How do I write a report or article?

Almost everyone has to write a report or article at some point. Often there are no clear guidelines or conditions that this must meet. What requirements is a report/article expected to meet? What requirements are imposed on my report/article? This checklist for writing a report or article will help you get started!

Writing a report

Writing is deleting, adjusting, rewriting and writing again and adjusting. Only then can you produce a report that satisfies you and your readers in every respect. To ensure that a report indeed meets all the requirements that may be established for a good invoice, it is a good idea, once you have the complete report in its latest version in front of you, to check one more time whether your text indeed deserves the excellent quality mark.

What requirements must a report meet?

To check whether a report meets all requirements, the following check applies: Before I started writing, did I answer the following questions:

  • What is the central question of my text?
  • What is the purpose of my text?
  • Who is my target group?
  • Under what conditions do I have to work in terms of time and text length?
  • Do I have sufficient information to fulfill my assignment?

When writing the report, did you pay attention to the following matters: A. The text structure The report must consist of three core elements, which any good text must have:

  • An introduction that includes the central question
  • An explanation or explanation, which is in fact a justification for the answer
  • A conclusion in which a precise answer is given to the central question from the introduction

This part can be discussed in more detail. Consider things such as a structure. The text must have a clear structure that has a descriptive, explanatory, evaluative or advisory function. Furthermore, it is essential for a report to check whether the facts used in the report are correct. Try to prevent this by accurately substantiating all facts with an opinion or conclusion. B. Sentence structure When constructing sentences, you may ask yourself the following criteria:

  • The average word length: are the words I use generally no longer than three syllables?
  • The average sentence length: Are the sentences I used generally not too long considering the education level of my target group?
  • Rhythm of the text: do I alternate long sentences with short ones?
  • Relationship between the sentences: do the sentences connect logically with each other?
  • Relationship between the paragraphs: do the paragraphs follow each other logically?
  1. The style A third characteristic and crucial part of the report is the writing style. You should pay attention to essential matters such as:
  • The personal/business relationship: have I been so personal within the business circuit in which my text has to function, that is to say: have I written about Mr. Jansen, the management, the employees, the department?
  • Concrete/abstract relationship: where abstractions were unavoidable, have I explained these with examples?
  • Use of passive verb form: have I avoided the auxiliary verbs (be, are and have) as much as possible, where possible?
  • Tang constructions: I have not unnecessarily placed a large number of words between two words that belong together.
  • Roundabout reasoning: in other words, have I applied the principle ‘writing is deleting’?
  • Blurring prepositions: Have I replaced phrases like ‘with regard to’, ‘for the sake of’, and ‘in connection with’ with a preposition or another shorter word?

Finally, the use of technical terms is very important in the writing style. This depends on the target group of your report. For a target group with a low-educated background regarding the subject, it is important that not too many technical terms are used. This is in contrast to an educated or professional target group, where the use of technical terms is praised to prevent misunderstandings. Attention must also be paid to the so-called ‘word monotony’ in the style. This means that there should not be too many same words in the text. D. Design The following matters are important in the design:

  • Can my text be read globally?
  • Do chapters, section titles and subsections have clear informative titles?
  • Have I paid attention to correct spelling, i.e. the preferred spelling?
  • Does my piece look neat: are the pages numbered, are there wide margins, are there no typos in my text, and the like?