External Structure

What´s a report?
A report is a formal piece of writing that involves analytical thinking. Therefore, the writer presents information in an objective, neutral and factual way.

The writer does not have to take sides but present information. In other words, a report is not an essay, in which an argument is defended, or a review, where the writer gives his opinion about a film, article, book or an event.

The author concentrates on creating a clear picture of an event or a situation that he backs with graphs, charts and tables. The writer will only give his opinion when suggestions or recommendations are asked for, that´s towards the end of the report.

What´s the external structure of a report?
The structure below is a general structure for reports. However, it is advisable to check out with your lecturer as the order of the sections may be different. Also some other sections may be needed depending on the requirements set out in your discipline.

• Title
• Acknowledgments
• Table of contents
• Abstract
• Introduction
• Body
• Conclusion
• Suggestions / Recommendations
• Appendices
• Bibliography
• Glossary

Further references
Some useful pages:

Hong Kong Polytechnic University:

University of Wollongong:

Birmingham City University:

University of Canberra: