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Report Writing

Purpose

The purpose of a report is to describe and classify information. Reports have a logical sequence of facts that are stated without any personal involvement from the writer.

Informative reports are written about living things like plants and animals and non-living things like cars or oceans. An information report is used when we talk and write about, eg. Bikes. (When writing a description we only talk/write about one specific thing, eg. My Bike).

Structure

Reports usually consist of the following:

  • an opening statement. (The Antarctic is a large continent at the South Pole; Possums are nocturnal animals that were introduced to New Zealand from Australia.)

  • a series of facts about various aspects of the subject eg where possums live, what they eat, problems they cause, etc. These facts are grouped into paragraphs and each paragraph has a topic sentence.

  • diagrams, photographs, illustrations and maps may be used to enhance the text

  • reports don't usually have an "ending", although sometimes the detailed information is rounded off by some general statement about the topic.

Language

  • Nouns and noun phrases are used rather than personal pronouns. The use of personal pronouns is limited.

  • Most reports are written in the present tense.

  • Some reports use technical or scientific terms.

  • Linking verbs are used, eg. is, are, has, have, belong to, to give coherence.

  • Uses some action verbs (climb, eat).

  • Descriptive language is used that is factual rather than imaginative eg colour, shape, size, body parts, habits, behaviours, functions, uses.

e-Learning tools to support report writing

Online thesaurus:

Brainstorming tools:

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