The Structure of a Report
Reports have a standardised format. The structure will be based on the following model:
Not all reports include all of the elements listed. You should always check what is needed with the person who set the work.
• Title Page
• Table of Contents
• Executive summary (not required for this report)
• Main Body
1. Title Page
This shows the title or subject of the report, who the report is for, the name of the writer and date of submission.
2. Table of Contents
This details all sections and sub-sections of the report with page numbers.
3. Executive Summary
This summarises the main points and findings. (This is not always needed, particularly if it is a short report).
This includes the scope and background to the work including:
• The aims and objectives and the terms of reference. The context of the report and its purpose. Sometimes included are details of the organisation requesting the report and the question(s) they are hoping will be answered.
• The methodology – how you have gathered the information presented in the report, for example: by interviews or postal questionnaires. Sometimes it includes an explanation of why a particular investigative approach / methodology was chosen.
• The topics covered – a broad outline of content and scope and any limitations of the project.
5. Main Body of the Report
This is where information is presented, explanations provided and questions answered. It deals with what, how, where and why?
The findings of the report are broken down into discrete sections and sub-sections. Each section and sub-section should have a title/heading, and be numbered.
Include in the body of the report:
• A literature review (in an academic report)
• Method – what you did and why you did it.
• What you found – quantitative data – what was observed, outcome of questionnaires and results of experiments; qualitative information; case studies.
• Discussion – what you have deduced from the findings and how these relate to previous research or other studies. You should discuss findings in a theoretical framework and give opinions based on reasoning and critical thinking. All sources should be referenced.
Conclusions should clearly relate to the objective(s) of the report. This is the place to draw together key points made in the report; nothing new should appear here.
These should be one or more practical proposals and may offer solutions to problems investigated in the report. You will not always be asked to include recommendations.
Each recommendation should be listed and discussed separately.
8. References (Bibliography)
This should reference all books, articles, journals, websites, and any other sources you consulted when writing the report. This should be listed in alphabetical order.
These should be at the end of the report. They contain relevant information which is too lengthy or detailed to include in the report itself. Each appendix should contain different information. They should be referred to in the report and not left to stand alone.
Sample reference list
This is an example of a reference list using the Harvard System. Some of the details may vary in different interpretations of Harvard.
Remember: In the Numeric System the date is placed
• (for books) right at the end of a reference
• (for journals) after the journal title.
Abbott, P. (2000) An analysis of efficiency, undergraduate frameworks, awards and progression regulations – modern universities in the UK. Glasgow, Glasgow Caledonian University.
Baren-Cohen, S. (2003) The essential difference: men, women and the extreme male brain. London; Allen Lane.
Barnes, S. (2001) Questionnaire design and construction. Bristol Institute of Learning and Technology. [online] https://www.cros.ac.uk/question_design.pdf#search=%22belief%20questions%20%20Barnes%202001%22 Accessed on 30 August 2006.
Cottrell, S. (2001) Teaching study skills and supporting learning, London; Palgrave.
Donovan, P. (2003) Insights into maternal health. In: Grandis, S., Long, G., Glasper E.A., Donovan, P. Foundation studies for nursing using enquiry based learning. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, pp.15-47.
Figg, K., McAllister, C., & Shapiro, A. (2006) Effective Learning service – a developmental model in practice. Journal of Access Policy and Practice. Vol. 4, number 1, Winter 2006 pp.39-52.
Foster, J. Houston M. Knox, H. & Rimmer, R. (2002) Surviving first year access retention and value added. Lifelong Learning Research Group – Occasional Papers 1. University of Paisley, Paisley.
Hart, C. (2001) Doing a literature search. London: Sage.
Holzworth, R., & Wills, C. (1999) Nurses’ judgements regarding seclusion and restraint of psychiatric patients: a social judgement analysis. Research in Nursing and Health. Vol.22, pp. 189–201. In: Lowe, T., Wellman, N., Taylor, R. (2003) Limit-setting and decision-making in the management of aggression. Journal of Advanced Nursing. Vol.41(2), pp 154-61.
McAllister, C. Shapiro, A. (2004) Developing learners at Glasgow Caledonian University: the Effective Learning Service response. Paper presented at Forum for the advancement of Continuing Education Conference, 2- 4 July 2004.
Scottish Executive. (2003) Supporting people, supporting independent living. Edinburgh HMSO, 2003.
Walsh, N., Roe, B., Huntington, J. (2003) Delivering a different kind of Primary Care? Nurses working in personal medical service pilots Journal of Clinical Nursing [online], Vol.12 (3). Available from: https://www.blackwell-synergy.com/links/doi/10.1046/j.1365-2702.2003.00744.x/full/ [Accessed 1st May 2003].
Coursework Format Individual Report (50% module weighting)
Word Count 2,000 words (+/- 10%) Max 2,500
How Via turnitin located within the assessment icon on GCU Learn. Note: you will be allowed multiple submissions until due date to check for originality and make improvements.
Brief Taking on the role of E-Marketing Director, you have to develop a virtual brand marketing communication campaign using social media marketing to launch the e-service brand in the UK.
Brand Name Developed in part one of the module
(include within appendix) You should identify the brand you developed in part A of the module; provide a short summary of the brand which ought to include:
What the key proposition/ features of the brand
Who is the target audience
Key features of the brand that differentiate itself from competitors
(no marks are awarded for this information as this has been previously assessed. The purpose of this information is to use it as a context for the virtual brand communication campaign)
Max @1000 words Your report should consist of:
(i) Introduce e-Marketing
Key characteristics of internet marketing and the challenges/opportunities it presents to the e-marketing director.
(ii)Environmental Analysis of competitive brand :This ought to focus on the sector in which the brand is to compete. This section ought to include relevant commentary on:
Technology: evaluate how the internet is utilised within this sector by consumers and organisations
Socio/cultural: How consumers are using the internet; the impact of the internet upon consumer behaviour (e-consumer behaviour); use of technology with a focus on e-marketing communication channels
(iii) Key competitors within the sector and nature of competition
Note: market data should be within appendices; graphs, charts within appendices start with Mintel reports as discussed within seminars
Theoretical support is essential e.g. Constantinides and Foutain (2008) Dennis et al. (2009). Porter (1980)
Max @600 words
25% This section should focus on a selected competitor brand only.
A critique of a selected competitor brand which should include:
• Examine the current strategy they are trying to achieve? (Ansoff, 1965) their brand positioning; target market; ;
• E-marketing mix analysis
• E-communication communication mix (focus on social media)
Theoretical support is essential e.g. Goldsmith (1999) Ansoff (1965); also refer to seminar papers
Max ‘1000 words
30% Make recommendations in developing a virtual brand communication strategy focusing on social media marketing tools in the UK.; The recommendation(s) should be based on your analysis of the Environmental Analysis (section A), the critique of the competitor brand (Section B). This should include:
(i) the e-marketing communication strategy recommended: you should apply the DRIP model to develop your e-marketing communications strategy (remember the following issues:
This is a new service brand so should you be increasing the level of awareness and developing Interest in your new brand; be clear as to the target audience of your marketing communication message e.g. consumers)
(ii) Characteristics of digital media and social media marketing
(iii) Social media campaign aimed at the target market identified within section A(ii) e.g. you may wish to develop a facebook page, Pin interest, Instagram, you tube video or a blog page . Examples of these should be placed within your appendices
(iv) Clear justification as to how this campaign will communicate the brand value to your target audience
Theoretical support is essential e.g. Fill (2005); Kaplan and Haelein (2009) Mafe et al. (2014) Tsimonis and Dimitriadis (2014) Davis et al. (2014); ensure you refer to seminar papers
Report Writing Format 10%
(please see p. 23 for guidance) Overall structure of report, introduction; main body in clear headings, clear conclusions; use of appendices; referencing and reference list; clarity of language. Please use the Harvard system of referencing. See appendices for further information on report writing, referencing and plagiarism