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Basic report structure.

HEAT Stage 4: Planning the structure of your assignment.

(Report - an account of a matter after consideration/investigation)


This is a suggested format. Check your instructions or ask your tutor if there is a specific structure required for this report assignment.

















A brief (one paragraph) account of what the report contains including conclusion/recommendations.

  • Do your summary last.
  • List the contents in the order they appear.
  • Number the section headings/sub headings, pages.
  • Each section should have an appropriate title.
  • List appendices.
  • List illustrations/figures (separately if there a lot)
  • Start with the introduction as number 1.
  • Write this page at the end.



1. Introduction                    1

2. Type your chapter
heading                              2

   2.1 Section heading         3

      2.1.1 Subheading          5

      2.1.2 Subheading          7

   2.2 Section heading       12

3. Type your chapter heading etc



A brief (one paragraph) explanation of:

  • Terms of reference
  • Aims and objectives
  • Methods used in the investigation
  • Necessary background information
  • Definitions of abbreviations
  • Acknowledgements

(You will probably find it easiest to do this page last.)

Main Body

  • Logical sections with clear headings.
  • Section numbers next to headings.
  • Figures/diagrams/charts.
  • Essentials only – background information can go in the appendices.
  • Written in a clear, brief and direct style.
  • Written in the passive voice (not I, we, you) "The survey was carried out " not " I carried out the survey."


  • Draws together your findings.
  • Tells the reader which findings you consider to be most important.
  • Explains what you believe to be the significance of your findings.
  • Shows whether your hypothesis (if you had one) was correct.
  • You may wish to suggest areas for further research.



A numbered list of things you believe should happen. These must logically relate to the findings in your report.












Harvard system unless told otherwise:- (AUTHOR LAST NAME, first name (DATE), Full Title, where published, name of publisher.


All sources cited including Internet.


References should be traceable – somebody reading your report may want to follow up one of your references; they must be able to find it from what you've written.



(Documents which add to the reader's understanding of the report.)


Numbered and listed in the contents


Referred to in the appropriate section of the report.


No need to wordprocess appendices.






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