Though there are many kinds of report writing, it is possible to formulate basic report writing rules that will work for all of them. Basic report writing rules are important, as successful report writing should be always fulfilled according to the common standards. Consider these basic report writing rules when working on your report.
Basic Report Writing Rules. Organization
Separate your report body into parts. This basic report writing rule works for all kinds of report writing, though different types of report may require providing different sections. Write a subheading for each part.
Basic Report Writing Rules. Vocabulary
Do not use complicated words. They are most appropriate for essay writing. Words should be commonly used; otherwise, if you need to use a term that your reader may not know, provide a definition.
Basic Report Writing Rules. Voices
Active voice is used in report writing the most actively. In other words, you write who did what, not what was done by whom. However, in some cases, passive voice is appropriate. For example, in a lab report, you will rather write “air was heated” than “I heated air”.
Basic Report Writing Rules. Persons
When you report on what you have done, it is appropriate to use the first and the second person.
As for lab report writing, using “I” and “we” has been considered inappropriate for a long time. However, this basic report writing rule is now discussed by researchers: many of them state that using “we” should become common. Thus, this depends on an institution where a report is written.
Basic Report Writing Rules. Tenses
The Past Simple is used the most actively. It helps you to describe what happened, what you did, what results you got etc. The Present Simple, the Present Continuous and the Future Simple tenses are also used in report writing. For example, in a progress report, you can use them when you describe what you are doing now and what you plan to do.