Most university students are having trouble balancing their academic and personal lives. With all the required essays and reports to be submitted, many students cannot cope with the demands. Good thing, many websites ease the academic burden of students. There are now many sharing websites that let students search for essays or find university reports previously submitted by others. However, students should avoid blatantly submitting these reports as their own to avoid being penalised for submitting plagiarised materials.
Students may find university reports of old students but use them only as a basis for their reports. When writing their reports, students may benefit from using this guide.
What is a Report?
A report is a written material used to give specific information and evidence to a particular audience. The information contained in a report must be well organised and presented in a clear structure with subheadings and sections to make information easy to locate by its readers.
Why do Universities Ask Students to Write Reports?
Universities and academic institutions assign students to write reports on different topics. These assignments are given for the following reasons:
- For professors and teachers to determine what the students have learned from their readings, researches, and experiences within the term.
- Students can improve their reporting skills, which will be widely utilised when they enter the workplace after university.
What Makes a Good Report?
A report is useful if it presents and analyses evidence-based facts about an assigned topic. All the sources must be acknowledged and cited to avoid plagiarism. A report is different from an essay. In writing an essay, the student may interject his or her opinions based on the assigned topic. On the other hand, the writing style in a report is more direct with little or no author’s opinion given. A good report must show a student’s ability to:
- Understand the Purpose of the Report. Students must be careful in writing a report. They have to adhere to the specifications set by their professors. For example, suppose the primary purpose of a report is to give the demographics of a specific country. In that case, the students should limit the information in their report’s facts about population, male and female population, average ages of inhabitants, etc.
- Gather, Evaluate, and Analyse Information. Students must be able to utilise the information that is relevant for their report. Relevancy means that the information gathered should be updated. Different professors have different requirements for the relevancy of information collected based on when they were published.
- Logical and Coherent Order. A good report should have a logical and coherent flow of information. The readers should be able to follow all the information presented. Students should also avoid copying and pasting information from websites or old reports that may have already been published to avoid plagiarism.
- Presenting Your Report. Part of an excellent report is how the student will present the information gathered. Students should present their reports based on the specifications of the assignment.
- Formulate Appropriate Conclusions. The conclusions that students formulate must be based on the pieces of evidence and facts presented.
- Give Practical Recommendations. If required in the report brief, students must be able to give practical recommendations based on the conclusions.
Students will be assigned a lot of reports during their stay at the university. There are many sharing platforms between students from different universities that may help students find university reports that are similar to their topics. Remember to use these previous reports only as a basis and use the guidelines above to write your own.