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Reports provide information for your reader on a specific topic. The examples on this page relate to reports for undergraduate assignments that are based on case studies. This kind of report is commonly organised into the following parts:

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Discussion
  • Conclusions
  • Recommendations

Check with your lecturer about the structure that they expect.

Executive summary

The executive summary section provides a succinct summary of the whole report. It is often limited to one page in length.

Example executive summary

Executive summary example

Video (1:35)

The functions of different parts of an executive summary explained.

Related workshops

The introduction section provides an overview of what the reader can expect in the report, and the sequence in which the information will appear.

Example report introduction

Report introduction example

Video (1:45)

The functions of different parts of a report introduction explained.

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The discussion section contains the detailed information in your report. It is organised into numbered parts which may contain sub-parts.

Example organisation

Report discussion example organisation

Example of one discussion part

Report discussion part example

Video (2:02)

The organisation and functions of different parts of a discussion explained.

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The conclusions section brings together the main findings from the discussion and provides an outline of each conclusion’s significance.

Example preparation

You can prepare for writing conclusions by carefully matching specific findings with their significance.

Report conclusions preparation

Example conclusions

Report conclusions example

Video (1:23)

How to prepare, organise and present conclusions explained.

Related workshops

The recommendations section is where you list specific actions that are derived from your conclusions.

Example preparation

You can prepare for writing this section by carefully matching specific conclusions with specific actions.

Report recommendations preparation

Example recommendations

Report recommendations example

Video (1:21)

How to prepare, organise and present recommendations explained.

Not sure how to start sentences in your reports? Visit the Academic Phrasebank from the University of Manchester for examples you can use in your writing.

Journals are collections of articles which focus on particular topics. These articles are published periodically, such as four times a year.  One common purpose of an article is to report on new research. For your report writing, journal articles can provide you with up-to-date content on topics you have to write or talk about. To efficiently read journal articles, you need to:

  • Quickly decide if the article is relevant for your report
  • Understand the structure so that you can find specific kinds of information

First page skimming

Information on the first page of the article will often help you decide if you should read further.

Journal article first page

Abstract structure

Abstracts are particularly good for quickly deciding if the content matches what you need for your essay. They are usually organised into distinctive parts that provide an overview of the whole article.

Journal abstract

Reading shortcuts

It is not always necessary to read the whole article. Two common shortcuts are:

  • Scanning: Use section headings of the article to find specific kinds of information.
  • Top and tail reading: slowly read the introduction section and then the conclusion to get a more detailed overview.

Common sections of a journal article

Journal articles commonly have distinctive parts (eg, Abstract, Literature Review, Discussion…). Each part has a clear function, which helps you to find specific information. (You may not need to read the whole thing.)

There are different note taking options to keep track of your reading for report writing:

  • Note taking apps (good for adding images, graphs, pdf attachments, etc)
  • Reading grids (good for comparing research findings)
  • Three column method (good for adding examples and follow up questions)

Example notes using OneNote

OneNote example

Note taking apps

Reading grids

Reading grids

Three columns

Three column method

Video (1:52)

Gale, S. F. (2018, July/August). Blockchain: The future of HR? Workforce, p. 10. Retrieved from https://eds.b.ebscohost.com​
Jahan, S. (2014) Human Resources Information System (HRIS): A theoretical perspective. Journal of Human Resource and Sustainability Studies, 2, 33-39. http://dx.doi.org/10.4236/jhrss.2014.22004​
Wright, A. D. (2018, February). 6 HR tech trends for 2018. HR Magazine, 62–63. Retrieved from https://eds.b.ebscohost.com
Zielinski, D. Z. (2018, March). Is HR ready for blockchain? HR Magazine, 62–63. Retrieved from https://eds.b.ebscohost.com