Being able to write with finesse and conciseness is an advantageous skill to anyone who has it. Whether they are a student or a professional, writing is a communication medium that they will have to master to be able to effectively answer to the many needs that their current position asks them to perform. When writing, you will be asked to use different writing techniques, tones, and diction depending on the topic that you are writing about and the people you are writing it for.
The way you would right an essay or a piece of fiction is completely different from how you should write a technical report. For starters, the main purpose of this type of writing is to create an in-depth view of a technical work that has been conducted. It will discuss in detail the many aspects of a technical report such as the purpose for its execution, the results that have been gathered from the process, and the importance and implications that these results may bring.
A thoroughly written report can help a reader tread effortlessly and easily through the complex processes that may have been involved in the technical process. It will allow the reader to understand the work more easily, and duplicate the process and recreate the results should he wish. A technical report is simply defined as a formal and organized documentation of the process that was performed which is created to communicate to a certain audience important information about the work.
The presentation of facts and data about a work or a project is just as important as showcasing the results. This is why a technical report is a vital aspect of a study. The numbers and graphs your study contains will be incomprehensible to outsiders, especially those who are not experts in your field. A written explanation must follow your data because this is how your audience will understand your findings. This will be the content of your technical report.
The secret to an effective technical report is organization. Since you are trying to exhibit facts or at least numerical data, it is important that you arrange them in a logical sequence, one where the information is not thrown haphazardly but positioned intentionally. This format can help the reader create an overview of your report’s contents and locate specific parts they want to focus on.
The report writing format that will be discussed and provided below is the standard format. However, depending on the needs of a technical report, this can be readjusted in accordance to it.
The Title Page. The contents of a title page may vary depending on the author’s preference. However, it should always contain these important pieces of information: the report title, the person for whom the report was written for, the person who created the report, and the date of the report’s submission. The title page may also contain the name of the institution or office which the report’s author is a part of.
Abstract. An abstract is a one-paged introductory entry that condenses the report’s purpose and its most important results. It should not be more than half of a page, and must not include any figure in the study or make any reference to them. An abstract may also provide a qualitative summary of the results of the study. It should not contain jargon, abbreviations, or acronyms.
Table of Contents. As all table of contents go, this one on your technical report should include the parts, sections, subsections, and even the appendices of your paper and the page where your reader can find them.
Introduction. The objective of your study should be stated in the introduction. A brief discussion of the problem your study is trying to answer, and the approach you have used to remedy it should also be properly discussed in this section to give your readers a general grasp on what the rest of the study will have in store for them. It should also provide an overview of the works that have been performed and the results that it has produced. This task will not be difficult if the project has clear objectives that its author/s understand.
An introduction does not have a specific length unlike the abstract. But when writing this part, the author must always aim for conciseness and brevity so as not to bore readers with too much introductory details. Jargon and abbreviation should also be avoided, while acronyms should be properly defined before they are used. This should be maintained and carefully observed throughout the rest of the report.
Background Theory. Include necessary discussions of the theories you have used before starting the study, and those you have utilized during it. A background theory must be brief and concise, discussing only the most relevant details. The author may also refer the readers to an outside source for further research on the subject.
Theoretical Analysis. This is the part of your report where you will have to introduce and describe the details and designs of your work. Sentences are the most effective tool in this task since equations may not be elaborate enough. This section of your report should be as general as possible. This is not where the beans are spilled just yet.
Procedure. The method that was used by the author to test his theories or to conduct a process are discussed in this section. However, the discussion should be brief and straight to the point. Verbosity will be a major disadvantage to the author. Specific details, especially on data, numbers, and results, must not be provided in this section.
Results and Discussions. This section is going to include a detailed, neatly organized, properly labeled presentation of graphs and tables. Meaningful discussions should also follow each presentation of result. Although, in certain occasions, when the result can speak for itself, a brief discussion is still necessary to explain what the results would mean. Otherwise, a lengthy explanation is required. This is the part of a technical report where the author will discuss every positive result that he has gained through his study.
Conclusion. This is the final section of a technical report where the author must bring the main contents of his study together. The conclusion and the abstract are similar in a way, except that, in the conclusion, the results of the study will now be concluded.
Works Cited. It is rare for a technical report to be written without containing external references and sources. Every work that was cited in the technical report must be listed here, with all the important bibliographical information.
Appendices. This part of a technical report may not always be present. However, if it does, it will contain every graph and table you have used, your calculations, diagrams, lab sheets, and parts list. Basically, it will contain every material you have used for your project.
Writing a technical report will only be difficult if you don’t know your project very well. But if you do, the data you will have to include into your report are information you already know, and probably memorized, because you have come up with them yourself. There are no rigid rules you will have to follow if you will write a technical report. However, there are guidelines, as we have discussed earlier. But they don’t exist to restrict your writing. Instead, they are there to make the writing easier for you.