A report presents information in a clear, easy-to-read manner by using formatting such as headings, numbering, bullet points, and graphs/ tables/ figures. Reports are a common style of workplace communication in many professions. Some types of reports include lab reports, case studies, and research reports (see our separate guides on these).

Your report will be centred around your research into the topic. For example, you may be asked to research a particular issue or a specific organisation, so you will need to read about that issue/ organisation and collect relevant information that you can include in your report. You may also be asked to make recommendations, suggestions or create a plan based on your research.

Most reports need to be structured in the same way as an essay, with an introduction, a series of body paragraphs and a conclusion. However, unlike an essay, reports usually have headings that relate to your particular assessment. If you haven’t been given specific headings to use in your report, you will need to create appropriate headings. Tips for creating headings are given in the PDF guide below.

Reports need to be written in a formal and clear style. Reports may present information in paragraphs, and also in bullet points and numbered lists. You can also present information as a table or figure (graphs, charts and diagrams) and these must also be presented professionally according to APA Style.

More detailed information about the content, structure and style of a report can be found in the PDF writing guide below.