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How to Write Reports

National Extension College

How to Write Reports


How to Write Reports

Report writing is a key aspect of many job roles and careers. How to Write Reports will develop the skills needed to write clearly, concisely and informatively whatever the report is about. The self-study book is fully interactive and will develop the learning and skills needed to produce a report that communicates the information effectively in any work or business environment. Topics include collecting information, organisation, writing conclusions and recommendations. If you buy a multi-user licence you can share the book with colleagues in your school, college or organisation to use with the students they teach within that institution. 

Since NEC’s How to Write Reports was first published it has helped many learners to develop their report writing skills. This popular text provides a valuable resource that can help to save time for tutors and trainers looking to develop their students’ skills so that they can produce effective reports. Use the entire contents of the workbook or only the topics you need, for face-to-face teaching with your students, or as revision support or a home study aid. 

A single-user download allows you to use the material in your own teaching only. Read the full Licensing Terms & Conditions here.

Authors:                 John Inglis, Roger Lewis

Edition:                  This edition first published 2005

Format:                  PDF, A4

Page extent:          96 pages

About the authors

NEC works with recognised leaders in the field of education and training, to develop resources designed and written by experienced authors who are also qualified subject experts.

John Inglis won a trade union scholarship to Ruskin College Oxford to study Economics, was awarded a travelling scholarship to Australia and New Zealand and subsequently read the Historical Tripos at Trinity College Cambridge. He has taught in further education and was Education Officer in Barlinnie Prison before he retired. He is deeply interested in the problems of mature students, been part-time tutor-counsellor and admissions adviser for the Open University and run study skills courses for Open University students in Scotland.

Roger Lewis has had a long and varied career in education. He has taught in primary and secondary schools and in higher education. He was a Staff Tutor for the Open University and, later, Deputy Director of the National Extension College. In 1987 he joined the Open College and became Director of Education and Training. He has written many books on education, and courses for adult students.

Product description

This workbook is divided into 12 units. Each unit includes an overview of what the unit is about and what students should have learnt by the end of it; activities to test what has been learnt and use the skills developed; check your learning section to measure progress.


How to use this book

Unit 1 – What is a report?

What is a report?

Unit 2 – Terms of reference, titles and introductions

What are the terms of reference?

The title

The introduction




Unit 3 – Collecting information

Sources of information

Spray notes

Collecting information


Unit 4 – Organising the information

Computers, A4 sheets and index cards


Unit 5 – Writing conclusions and recommendations

The conclusion



Unit 6 – Planning paragraphs

Planning paragraphs

Unit 7 – Writing clearly

Thinking of the reader


Accurate expression, or ‘good English’

Unit 8 – How to check your written work

First draft

Unit 9 – Layout


Unit 10 – Using illustrations

Using illustrations

Unit 11 – Final presentation of the report

Final presentation of the report

Unit 12 – Checklists

Terms of reference

Titles and introductions

Collecting information

Organising the material you have collected

Conclusions and recommendations

Writing clear paragraphs

Writing clearly

Drafting and redrafting



Final presentation

Appendix 1

Other reports

Appendix 2

Sequence for items in a report

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