Writing an academic technical report seems to be a daunting task for most students. The thought of having your work presented in an academic setting, usually to an examiner, is enough to set off the nerves for most!
However, if you have a clear line of thought about the structure, information and findings that you need to present in the report, then putting together a comprehensive piece that reads well while also remaining highly informative is a task that can be pulled off with elan.
The most recommended structure for technical reports is definitely going to be the Introduction. The introduction is how you set up your paper, it’s what lets the reader know what they are stepping into and what they can expect. If the introduction is off, it can cause issues.
Other sections that are important are the Methods, Results and Discussion (IMRaD) sections, these sections presents the information to the examiner in a comprehensive manner while having a natural flow to them.
Not all papers follow the same, verbatim IMRaD structure, since some of them start with an Abstract and include other sections such as Background within the paper. However, even while using different terminologies, they correspond to the same structural advisory that is provided by IMRaD.
In this brief guide of writing technical reports, we are going to talk about the most used and employed sections and methods that are ingredients for a great read, and if executed correctly, would let you compile a report that you are proud of yourself.
Sections to Include in an Academic Technical Report
Self-explanatory, this would be the introductory line of your report and appears as the first thing that your reader will see. Therefore, it is important that you select a title which does not only let your readers know what the report is about but also remains interesting enough to catch their attention in the first place.
This page has additional information on the report, including the title from the cover page, your name, and the mentions of any collaborators or supervisors under whose guidance you compiled the report.
Perhaps the most important part of the report, the Abstract is a summary of what your report contains and provides readers with an idea of what the report is about, what information it presents and how it will help your target audience. Thus, writing a concise Abstract is imperative and needs to be given the utmost attention.
Pro tip: even though the Abstract is included at the start of the report, it is usually drafted once the complete report is finished, since doing that ensures that you are not leaving behind any important details.
As important as the abstract itself, the Introduction section sheds a light on what you are trying to convey to the reader in a detailed manner. If the Abstract is a summary, then the Introduction is a detailed account of your report and is considered as a crucial part to a report’s success in delivering what it aimed.
This section talks about the various other research works that have taken place in your choice area of study and from where you have also drawn your own conclusions from. By mentioning other reports, you give out a point of reference to the reader who then has a clearer idea of where you are going with your own approach and how it might differ from findings already presented in the respective area.
This part talks about the actual problem for which you are trying to find a technical solution. Depending upon the report, a Problem Statement may or may not be necessary. At the end of the day, it depends upon your choice of logic.
This section will refer to the ways you have used to gather your conclusions. Be clear and straightforward in mentioning what you think will grasp the reader’s attention while sounding logical at the same time.
This is the meat of the report in the sense that it presents a solution to the problem or findings about a particular topic (which again depends on your report). Ensure to provide a Solution that is implementable in the real world, even if it has not been executed yet.
This section is the opposite of Introduction, since it provides your readers with a chance to adopt your solution in their own approach. Writing a strong conclusion is key to a logically sound report, which is why it should be one of the top priorities that should never be left to represent a half-hearted effort.
While you may think that the Related Works section would have covered this part, it is not actually true, since you would have not mentioned them in a separate citation along with any other mentions in other sections. Therefore, make sure to mention all citations in a proper format in this section and make it a good point of reference for the reader to check any claims that you have made in your report.
That is About It!
As mentioned earlier, several other sections can be included or excluded depending upon what your report is about, as long as you are following the standard of IMRaD to provide an overall structural guideline to your report and its contents for a consistent flow of information to your reader.
Remember, it is not difficult to put together a great report if you have the interest in it. It does not mean that the task will be a walk in the park, but it is certainly worth it if you try your best, learn and receive the right commendations from ENL writers CustomWritings.com leading writing service.
Niels is the founder of http://Amongtech.com. He writes about technology, gadgets, tech news, and more. Contact Niels by email at Contact@Amongtech.com.