Free Choice Research Report and Project: How to Write a Report
HOW TO WRITE A RESEARCH REPORT
The following information is designed to help you write interesting reports of which you will be proud. The method of writing a report described below is not the only way of writing a report, but it is the one we will use. Remember, too, that the whole report will be written in MLA format.
A report should have the following parts:
2. Title page
3. Table of Contents
5. Body of Report
9. Notes/Rough Draft
The cover around your report has three jobs. It protects your report, and it tells the teacher the name of your report and who wrote it. Your cover must be a front and back cover that contains your report within it. If you want to make your cover outstanding, you might add a picture to the cover or have some unusual way of making the title.
The title page gives the name of the report, your name, the name of the class (teacher and grade), and the date the report is due (not the date turned in). A sample title page looks like this:
December 2, 2010
Table of Contents
The table of contents tells the reader on which page the different parts of your report will be found. An example of what a Table of Contents should look like is found below. Notice that the page numbers form a straight line down the page.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents……………..2
Body of Report ………………4
Notes/Rough Draft …………..11
The introduction of your report should get the reader interested in your subject. Be sure to engage the reader with one of your engaging the reader strategies. In this section of your report, you should explain how and why you chose the subject for your report and what intrigued you about your subject. The introduction should also explain what the reader will learn from your report. Your introduction should be at least two paragraphs. Here is one possible organizational strategy:
- At least one sentence that is the engaging the reader strategy
- One sentence or two sentences to explain how and why you chose the topic
- Two or three sentences that explain what about the topic intrigued you before you began your research
- Three to five sentences outlining exactly what the reader can expect to learn from your report, written in such a way as to make the reader want to read more
Body of Report
The body of your report gives detailed information about the subject of your report. It should reflect the research you have done, and The body of your report gives detailed information about the subject of your report. It should reflect the research you have done and have synthesized. The report must be written in your own words in an order that is organized and makes sense.
Each report should have several pictures (a minimum of three). Colored pencils usually make a neater picture; however, you may use anything you wish. Your picture may be a relief map, products map, an interesting event in your person’s life, etc. Ideas for pictures will be discussed in class. Pictures from books and magazines, as well as photographs and postcards are also acceptable. Pictures must always be captioned.
The conclusion should summarize your report, reminding the reader what he/she learned from your report. The conclusion should end with a strong closing statement that your reader will remember or that will make your reader think. Include a reflection in your closing. Your conclusion should be at least two paragraphs.
The conclusion should summarize your report, reminding the reader what he/she learned from your report. The conclusion should end with a strong closing statement that your reader will remember or that will make your reader think. Include a reflection in your closing. Your conclusion should be at least two paragraphs. Here is one possible organizational strategy:
- At least five sentences that revisit the major ideas of the report
- Three to five sentences reflecting on your own learning; this paragraph might also pose a challenge to or suggestion for your reader
A works cited page is a list of all the books you used in making your report. The books should all be listed alphabetically by the author’s last name. If you use an encyclopedia or computer program, use the name of the encyclopedia or program as if it were the last name of the author. A minimum of three entries should be used in your report. The website, Citation Machine, will complete your works cited page in MLA format for you. How fabulous is that?
After you have finished your report, put your notes in behind the bibliography.
Points to Remember
When you are doing the final copy of your report, be certain to use MLA format. You may type your report or use your best cursive. If you are writing the report in cursive, do not use pencil that is too dark (it smears) or that is too light (it is hard to read).
Do not forget to number your pages, per MLA format.
Remember to put in margins, per MLA format. Unless you have been told otherwise, do not write on the back of any but your note taking paper.
You may have questions that are not answered in these pages, and there may be parts of this handout that will not be clear to you. You may ask questions during Morning Meeting or any day before or after school.
For the latest information on MLA format and any format changes, visit Purdue OWL.