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Report Writing Checklist

 

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Report Writing Checklist Report writing is an essential process that usually addresses a problem and recommends a solution. The process can be used in both business management and project management. This checklist will tell you how to investigate a problem, gather facts, analyze data, and present your recommendations in the form of report.


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  1. Explicitly state aims and objectives of your project.
  2. Before making a report you should clearly state aims and objectives of your project and then present this information in the report so that readers will clearly know what your project is about. Do not leave your readers without this information; otherwise, they have to guess all the details of your project. Note that a professional report does not leave readers guessing. At the beginning of the report, there should be the Introduction Section that obviously presents goal, objectives, specifications and requirements of your project. You can use a program to develop this section. Such a program will let you create and follow worksheets to develop a comprehensive report.

  3. Explicitly state the results produced by your project.
  4. You can try to illustrate a short description of the project stating obvious results. For example, if your project results in producing some software product, you can briefly describe main features of the software and give several screenshots. If possible, you can devote an entire section of your report to giving readers a guided tour of the software product so that readers will get a much clear idea of the project results. In case your project fails and no expected software product has been produced, in your project report you should give readers a very clear idea of any results achieved as well as the reasons cased the project failure. Your skills should be high enough so that you could make the best project description allowing readers to comprehend the report’s content easily and quickly.

  5. Summarize evaluation of your project work.
  6. In your project report there should be a section devoted to describing evaluation of achieved project results. Evaluation methods can vary depending on each specific project, but at the very least, your project report can explicitly address the question: "How close did the obtained project results meet the initial goals and objectives?" Your evaluation may include testing of the project product and then summarizing of testing results. If you have your own expert opinion on project performance, you can add it after the evaluation summary. You can use tools to create a complete summary for your project evaluation.

  7. Make an appropriate abstract of your project report.
  8. The Abstract Section of a professionally written project report is usually presented after the title page and before the main body. You can add this section in your report and state there a 3-paragraph summary about your project. Note that an abstract is not an alternative to an introduction because it does not state project aims and objectives explicitly but it includes an overview of the project, giving no exact project definitions and purposes. You can develop your Abstract Section in the form of a simple project summary.

  9. Make appendices, if needed.
  10. With reference to basic rules and various tips, for each specific project the Appendices Section is usually developed considering existing project regulations and document management requirements. If project regulations and document management requirements of your project assume adding appendices in your project report, you can include this section in the report structure. The appendix section of your report may include a lot of information on project documents, such as project proposal, user documentation, manuals, testing results, evaluation tables, questionnaires, etc. You do not need to include every piece of information in the section but choose some information that is really vital for describing success/failure of your project. Unnecessary and irrelevant information will make your report unreadable.

  11. Consider adding a glossary in your project report.
  12. The Glossary Section is a separate, non-numbered section of a professionally designed report outlined at the end of the main part of the report just before the Reference Section. The Glossary Section gives a list of terms and definitions used within the report. Each term is explained briefly yet comprehensively in several sentences. Note that according to most recommendations the Glossary Section is a component of the final project report which covers all activities undertaken and results produced within the project. Interim reports and statements do not usually include the section. If you think your report needs to have a glossary (especially, if you run an IT project that uses a lot of computer terminology), then it is better to include the section and put there a list of terms and their explanations, and each term within your report’s content should refer to an appropriate explanation.

  13. Add references in your project report.
  14. Without references your report becomes bare and "unlinked". The Reference Section is the final element of the structure that allows linking your report to external sources of information and additional explanations. That’s why this section is a necessary part of any report. You should include references in your project report and list all the sources of information (documents, hyperlinks, files, books, etc.) used within the report. Software will help you link your report to external sources of information.



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