How To Write An Academic Report - MDX

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How To Write AnAcademic ReportLearning Enhancement TeamLET@mdx.ac.uk

Variety is the Spice of Life!Different Schools .Different Rules– Can you use ‘I’ in an academic text?– Should an essay have section headings?– How long is a report?– Do you use primary or secondary research?– Footnotes, endnotes or no notes?– Harvard style referencing or MLA? What about APA?Which school are you in? What is acceptable and what isunacceptable in your field?Always check in your module handbooks or with yourtutor if you are concerned about appropriacy Middlesex UniversityReport Writing 2

Report Writing Workshop Aims Gain insight into the characteristics of typical reports Learn about and reflect on own writing process Look at some possible structures of reports and possibleschool differences Address the language of reports Middlesex UniversityReport Writing 3

There are multiple types of reportsLab reportBusiness reportCase study reportTechnical design reportAlthough there are different types of reports, in general, an academicreport is a piece of informative writing, an act of communication and anaccount of an investigation (Reid, 2012).An academic report aims to sell a product, idea or points of view (VanEmden and Easteal, 1995).It should inform, explain and persuade (Williams, 1995) by using wellorganised research.Sometimes it will provide recommendations. Middlesex UniversityReport Writing 4

The writing cycleRemember that theintended reader (tutor,business reps, peers, etc.)must be clearly identified atan early stage.Thinking,reflecting,planningEditing andcheckingWriting andrewriting Middlesex UniversityReading & notetakingDrafting andredraftingReport Writing 5

The order of things to come(1)Title (8)Conclusion(12)References(3) (4)Introduction Middlesex UniversityRecommendations(10)Limitations(?)Report Writing 6

Features of continuityOne of the most important challenges that students face when writing areport is ensuring there is consistency across the document. This isparticularly important when writing group reports. Despite being structuredin sections, a report should:look like a single coherent document a single visual style should be used [e.g. font, line-spacing,underlining of headings] justify marginsread like a single coherent document sections should be linked (bridging) information, and approaches to it, must be unified writing style should be consistent Middlesex UniversityReport Writing 7

Checklist for academic report writingDo Stay on task Address the question set Discuss the chosen organisation’s structure Relate the structure to the organisation’s goals Discuss its culture Relate the culture to the organisation’s goals and structure Discuss any other business functions and how they can be improvedRemember All recommendations must be based on the analysis you have done The report must be self-contained, grounded and clear. The readerneeds no prior knowledge to understand all aspects. Middlesex UniversityReport Writing 8

ReferencesBeck, Lucinda (2015) Writing Successful Report and Dissertations, Reading:Sage.Irving, R. and Smith, C. (1998) No Sweat! The Indispensable Guide toReports and Dissertations, London: Institute of Management Foundation.Oliver, Paul (1997) Writing Essays and Reports: A Guide for Students, London:Hodder and Stoughton.Reid, Michelle (2012) Report Writing, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Turk, Christopher and John Kirkman (1996) Effective Writing (2nd ed.), London: E& FN Spon.Van Emden, Joan and Jennifer Easteal (1995) Report Writing (2nd ed.), Surrey:Stanley ThornesWilliams, Kate (1995) Writing Reports: Developing Writing, Oxford: The OxfordCentre for Staff Development. Middlesex UniversityReport Writing 9

Although there are different types of reports, in general, an academic report is a piece of informative writing, an act of communication and an account of an investigation (Reid, 2012). An academic report aims to sell a product, idea or points of view (Van Emden and Easteal, 1995). It should inform, explain and persuade (Williams, 1995) by using well- organised research. Sometimes it will .

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