How to Write a Research Report

1. Follow the instructions of the assignment to the letter. If your teacher has given you a document with the guidelines for the report, review it before you begin. Highlight important information, such as formatting rules, the number of sources you need, and the subject of the report. Remember that these are the evaluation elements of your report, pay attention to them.
2. Do the research. Searching for your report can be as simple as reading a book or finding some sources on a topic you learned in class. In any case, make sure you have the right number of sources for your report. For each source, you need to know what information you will need for the bibliography (such as the author, the date of publication, the publisher or website, the city of publication, the page number to know where you have found the information and so on).
Consider using cards to organize your sources. Use a sheet for each source and write down all the information you may need for the bibliography. This can prevent you a lot of inconvenience later.
3. Refine your thesis. Your teacher may have given you a thesis statement or you may have to find your own thesis. Anyway, make sure it's something you understand and can write about.
  • Remember that the thesis must state a point. Instead of saying "grass is green," say "because the grass is green, it can perform photosynthesis. If you're in high school, your dissertation will probably need to be a bit more subjective, which means someone might argue against it, but you'll argue for it in your writing.
  • A dissertation sums up what you want to prove in your report to your reader. All of your subsequent sentences on the subject within the paragraphs must relate to this thesis, so make sure it is general enough to fit throughout your essay.
4. Write a rough draft. A draft does not have to be a list, it can also be a canvas of ideas or a concept map. Whatever format you use, find a way to write your ideas. Start with your thesis (or the subject on which the report should be, such as the name of the book you are reading or the scientific principle you have studied). Then write two or three great research ideas. Once you've done this, write a few details for each idea.
  • Organize your plan. Once all your general ideas are written, find the best order for your report. You have to start with your dissertation, then state your big ideas one by one. The idea that is most closely related to your thesis must come first. The idea that connects your first and third ideas must be in second.
5. Start writing. Once you have a plan that can serve as a roadmap, start writing the report. Here are some general sections that you can consider including.
  • Introduction: it should contain your thesis and give your readers a little insight into what you will discuss in your report.
  • The parts: they are the "big ideas" that you have generated in the plan. Each idea should have its own paragraph (or several of these paragraphs, if you are writing a long report) and should relate to the other paragraphs in any way.
  • The conclusion: the conclusion brings together all your arguments for the thesis and in the parts. This should be done in a few sentences, recounting why you are right and why your thesis is true.
  • Bibliography: If your teacher wanted to check your sources, he or she would use the bibliography. Depending on the teachers you will have to do bibliographies in different ways, so check the instructions.
6. Reread your report. When you have finished writing, print a draft of your report. Read it carefully, mark the corrections with a pen or color marker so that you can easily see them later. Make the corrections.
  • If your teacher allows it, ask a parent or friend to reread your report. Ask them if your arguments make sense.

7. If you have time, leave your report aside for a few days. Do not read your report at all during this time. Stay away from writing so you can have a fresh look later.
8. Put your report in the correct format. Try to follow your teacher's formatting instructions to the letter. If he or she did not give formatting instructions, do something clean and classic. The standard format for academic reports in France is font 12, Times New Roman or Arial, double spaced, with margins of 2 cm.

  • To easily detect typing errors, read the report yourself at home before turning it on and family members or friends read it again.
  • Make sure to rely on more than one source of information.
  • Find all the information you can about the subject, but quote the sources!
  • While writing, assume that your reader knows almost nothing on the subject. Add details and definitions in the essay.
  • Do not be distracted! Keep your mind on the goal and you will have a good report.
  • Be sure to read carefully and completely the instructions in this report.
  • Do not copy someone's work. Not only does this show that you are lazy, but this is called plagiarism, which is illegal.
  • When using information from the Internet, make sure that it comes from a trusted source. Look on the page and make sure you know who wrote the information and why it is provided.
  • Do not take someone's information for yours. This is plagiarism and can lead to failure.
  • Do not delay your search until the last minute. Reporting takes longer than you might think, especially when you start playing with color, photos, borders, topics ... and this only happens after the information has been written correctly.
  • Do not follow this pattern for all types of reports. Many reports have different styles acceptable.