How to Write a Report Paper

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How to Write a Good Report Paper from Scratch

Learning how to write a report paper in APA format might seem overwhelming at first. Unlike an essay or a research paper, a good report presents facts about a subject. It does not require you to write an argument, present your ideas, or form a hypothesis. The good news is that you are not alone, and many students struggle with this type of writing.

Because of the purpose of report paper writing, it is essential to get the format right. Using the right format makes your report easy to read. Although there are different formats based on the purpose, most academic papers follow a standard template. Read on for tips that will help you write an outstanding report paper.

What Is a Report Paper? – The Basic Definition

A report paper is a short piece of writing that contains facts on a subject. When you write this composition, you target a specific audience. You write to inform and offer recommendations for future consideration. Such a paper may include an analysis of the subject before the final recommendations.

A standard report paper includes most of these components:

  • Background of the issue;
  • A brief analysis of the implication of the matter;
  • Analysis of the outcomes of investigation;
  • Discussion of the recommendations;
  • Conclusion.

Business and science subjects are more likely to require students to write reports. The specific requirements to write with may vary from one institution or instructor to the next. This article contains general guidelines that should be used alongside the specific instructions given in your class.

How to Start a Report Paper

To write a report paper, you should investigate thoroughly and present accurate facts. Start the process by reviewing the assignment instruction. If you want to write well, you should have a plan. The planning phase involves three major aspects:

  • Outlining expectations;
  • Creating a roadmap;
  • Carrying out research.

Outline Expectations before You Write

Understanding what your professor expects is important to ensure that you write a relevant report. Read all the instructions you have been given and think about the purpose of the composition. Write down the what, whys, whens, and whos of this assignment. Once you figure out who your audience is and why the report is necessary, you will write effectively.

Create a Good Roadmap

Because you need to write a factual report, you should work methodically. Identify which information you need and how you will get it. Make the necessary adjustments to your schedule to help you work without interruption.

Carry Out Research

That is a crucial stage for anyone who wants to write a good report paper. The key to effective research is identifying good sources of information. Ensure that the information is accurate, relevant, and appropriate. Write down all details that may have an impact on the quality of your report paper.

How to Structure a Report Paper

The structure of a report paper varies according to its purpose. Business reports are structured differently from book reports. Furthermore, other aspects like the length and formality can influence how you write. Refer to your assignment instructions for clarification on how to structure your good paper.

Generally, this composition has the sections listed below:

  • Title page;
  • Abstract;
  • Introduction;
  • Main body;
  • Conclusion;
  • References.

Each section might include subsections. The body is often divided to indicate the terms of reference, methods, and findings. Depending on the length of the composition, you might have to include appendices.

Report Paper Outline – Step 1

A good outline is an effective tool that keeps you on track as you write. It indicates all the sections you have to cover, with brief descriptions of what each section contains. A good outline is based on either the grading rubric or the recommended structure.

To create a good outline, refer to your chosen structure. Use the section headings as a frame, and fill in each section with relevant information. The outline can also guide your research so that you look for information for each section.

Creating a thorough outline is highly recommended. If you find a source that’s worth noting, write down all the relevant information. Indicate the title, its author, and relevant chapters or page. A detailed outline makes it easier to write a reference list for your paper.

Report Paper Introduction – Step 2

The introduction section should have sufficient information to familiarize your reader with the subject. Although this section needs to be informative, it should not be too long. Most people struggle to write a catchy introduction without getting too detailed.

The thesis statement is arguably the most important component of an introduction. It informs the reader what to expect in the body of the report paper. If you write a proper thesis, you will make the reader curious to know more. Furthermore, a strong thesis will help you stay focused as you write.

Report Paper Body – Step 3

The body of a report paper is similar to that of other compositions as far as paragraph structure is concerned. Each paragraph should start with a topic statement that introduces an idea. Each topic statement must be supported with proof that is well cited. A good explanatory sentence is required to give context to the evidence.

However, the main content of your report paper should be divided into different sections. These sections may not feature in essays or research papers. They are necessary because they ensure that you write effectively. The body of your report paper has to contain the following elements.


Let the reader know how you carried out your investigation. Remember that the purpose of a report paper is to give factual information. Write authoritatively to convince the reader that you understand the subject.


Present the results of your investigation in an organized manner. You may write your findings under separate subheadings that relate to individual themes. Provide sufficient details for each theme to help your reader understand.


If you write your findings in separate themes, you should similarly discuss them. The discussion of a report book does not call for your insight into a subject. Instead, it calls for you to present facts relating to your findings.

Report Paper Conclusion – Step 4

The conclusion offers you an opportunity to remind the reader of the purpose of your report. Summarize all the facts and refer back to the thesis. The conclusion should inform the reader that you fulfilled what you promised in the introductory paragraph. Depending on the assignment requirements, you may write relevant recommendations in conclusion.

How to End a Report Paper

Just like other compositions, a report paper benefits from thorough proofreading and editing. It is the last stage of the writing process to guarantee the quality of your paper. Proper editing is done methodically over a few days. Editing everything at once might result in you missing several errors.


Make sure that everything you write is factual. A report paper must contain only verified information. Furthermore, the content should be logical. Read through the paper to confirm that your facts are presented in a way that makes sense.


The structure of sentences, paragraphs, and sections should be coherent. If some information is presented in the wrong section, it will confuse the reader. Confirm that you covered all the required components. If you need to, you may change the order of paragraphs and sections.


When you write a long report paper, you may make a few mistakes. Typos, double spaces, and missing punctuations are some mistakes you might not notice while you write. Grammar checkers save a lot of time. However, proofreading your paper manually will be more thorough.


If you do not declare which references you used to write your paper, you have committed plagiarism. Have a detailed reference list according to the required format. The references should correspond to the in-text citations in your body paragraphs.

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