Life Solutions of Dallas-Fort Worth

Life Solutions of Dallas-Fort Worth

Six steps for planning and completing written reports, students who struggle with learning, attention, working memory, and other executive functioning problems can benefit from a structured step-by-step approach to preparing written reports as outlined in this article.  help your student try these six steps the next time she is faced with a writing project. .

Try these strategies taught in our Summer Success Groups   to improve your  student’s success!

Step 1: Before Writing the Report

Before starting a writing project, there are several tasks to complete to assure your success., understand the directions and purpose of the assignment, first, read and write out the directions to make sure you understand the assignment.  if your teacher provided a rubric, focus on the criteria for the best score.  next, consider the purpose of your report: cause/effect, compare/contrast, description, problem/solution, example, process (sequential), narrative (chronological), or any other possible purpose., next, use your imagination for brainstorming a list of topic ideas (if not assigned).  during brainstorming, it is important to give yourself permission to express and write down all thoughts in random order and plan to figure out what to do with them in a later step., don’t judge, challenge, evaluate, or criticize ideas., go for quantity, not quality., put analysis and organization in the background for now, narrow your topic, next, from your ideas, narrow the topic to write about by answering these questions,  is my idea too big for the time i have to complete the assignment, what are some components or subparts of my idea, what one component or subpart is of most interest to me, will this component of the subpart meet the teacher’s expectations, finally, identify the main point or thesis statement of your paper/project., step 2: do your research, first, identify research sources at the library/online.  identify two more resources than you think you will need. consider the article do your research for suggestions., as you complete your research, organize thoughts and supporting details using bibliography sheets  so that it is easier to keep track of what you’ve learned and to later develop your bibliography., step 3: brainstorm your thesis statement & supporting statements, re-read the directions and make sure you are still on track, and then focus on organizing the thoughts and ideas you gathered from your research into an appropriate sequence based on the purpose of your assignment., based on what you now know from your research, brainstorm the thesis statement or the main point for your report.  next, make yourself a list of ways the research supports your thesis statement., if you’re required to complete an outline, use the format your teacher has suggested or consider using one of the following., five paragraph essay, cause/effect, compare/contrast, if an outline is not required and you don’t like completing one, at least consider using one of the above formats as a starting point for organizing the ideas you have brainstormed before you start typing your first draft., step 4: write your first draft, when writing the first draft, you should focus on getting your ideas on paper without being overly concerned with spelling, grammar, and punctuation at this stage., write the supporting paragraphs first, start by writing the supporting paragraphs of your report. writing these first helps you better organize your thoughts and keeps you from getting stuck trying to write the introduction first., write the concluding paragraph, next, write your concluding paragraph.  depending on the purpose of your assignment, you could tell your readers what you told them, leave them with a memorable quote, or ask them to take an action., write the introductory paragraph, finally, write your introductory paragraph summarizing your thesis, outlining your supporting ideas, and grabbing your readers’ attention to motivate them to read your paper.  possible grabbers could include a surprising fact about your topic, an interesting statistic, or an important quote about your subject., step 5: revise the draft, first, re-read your written product and the teacher’s instructions for the writing assignment and make sure your written product adequately meets expectations.  next, review your sentences, paragraphs, and narrative using the following suggestions., review the sentences, add descriptors to your sentences by asking questions about the nouns (which one, what kind) and verbs (how when where)., use the thesaurus or synonyms feature in your word processors to change dull, boring words (ran) to more exciting descriptive words (sprinted)., carefully proofread for errors in sentence structure and correct sentence fragments and runs: make sure each sentence has a subject and verb, and break up run-ons into smaller sentences.  check noun and verb tense for agreement and use other suggestions in the article ask questions to write better sentences ., review the paragraphs, make sure each paragraph has one central idea, a topic sentence, supporting sentences, a concluding sentence, and appropriate transitions between ideas.  consider the suggestions in the article writing better paragraphs ., review the narrative structure, review your narrative to make sure it has the following:,   a strong introductory paragraph, adequate supporting paragraphs, a concluding paragraph that summarizes the ideas you have tried to express., read your written product aloud at least one time to help make sure your ideas are clear, the sequence makes sense, and your report says what you want it to say.   rearrange, reword, and modify as needed.  add, cut, reorder, and replace information as necessary., add transition words, add appropriate transitions between ideas. use a transition word bank   based on the purpose of your report., step 6: finalize the report, re-read your teacher’s instructions for the writing assignment one last time and made sure your written product adequately meets expectations., check the appearance of your written report, and make sure you follow the appropriate formatting required by your teacher., for apa format, go to the apa style  website., for mla format, go to the mla format   website., use your bibliography sheets and the tools under the references tab in the latest versions of  microsoft word or an online tool like mybib to make bibliographies that meet the requirements of apa, mla, and other formatting standards., finally, go for it  turn in your report on time, need help applying these concepts, if your student needs help applying these concepts, contact us to make an appointment., these and other strategies are taught in our summer success groups to improve your  student’s success, (c) 2009-2019, monte w. davenport, ph.d..

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Professional and Technical Writing/Reports/Planning

Planning reports [ edit | edit source ].

The first task to be completed before starting a report is to determine what needs to be addressed. According to Paul V. Anderson's text, Technical Communication: A Reader-Centered Approach , the basic superstructure for a report and the questions to be answered in each section are the following(p. 541):

This is a basic superstructure, not an outline. Some of these elements may be in a different order, addressed together, or completely omitted. An effective report includes these elements to improve the usability and usefulness of the report. If the report isn't easy to navigate, the persuasiveness of the report will be lost and/or it will be thrown out.

Introduction [ edit | edit source ]

For some reports, the introduction may only need to be a sentence or two, but for longer more extensive reports it may take multiple pages. The introduction is where the objective of research is stated and briefly explained. An introduction should tell the reader what the main focus of the report is and in doing so tell the reader why the research and report is important for them to read. Essentially we answer the question "What will we gain from reading this report?" The introduction should explain the problem that the report is aiming to solve.

For longer reports, your introduction may take multiple pages. Such things such as 1) What problem your report solves, 2) what activities you performed toward solving that problem and 3) how your readers can apply your information to their own efforts towards solving the problem should be answers within the introduction. Also, ensure that within your introduction your main points are stated.

The main points within most introductions will include your major conclusions and recommendations. Although you should discuss these fully at the end of your report, your readers will appreciate a brief summary of your main points in your introduction.

In addition, the introduction may explain how the report is organized, outline its scope, encourage openness to your message, and provide important background information for your readers to understand the rest of the report.

Method of Obtaining Information [ edit | edit source ]

The purpose of this section is to show the readers how you obtained your information. Stating where you obtained your information will help to tell the readers if your research is reliable. Your method will help readers to understand the uses and limitations of your research. A good, descriptive method section will allow anyone else to recreate your experiment exactly and obtain the same result. Be very detailed in the method section and reread it as if you were trying to do this experiment for the first time based on your method section.

Results [ edit | edit source ]

The results section is the most valuable part of the report to readers. The whole point of research is to find the results so they need to be conveyed clearly and effectively. A results section may likely contain tables, graphs, text, and pictures. Include anything that is important in showing the reader what was found through research. Do not include extraneous information as it will only clutter the results section. Make sure you check the date of your information, where it comes from, and who the source was. Keep the prose simple and descriptive in this section, leave the analysis of the results for the discussion section.

Discussion [ edit | edit source ]

The discussion section is where you interpret your results. Your results section may be nothing but tables and graphs with a few accompanying sentences. Your discussion section is where you make sense of those tables and graphs and explain how they relate to the problem or question the report is trying to research. The discussion also explains what the results mean to the company. In some reports, mainly shorter ones, the discussion and facts sections may be put into one to make reading the report shorter and easier.

Conclusion [ edit | edit source ]

The conclusion section explains why the results are important and how they affect the reader. It is a good practice to summarize your facts and restate the problem so the reader clearly understands the importance of your findings. This is your chance to tell the reader how they or the company will benefit from your findings. The conclusion usually does not make recommendations for action but will inevitably get the reader thinking about it.

Recommendation [ edit | edit source ]

Here is where you state the purpose of the report and what you want to be accomplished after the readers are done with your report. This section may not be in some reports because the decision to be made may be beyond your knowledge and power.

Reader's Six Basic Questions [ edit | edit source ]

When reading your report, readers will ask six questions that revolve around one goal: does the information and ideas that you provide offer a guide for future action? Examine these questions while pretending you are the audience you're writing to. Ensure your report answers the questions in order to create a well written report.

Readers in the workplace only want to read information relevant directly to them. Therefore, you need to make sure that you explain how this information is relevant to the readers responsibility, interests and goals.

Readers want to ensure that the facts you provide will give a sound basis for their decisions or actions.

The readers are not interested in all the information you know about a given subject. They only want to know information that is pertinent to them. Especially ones they can put directly to use (Example: The most important sales figures for this quarter are as follows:....")

Facts within relevancy are meaningless. in order to make facts meaningful, people must interpret them and identify the relationships or patterns among them. Usually Readers want you to do this form them, rather than leaving the work up to them.

Readers also want you to go beyond just the interpretation of the facts, they want you to explain what these facts mean in terms of their responsibilities, interests and goals.

Because you have studied the facts you're presenting in detail, readers will make the assumption that you are qualified to make a recommendation.

These questions are general in order to be applicable to a variety of reports. Some reports will take very little to answer these questions, however in larger reports writers often need to take hundreds of pages to answer these question. Readers often seek answers to these basic questions by asking multiple more specific questions. However, these six questions are the general ones that can be applied to your work.

Revision Checklist [ edit | edit source ]

Once you have written your report review it using the checklist.




References [ edit | edit source ]

Anderson, Paul V. Technical Communication: A Reader-Centered Approach . 2008. Thompson Wadsworth Publishers. 2008. Pages 541-545.

report writing plan

The Open University

My OpenLearn Profile

Personalise your OpenLearn profile, save your favourite content and get recognition for your learning

6.1.1 Report planning

About this free course, become an ou student, download this course, share this free course.

Essay and report writing skills

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Table 2 highlights the elements of a science or technology report, though the same general principles apply in other disciplines too.

You need to assemble and order your material, perhaps under a set of headings (which can be added to or sub-divided). Your plan will help you to include material that is relevant and to the point.


For your submission

Your form has been submitted. If necessary, someone will reach out soon.

Let us know what you think!

Have questions about the materials? Want to share feedback on the content of our lessons? Encounter an issue? Fill out the form below to contact us.

My Overcoming Obstacles

Please note: “My Overcoming Obstacles” is our new online platform that enables you to edit our curriculum materials. If you created an account before July 1, 2021, you will need to register again in order to use this new feature. If you want to download any of our K-12 curricula, please visit our free digital library .

In order to begin using the platform and save any changes you make, you will need to create a free account (don't worry - we won't share your email address with any third parties, nor will we contact you unless you give us permission).

Overcoming Obstacles

Thank you for requesting a video conference.

A representative from Overcoming Obstacles will reach out to you soon.

Request a free video conference to answer questions about the curriculum, implementation strategies, and more by filling out the form below.


Lesson 5: writing reports.

Students will recognize the importance of focusing on a topic and gathering information for writing a report.

Students will identify ways to paraphrase and organize information in a report.

Students will conduct interviews in preparation for writing reports.

Contenido para Lesson 5: Writing Reports

Write the following four sentences on the board:

Direct attention to the board. Challenge students to order the steps. Invite students to come to the board and number the sentences in the correct order.

Congratulate those who identify the proper sequence. Explain that organizing information or thoughts in a meaningful way is an important skill. In this lesson, students will learn how to organize information when writing reports.

Part I: Prepare

Purpose: Students recognize the importance of focusing on a topic and gathering information when writing a report.

1. Students share their experiences with writing reports.

Explain that choosing a topic is the first step in writing a report. Point out that the more focused a topic is, the easier it will be to write about. For example, writing about bears in Alaska is easier than writing about animals in Alaska, and writing about a favorite movie is easier than writing about movies in general.

Ask students to name topics on which they’ve written reports. Ask them how they decided on the topic. (Students might respond: topics were assigned or were chosen because of interest.)

Suggest that students who have difficulty getting started on reports might wish to take notes during class today.

2. Students review how to research and take notes.

Tell students that the second step in writing a report is gathering information about the topic. Review what students have learned about using appropriate resources. Ask questions such as the following:

Explain that the third step in writing a report is to take notes while gathering information. Point out that what students have learned about note taking should be applied to researching and gathering information. Remind students of the following:

Part II: Put It Together

Purpose: Students identify ways to paraphrase and organize information in a report.

1. Students define “paraphrasing.”

Write the word “paraphrasing” on the board. Ask students to explain it. If necessary, explain that “paraphrasing” means “summarizing text or a quote in one’s own words.”

Explain that students can use facts, ideas, and information from their sources, but they should express them in their own words. Point out that in addition to citing sources, it is important not to copy someone else’s sentences and paragraphs when writing reports. This is called “plagiarism,” and it is a form of cheating. Tell students that plagiarism involves passing off another’s words or ideas as their own.

Answer any questions students have about paraphrasing. If necessary, read a sentence or short paragraph from a book and ask students to paraphrase, or retell in their own words, the most important ideas or information they heard.

2. Students identify ways to organize information.

Tell students that the fourth step in writing a report is organizing information. Explain that this is the step in which the writing begins.

Ask for suggestions on how students might organize their writing in a report. If necessary, remind students of how they ordered the sentences on the board at the beginning of class. Through questions and comments, prompt students to recall that their organization had a beginning, a middle, and an end. Explain that these three parts are called the “introduction,” the “body,” and the “conclusion” of the report. List the three parts on the board.

Have students discuss the three parts of a report. Prompt them by asking questions such as the following:

3. Students identify how to finish reports.

Explain that the fifth step in writing a report is making or organizing any visuals, such as maps, charts, or pictures. Point out that some reports may not need visuals, but others may be more effective with them.

Tell students that they may need to compile a list of all the sources of information used in the report. Ask if anyone knows what such a list is called. (Students should respond: a bibliography.) Suggest that each teacher may have special instructions for how the sources are to be listed in the bibliography.

Remind students to double-check their assignment before handing in a report. Sometimes, visuals and bibliographies are part of the assignment, but are forgotten.

Part III: Report

Purpose: Students conduct interviews in preparation for writing reports.

1. Students prepare questions for their interviews.

Tell students that they will conduct interviews in preparation for writing a short report. The report will be about a classmate’s favorite book, movie, or TV show. Give the following directions:

Give students a few minutes to write their questions. Check to make sure all students are finished before having them begin the interviews.

2. Students interview one another.

Divide students into pairs. Allow each student five minutes to interview their partner (using the questions they wrote) and take notes on the answers.

Give students a one-minute warning before they must change roles. When five minutes have passed, tell them to switch roles.

3. Students review their notes.

When the interviews are finished, have students review their notes for clarity. Ask if students have written the name of the person they interviewed and noted the interview topic. Give students a few minutes to clarify information.

Explain that students will use the information they have gathered from their interviews to write reports that will be due for the next class. 

Ask students to review the steps of writing a report. Ask them to review how to organize their writing, and to explain what paraphrasing is. Elicit from students the following key points that were taught in this lesson:

Preguntas para Valoración

Extensiones para Lesson 5: Writing Reports

Using quotations.

“Diamonds are nothing more than chunks of coal that stuck to their jobs.” —Malcolm Forbes

Have students describe the report-writing steps that take ideas from the “coal” to the “diamond” stage.

Addressing Multiple Learning Styles

Have students use web graphic organizers to generate specific topic ideas. They may use topics from science or social studies class or from subjects they know well, such as their favorite types of music or a typical day in their lives.

Share sample webs on the board to demonstrate different ways of organizing the same material.

Writing in Your Journal

Have students write about their usual approaches to report writing, and then describe one new technique that will help them on their next report.

Have students discuss their journal entries in small groups.

Using Technology

Have students view news programs and note the structure of the host wraparounds and segments (i.e., tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you’ve told them).

Have students write a paragraph summarizing/paraphrasing the introduction, body, and conclusion of one show segment. Have them share their reports with the class.

Have students use their notes from the peer interviews in Part III of this lesson to write reports about their partners.

Have students share their reports in small groups.

Additional Resources

Have students select a topic from 99 Jumpstarts for Kids: Getting Started in Research by Peggy J. Whitley and Susan W. Goodwin. Have them read the directions for their selected topics, perform research, and write brief reports.

Have students present their reports to the class.

Want to download activity sheets in other languages?

Click the button for activity sheets in Spanish, French, Simplified Chinese, Haitian-Creole, and more!

report writing plan

report writing plan

report writing plan

Report Writing Planning Templates Landscape

report writing plan


A range of templates to support students when report writing.

Learning Area

Sorry this resource is only available for paid subscribers. To see our subscription options please follow the link below!

Join Us

Related Resources

report writing plan

My Calendar

Don't have an account yet join now.

package image

I am not lazy, I am on energy saving mode. Have a chill day, Top Teacher xx

Top Teacher


  1. Writing a News Report Lesson Plan

    report writing plan


    report writing plan

  3. 8+ Essay Plan Templates

    report writing plan

  4. Lesson Plan

    report writing plan

  5. Lesson Plan

    report writing plan

  6. Examples Of Business Report Writing : Business Annual Report Example

    report writing plan


  1. Professional Report Writing

  2. Report Writing 🧡

  3. February's Scripture Writing Plan!

  4. WRITING PLAN FOR TOMORROW! I an planning on working on My Sweet Darling! Page count: 22 Word: 7,039

  5. Diary writing plan 2023#shorts #mywordsmyswords #quotes #ytshorts

  6. Tip 2️⃣ when writing a 🚔 report


  1. How to Make a Retirement Plan

    There are a few simple things you can do to make planning for the future easier. Things like establishing a savings habit, making it automatic, and calculating how much you’ll need.

  2. Best Software for Planning Retirement

    Retirement planning is an important piece of the financial security puzzle. And puzzle may not be the wrong word here. With changing costs of living, and fluctuating healthcare expenses, knowing just how much to save isn’t always as easy as...

  3. What Is the Definition of Report Writing?

    The definition of report writing is creating an account or statement that describes in detail an event, situation or occurrence, usually as the result of observation or inquiry. The two most common forms of report writing are news report wr...

  4. 6 Steps to Writing Better Reports

    Six Steps for Planning and Completing Written Reports · Step 1: Before Writing the Report · Step 2: Do Your Research! · Step 3: Brainstorm Your

  5. Writing Frame

    This fantastic worksheets / worksheet provides a base for your children to start planning a report - brilliant for your lessons!

  6. Professional and Technical Writing/Reports/Planning

    Planning ReportsEdit · Introduction - What will the readers gain from reading the report? · Method of obtaining facts - Are the facts reliable? · Facts - What have

  7. Class #2: Writing Planning Reports

    Develop detailed outline early….get PM to sign-off · Understand section goals before writing · Research is writing · Write for direct inclusion in report · Fully

  8. Report Writing Planning Sheet // Informational Report ...

    Together we explore how to use a Report Writing Planning Sheet. Your students will learn the best techniques to enhance their writing skills

  9. How To Plan Your Writing // Informational Report Writing PART TWO

    Together we explore how to plan for your writing. Your students will learn the best techniques to enhance their writing skills.

  10. Essay and report writing skills: 6.1.1 Report planning

    6.1.1 Report planning ; introduction, gives the purpose of the investigation being reported, explains why the investigation was undertaken and gives essential

  11. Lesson 5: Writing Reports

    Students will conduct interviews in preparation for writing reports. Previous. Starter. Part I: Prepare.

  12. 16B: Writing a Report: From planning, to drafting, to publishing your

    Reports require an objective writing style that conveys information clearly and concisely on a.

  13. Report Writing in Primary Grades

    Report Writing in Primary Grades Grade Level(s): K, 1-2. By: Michele Marta, Kindergarten & Reading Recovery Tea. This lesson plan describes a highly guided

  14. Report Writing Planning Templates Landscape

    A range of templates to support students when report writing. Learning Area. Reports.