Elements of a technical report example
When you’re tasked to write a technical report example, you must take note of the technical report format because this is very important. The format of such a report makes it unique from other types of written reports because it contains technical information thus, you need to plan it well.
When writing this report, you must understand its structure so that you can achieve your objective. Make sure the document contains the following elements:
- Title page
This page must come first in any technical report sample. It contains the title of your report, the date, the details of the institution, and the supervisor. This page is also known as a cover page.
Any content you place here isn’t included on your report’s word count. This page is a separate entity in terms of word count so keep this in mind.
Here, you highlight the main objectives of your technical report example for the reader. This helps your reader understand why you wrote the report in the first place. You can also include a comment about the report’s flow to give the reader an idea of what to expect.
For this part of the technical report format, come up with an overview of the entire report including any results or conclusions you’ve made. It’s best to write this part after you’ve finished the rest of the content.
- Details of the experiment
Here, include each of the details about the experiment you’ve conducted starting from the materials and equipment you used then the procedure or the steps you took. If you didn’t perform any experiment, then you may omit this part from the technical report format.
- Results and discussions
If you performed any kind of experiment for the technical report, you would have to provide all of the results along with an explanation of the results you obtained. This gives the reader a better idea of the results you’ve provided.
This is the most important part of your technical report sample since it contains the “meat” of your document. Here, create subheadings to emphasize the most important points. Also, adding subheadings makes the report easier to reads your readers can use the subheadings to guide them.
Also, placing your points in a bulleted or numbered list makes it easier for the readers to understand the points you’re trying to convey. To make it even better, separate the points under their individual subtopics to avoid confusion.
When writing your conclusions, create a summary of all the main points of your report’s body. This serves as a wrap-up of the main content of your document. Also, use words which indicate that you’re concluding the report so the reader is psychologically prepared that the report is now coming to an end.
Here, you can give your suggested solutions for any of the challenges you’ve stated in the body of the report. This is the best place to write your opinions for the readers to know about them.
In this section, make a list of all the materials you used throughout your research. If you have quoted any text, list those references here to ensure that your report isn’t considered plagiarism. When writing the references, you’re acknowledging that you’ve obtained your content from certain sources.
Make a list of everyone who helped you come up with the report. From the people who proofread your report to those who helped you with the experiments and more, mention them in this section.
If you used other materials like diagrams and graphs to emphasize the information in your report, include them in this section. If you didn’t use any such materials or information, you don’t have to include this section.
If you have a message that’s extremely important, you can communicate it right away even when you present it in an unorganized way. Generally though, technical report examples don’t contain any findings which you may consider “groundbreaking.” Still, you must pay attention to the contents of your report along with how you make it.
Here are some tips for you regarding the language, formatting, and design of technical report samples:
- Spelling and grammar
Since technical reports are more academic in nature, you must be very careful with your spelling and grammar. If your report contains these mistakes, it might decrease the credibility of the document and your own credibility too.
This is why proofreading is an extremely important step for this type of report and for other academic reports you plan to make. Ask more than just one person to proofread your report to ensure that there are no spelling and grammar errors on it.
Technical reports follow a specific style. You must follow a formal style for this type of report so as not to confuse or irritate your readers. Informal writing isn’t appropriate for technical reports so you must keep this in mind.
In some cases, you may inject humor in your report. Make sure that the type of humor you use isn’t inappropriate and you include it in a proper manner. For instance, it’s probably not a good idea if the subject of your report is something sensitive or taboo.
In such a case, injecting humor might reflect badly on you or on the message you want to convey. Of course, there are times when this works and it’s up to you to determine whether or not to include humor as part of your document’s style.
Also, try not to write the content of your document the same way you speak. One reason for this is that you may use a lot of ungrammatical or colloquial expressions when you speak which might confuse your readers. Keep in mind that your readers can’t ask you questions while they read your report, especially if you’re not around.
Another reason is that when it comes to writing, you can’t have the same tone or emphasis to explain what you want to say unlike when you’re speaking. For written documents, you the reader only relies on the words on the page so you must choose these carefully.
Although the presentation of your document isn’t as important as the technical content, you should still place some emphasis on it. After all, no matter how well-written your document is, if it’s presented poorly, your readers won’t appreciate it. How you present your report gives the first impression to the readers so you must make sure it’s a good one.
- Graphic material
Most technical report examples contain more than just text. They typically include images, graphics, charts, and more to illustrate or explain the content more effectively. Here are some tips when it comes to graphic material:
Make sure to label everything. Use captions, titles, and other kinds of text to tell the reader about the graphic material you’ve inserted.
Think about whether you plan to print your report in color or grayscale. If you choose the latter, make sure that the images you use are either in grayscale too or your readers can still understand them even when printed without colors.
Only include relevant graphic material. Adding too many images might make your report look cluttered so choose these elements wisely.
Avoid these common mistakes when making your technical report example
Apart from being very careful when writing the format of your technical report example, there are some common mistakes you must avoid too. These are:
- Using too stock phrases or clichés
Although these are very common, you may want to avoid using such phrases because they’re so over-used. When your readers keep encountering these phrases in your report, they might feel annoyed. It’s better to use direct sentences to make the information simpler and easier to comprehend.
- Providing too much data
Yes, the technical report should contain a lot of information. But you don’t have to provide data which isn’t directly relevant to the report or the project you’re reporting on. Stick to the facts and only include the important information so your readers don’t get confused.
- Using non-technical content or material
Such content may be quite annoying when it’s not related to the subject. But even if the content relates to the subject, including such material may come off as offensive to your readers.
- Using long mathematical equations or computer program listings
Although you may understand such information, it’s unlikely that other people will understand this too. Unless you think that such content is extremely essential to your report, avoid adding it.
- Stating how challenging it was to create the report
Including such statements isn’t professional. No matter how difficult a time you had, never state this in the report. Again, stick to the facts and only include information that’s relevant to the subject of your report.
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