In chapter 5, you used the traditional techniques of outlining, brainstorming, creating a mind map or free writing, along with your research, to develop the ideas for your report. Now it’s time to formally organise your information and ideas in a way that will interest your readers and enable them to easily read and understand what you’ve written, regardless of whether you’re writing about a simple or complex theme.

In this chapter, I will give some general tips for good writing and then discuss report writing specifically. The standard elements of a report are the introduction, body and conclusion. Other components, such as an executive summary and recommendations, may be added as necessary, but this chapter will mostly focus on the core sections.


Start by writing your theme. Keep it at the top of your report as you write. You can decide later where to place it in your report, but writing it at the start and keeping it in a prominent place will help you stay focused. You can begin writing your report at any point you wish—so long as you begin. For example, if you’ve used the most-to-least important method of development and have six ideas to develop, each in a section of the report, you could start with the first one—the most important—or the fourth one. Whichever is easiest to write.

In the first draft, write each section from start to finish without stopping to rewrite sections or check grammar. Take short breaks as you wish, but keep ...

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