well as subheadings within the body. If you find yourself troubled with the prewriting and the brainstorming process for this assignment, seek out a sample outline.

Your custom essay must contain these constituent parts:

Do you need some help with your article review?

Count on the support of our essay writing service

Steps for Writing an Article Review

Here is a guide with critique paper format from our research paper writing service on how to write a review paper:


Step 1: Write the Title.

First of all, you need to write a title that reflects the main focus of your work. Respectively, the title can be either interrogative, descriptive, or declarative.

Step 2: Cite the Article.

Next, create a proper citation for the reviewed article and input it following the title. At this step, the most important thing to keep in mind is the style of citation specified by your instructor in the requirements for the paper. For example, an article citation in the MLA style should look as follows:

Author’s last and first name. “The title of the article.” Journal’s title and issue(publication date): page(s). Print

Example: Abraham John. “The World of Dreams.” Virginia Quarterly 60.2(1991): 125-67. Print.

Step 3: Article Identification.

After your citation, you need to include the identification of your reviewed article:

All of this information should be included in the first paragraph of your paper.

Example: The report, “Poverty increases school drop-outs,” was written by Brian Faith – a Health officer – in 2000.

Step 4: Introduction.

Your organization in an assignment like this is of the utmost importance. Before embarking on your writing process, you should outline your assignment or use an article review template to organize your thoughts coherently.

Step 5: Summarize the Article.

Make a summary of the article by revisiting what the author has written about. Note any relevant facts and findings from the article. Include the author's conclusions in this section.

Step 6: Critique It.

Present the strengths and weaknesses you have found in the publication. Highlight the knowledge that the author has contributed to the field. Also, write about any gaps and/or contradictions you have found in the article. Take a standpoint of either supporting or not supporting the author's assertions, but back up your arguments with facts and relevant theories that are pertinent to that area of knowledge. Rubrics and templates can also be used to evaluate and grade the person who wrote the article.

Step 7: Craft a Conclusion.

In this section, revisit the critical points of your piece, your findings in the article, and your critique. Also, write about the accuracy, validity, and relevance of the results of the article review. Present a way forward for future research in the field of study. Before submitting your article, keep these pointers in mind:

how to write a report on a article

The Post-Writing Process: Proofread Your Work

Finally, when all of the parts of your article review are set and ready, you have one last thing to take care of — proofreading. Although students often neglect this step, proofreading is a vital part of the writing process and will help you polish your paper to ensure that there are no mistakes or inconsistencies.

To proofread your paper properly, start with reading it fully and by checking the following points:

Next, identify whether or not there is any unnecessary data in the paper and remove it. Lastly, check the points you discussed in your work; make sure you discuss at least 3-4 key points. In case you need to proofread, rewrite an essay or buy essay , our dissertation services are always here for you.

Example of an Article Review

Why have we devoted an entire section of this article to talk about an article review sample, you may wonder? Not all of you may recognize it, but in fact, looking through several solid examples of review articles is actually an essential step for your writing process, and we will tell you why.

Looking through relevant article review examples can be beneficial for you in the following ways:

As you can see, reading through a few samples can be extremely beneficial for you. Therefore, the best way to learn how to write this kind of paper is to look for an article review example online that matches your grade level.

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Some academic assignments ask for a ‘report’, rather than an essay, and students are often confused about what that really means.

Likewise, in business, confronted with a request for a ‘report’ to a senior manager, many people struggle to know what to write.

Confusion often arises about the writing style, what to include, the language to use, the length of the document and other factors.

This page aims to disentangle some of these elements, and provide you with some advice designed to help you to write a good report.

What is a Report?

In academia there is some overlap between reports and essays, and the two words are sometimes used interchangeably, but reports are more likely to be needed for business, scientific and technical subjects, and in the workplace.

Whereas an essay presents arguments and reasoning, a report concentrates on facts.

Essentially, a report is a short, sharp, concise document which is written for a particular purpose and audience. It generally sets outs and analyses a situation or problem, often making recommendations for future action. It is a factual paper, and needs to be clear and well-structured.

Requirements for the precise form and content of a report will vary between organisation and departments and in study between courses, from tutor to tutor, as well as between subjects, so it’s worth finding out if there are any specific guidelines before you start.

Reports may contain some or all of the following elements:

Not all of these elements will be essential in every report.

If you’re writing a report in the workplace, check whether there are any standard guidelines or structure that you need to use.

For example, in the UK many government departments have outline structures for reports to ministers that must be followed exactly.

Sections and Numbering

A report is designed to lead people through the information in a structured way, but also to enable them to find the information that they want quickly and easily.

Reports usually, therefore, have numbered sections and subsections, and a clear and full contents page listing each heading. It follows that page numbering is important.

Modern word processors have features to add tables of contents (ToC) and page numbers as well as styled headings; you should take advantage of these as they update automatically as you edit your report, moving, adding or deleting sections.

Report Writing

Getting started: prior preparation and planning.

The structure of a report is very important to lead the reader through your thinking to a course of action and/or decision. It’s worth taking a bit of time to plan it out beforehand.

Step 1: Know your brief

You will usually receive a clear brief for a report, including what you are studying and for whom the report should be prepared.

First of all, consider your brief very carefully and make sure that you are clear who the report is for (if you're a student then not just your tutor, but who it is supposed to be written for), and why you are writing it, as well as what you want the reader to do at the end of reading: make a decision or agree a recommendation, perhaps.

Step 2: Keep your brief in mind at all times

During your planning and writing, make sure that you keep your brief in mind: who are you writing for, and why are you writing?

All your thinking needs to be focused on that, which may require you to be ruthless in your reading and thinking. Anything irrelevant should be discarded.

As you read and research, try to organise your work into sections by theme, a bit like writing a Literature Review .

Make sure that you keep track of your references, especially for academic work. Although referencing is perhaps less important in the workplace, it’s also important that you can substantiate any assertions that you make so it’s helpful to keep track of your sources of information.

The Structure of a Report

Like the precise content, requirements for structure vary, so do check what’s set out in any guidance.

However, as a rough guide, you should plan to include at the very least an executive summary, introduction, the main body of your report, and a section containing your conclusions and any recommendations.

Executive Summary

The executive summary or abstract , for a scientific report, is a brief summary of the contents. It’s worth writing this last, when you know the key points to draw out. It should be no more than half a page to a page in length.

Remember the executive summary is designed to give busy 'executives' a quick summary of the contents of the report.


The introduction sets out what you plan to say and provides a brief summary of the problem under discussion. It should also touch briefly on your conclusions.

Report Main Body

The main body of the report should be carefully structured in a way that leads the reader through the issue.

You should split it into sections using numbered sub-headings relating to themes or areas for consideration. For each theme, you should aim to set out clearly and concisely the main issue under discussion and any areas of difficulty or disagreement. It may also include experimental results. All the information that you present should be related back to the brief and the precise subject under discussion.

If it’s not relevant, leave it out.

Conclusions and Recommendations

The conclusion sets out what inferences you draw from the information, including any experimental results. It may include recommendations, or these may be included in a separate section.

Recommendations suggest how you think the situation could be improved, and should be specific, achievable and measurable. If your recommendations have financial implications, you should set these out clearly, with estimated costs if possible.

A Word on Writing Style

When writing a report, your aim should be to be absolutely clear. Above all, it should be easy to read and understand, even to someone with little knowledge of the subject area.

You should therefore aim for crisp, precise text, using plain English, and shorter words rather than longer, with short sentences.

You should also avoid jargon. If you have to use specialist language, you should explain each word as you use it. If you find that you’ve had to explain more than about five words, you’re probably using too much jargon, and need to replace some of it with simpler words.

Consider your audience. If the report is designed to be written for a particular person, check whether you should be writing it to ‘you’ or perhaps in the third person to a job role: ‘The Chief Executive may like to consider…’, or ‘The minister is recommended to agree…’, for example.

A Final Warning

As with any academic assignment or formal piece of writing, your work will benefit from being read over again and edited ruthlessly for sense and style.

Pay particular attention to whether all the information that you have included is relevant. Also remember to check tenses, which person you have written in, grammar and spelling. It’s also worth one last check against any requirements on structure.

For an academic assignment, make sure that you have referenced fully and correctly. As always, check that you have not inadvertently or deliberately plagiarised or copied anything without acknowledging it.

Finally, ask yourself:

“Does my report fulfil its purpose?”

Only if the answer is a resounding ‘yes’ should you send it off to its intended recipient.

Continue to: How to Write a Business Case Planning an Essay

See also: Business Writing Tips Study Skills Writing a Dissertation or Thesis

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How to Write a Report Properly and Effectively

How to Write a Report Properly and Effectively

Written by: Chloe West

how to write a report - header

If you’re looking for the best way to document information or share your findings in a professional and well thought out manner, a report might be the best way to go. But if you don’t know how to write a report, where should you start?

Report writing is different from many other types of writing, which is why it’s a good idea to do your due diligence before you get started.

What do you need to include in your report? How should you flesh out each section?

There are different report formats based on your specific needs, but the structure tends to remain similar for each.

Let’s go over our steps for how to write a report properly so you can effectively communicate your findings.

Here’s a short selection of 8 easy-to-edit report templates you can edit, share and download with Visme. View more templates below:

how to write a report on a article

1 Determine Your Objective

First and foremost, why are you writing this report? What is the point or goal? Is this an academic report or is it business-related? Perhaps you need to put together an annual report , sales report or financial report.

Also consider who your audience is. Your report might be internal for company use only, or it might be external to present to investors, customers and more.

Is this a periodic report that you’re going to have to revisit every month, quarter or year? Is it for people above you in the company or is it for your department?

Understanding your objective is important to know what your content will contain and where you’ll need to go to pull your information.

2 Put Together an Outline

Never start writing anything without putting together an outline first. This will help you to structure your report, understand what resources you need in order to find all of your results and materials and more.

This outline doesn’t need to be too in depth, but it does give you a starting point for your full report. You can then refer back to this outline throughout your report writing process .

Start with the purpose or objective of your report, then list out your main points and a few bullets underneath that you want to make sure you cover in the contents of your report.

Your outline might look something like this:

how to write a report - outline example

3 Gather Your Research

Start searching around your topic and gather the research you need to put together your report. This might be online sources, journals, experiments or just analytics and numbers from your company CRM or sales software .

Add all of the research to your outline so that you know which numbers and information pertains to each of your main points.

Once you’ve finished gathering everything you need to complete your report, you can get started writing.

You might need to go back and find more information and do more research throughout, and that’s okay. But once you feel like you have a grasp of the material you need to cover, you can move onto the next step and get started with a report generator .

Hey marketers! Need to create scroll-stopping visual content fast?

Sign up. It’s free.

how to write a report on a article

4 How to Write a Report Cover Page

Now we’re ready to get started on your report cover page! When you’re first working on your cover page, it’s a good idea to start with a template .

This helps you to spice up your report design and make it more than a black and white word document. It can also help you design your title page in an aesthetically pleasing way so it stands out to your audience.

Check out this Visme report template cover page below.

how to write a report - cover page example

Customize this report template and make it your own! Edit and Download

When determining how to write a report cover page, there are up to five things you will want to include, the most important of which is naturally your report’s title.

Others include who the report is for, who the report was prepared by (you!), the date or your department within your company.

Having this information right on the report cover page is the best way to let your reader know at a glance exactly what is inside of the report and who it’s for.

5 How to Write a Report Table of Contents

The next part of your report will be your table of contents. While you might not know exactly how your report will be laid out yet, your outline will help you get started here.

As you write your report – or even when you finish writing it – you can come back and update the table of contents to match your headings and subheadings.

Because you want to make it easy to navigate, ensure that all of your page titles and subheadings correlate exactly with what you place in your table of contents.

Take a look at the table of contents in the below report template.

how to write a report - table of contents example

See how they have obvious dividers so it’s easy to determine which section begins on which page? You want to make sure you emulate something similar.

There are many different ways to do this.

For one, you can right align your table of contents so the titles are directly next to the page numbers, like in the example below that was designed right in Visme.

how to write a report - table of contents example

Or you can have a dotted line or other visual flow element that guides the reader’s eye across the table straight to the page number.

Just make sure there’s no confusion in locating the correct page number for each section.

6 How to Write a Report Introduction

The first section you start writing in your report is always a summary or introduction . This should stretch across just one or two pages to give your reader a brief glimpse into what your results or findings are.

Talk about the methodology used to gather the material you cover within your report, whether it was research, an experiment, gathering analytics, looking through CRM data , calculating revenue and more.

You also want to include visuals to help tell your story. This could be anything from photography to icons or graphics. You might even include shapes to help with your design.

Here’s an example of a proposal report introduction with a nice page design and black and white photo to offset the text.

how to write a report - introduction example

7 How to Write a Report Body

Now we’re getting into the meat of your report. You’ve already put together your outline, gathered your research and created your cover page, table of contents and introduction.

This means you should know exactly what the main part of your report is going to contain, making it easier for you to dive into the body.

While reports can vary greatly in length, with shorter reports containing 7-15 pages and longer reports ranging anywhere from 30-50 pages or more, the length tends to depend on your topic. Shorter reports focus on one single topic with longer reports covering multiple.

Take these steps to properly write an effective report body or get assignment writing help .

Split the body into sections.

Although you’ll have each of your main headers in your table of contents – i.e., your introduction, body and conclusion – you’ll also want to include your subheadings.

And you’ll want to divide your report body into various sections based on what it covers.

If you’re creating an annual report, you might divide this up by different months. If you’re creating a financial report, perhaps you’ll divide it up based on various stats and numbers.

There are many different ways to divide your report body into sections, but just like we’ve broken this article up into different subheadings, it’s important to do so. This helps make it easier for your reader to digest each of the different sections.

Take a look at how this report template has broken up the body into bite-sized chunks.

how to write a report - split the body into sections

Dive into your results and findings.

This is where you’ll really get into all of the research you gathered and talk about your topic. Over the course of the subheadings you’ve previously laid out, flesh each one out with the results you’ve discovered.

Reports tend to be more formal in nature, so keep that in mind as you write. Veer away from a more conversational tone, avoid the use of contractions and properly cite all of your sources and results.

Make sure you cover every aspect of your report’s topics, including the most relevant statistics, up-to-date research and more.

Use data visualizations and graphic organizers.

Don’t fill your report to the brim with just text. Including images, icons, graphics, charts and graphic organizers is a great way to further visualize your content and make your point.

If you’re creating a financial report or sales report, data visualizations are key to showcasing your numbers and statistics in an easily digestible way.

Here’s an example of one of our templates that includes charts and graphs within the report pages to make it even easier to understand.

how to write a report - use data visualizations

Learning how to tell a story with data is essential to creating a good report. But you don’t want to stop at just data visualization tools within your report.

Incorporating photos and graphics into your report design is another great way to represent your text and engage your reader. Reports get a bad rap for being boring walls of text, but we encourage you to think outside the box.

Use stock photography and vector icons to help convey your point.

Take a look at the template page below and how it creatively brings in various types of visuals to add more to the page.

how to write a report - use data visualizations

Test out each of Visme’s data visualization tools, stock photo library, vector icon selection and more to help your report stand out from the crowd.

Cover the materials used.

Make sure you include which materials were used to find your results and each of your sources. Sometimes this section will be short and sweet, by simply mentioning your CRM software or other tools that you used to pull numbers. Others will be longer.

Whether you used your company’s data or determined your results using an experiment or a third-party source, be sure to include each and every resource used within your report.

Take advantage of Visme's Dynamic Fields to ensure your personal and company data is accurate and consistent throughout your reports. 

Summarize each section.

Not every section in your report body will be long enough to need a summary, but if you have a section that includes a lot of information or stretches across a couple of pages, it’s a good idea to summarize it at the end.

This will help your reader make sure they retained all of the information and allow them to skim through your report at a later date by reading your section summaries.

8 How to Write a Report Conclusion

You’re almost done! Now it’s time to write your conclusion and finalize your report.

First, start by summarizing your points. Yes, you wrote small summaries for each section in the body, but now you’re going to give an overall summary of your report’s contents.

Refer to your findings and discuss what they mean. While your body was more for demonstrating your results, you can use the conclusion to talk about their context in the real world, or what they mean for your business.

Then you’ll want to talk about next steps. If your results weren’t as positive as you were hoping, write about what the plan is to make sure they improve for the next time around. Lay out your goals and strategies for using these findings.

And make sure you’re not introducing any new information. While you may be talking about the information in a different way, you should still be exclusively referring to data and content that is already found in your report.

Looking to create a stand-out visual report?

9 Include Your Sources

You covered your materials and resources used in a section of your report body, but the end of each report should include an entire bibliography that lists each one of your sources in alphabetical order so the reader can easily access more information.

You can also include acknowledgements, giving thanks to particular organizations or people that helped you put together your report contents.

And depending on the purpose of your report, you might also want to include a glossary at the end to help define industry terms for external readers who might not fully understand.

Ready to get started on your next report? Visme makes it easy with premade report templates that allow you to plug in your information and send your report off to its audience!

Learn how to write a report that stands out by following the steps laid out in this article and inputting into a stunning template. Sign up for your Visme account to get started today.

Plus, learn how to design beautiful documents like your next report by watching our quick 5-minute tutorial video.

Design beautiful visual content you can be proud of.

how to write a report on a article

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how to write a report on a article

About the Author

Chloe West is the content marketing manager at Visme. Her experience in digital marketing includes everything from social media, blogging, email marketing to graphic design, strategy creation and implementation, and more. During her spare time, she enjoys exploring her home city of Charleston with her son.

how to write a report on a article

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Links on this guide may go to external web sites not connected with Randolph Community College. Their inclusion is not an endorsement by Randolph Community College and the College is not responsible for the accuracy of their content or the security of their site.

When writing a summary, the goal is to compose a concise and objective overview of the original article. The summary should focus only on the article's main ideas and important details that support those ideas.

Guidelines for summarizing an article:

Your summary should include:

 Adapted from "Guidelines for Using In-Text Citations in a Summary (or Research Paper)" by Christine Bauer-Ramazani, 2020

Additional Resources

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How to Write a Summary - Guide & Examples  (from

Writing a Summary  (from The University of Arizona Global Campus Writing Center)


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