Research Prospect

how to write an academic report: Examples and tips

how to write an academic report: Examples and tips

Writing a report should be concise and to the point. It should also be relevant to the topic. Make sure to check your work with someone and read it aloud. Proofreading is also important because computer programs cannot catch every mistake. You may even want to wait a day before you read it to make sure that it is error-free. Keep in mind that an academic report differs from a business or technical report.

Avoiding the present tense

While the present tense is commonly used in academic writing, it isn’t always necessary. When anyone tells you about writing how to write an academic report , you can switch the tense within the same sentence or paragraph when you shift from general statements to more specific examples based on research. Other times, it’s appropriate to use the present tense when you write about a particular event that has changed over time.

The best time to use either tense is determined by the context in which you’re writing. While both are acceptable, you’ll want to ensure that your reader knows when you made your findings. In most cases, the present tense will mean that you’re writing about the time you did the research, while the past tense can be interpreted in different ways.

Introducing your topic

The introduction is the first section of your paper, and it should capture the reader’s interest and make them want to read the rest of your paper. You can do this by opening with a compelling story, question, or example that shows why your topic is important. The hook should also establish the relevance of your paper in the wider context.

The introduction should also have a thesis statement, which should explain your research paper’s topic and point of view. This statement will guide the organization of your essay. A strong thesis statement is specific, clear, and able to be proved.

Stating your thesis statement

Your thesis statement should be clear and concise. It should be able to persuade others while laying out your strong opinions. It should also contain an argument. For example, you could argue that the government should ban 4×4 pickup trucks. Or, you might argue that the amount of foul language in movies is disproportionate to the amount of it in real life.

A strong thesis statement contradicts a commonly held viewpoint. It is not too complex to explain over the course of the paper. It should also express a single main idea.

Putting together an outline before writing your report

Putting together an outline is a great way to organize your paper. Outline the content that you will cover and how you plan to support your main point. You can use a list format or alpha-numeric format to organize your outline. Regardless of the format, your outline should have a parallel structure and include the same types of words in each section. It is also a good idea to include citations whenever possible.

When you’re writing, outlining will help you get the most out of your writing. It will save you time and effort when writing because you can make full sentences and well-developed essays with an outline.

Avoiding jargon

One of the most important things to remember when writing an academic report is to avoid using jargon. These words are often difficult to understand, and although they are useful shorthand for scientists, they may alienate non-specialist readers. The use of jargon is the most common reason that readers complain about writing, but there are ways to replace these terms with plainer versions.

Jargon is specialized terminology used by a specific group. It can be incredibly difficult to understand if you’re not part of the group. It also tends to make your writing more complicated and shows that you’re trying to show off your knowledge.

How to Write an Academic Report – Examples and Tips

While the present tense is commonly used in academic writing, it isn’t always necessary. When writing an academic report, you can switch the tense within the same sentence or paragraph when you shift from general statements to more specific examples based on research. Other times, it’s appropriate to use the present tense when you write about a particular event that has changed over time.

Owen Ingram is a research-based content writer, who works for Cognizantt, a globally recognised professional SEO service and Research Prospect , a Servizio di redazione di saggi e dissertazioni . Mr Owen Ingram holds a PhD degree in English literature. He loves to express his views on a range of issues including education, technology, and more.

Related Posts

Which are the best report writer that assists me in writing academic report

Which are the best report writer that assists me in writing academic report

reflective report structure: here is the brief guide and help

Reflective report structure: here is the brief guide and help

Leave a comment cancel reply.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

Professional editors. Expert processing

  • Get Started
  • Integrations
  • Writer's workshop
  • Return to dashboard

Writing an academic report

Although you may not realize it, writing an academic report is different than writing an academic essay. in an essay, you can provide your thoughts and opinions about a topic or statement. in an academic report, you should provide a description or analysis of a set of actions you took to research a specific question or phenomenon..

Academic reports are used to present and discuss the results of an experiment, survey, or other research method. These reports often require a specific layout and the inclusion of a certain set of sections. Below, we describe the most often-used sections in an academic report in the order in which they generally appear. Before we begin, note that when writing an academic report, you must always follow the guidelines for formal academic writing, including citing trustworthy sources and using correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

The sections that are usually included in an academic report are as follows:


Literature review/background.

In the introduction to your academic report, you present the research topic or question and explain why you chose to study that topic. You may also present a general overview of the work you did and your findings, expanding on these points further in the main body of the text. At the end of the introduction, you may want to present a brief summary of the way in which the rest of the report is organized.

In this section, you will briefly summarize work on this topic that other researchers have conducted, including their findings. You can also provide any background information on the topic that your readers should have before you present your own work. Remember that your reader is interested in your work, not the work of others. It isn’t necessary to go into excessive detail regarding other studies, especially if they aren’t relevant to your work. Focus on summarizing work that relates in some way to the work you have performed.

The methods section is where you describe the steps you took in your research. For example, you can describe the methodology you used to build your study, the sampling method you used to obtain survey participants, and the steps you took in a scientific experiment. Make sure to describe all your steps in detail using the past tense (since you’re describing something that already happened, not something that will happen).

In this section, you will describe the results of your study. For example, you will provide information such as survey participants’ answers, medical test results, data from scientific experiments, and any statistical analysis results. You may find it helpful to use figures and tables to present these results in an easy-to-read format. However, note that if you present data in a table or figure, it is not necessary to also provide all the same data in the text. If you use tables or figures, only discuss particularly important findings in the text.

In this section, you will discuss the implications of your findings, explaining them and relating them to the previous research presented in your literature review. You will interpret your findings and describe how these findings answer (or don’t answer) your research questions. You should also describe any limitations of your work, such as sample size or missing data, and discuss how you could resolve those issues in future work.

If all this sounds like too much work, or you simply lack the time, you can find a reliable writing service for students and pay for college papers . This way, you get a high-quality academic report without going through any trouble. Such services can help you deal with all kinds of writing assignments you get as a part of your studies.

The conclusion is where you summarize your main work and findings as well as the implications of your work. You should not introduce any new material in this section. You should also provide recommendations based on your findings and discuss any future research needed.

Of course, you should check with your academic institution or professor to see if they want you to include any other sections or information. In addition, make sure you follow the style guide required by your institution (e.g., APA or Chicago).

Writing an academic report doesn’t have to be stressful and intimidating. Using the information above, you can finish your report and avoid undue stress.

Academic proofreading

Thesis proofreading

Dissertation proofreading service

  • Proofreading services
  • Copy-editing services

  • Editor guide (UK)
  • Editor guide (US)
  • Editor guide (DE)
  • Writer’s workshop
  • Word count tool
  • Proofreading marks
  • Proofreading
  • Proofreading online
  • Copy-editing
  • Privacy policy
  • Terms of use for clients
  • Terms of use for editors
  • Non-disclosure agreement

University of Portsmouth logo

Key features of academic reports

Smiling student in library in placements meeting

Written assignments

Explore common components in academic reports you could use in your studies

You may need to submit multiple academic reports during your degree. Here, we explore the general features of academic reports.

You course will probably only need some of these features, and you have other requirements that aren't included here. Report requirements vary across departments so you should check your course handbook or ask your subject tutor or lecturer if you're unsure what you need in your report.

Key parts of an academic report

A report is different to an essay . There is no single right way to structure a report – the structure depends on the purpose. In general, however, academic reports feature some of the sections below.

1. Title page

2. author declaration.

This is a form you need to sign and include with any report or essay written that you submit confirm that the assignment is entirely your own work. You can pick up these forms at your faculty department office.

3. Abstract (or Executive Summary)

An abstract is a short (around 150 words) summary of the whole report. It should be written last. Unlike a conclusion, the abstract needs to include a brief overview of all the stages of the report, not just the results. One purpose of an abstract is to give just enough information to enable a prospective reader to judge whether they need to read the full report.

If you are new to writing abstracts, one approach is to write one or two sentences to represent each of the sections of your report. Have a look at abstracts or executive summaries in reports in the Library or online to get an idea of the style they use.

4. Acknowledgements

This is a separate page acknowledging the support of those people who have contributed to the assignment. An acknowledgements page is normally necessary only in major reports.

5. Table of Contents

This should list clearly all the sections and subsections of your report and the page numbers where each of those sections begins. A common (but not compulsory) way to organise reports is to use hierarchically numbered headings.

For example:

After the Table of Contents comes a separate list of any tables, charts or diagrams that you have included in the report. Tables should be called ‘Table 1 [plus the title]’, ‘Table 2’, so on and so forth. Charts or diagrams should be called ‘Figure 1 [plus the title]’, ‘Figure 2’ and so on. Include in this separate list the page number of each table or chart.

6. Introduction

In the introduction you should describe the purpose (aim) of the report and explain why it is necessary and/or useful. Depending on the purpose of the report, you might break down the overall aim into specific objectives. Additionally, you might define key terms (words) that you use in the report, so that your reader is quite clear what you mean when you use those terms.

The following four sections are normally used only in reports about primary (your own) research, such as an experiment, survey or observation. If your report is based entirely on reading, you will probably replace these four sections with a number of topic headings of your choice.

7. Literature review

In this section you describe previous and current thinking and research on the topic. In other words, you report by summarising what others have written about the topic. Because you are reporting others’ work, your literature review will probably contain many in-text citations  to the books and articles you have read. In more scientific research it is common to end the literature review with one or more hypotheses for your own research. In many reports the literature review is incorporated into the introduction and may have a simpler title, such as ‘Background’.

8. Method(s) (or Methodology or Research design)

These three terms – ‘method’, ‘methodology’ and ‘research design’ – actually have slightly different meanings; consult a research methods text for more information. This section, however, is where you tell the reader how you collected the data used in the report (i.e. your methods). You might, for example, describe, step-by-step, an experiment you carried out or describe a situation you observed. This description normally needs to be quite detailed. It is also normally necessary to explain why you collected the data in that way and justify your methods, which may need to be quite detailed.

You might include some in-text references to research methods literature to help explain your choice of methods.

9. Results (or Findings)

This is where you present the results of your research – ‘what you found out’. There should be no discussion or analysis of those results. This section often includes tables or charts.

If you have created one or more hypotheses for your report, you should state in this section whether you can accept or reject them.

10. Discussion of results (or Analysis or Interpretation)

This is often the most important part of a report, because it shows what you think about your results. In the discussion you should comment on your results. This can include:

  • Describing and suggesting reasons for any patterns in the results, possibly including anomalies (results that don’t ‘fit in with’ the rest).
  • Explaining what you found (perhaps with reference to theory).
  • Commenting on how much your findings agree or disagree with the literature.
  • Considering the accuracy and reliability of your results (and how the methods you used might have affected that accuracy).
  • Considering the implications of your results – what they might mean for your practice, for example.
  • Discussing what further research in this area might be useful in future.

11. Conclusions

In the conclusions you summarise the key findings of your report. (Imagine you have to reduce everything you found out down to just five or six sentences.) No new information should be included. It can be helpful to revisit the aim(s) and objectives from your introduction, and perhaps to comment also on how well those aims and objectives have been met.

12. Recommendations

Not all reports include recommendations. But if your report is on a work-related issue or case study, and especially if the issue concerns problem-solving or improving practice, it may well be appropriate to make recommendations. These are suggestions for future action on the issue in the report. Usually, these will be suggestions, arising from your research, which you think will improve a situation.

13. References (or Reference list or Bibliography)

This is a list, written in a very particular style, of the books and articles you read for and used in the report. A bibliography includes all sources you have used whereas a reference list contains only sources you have actually cited in your text.

14. Appendices

Appendices are extra sections at the very back of a report in which supplementary information is stored. This could be tables of data, copies of observation forms or notes, extracts (not photocopies) from large documents (for example, Parliamentary Enquiries) to which you have referred, or any other essential information which you have mentioned in your report and to which you would like your reader to be able to refer. Put each source in a separate Appendix; Appendix A [or 1], Appendix B [or 2], and so on.

Female student looking over project in Eldon Courtyard

Reports and essays: key differences

Student working on essay in library

Essays: task words

Female student working on essay

Paragraphs main body of an assessment

Examples logo

Academic Report

Academic Report Examples

As a way of evaluating a student’s logical capacity, comprehension level and writing skill , some professors require their students to write a document presenting their ideas, thoughts, analyses, etc. about a certain topic. Other than writing an essay , the students can also use a report in order effectively present their objective deductions and findings.

acdemic report

A formal report is another way of presenting facts and analysis you have gathered from your readings about a certain topic. In requires thorough research, readings, rationalizing, analyzing and making a point. It goes beyond that of an essay, it is more than just arguing a position and drawing conclusions, although a report can also do that, it must comprehensively present pertinent facts and information in order for the reader to see the subject in new light.

As you may know, report writing is a very useful skill not only academically but also in your future career. Not only does it hones your writing skills it also improves your analytical and critical thinking skills since it urges you to come up with objective findings based on facts. Therefore, it will surely help you be good at whatever job you wish to pursue in the future; no employer says no to a critically and analytically adept individual. You may also see marketing report examples.

Academic Research Report Template

academic research report template

  • Google Docs
  • Apple Pages

Size: 31 KB

Academic Report Format Guide Example

academic report format guide example

Size: 168 KB

Difference Between an Essay and Report

An essay and a report are both effective ways of presenting information and data. However, some professors may prefer one over the other. In order to know the difference between the two, a list of their differences are presented below:

  • Essay are rarely used outside the academic realm.
  • It focuses on analyzing or evaluating theory, past research by other people, and ideas.
  • Rarely presents the findings of a newly conducted research.
  • It only has four significant parts or elements.
  • The flow of writing is continuous and does not have dividing sections.
  • It usually does not include table, charts, and/or diagrams.
  • It should not be used as the method in arriving at conclusions.
  • Is usually not reflective about the process of researching and writing the essay itself.
  • It does not include recommendations.
  • It is argumentative and mostly based on ideas.
  • Only offers conclusions on a question or on presented issues or problems.

You may also see business report examples.

  • Originated from the professional world but is still used academically.
  • Often presents data and findings that the researcher himself has gathered.
  • Uses data gathering methods such as surveys, experiment or case study, or by applying theory.
  • Commonly has at least 12 parts or sections and 14 parts or sections at most.
  • Topics are divided into different sections or headings or sub-headings.
  • It usually contains tables, graphs, charts and diagrams.
  • Includes the method/s the researcher used.
  • It includes recommendations on what actions to make.
  • It is an informative and fact-based document.
  • Follows specific style for each section.
  • It is written with a specific purpose and reader in mind.

You may also like examples of short report .

Management Decisions and Control Academic Report Example

management decisions and control academic report example

Size: 170 KB

Digital Storytelling Academic Report Example

digital storytelling academic report example

Size: 309 KB

Flood Mitigation and Water Storage Engineering Academic Report Example

flood mitigation and water storage engineerng academic report example

Size: 201 KB

Contents of an Academic Report

An effective academic report must have the contents and sections necessary to nit-pick and through explain a subject. Listed below are the contents of an academic report:

  • Author Declaration
  • Abstract or Executive Summary
  • Acknowledgements
  • Table of Contents
  • Introduction
  • Literature Review
  • Method or Methodology or Research Design
  • Results or Findings
  • Discussion of Results or Analysis or Interpretation
  • Conclusions
  • Recommendations
  • References or Bibliography

How to Write an Academic Report

1. title page.

This means what it literally means. The title of the general report should be indicated on this page of the academic report. In some cases, the title page also includes your name as the author and student number, the name of the course and the course code. For example:

Communication Skills Relevant in International Business

John Smith (012345) Business 300

2. Author Declaration

In some universities or colleges, you will need to fill out a form from the department or faculty conforming that the report is in fact your own output. This form is attached to any assigned report or essay for your course.

3. Abstract or Executive Summary

An abstract is a short opening for your entire report. It is a basically a summary of the report as a whole and therefore should only be around 150 words in length. In order to effectively write it, a good techniques is writing it after all the sections, headings and sub-headings have been presented. Here’s a tip: write one or two sentences representing each section of the report in order to have a complete and comprehensive abstract.

4. Acknowledgements

Although acknowledgements are normally necessary in major reports, it can also be included in an academic report. This acknowledges the people who have supported you in your research and has contributed in the completion of the report. However, do not go overboard. This should only be short and direct to the point. You may also like consulting report examples.

6. Table of Contents

This is where the reader goes to look for specific sections or topics found in your report. This contains the actual titles of each section, heading and sub-headings along with their actual page numbers. A good way or organizing your table of contents is to list the contents in according to hierarchy numbers, from first to last. After the list of the contents comes a separate list for the tables, charts, diagrams, etc that is found in your report. You may also check out management report examples.

7. Introduction

The introduction must present the purpose or objective of the report and explain why the report is necessary or how it’s useful. It must immediately let the reader know that the report is useful in the field it is focused on and that it has a positive impact and recommendations on the subject at hand. In addition, you can define key terms you have repeatedly used in the report so that the reader has a clear idea on what you mean when you use the term. You might be interested in recruitment report examples.

Author’s Note : The following sections (8-11) are primarily used in major reports such as research, an experiment, survey or observation. If your report is based on reading, you can replace these sections with topic heading of your own choosing.

8. Literature Review

In this section, describe and report the previous and current thinking and research on the topic. You include a summary on what other have written about the topic you are reporting. This section will mostly consist of in-text citations from the books, articles, reports, etc. you have read about the topic. You may also see report examples in excel .

Simply, it is a review of all the literature you have read in order to form your own thinking about the topic. These literature are your basis for conducting your own report. The literature review should follow the format, MLA or APA format, you professor has required in citing your references.

9. Method or Methodology or Research Design

This section is all about the method or way you have gathered or collected your data. You present and tell your reader/s how were you able the data you have in your report. For example, you can describe the step-by-step process you did when you conducted an experiment or write a detailed description of a situation you have observed. In addition, in this section it is normal that you also have to explain why you collected the data through that method. An normally, the justification should also be quite detailed. You can include some in-text references to research methods references to help explain and justify your choice of method(s). You may also like monthly report examples & samples.

10. Results or Findings

Simply present the results or findings of your report in this section. There is no need for discussions, analysis and explanations of the results. Oftentimes, this section includes a table to comprehensively present the findings. Aside from that, this is also where you state whether you accept or reject the hypothesis or hypotheses you have made in you report. You may also check out sample activity reports .

11. Discussion of Results or Analysis or Interpretation

This is where you present what you think about the results you have formulated in your report. You can also include comment abut your results in this section. Here are other things the discussion section can include:

  • Describing and suggesting reasons for any patterns in the results, possibly including anomalies (results that don’t ‘fit in with’ the rest).
  • Explaining what you found (perhaps with reference to theory). You may also see performance report examples.
  • Commenting on how much your findings agree or disagree with the literature.
  • Considering the accuracy and reliability of your results (and how the methods you used might have affected that accuracy).
  • Considering the implications of your results – what they might mean for your practice, for example. • Discussing what further research in this area might be useful in future. You may also like investigation report samples and examples.

12. Conclusions

In the conclusions, you should summarize the key findings of your report. Remember that all the information that you include in the conclusions should have been presented before and are new information. The conclusions should effectively summarize and present all the major points you have made so far in you report.

13. Recommendations

Recommendations are not necessarily needed in all academic reports, however, work-related and case studies should always present recommendations. These suggestions are for future actions in order to solve or improve issues or problems presented in the report. You may also check out free report examples & samples.

14. References or Bibliography

There should be a list on all the references you have used to cite and to back your claims. It should only contain all the literature you have cited in your report. Depending on the requirement, you can follow either an MLA or APA format for citation.

15. Appendices

Appendices contains all the supplementary information is ‘stored’. This could be table of data, copies of observation forms or notes, extracts from large documents, a transcript of a recording, etc. You might be interested in technical report examples & samples.

School Program Report Example

school program report example

Size: 183 KB

New School Report Example

We hope you found our article on creating an academic report to be useful for your academic studies. We also included some examples which you can use as a reference/guide.

how to write an academic report

Report Generator

Text prompt

  • Instructive
  • Professional

Generate a report on the impact of technology in the classroom on student learning outcomes

Prepare a report analyzing the trends in student participation in sports and arts programs over the last five years at your school.


Report writing

  • Features of good reports
  • Types of Report


Organising your information, abstract / executive summary, literature review, results / data / findings, reference list / bibliography.

  • Writing up your report

Useful links for report writing

  • Study Advice Helping students to achieve study success with guides, video tutorials, seminars and one-to-one advice sessions.
  • Maths Support A guide to Maths Support resources which may help if you're finding any mathematical or statistical topic difficult during the transition to University study.

how to write an academic report

  • Academic Phrasebank Use this site for examples of linking phrases and ways to refer to sources.
  • Academic writing LibGuide Expert guidance on punctuation, grammar, writing style and proof-reading.
  • Reading and notemaking LibGuide Expert guidance on managing your reading and making effective notes.
  • Guide to citing references Includes guidance on why, when and how to use references correctly in your academic writing.

The structure of a report has a key role to play in communicating information and enabling the reader to find the information they want quickly and easily. Each section of a report has a different role to play and a writing style suited to that role. Therefore, it is important to understand what your audience is expecting in each section of a report and put the appropriate information in the appropriate sections.

The guidance on this page explains the job each section does and the style in which it is written. Note that all reports are different so you must pay close attention to what you are being asked to include in your assignment brief. For instance, your report may need all of these sections, or only some, or you may be asked to combine sections (e.g. introduction and literature review, or results and discussion). The video tutorial on structuring reports below will also be helpful, especially if you are asked to decide on your own structure.

  • Finding a structure for your report (video) Watch this brief video tutorial for more on the topic.
  • Finding a structure for your report (transcript) Read along while watching the video tutorial.

how to write an academic report

  • When writing an essay, you need to place your information  to make a strong argument
  • When writing a report, you need to place your information  in the appropriate section

Consider the role each item will play in communicating information or ideas to the reader, and place it in the section where it will best perform that role. For instance:

  • Does it provide background to your research? ( Introduction  or  Literature Review )
  • Does it describe the types of activity you used to collect evidence? ( Methods )
  • Does it present factual data? ( Results )
  • Does it place evidence in the context of background? ( Discussion )
  • Does it make recommendations for action? ( Conclusion )

how to write an academic report

  • the purpose of the work
  • methods used for research
  • main conclusions reached
  • any recommendations

The introduction … should explain the rationale for undertaking the work reported on, and the way you decided to do it. Include what you have been asked (or chosen) to do and the reasons for doing it.

- State what the report is about. What is the question you are trying to answer? If it is a brief for a specific reader (e.g. a feasibility report on a construction project for a client), say who they are.

- Describe your starting point and the background to the subject: e.g., what research has already been done (if you have to include a Literature Review, this will only be a brief survey); what are the relevant themes and issues; why are you being asked to investigate it now?

- Explain how you are going to go about responding to the brief. If you are going to test a hypothesis in your research, include this at the end of your introduction. Include a brief outline of your method of enquiry. State the limits of your research and reasons for them, e.g.

how to write an academic report

Introduce your review by explaining how you went about finding your materials, and any clear trends in research that have emerged. Group your texts in themes. Write about each theme as a separate section, giving a critical summary of each piece of work, and showing its relevance to your research. Conclude with how the review has informed your research (things you'll be building on, gaps you'll be filling etc).

  • Literature reviews LibGuide Guide on starting, writing and developing literature reviews.
  • Doing your literature review (video) Watch this brief video tutorial for more on the topic.
  • Doing your literature review (transcript) Read along while watching the video tutorial.

The methods  should be written in such a way that a reader could replicate the research you have done. State clearly how you carried out your investigation. Explain why you chose this particular method (questionnaires, focus group, experimental procedure etc). Include techniques and any equipment you used. If there were participants in your research, who were they? How many? How were they selected?

Write this section  concisely  but  thoroughly  – Go through what you did step by step, including everything that is relevant. You know what you did, but could a reader follow your description?

how to write an academic report

Label your graphs and tables clearly. Give each figure a title and describe in words what the figure demonstrates. Save your interpretation of the results for the Discussion section.

The discussion probably the longest section. It brings everything together, showing how your findings respond to the brief you explained in your introduction and the previous research you surveyed in your literature review. This is the place to mention if there were any problems (e.g. your results were different from expectations, you couldn't find important data, or you had to change your method or participants) and how they were, or could have been, solved.

  • Writing up your report page More information on how to write your discussion and other sections.

The conclusions ...should be a short section with no new arguments or evidence. This section should give a feeling of closure and completion to your report. Sum up the main points of your research. How do they answer the original brief for the work reported on? This section may also include:

  • Recommendations for action
  • Suggestions for further research

how to write an academic report

If you're unsure about how to cite a particular text, ask at the Study Advice Desk on the Ground Floor of the Library or contact your Academic Liaison Librarian for help.

  • Contact your Academic Liaison Librarian

The appendices ...include any additional information that may help the reader but is not essential to the report's main findings. The report should be able to stand alone without the appendices. An appendix can include for instance: interview questions; questionnaires; surveys; raw data; figures; tables; maps; charts; graphs; a glossary of terms used.

  • A separate appendix should be used for each distinct topic or set of data.
  • Order your appendices in the order in which you refer to the content in the text.
  • Start each appendix on a separate page and label sequentially with letters or numbers e.g. Appendix A, Appendix B,…
  • Give each Appendix a meaningful title e.g. Appendix A: Turnover of Tesco PLC 2017-2021.
  • Refer to the relevant appendix where appropriate in the main text e.g. 'See Appendix A for an example questionnaire'.
  • If an appendix contains multiple figures which you will refer to individually then label each one using the Appendix letter and a running number e.g. Table B1, Table B2. Do not continue the numbering of any figures in your text, as your text should be able to stand alone without the appendices.
  • If your appendices draw on information from other sources you should include a citation and add the full details into your list of references (follow the rules for the referencing style you are using).

For more guidance see the following site:

  • Appendices guidance from University of Southern California Detailed guidance on using appendices. Part of the USC's guide to Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper.
  • << Previous: Types of Report
  • Next: Writing up your report >>
  • Last Updated: Jan 29, 2024 11:27 AM
  • URL:

The Classroom | Empowering Students in Their College Journey

How to Write an Academic Report

Rebecca Renner

How to write a humanities paper

When you’re in college, and even in high school, your teachers and professors will ask you to communicate about your studies in the form of scholarly writing. In many subjects, scholarly writing can take the form of an academic report. These reports often mimic the formatting of the standard scholarly papers in your field. In this way, they act as training for your future career in research or academia. So it's important to take them seriously, format them correctly and dig into the research as if the study of that subject was your job.

What Are Academic Reports?

An academic report is a piece of writing produced for class that uses a formal style to convey information learned through reading and experimentation. Academic reports are a required part of many fields of study, including chemistry, physics, biology, sociology and even humanities like political science.

What differentiates an academic report from an essay is that an academic report focuses on presenting information obtained from research and reading rather than discussing opinions of other writers. Essentially, academic reports are more empirical.

Academic reports in various subjects share standard formatting guidelines. For example, all reports in the sciences must include certain subheadings. These subheadings correspond to the scientific method, and their inclusion makes the replication of experiments easier for other scientists during the process of peer review.

Unlike essays, academic reports can and should use different visual forms, such as graphs and tables. A report doesn't need to use a bibliography if it doesn’t refer to other texts for information. However, as a student, it's better to include background research because in most cases, you're not yet an expert in the field.

Know Your Assignment

Before you start writing, read your teacher’s assignment carefully. Many teachers include additional parameters for their assignments that you would not know by just reading a how-to on the internet. Make note of the parts of the assignment that you think you'll forget.

Your teacher’s instructions will most likely include their desired report writing format. If you’re writing a report in a subject you have been taking for a while, the teachers may assume that you already know the format they require. If you're unsure, ask your teacher for the specific requirements. You can also look at report writing samples online. Even if you already know the format, sometimes it's good to look at a visual example before you start writing. Don’t assume you have everything memorized. Assuming it's a quick way to make mistakes.

Determine Your Intent

After you understand your teacher’s instructions, figure out what you’re going to write about and how you’re going to write it. In other words, determine your report’s subject, purpose and intent.

Here’s an example: Your teacher has given you an assignment to create an experiment that uses chemistry to explain something in your environment. First, you would figure out what you want to explain. You might decide to study your town’s water quality. To determine your subject, write your idea in the form of a question. You might write: Is the water quality in our town potable according to EPA standards? Your report will use research and evidence to explain the answer to this question.

Read Up on Your Subject

Doing background research is an integral part of writing any report. Background research can prove the validity of your subject. It can also help you by giving you information you might have had to determine from research in the field. In other words, background research makes your field research easier and gives you less work in the long run.

To find previous research done on your subject, first, ask your school’s librarian which scholarly research portals are available on your school’s website. These portals, such as JSTOR and Wiley Online, allow you to access scholarly papers published on your subject without having to pay to read them. However, if your school doesn't have this option, next check with your local public library for free resources. Google Scholar is a good, free online alternative. But be wary of websites like Wikipedia that lack fact checking or peer review.

As you read, be sure to make a list of all of the papers you'll reference when you write. Even if you don't quote them directly, academic integrity requires you to make note of them in your works cited.

Find Something New

The next step in writing your report is to find new information. You already read up on your subject, so now it’s time to create an experiment to answer your question. As you work, write down every step you take. Everything you do will need to be noted in your report.

If you're investigating the water quality of your town, you might select a random sample of houses and ask those people if you could take a sample of water from their tap. After you have collected your samples, you would analyze them using your lab’s equipment and record the results. Use an appropriate method of statistical analysis to analyze those results. Then, create a visual representation of them with graphs and tables.

Methods of discovery for other subjects are similar. You might instead decide to analyze the rhetoric of a political candidate for your political science class. One way you could go about this is to determine the most common words the candidate uses while giving speeches. Tabulating these words and comparing them to the content and messages of the speeches themselves might give you plenty to analyze in a written report.

Outline Your Paper

After you have performed your experiments and collected data, now you need to arrange that information in a way that is both easy-to-read and appropriate for your field of study. If your report is for a class in the sciences, you'll probably need some variation of these subheadings: introduction, materials, methods, results, discussion and conclusion. Sometimes abstracts and appendices are also included. Again, follow your teacher’s specific guidelines in order to know that you’ve gotten things right.

The introduction of your report will describe your reasons for conducting your experiment. It will answer this question: What motivated you to pursue the results of this experiment? The introduction will also summarize other parts of your paper.

The materials section is fairly simple. Under this subheading, you'll need to list the materials you used to perform your experiment. Make sure your list is accurate. The point of this section is to make it easier for other scientists to replicate your experiment.

The methods section is essentially a step-by-step guide on how to perform your experiment. If you think of your experiment like a dish, then the methods section is its recipe, giving instructions to other people, so they might perform your experiment, too.

The results section presents raw data as well as analyzed data. The results section will include tables and graphs. It can include some explanation, but it should not go into too much detail.

A detailed discussion of results is reserved for the next section, aptly called the discussion. The discussion section will explain your experiment’s results, and tell the reader why those results matter. The discussion section could also discuss the validity of the data and possible ways the experimenter would change their methods in order to get better, more satisfying or more accurate results.

The last part of your paper is the conclusion. Like in an essay, the conclusion summarizes the rest of the report. It also circles back to the introduction. It asks the question: Have the results of the experiment satisfied the reason it was pursued?

While you're creating your outline, address each of these required subheadings with a few bullet points. There's no need to go into great detail until you write the report itself.

How Do You Write a Book Report?

In some ways, writing a book report is very different from writing an academic report. While both require formal writing, writing a book report is often more like writing an essay about the book than it's like reporting academic findings. Book reports generally don't need sections, and they don't need to list procedures and the like. However, refer back to your assignment for specifics on how your teacher or professor would like your work completed.

Compose Your Report

While you're composing your report, be sure to maintain higher-level academic diction. Flesh out the ideas in your outline, offering explanation and further references were necessary.

In a scientific report, some of your sections will include more writing than others. For example, your materials section may just be a simple list. However, some teachers might require that you give an explanation for each item on your materials list, defining how it was used and discussing alternatives. The results section may also have a low word count, as it's mostly composed of numbers and graphs. The introduction, discussion and conclusion will be heaviest on verbiage and analysis. If you struggle with writing these sections, remember you're simply describing what you have done and why it matters. Also, don’t forget that your first draft will always be messy. You can fix small mistakes when you're revising.

Review and Revision

Once you finish the first draft of your report, read it over once yourself. Mark any place in the text that seems light on reasoning or explanation. Fill these places in before you do anything else.

After you have made additions and developed the content of your report, read it over again looking for errors in spelling, grammar and punctuation. Correct these errors yourself, and then find a classmate, friend or teacher, and ask them to read your report, too. Make sure the person you ask is someone you can trust to give you a thorough critique. If your mother tells you that everything you write is perfect, she’s probably not the best choice for revision buddies.

Ask the person critiquing your report to make marks on your paper indicating mistakes or places with underdeveloped reasoning. Afterward, read what they have written and edit your paper accordingly. The best revision strategy is to ask more than one person to read all of your work. Having a variety of opinions will give you a more accurate picture of your strengths and weaknesses as a writer.

Double Check

Before you turn in your report, give it one last look over. Do you see any grammatical mistakes? Have you included everything your teacher asked for in their assignment? If everything looks good, it’s time to print out the final draft of your work. Format your report according to your teacher’s guidelines. You can even go the extra mile by presenting it in a folder or clipping it into a binder. You have spent a lot of time and energy on this project, so treat your work with respect.

Related Articles

How to Write a Technical Essay

How to Write a Technical Essay

How to Write a Research Plan for a Science Project

How to Write a Research Plan for a Science Project

How to Write a Lab Report

How to Write a Lab Report

How to Write a Microbiology Research Proposal

How to Write a Microbiology Research Proposal

How to Write a Personal Response Essay

How to Write a Personal Response Essay

How to Write a Critical Summary of an Article

How to Write a Critical Summary of an Article

How to Write a Discussion for a Science Fair Project

How to Write a Discussion for a Science Fair Project

How to Write a Master's Research Proposal

How to Write a Master's Research Proposal

  • Deakin University: Report writing
  • Monash University: Writing a Report
  • The Open University: Essay and Report Writing Skills
  • SciTable: Scientific Papers

Rebecca Renner is a teacher and freelance writer from Daytona Beach, Florida. Her byline has appeared in the Washington Post, New York Magazine, Glamour and elsewhere.

Have a language expert improve your writing

Run a free plagiarism check in 10 minutes, generate accurate citations for free.

  • Knowledge Base
  • Academic writing
  • How to write a lab report

How To Write A Lab Report | Step-by-Step Guide & Examples

Published on May 20, 2021 by Pritha Bhandari . Revised on July 23, 2023.

A lab report conveys the aim, methods, results, and conclusions of a scientific experiment. The main purpose of a lab report is to demonstrate your understanding of the scientific method by performing and evaluating a hands-on lab experiment. This type of assignment is usually shorter than a research paper .

Lab reports are commonly used in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. This article focuses on how to structure and write a lab report.

Instantly correct all language mistakes in your text

Upload your document to correct all your mistakes in minutes


Table of contents

Structuring a lab report, introduction, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about lab reports.

The sections of a lab report can vary between scientific fields and course requirements, but they usually contain the purpose, methods, and findings of a lab experiment .

Each section of a lab report has its own purpose.

  • Title: expresses the topic of your study
  • Abstract : summarizes your research aims, methods, results, and conclusions
  • Introduction: establishes the context needed to understand the topic
  • Method: describes the materials and procedures used in the experiment
  • Results: reports all descriptive and inferential statistical analyses
  • Discussion: interprets and evaluates results and identifies limitations
  • Conclusion: sums up the main findings of your experiment
  • References: list of all sources cited using a specific style (e.g. APA )
  • Appendices : contains lengthy materials, procedures, tables or figures

Although most lab reports contain these sections, some sections can be omitted or combined with others. For example, some lab reports contain a brief section on research aims instead of an introduction, and a separate conclusion is not always required.

If you’re not sure, it’s best to check your lab report requirements with your instructor.

The only proofreading tool specialized in correcting academic writing - try for free!

The academic proofreading tool has been trained on 1000s of academic texts and by native English editors. Making it the most accurate and reliable proofreading tool for students.

how to write an academic report

Try for free

Your title provides the first impression of your lab report – effective titles communicate the topic and/or the findings of your study in specific terms.

Create a title that directly conveys the main focus or purpose of your study. It doesn’t need to be creative or thought-provoking, but it should be informative.

  • The effects of varying nitrogen levels on tomato plant height.
  • Testing the universality of the McGurk effect.
  • Comparing the viscosity of common liquids found in kitchens.

An abstract condenses a lab report into a brief overview of about 150–300 words. It should provide readers with a compact version of the research aims, the methods and materials used, the main results, and the final conclusion.

Think of it as a way of giving readers a preview of your full lab report. Write the abstract last, in the past tense, after you’ve drafted all the other sections of your report, so you’ll be able to succinctly summarize each section.

To write a lab report abstract, use these guiding questions:

  • What is the wider context of your study?
  • What research question were you trying to answer?
  • How did you perform the experiment?
  • What did your results show?
  • How did you interpret your results?
  • What is the importance of your findings?

Nitrogen is a necessary nutrient for high quality plants. Tomatoes, one of the most consumed fruits worldwide, rely on nitrogen for healthy leaves and stems to grow fruit. This experiment tested whether nitrogen levels affected tomato plant height in a controlled setting. It was expected that higher levels of nitrogen fertilizer would yield taller tomato plants.

Levels of nitrogen fertilizer were varied between three groups of tomato plants. The control group did not receive any nitrogen fertilizer, while one experimental group received low levels of nitrogen fertilizer, and a second experimental group received high levels of nitrogen fertilizer. All plants were grown from seeds, and heights were measured 50 days into the experiment.

The effects of nitrogen levels on plant height were tested between groups using an ANOVA. The plants with the highest level of nitrogen fertilizer were the tallest, while the plants with low levels of nitrogen exceeded the control group plants in height. In line with expectations and previous findings, the effects of nitrogen levels on plant height were statistically significant. This study strengthens the importance of nitrogen for tomato plants.

Your lab report introduction should set the scene for your experiment. One way to write your introduction is with a funnel (an inverted triangle) structure:

  • Start with the broad, general research topic
  • Narrow your topic down your specific study focus
  • End with a clear research question

Begin by providing background information on your research topic and explaining why it’s important in a broad real-world or theoretical context. Describe relevant previous research on your topic and note how your study may confirm it or expand it, or fill a gap in the research field.

This lab experiment builds on previous research from Haque, Paul, and Sarker (2011), who demonstrated that tomato plant yield increased at higher levels of nitrogen. However, the present research focuses on plant height as a growth indicator and uses a lab-controlled setting instead.

Next, go into detail on the theoretical basis for your study and describe any directly relevant laws or equations that you’ll be using. State your main research aims and expectations by outlining your hypotheses .

Based on the importance of nitrogen for tomato plants, the primary hypothesis was that the plants with the high levels of nitrogen would grow the tallest. The secondary hypothesis was that plants with low levels of nitrogen would grow taller than plants with no nitrogen.

Your introduction doesn’t need to be long, but you may need to organize it into a few paragraphs or with subheadings such as “Research Context” or “Research Aims.”

Receive feedback on language, structure, and formatting

Professional editors proofread and edit your paper by focusing on:

  • Academic style
  • Vague sentences
  • Style consistency

See an example

how to write an academic report

A lab report Method section details the steps you took to gather and analyze data. Give enough detail so that others can follow or evaluate your procedures. Write this section in the past tense. If you need to include any long lists of procedural steps or materials, place them in the Appendices section but refer to them in the text here.

You should describe your experimental design, your subjects, materials, and specific procedures used for data collection and analysis.

Experimental design

Briefly note whether your experiment is a within-subjects  or between-subjects design, and describe how your sample units were assigned to conditions if relevant.

A between-subjects design with three groups of tomato plants was used. The control group did not receive any nitrogen fertilizer. The first experimental group received a low level of nitrogen fertilizer, while the second experimental group received a high level of nitrogen fertilizer.

Describe human subjects in terms of demographic characteristics, and animal or plant subjects in terms of genetic background. Note the total number of subjects as well as the number of subjects per condition or per group. You should also state how you recruited subjects for your study.

List the equipment or materials you used to gather data and state the model names for any specialized equipment.

List of materials

35 Tomato seeds

15 plant pots (15 cm tall)

Light lamps (50,000 lux)

Nitrogen fertilizer

Measuring tape

Describe your experimental settings and conditions in detail. You can provide labelled diagrams or images of the exact set-up necessary for experimental equipment. State how extraneous variables were controlled through restriction or by fixing them at a certain level (e.g., keeping the lab at room temperature).

Light levels were fixed throughout the experiment, and the plants were exposed to 12 hours of light a day. Temperature was restricted to between 23 and 25℃. The pH and carbon levels of the soil were also held constant throughout the experiment as these variables could influence plant height. The plants were grown in rooms free of insects or other pests, and they were spaced out adequately.

Your experimental procedure should describe the exact steps you took to gather data in chronological order. You’ll need to provide enough information so that someone else can replicate your procedure, but you should also be concise. Place detailed information in the appendices where appropriate.

In a lab experiment, you’ll often closely follow a lab manual to gather data. Some instructors will allow you to simply reference the manual and state whether you changed any steps based on practical considerations. Other instructors may want you to rewrite the lab manual procedures as complete sentences in coherent paragraphs, while noting any changes to the steps that you applied in practice.

If you’re performing extensive data analysis, be sure to state your planned analysis methods as well. This includes the types of tests you’ll perform and any programs or software you’ll use for calculations (if relevant).

First, tomato seeds were sown in wooden flats containing soil about 2 cm below the surface. Each seed was kept 3-5 cm apart. The flats were covered to keep the soil moist until germination. The seedlings were removed and transplanted to pots 8 days later, with a maximum of 2 plants to a pot. Each pot was watered once a day to keep the soil moist.

The nitrogen fertilizer treatment was applied to the plant pots 12 days after transplantation. The control group received no treatment, while the first experimental group received a low concentration, and the second experimental group received a high concentration. There were 5 pots in each group, and each plant pot was labelled to indicate the group the plants belonged to.

50 days after the start of the experiment, plant height was measured for all plants. A measuring tape was used to record the length of the plant from ground level to the top of the tallest leaf.

In your results section, you should report the results of any statistical analysis procedures that you undertook. You should clearly state how the results of statistical tests support or refute your initial hypotheses.

The main results to report include:

  • any descriptive statistics
  • statistical test results
  • the significance of the test results
  • estimates of standard error or confidence intervals

The mean heights of the plants in the control group, low nitrogen group, and high nitrogen groups were 20.3, 25.1, and 29.6 cm respectively. A one-way ANOVA was applied to calculate the effect of nitrogen fertilizer level on plant height. The results demonstrated statistically significant ( p = .03) height differences between groups.

Next, post-hoc tests were performed to assess the primary and secondary hypotheses. In support of the primary hypothesis, the high nitrogen group plants were significantly taller than the low nitrogen group and the control group plants. Similarly, the results supported the secondary hypothesis: the low nitrogen plants were taller than the control group plants.

These results can be reported in the text or in tables and figures. Use text for highlighting a few key results, but present large sets of numbers in tables, or show relationships between variables with graphs.

You should also include sample calculations in the Results section for complex experiments. For each sample calculation, provide a brief description of what it does and use clear symbols. Present your raw data in the Appendices section and refer to it to highlight any outliers or trends.

The Discussion section will help demonstrate your understanding of the experimental process and your critical thinking skills.

In this section, you can:

  • Interpret your results
  • Compare your findings with your expectations
  • Identify any sources of experimental error
  • Explain any unexpected results
  • Suggest possible improvements for further studies

Interpreting your results involves clarifying how your results help you answer your main research question. Report whether your results support your hypotheses.

  • Did you measure what you sought out to measure?
  • Were your analysis procedures appropriate for this type of data?

Compare your findings with other research and explain any key differences in findings.

  • Are your results in line with those from previous studies or your classmates’ results? Why or why not?

An effective Discussion section will also highlight the strengths and limitations of a study.

  • Did you have high internal validity or reliability?
  • How did you establish these aspects of your study?

When describing limitations, use specific examples. For example, if random error contributed substantially to the measurements in your study, state the particular sources of error (e.g., imprecise apparatus) and explain ways to improve them.

The results support the hypothesis that nitrogen levels affect plant height, with increasing levels producing taller plants. These statistically significant results are taken together with previous research to support the importance of nitrogen as a nutrient for tomato plant growth.

However, unlike previous studies, this study focused on plant height as an indicator of plant growth in the present experiment. Importantly, plant height may not always reflect plant health or fruit yield, so measuring other indicators would have strengthened the study findings.

Another limitation of the study is the plant height measurement technique, as the measuring tape was not suitable for plants with extreme curvature. Future studies may focus on measuring plant height in different ways.

The main strengths of this study were the controls for extraneous variables, such as pH and carbon levels of the soil. All other factors that could affect plant height were tightly controlled to isolate the effects of nitrogen levels, resulting in high internal validity for this study.

Your conclusion should be the final section of your lab report. Here, you’ll summarize the findings of your experiment, with a brief overview of the strengths and limitations, and implications of your study for further research.

Some lab reports may omit a Conclusion section because it overlaps with the Discussion section, but you should check with your instructor before doing so.

If you want to know more about AI for academic writing, AI tools, or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

  • Ad hominem fallacy
  • Post hoc fallacy
  • Appeal to authority fallacy
  • False cause fallacy
  • Sunk cost fallacy
  • Deep learning
  • Generative AI
  • Machine learning
  • Reinforcement learning
  • Supervised vs. unsupervised learning

 (AI) Tools

  • Grammar Checker
  • Paraphrasing Tool
  • Text Summarizer
  • AI Detector
  • Plagiarism Checker
  • Citation Generator

A lab report conveys the aim, methods, results, and conclusions of a scientific experiment . Lab reports are commonly assigned in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

The purpose of a lab report is to demonstrate your understanding of the scientific method with a hands-on lab experiment. Course instructors will often provide you with an experimental design and procedure. Your task is to write up how you actually performed the experiment and evaluate the outcome.

In contrast, a research paper requires you to independently develop an original argument. It involves more in-depth research and interpretation of sources and data.

A lab report is usually shorter than a research paper.

The sections of a lab report can vary between scientific fields and course requirements, but it usually contains the following:

  • Abstract: summarizes your research aims, methods, results, and conclusions
  • References: list of all sources cited using a specific style (e.g. APA)
  • Appendices: contains lengthy materials, procedures, tables or figures

The results chapter or section simply and objectively reports what you found, without speculating on why you found these results. The discussion interprets the meaning of the results, puts them in context, and explains why they matter.

In qualitative research , results and discussion are sometimes combined. But in quantitative research , it’s considered important to separate the objective results from your interpretation of them.

Cite this Scribbr article

If you want to cite this source, you can copy and paste the citation or click the “Cite this Scribbr article” button to automatically add the citation to our free Citation Generator.

Bhandari, P. (2023, July 23). How To Write A Lab Report | Step-by-Step Guide & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved March 26, 2024, from

Is this article helpful?

Pritha Bhandari

Pritha Bhandari

Other students also liked, guide to experimental design | overview, steps, & examples, how to write an apa methods section, how to write an apa results section, what is your plagiarism score.

  • RMIT Australia
  • RMIT Europe
  • RMIT Vietnam
  • RMIT Global
  • RMIT Online
  • Alumni & Giving

RMIT University Library - Learning Lab

  • What will I do?
  • What will I need?
  • Who will help me?
  • About the institution
  • New to university?
  • Studying efficiently
  • Time management
  • Mind mapping
  • Note-taking
  • Reading skills
  • Argument analysis
  • Preparing for assessment
  • Critical thinking and argument analysis
  • Online learning skills
  • Starting my first assignment
  • Researching your assignment
  • What is referencing?
  • Understanding citations
  • When referencing isn't needed
  • Paraphrasing
  • Summarising
  • Synthesising
  • Integrating ideas with reporting words
  • Referencing with Easy Cite
  • Getting help with referencing
  • Acting with academic integrity
  • Artificial intelligence tools
  • Understanding your audience
  • Writing for coursework
  • Literature review
  • Academic style
  • Writing for the workplace
  • Spelling tips
  • Writing paragraphs
  • Writing sentences
  • Academic word lists
  • Annotated bibliographies
  • Artist statement
  • Case studies
  • Creating effective poster presentations
  • Essays, Reports, Reflective Writing
  • Law assessments
  • Oral presentations
  • Reflective writing
  • Art and design
  • Critical thinking
  • Maths and statistics
  • Sustainability
  • Educators' guide
  • Learning Lab content in context
  • Latest updates
  • Students Alumni & Giving Staff Library

Learning Lab

Getting started at uni, study skills, referencing.

  • When referencing isn't needed
  • Integrating ideas

Writing and assessments

  • Critical reading
  • Poster presentations
  • Postgraduate report writing

Subject areas

For educators.

  • Educators' guide

Writing a report

All reports give structured and factual information.

They tell the story of an enquiry or a problem-solving process. They usually provide practical outcomes and recommendations. They are written in response to a specific need, issue or question.

Magnifying glass

In this tutorial

  • Reports vs essays - Overview of what a report is and how it is different from an essay. Time to complete 15 minutes
  • Purpose and sources - Explains the purpose of a report and the kind of sources you would use to write one. Time to complete 10 minutes
  • Overall stucture of a report - See all of the sections of a report. Includes a sample report structure with all the sections explained. Time to complete 35 minutes
  • Sample report structures - and an example of a student report - Different reports require different structures, see some examples and read a student's technical report. Time to complete 20 minutes

Explore these skills in a real world context

  • Job Board Ad: Business Resilience Officer
  • Reports vs essays
  • Purpose of reports and sources to use
  • Overall structure of a report
  • Sample report structures

Still can't find what you need?

The RMIT University Library provides study support , one-on-one consultations and peer mentoring to RMIT students.

  • Facebook (opens in a new window)
  • Twitter (opens in a new window)
  • Instagram (opens in a new window)
  • Linkedin (opens in a new window)
  • YouTube (opens in a new window)
  • Weibo (opens in a new window)
  • Copyright © 2024 RMIT University |
  • Accessibility |
  • Learning Lab feedback |
  • Complaints |
  • ABN 49 781 030 034 |
  • CRICOS provider number: 00122A |
  • RTO Code: 3046 |
  • Open Universities Australia


Get an experienced writer start working

Review our examples before placing an order, learn how to draft academic papers, crafting an academic report: an in-depth guide for students.

how to write an academic report

How to Regain Momentum on Your Failed Masters Dissertation?

how to write an academic report

Primary and Secondary Data Research | A Potential Guide on Research Data Difference and Usage

how to write an academic report

A Guide for Students is created to help you ace your academic. In this detailed encounter, we will cover the fundamentals of academic report writing and uncover effective tips to score high in academic reports.

Learn More about the Academic Report

An academic report stands as a formal document showcasing research outcomes with clarity and brevity. While such reports may be perceived as monotonous, there are strategies available to enhance reader engagement and vitality within your document.

Very satisfied students

Structure of an academic report .

The report's sections vary depending on the type and the audience for whom it is intended. However, the conventional structure of an academic report is discussed here. These sections are:

1. Title Page

The title page includes the main title of the report, the author's name, and the date the report was completed.

2.  Abstract

The abstract is a summary of the contents of the report. It should be no more than one paragraph long and should be concise and to the point.

3.  Table of Contents

The content table provides an overview of the sections in the report. It should be organized using headings and subheadings to make it easy to navigate.

4.  Introduction

The Introduction of the report  provides background information on the topic. It should also include the purpose or objectives of the research and any hypotheses tested in Introduction . 

5.  Methods

The Methodology section should describe how the research was conducted. A Methodology includes information on what data was collected and how it was collected.

6.  Results

The results Section presents the findings of the research in an objective manner. Any data or statistical analysis should be included in the results Section . 

7.  Discussion

The Discussion section is where the interpretation of the results occurs. This is where you discuss what these results mean concerning your hypotheses and any broader implications.

8.  Conclusion

The Conclusion briefly summarizes the main points from each section of the report. It should also include suggestions for future research on the topic. 

9.  References

The references list provides total citations for all sources used in the report.

10. Appendices

Appendices include any additional material that is not essential to understanding the report's contents but may be helpful for further context or background information (e.g., raw data, surveys, etc.)

3-Step  Dissertation Process!

how to write an academic report

Get 3+ Topics

how to write an academic report

Dissertation Proposal

how to write an academic report

Get Final Dissertation

Organizing your information.

After understanding the common sections in an academic report, let's delve into organizing information within each section. Consider these tips:

  • Utilize headings and subheadings for clearer, reader-friendly content. Headings should be concise, outlining different topics. Subheadings can further break down these topics.
  • Maintain formal language. Avoid contractions (e.g., don't) and first-person pronouns (e.g., I, me, we). Prefer third-person pronouns (e.g., he/she/it/they). If first-person pronouns are necessary, use them sparingly to maintain a formal and unbiased tone.

Practical Tips for Academic Report Planning

Prior to writing, allocate time for report planning. Clarify your message and its presentation. Formulate a main point outline with supporting evidence. This approach maintains writing focus, ensuring a coherent and organized report.

1. Start With a Strong Introduction

The introduction establishes your report's foundation with a topic overview and main points. Include a thesis or hypothesis to give readers a preview of what's to come.

2. Support Your Claims With Evidence.

As mentioned earlier, academic reports depend on research findings. So, it's vital to back all claims with evidence from your investigation, including data from surveys, experiments, or sources like books and articles. Properly citing your sources helps readers find more information easily.

3. Use Active Voice.

One way to engage your reader is to use active voice throughout your report. The passive voice sounds dull and can make your writing hard to follow. For example, compare these two sentences:  

  •   The data was analyzed by the researcher.
  •   The researcher analyzed the data.

See how the second sentence sounds more dynamic? That’s the effect you want to aim for in your academic report.

4. Make Sure Your Ideas Flow Smoothly.

To maintain reader engagement, ensure smooth flow between paragraphs. Use transitions like "in addition," "moreover," and topic sentences to introduce main ideas. Clear idea connections enhance reader involvement in your argument.

5. Use Strong Verbs

Boost report appeal with strong verbs. They convey confidence and vitality, vital for dull subjects. For instance, switch "data suggest" to "data indicate" for added impact. Apply this to your report's verb choices.

6. Cite Your Sources

Whenever using external information, cite sources in the right style (Harvard, MLA, APA, etc.). It showcases academic integrity and your credible, well-researched approach.

7.  Edit and Proofread

After writing, edit and proofread your report. This ensures error-free, readable content. If feasible, have others review it too; fresh eyes often catch mistakes.

By following these tips, you can write an academic report that is clear, concise, and easy for your reader to follow—an essential factor in keeping them engaged with your work from start to finish. So, don't be afraid to upgrade your language and make sure your ideas flow smoothly; doing so will result in a more compelling academic report overall.

You may Contact Premier Dissertation to get help with your academic report and get good grade.

How Does It Work ?

how to write an academic report

Fill the Form

Please fill the free topic form and share your requirements

how to write an academic report

Writer Starts Working

The writer starts to find a topic for you (based on your requirements)

how to write an academic report

3+ Topics Emailed!

The writer shared custom topics with you within 24 hours

Get an Immediate Response

Discuss your requirments with our writers

Get 3+ Free   Dissertation Topics within 24 hours?

Your Number

Academic Level Select Academic Level Undergraduate Masters PhD

Area of Research

admin adil

Related posts

Understanding TOK Concepts | A Beginner's Guide

Understanding TOK Concepts: A Beginner’s Guide

Research Hypotheses: Directional vs. Non-Directional Hypotheses

Research Hypotheses: Directional vs. Non-Directional Hypotheses

Is AP Psychology Hard? Exploring the Challenges and Rewards

Is AP Psychology Hard? Exploring the Challenges and Rewards

Comments are closed.

  • The Scientist University

The Fundamentals of Academic Science Writing

Writing is an essential skill for scientists, and learning how to write effectively starts with good fundamentals and lots of practice..

Nathan Ni, PhD Headshot

Nathan Ni holds a PhD from Queens University. He is a science editor for The Scientist’s Creative Services Team who strives to better understand and communicate the relationships between health and disease.

View full profile.

Learn about our editorial policies.

A person sitting in a laboratory writing notes with a pen in a notebook.

Writing is a big part of being a scientist, whether in the form of manuscripts, grants, reports, protocols, presentations, or even emails. However, many people look at writing as separate from science—a scientist writes, but scientists are not regarded as writers. 1 This outdated assertion means that writing and communication has been historically marginalized when it comes to training and educating new scientists. In truth, being a professional writer is part of being a scientist . 1 In today’s hypercompetitive academic environment, scientists need to be as proficient with the pen as they are with the pipette in order to showcase their work. 

Using the Active Voice

Stereotypical academic writing is rigid, dry, and mechanical, delivering prose that evokes memories of high school and undergraduate laboratory reports. The hallmark of this stereotype is passive voice overuse. In writing, the passive voice is when the action comes at the end of a clause—for example, “the book was opened”. In scientific writing, it is particularly prevalent when detailing methodologies and results. How many times have we seen something like “citric acid was added to the solution, resulting in a two-fold reduction in pH” rather than “adding citric acid to the solution reduced the pH two-fold”?

Scientists should write in the active voice as much as possible. However, the active voice tends to place much more onus on the writer’s perspective, something that scientists have historically been instructed to stay away from. For example, “we treated the cells with phenylephrine” places much more emphasis on the operator than “the cells were treated with phenylephrine.” Furthermore, pronoun usage in academic writing is traditionally discouraged, but it is much harder, especially for those with non-native English proficiency, to properly use active voice without them. 

Things are changing though, and scientists are recognizing the importance of giving themselves credit. Many major journals, including Nature , Science , PLoS One , and PNAS allow pronouns in their manuscripts, and prominent style guides such as APA even recommend using first-person pronouns, as traditional third-person writing can be ambiguous. 2 It is vital that a manuscript clearly and definitively highlights and states what the authors specifically did that was so important or novel, in contrast to what was already known. A simple “we found…” statement in the abstract and the introduction goes a long way towards giving readers the hook that they need to read further.

Keeping Sentences Simple

Writing in the active voice also makes it easier to organize manuscripts and construct arguments. Active voice uses fewer words than passive voice to explain the same concept. It also introduces argument components sequentially—subject, claim, and then evidence—whereas passive voice introduces claim and evidence before the subject. Compare, for example, “T cell abundance did not differ between wildtype and mutant mice” versus “there was no difference between wildtype and mutant mice in terms of T cell abundance.” T cell abundance, as the measured parameter, is the most important part of the sentence, but it is only introduced at the very end of the latter example.

The sequential nature of active voice therefore makes it easier to not get bogged down in overloading the reader with clauses and adhering to a general principle of “one sentence, one concept (or idea, or argument).” Consider the following sentence: 

Research on CysLT 2 R , expressed in humans in umbilical vein endothelial cells, macrophages, platelets, the cardiac Purkinje system, and coronary endothelial cells , had been hampered by a lack of selective pharmacological agents , the majority of work instead using the nonselective cysLT antagonist/partial agonist Bay-u9773 or genetic models of CysLT 2 R expression modulation) .

The core message of this sentence is that CysLT 2 R research is hampered by a lack of selective pharmacological agents, but that message is muddled by the presence of two other major pieces of information: where CysLT 2 R is expressed and what researchers used to study CysLT 2 R instead of selective pharmacological agents. Because this sentence contains three main pieces of information, it is better to break it up into three separate sentences for clarity.

In humans, CysLT 2 R is expressed in umbilical vein endothelial cells, macrophages, platelets, the cardiac Purkinje system, and coronary endothelial cells . CysLT 2 R research has been hampered by a lack of selective pharmacological agents . Instead, the majority of work investigating the receptor has used either the nonselective cysLT antagonist/partial agonist Bay-u9773 or genetic models of CysLT 2 R expression modulation.

The Right Way to Apply Jargon

There is another key advantage to organizing sentences in this simple manner: it lets scientists manage how jargon is introduced to the reader. Jargon—special words used within a specific field or on a specific topic—is necessary in scientific writing. It is critical for succinctly describing key elements and explaining key concepts. But too much jargon can make a manuscript unreadable, either because the reader does not understand the terminology or because they are bogged down in reading all of the definitions. 

The key to using jargon is to make it as easy as possible for the audience. General guidelines instruct writers to define new terms only when they are first used. However, it is cumbersome for a reader to backtrack considerable distances in a manuscript to look up a definition. If a term is first introduced in the introduction but not mentioned again until the discussion, the writer should re-define the term in a more casual manner. For example: “PI3K can be reversibly inhibited by LY294002 and irreversibly inhibited by wortmannin” in the introduction, accompanied by “when we applied the PI3K inhibitor LY294002” for the discussion. This not only makes things easier for the reader, but it also re-emphasizes what the scientist did and the results they obtained.

Practice Makes Better

Finally, the most important fundamental for science writing is to not treat it like a chore or a nuisance. Just as a scientist optimizes a bench assay through repeated trial and error, combined with literature reviews on what steps others have implemented, a scientist should practice, nurture, and hone their writing skills through repeated drafting, editing, and consultation. Do not be afraid to write. Putting pen to paper can help organize one’s thoughts, expose next steps for exploration, or even highlight additional experiments required to patch knowledge or logic gaps in existing studies. 

Looking for more information on scientific writing? Check out The Scientist’s TS SciComm  section. Looking for some help putting together a manuscript, a figure, a poster, or anything else? The Scientist’s Scientific Services  may have the professional help that you need.

  • Schimel J. Writing Science: How to Write Papers That Get Cited And Proposals That Get Funded . Oxford University Press; 2012.
  • First-person pronouns. American Psychological Association. Updated July 2022. Accessed March 2024.  

Related community Research Resources

<strong >How Cloud Labs and Remote Research Shape Science&nbsp;</strong>

How Cloud Labs and Remote Research Shape Science 

Blue circles arranged in five rows connected by wavy blue lines.

Artificial Neural Networks: Learning by Doing

Peer Profile Program

Peer Profile Program

Article type icon

4 Examples of Academic Writing


Written by  Scribendi

The best way to understand what effective academic writing looks like is to review academic writing examples.

Let's begin with four of the most common types of academic writing: research proposals, dissertations, abstracts, and academic articles. We'll be examining each type of writing and providing academic writing samples of each. 

Whether you aim to earn funding for a passion project or are stymied by how to format an abstract, these academic writing examples will help you nail your next undertaking.

Academic Writing Example 1: Research Proposals

A research proposal is an outline of the proposed research of a PhD candidate, a private researcher, or someone hoping to obtain a research grant . 

Your proposal should put your best foot forward: It details your intended research question and how it relates to existing research, makes an argument for why your research should be chosen for advancement or funding, and explains the deliverables you hope to achieve with your research. 

A more detailed look at what proposal writing is and what goes into a research proposal may also be beneficial. Every proposal is different because every project is different. Proposal requirements also differ according to the university or funding agency that reviews the proposal. 

Research Proposal Structure

A cover letter summarizing your proposal and showcasing why you should be chosen

An introduction or abstract

An explanation of the background, purpose, and significance of your research

A research plan or methodology that includes a timeline (a Gantt chart may be beneficial)

A projected budget, if applicable

Academic Writing Sample: Research Proposal Excerpt

Building on the work of the three foundational sociological theorists—Marx, Weber, and Durkheim—and Mark Traugott's theory of the "insurgent barricade," this proposed research will analyze the appearance, use, and disappearance of barricade warfare as an effective battle strategy. 

Focusing on these three theorists, this research will determine which theory or theories best explain the life cycle of barricade warfare, focusing in particular on its disappearance. A brief but comprehensive history of barricade warfare will be provided in addition to the theoretical explanations of barricade warfare's utility.

Research Proposal Writing Tips

Before you format your proposal, contact your targeted university, private organization, or funding agency to confirm what they require for proposals. Then, try to follow this format as closely as possible.

Be detailed when outlining your goals and your funding needs. Connect the objectives of the research to the resources you're requesting.

Be realistic in what you ask for as far as resources—don't ask for more or less than you need, and show evidence to justify your choices.

Don't dedicate too much text in your proposal to describing past research. A summary of key points, arguments, theories, and how your research will build on them should suffice.

Remember that no matter how good your proposal is, it might be rejected. You're likely up against dozens or even hundreds of other candidates who have equally sound proposals. Don't be discouraged if this happens. See it as a learning opportunity for your next proposal.

Academic Writing Example 2: Dissertations

A dissertation is a body of writing that represents original research and is generally written as part of a PhD or master's program. 

Typically, it builds on previous research in the field to make a significant contribution or advancement. You may benefit from more detailed information on what a dissertation is , how to write a dissertation , and how to edit a dissertation .

Dissertation Structure

Introduction/background and the significance of the study

Literature review



Conclusion/contribution to the body of research

Academic Writing Sample: Dissertation Excerpt

There are two options for choosing a unit of analysis for this phenomenon: the social artifact (erected barricades) or the social interaction (the collaboration of insurgents engaged in barricade warfare). The best choice is social interaction. 

Most individual occurrences of barricade warfare involve the construction of more than one barricade, and the number of barricades is not necessarily a valid indicator of the sociological magnitude of an insurgence. The most relevant choice is an insurgence, the event of a conflict involving barricade warfare.

Dissertation Writing Tips

Remember to bear in mind the significance of your study. It doesn't have to be paradigm shifting, but you want to infuse the dissertation with reminders of why your research is important.

Don't get bogged down in trying to show that your research is one of a kind or uniquely contributive to the body of research. It likely isn't, and it's more effective to show how you are building on previous research .

Remember to check with your college or university to ensure that you're formatting your dissertation according to the school's expectations.

Ask your advisor questions when you need to.

Be prepared to make alterations to your dissertation according to your thesis committee's suggestions. This doesn't mean you did a bad job—it just means there's room for improvement.

Academic Writing Example 3: Abstracts

The abstract is actually a component of other forms of academic writing, such as scholarly articles and dissertations. The abstract acts as a comprehensive outline of your paper in paragraph form. 

Abstract Structure


You may want to read more about what abstracts are and why they are important in preparing yourself for writing one.

Academic Writing Sample: Abstract

Barricade warfare has occurred across several spectra, but most notably, it occurred almost exclusively in a 300-year period between the 16th and 19th centuries. Each instance had an inciting incident, but a common thread was the culture of revolution: a revolutionary tradition based on the belief that injustice was being carried out and that, in this case, barricade insurgence was the way to resolve it. 

This study uses the theories of Karl Marx and Emile Durkheim to analyze barricade warfare, its appearance, and its disappearance. Ultimately, neither theory can independently explain this phenomenon. 

Marx offers a reasonable explanation for why barricade warfare may have died, but his theory is difficult to test empirically and fails to explain the absence of recurrences. Conversely, Durkheim's theory is much easier to observe and can explain why barricade warfare has not experienced a renaissance. However, he offered no reason as to why it died in the first place. 

These two theoretical orientations complement each other nicely and, ultimately, neither can stand alone.

Notice that this abstract comes in at under 200 words (a common limit) but nevertheless covers the background of the study, how it was approached, and the results and conclusions of the research. 

If you are struggling to meet a word count, check out 10 Academic Phrases Your Writing Doesn't Need .

Abstract Writing Tips

Be conscious of your word count. Stay under the limit.

Check with your school or target journal to make sure special formatting is not required.

Don't use abbreviations or citations in the abstract.

Don't simply restate your thesis or copy your introduction. Neither of these is an abstract.

Remember that your abstract often gives readers their first impressions of your work. Despite its short length, it deserves a lot of attention. 

Academic Writing Example 4: Articles

Academic articles are pieces of writing intended for publication in academic journals or other scholarly sources. They may be original research studies, literature analyses, critiques , or other forms of scholarly writing.

Article Structure

Abstract and keywords


Materials and methods

References and appendices

Academic Writing Sample: Article Excerpt

"Those great revolutionary barricades were places where heroes came together" (Hugo, 2008). This description by Victor Hugo of the 1832 June Rebellion in Paris comes from his seminal work of fiction, Les Miserables. 

Although the account is fictionalized, it is deeply representative of what historian Mark Traugott (2010, p. 225) terms the "culture of revolution." This spirit of heroic response to social injustice swept across Europe during the second half of the millennium and was characterized in part by barricade warfare. 

The phenomenon of the insurgent barricade has essentially disappeared, however, leaving no trace of its short-lived but intense epoch, and the question of why this happened remains a mystery. The theories of Karl Marx and Emile Durkheim, when taken together, provide a compelling explanation for the disappearance of barricade warfare, and the tenets of each theory will be examined to explain this phenomenon.

Article Writing Tips

Follow these detailed steps for writing an article and publishing it in a journal .

Make sure that you follow all of your target journal's guidelines.

Have a second set of educated eyes look over your article to correct typos, confusing language, and unclear arguments.

Don't be discouraged if your article is not chosen for publication. As with proposal writing, you are up against countless others with equally compelling research.

Don't be discouraged if the journal asks you to make changes to your article. This is common. It means they see value in your article, as well as room for improvement.

Whether you're applying for funding, earning an advanced degree, aiming to publish in a journal, or just trying to cram your 4,000-word study into a 150-word abstract, hopefully these academic writing examples have helped get your creative juices flowing. 

Go out there and write! With these academic writing samples at your side, you are sure to model your academic writing appropriately.

Achieve Your Academic Goals

Hire an expert academic editor , or get a free sample, about the author.

Scribendi Editing and Proofreading

Scribendi's in-house editors work with writers from all over the globe to perfect their writing. They know that no piece of writing is complete without a professional edit, and they love to see a good piece of writing transformed into a great one. Scribendi's in-house editors are unrivaled in both experience and education, having collectively edited millions of words and obtained numerous degrees. They love consuming caffeinated beverages, reading books of various genres, and relaxing in quiet, dimly lit spaces.

Have You Read?

"The Complete Beginner's Guide to Academic Writing"

Related Posts

10 Academic Phrases Your Writing Doesn't Need

10 Academic Phrases Your Writing Doesn't Need

21 Legit Research Databases for Free Journal Articles in 2022

21 Legit Research Databases for Free Journal Articles in 2022

Grant Writing Basics

Grant Writing Basics

Upload your file(s) so we can calculate your word count, or enter your word count manually.

We will also recommend a service based on the file(s) you upload.

English is not my first language. I need English editing and proofreading so that I sound like a native speaker.

I need to have my journal article, dissertation, or term paper edited and proofread, or I need help with an admissions essay or proposal.

I have a novel, manuscript, play, or ebook. I need editing, copy editing, proofreading, a critique of my work, or a query package.

I need editing and proofreading for my white papers, reports, manuals, press releases, marketing materials, and other business documents.

I need to have my essay, project, assignment, or term paper edited and proofread.

I want to sound professional and to get hired. I have a resume, letter, email, or personal document that I need to have edited and proofread.

 Prices include your personal % discount.

 Prices include % sales tax ( ).

how to write an academic report

  • Share full article


Supported by

What the Data Says About Pandemic School Closures, Four Years Later

The more time students spent in remote instruction, the further they fell behind. And, experts say, extended closures did little to stop the spread of Covid.

Sarah Mervosh

By Sarah Mervosh ,  Claire Cain Miller and Francesca Paris

Four years ago this month, schools nationwide began to shut down, igniting one of the most polarizing and partisan debates of the pandemic.

Some schools, often in Republican-led states and rural areas, reopened by fall 2020. Others, typically in large cities and states led by Democrats, would not fully reopen for another year.

A variety of data — about children’s academic outcomes and about the spread of Covid-19 — has accumulated in the time since. Today, there is broad acknowledgment among many public health and education experts that extended school closures did not significantly stop the spread of Covid, while the academic harms for children have been large and long-lasting.

While poverty and other factors also played a role, remote learning was a key driver of academic declines during the pandemic, research shows — a finding that held true across income levels.

Source: Fahle, Kane, Patterson, Reardon, Staiger and Stuart, “ School District and Community Factors Associated With Learning Loss During the COVID-19 Pandemic .” Score changes are measured from 2019 to 2022. In-person means a district offered traditional in-person learning, even if not all students were in-person.

“There’s fairly good consensus that, in general, as a society, we probably kept kids out of school longer than we should have,” said Dr. Sean O’Leary, a pediatric infectious disease specialist who helped write guidance for the American Academy of Pediatrics, which recommended in June 2020 that schools reopen with safety measures in place.

There were no easy decisions at the time. Officials had to weigh the risks of an emerging virus against the academic and mental health consequences of closing schools. And even schools that reopened quickly, by the fall of 2020, have seen lasting effects.

But as experts plan for the next public health emergency, whatever it may be, a growing body of research shows that pandemic school closures came at a steep cost to students.

The longer schools were closed, the more students fell behind.

At the state level, more time spent in remote or hybrid instruction in the 2020-21 school year was associated with larger drops in test scores, according to a New York Times analysis of school closure data and results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress , an authoritative exam administered to a national sample of fourth- and eighth-grade students.

At the school district level, that finding also holds, according to an analysis of test scores from third through eighth grade in thousands of U.S. districts, led by researchers at Stanford and Harvard. In districts where students spent most of the 2020-21 school year learning remotely, they fell more than half a grade behind in math on average, while in districts that spent most of the year in person they lost just over a third of a grade.

( A separate study of nearly 10,000 schools found similar results.)

Such losses can be hard to overcome, without significant interventions. The most recent test scores, from spring 2023, show that students, overall, are not caught up from their pandemic losses , with larger gaps remaining among students that lost the most ground to begin with. Students in districts that were remote or hybrid the longest — at least 90 percent of the 2020-21 school year — still had almost double the ground to make up compared with students in districts that allowed students back for most of the year.

Some time in person was better than no time.

As districts shifted toward in-person learning as the year went on, students that were offered a hybrid schedule (a few hours or days a week in person, with the rest online) did better, on average, than those in places where school was fully remote, but worse than those in places that had school fully in person.

Students in hybrid or remote learning, 2020-21

80% of students

Some schools return online, as Covid-19 cases surge. Vaccinations start for high-priority groups.

Teachers are eligible for the Covid vaccine in more than half of states.

Most districts end the year in-person or hybrid.

Source: Burbio audit of more than 1,200 school districts representing 47 percent of U.S. K-12 enrollment. Note: Learning mode was defined based on the most in-person option available to students.

Income and family background also made a big difference.

A second factor associated with academic declines during the pandemic was a community’s poverty level. Comparing districts with similar remote learning policies, poorer districts had steeper losses.

But in-person learning still mattered: Looking at districts with similar poverty levels, remote learning was associated with greater declines.

A community’s poverty rate and the length of school closures had a “roughly equal” effect on student outcomes, said Sean F. Reardon, a professor of poverty and inequality in education at Stanford, who led a district-level analysis with Thomas J. Kane, an economist at Harvard.

Score changes are measured from 2019 to 2022. Poorest and richest are the top and bottom 20% of districts by percent of students on free/reduced lunch. Mostly in-person and mostly remote are districts that offered traditional in-person learning for more than 90 percent or less than 10 percent of the 2020-21 year.

But the combination — poverty and remote learning — was particularly harmful. For each week spent remote, students in poor districts experienced steeper losses in math than peers in richer districts.

That is notable, because poor districts were also more likely to stay remote for longer .

Some of the country’s largest poor districts are in Democratic-leaning cities that took a more cautious approach to the virus. Poor areas, and Black and Hispanic communities , also suffered higher Covid death rates, making many families and teachers in those districts hesitant to return.

“We wanted to survive,” said Sarah Carpenter, the executive director of Memphis Lift, a parent advocacy group in Memphis, where schools were closed until spring 2021 .

“But I also think, man, looking back, I wish our kids could have gone back to school much quicker,” she added, citing the academic effects.

Other things were also associated with worse student outcomes, including increased anxiety and depression among adults in children’s lives, and the overall restriction of social activity in a community, according to the Stanford and Harvard research .

Even short closures had long-term consequences for children.

While being in school was on average better for academic outcomes, it wasn’t a guarantee. Some districts that opened early, like those in Cherokee County, Ga., a suburb of Atlanta, and Hanover County, Va., lost significant learning and remain behind.

At the same time, many schools are seeing more anxiety and behavioral outbursts among students. And chronic absenteeism from school has surged across demographic groups .

These are signs, experts say, that even short-term closures, and the pandemic more broadly, had lasting effects on the culture of education.

“There was almost, in the Covid era, a sense of, ‘We give up, we’re just trying to keep body and soul together,’ and I think that was corrosive to the higher expectations of schools,” said Margaret Spellings, an education secretary under President George W. Bush who is now chief executive of the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Closing schools did not appear to significantly slow Covid’s spread.

Perhaps the biggest question that hung over school reopenings: Was it safe?

That was largely unknown in the spring of 2020, when schools first shut down. But several experts said that had changed by the fall of 2020, when there were initial signs that children were less likely to become seriously ill, and growing evidence from Europe and parts of the United States that opening schools, with safety measures, did not lead to significantly more transmission.

“Infectious disease leaders have generally agreed that school closures were not an important strategy in stemming the spread of Covid,” said Dr. Jeanne Noble, who directed the Covid response at the U.C.S.F. Parnassus emergency department.

Politically, though, there remains some disagreement about when, exactly, it was safe to reopen school.

Republican governors who pushed to open schools sooner have claimed credit for their approach, while Democrats and teachers’ unions have emphasized their commitment to safety and their investment in helping students recover.

“I do believe it was the right decision,” said Jerry T. Jordan, president of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers, which resisted returning to school in person over concerns about the availability of vaccines and poor ventilation in school buildings. Philadelphia schools waited to partially reopen until the spring of 2021 , a decision Mr. Jordan believes saved lives.

“It doesn’t matter what is going on in the building and how much people are learning if people are getting the virus and running the potential of dying,” he said.

Pandemic school closures offer lessons for the future.

Though the next health crisis may have different particulars, with different risk calculations, the consequences of closing schools are now well established, experts say.

In the future, infectious disease experts said, they hoped decisions would be guided more by epidemiological data as it emerged, taking into account the trade-offs.

“Could we have used data to better guide our decision making? Yes,” said Dr. Uzma N. Hasan, division chief of pediatric infectious diseases at RWJBarnabas Health in Livingston, N.J. “Fear should not guide our decision making.”

Source: Fahle, Kane, Patterson, Reardon, Staiger and Stuart, “ School District and Community Factors Associated With Learning Loss During the Covid-19 Pandemic. ”

The study used estimates of learning loss from the Stanford Education Data Archive . For closure lengths, the study averaged district-level estimates of time spent in remote and hybrid learning compiled by the Covid-19 School Data Hub (C.S.D.H.) and American Enterprise Institute (A.E.I.) . The A.E.I. data defines remote status by whether there was an in-person or hybrid option, even if some students chose to remain virtual. In the C.S.D.H. data set, districts are defined as remote if “all or most” students were virtual.

An earlier version of this article misstated a job description of Dr. Jeanne Noble. She directed the Covid response at the U.C.S.F. Parnassus emergency department. She did not direct the Covid response for the University of California, San Francisco health system.

How we handle corrections

Sarah Mervosh covers education for The Times, focusing on K-12 schools. More about Sarah Mervosh

Claire Cain Miller writes about gender, families and the future of work for The Upshot. She joined The Times in 2008 and was part of a team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 2018 for public service for reporting on workplace sexual harassment issues. More about Claire Cain Miller

Francesca Paris is a Times reporter working with data and graphics for The Upshot. More about Francesca Paris


  1. Academic Report

    how to write an academic report

  2. Report Writing Example for Students

    how to write an academic report

  3. 11+ Sample Academic Report Templates

    how to write an academic report

  4. 10+ Academic Report Templates

    how to write an academic report

  5. 10+ Academic Report Templates

    how to write an academic report

  6. College Report Writing Examples

    how to write an academic report


  1. Report Writing

  2. Lecture 12 : How to write a REPORT in 12th English board exam

  3. Report Writing

  4. Annual Function Report Writing

  5. Introduction to Academic and Research Report Writing| Step by step procedure to write a report

  6. Report Writing || How to Write A Report || CLASS-11th & 12th|| Format|| Pattern|| English ||


  1. how to write an academic report: Examples and tips

    Learn how to write an academic report with concise and relevant content, a clear and concise thesis statement, and an organized outline. Avoid using jargon and the present tense, and check your work with someone before you read it aloud. See examples of how to structure your report and write effective introductions.

  2. Writing an academic report

    Learn how to write an academic report with the most common sections, such as introduction, literature review, methods, results and discussion. Follow the guidelines for formal academic writing and cite trustworthy sources. Find out more or get started now with Wordy's professional, first-language editors.

  3. PDF The Structure of an Academic Paper

    tutorial. That said, writing conventions vary widely across countries, cultures, and even disciplines. For example, although the hourglass model introduces the most important point right from the beginning as a guide to the rest of the paper, some traditions build the argument gradually and deliver the main idea as a punchline.

  4. How to Write a Successful Academic Report

    This lesson will introduce you to what goes into an academic report and how you can go about writing one successfully.In the first section, you will see the ...

  5. What Is Academic Writing?

    Academic writing is a formal style of writing used in universities and scholarly publications. You'll encounter it in journal articles and books on academic topics, and you'll be expected to write your essays, research papers, and dissertation in academic style. Academic writing follows the same writing process as other types of texts, but ...

  6. Report writing

    Reports are concise and have a formal structure. They are often used to communicate the results or findings of a project. Essays by contrast are often used to show a tutor what you think about a topic. They are discursive and the structure can be left to the discretion of the writer.

  7. PDF Academic Report Format Guide

    In an academic report, all pages are consecutively numbered. Position the page number in the upper right-hand corner, flush with the right margin. Leave a 0.5-inch top margin. (Place the page number in the header, if necessary.) Key your last name, followed by a space, and then key the page number. Figure 1.

  8. PDF Writing a Research Report

    Use the section headings (outlined above) to assist with your rough plan. Write a thesis statement that clarifies the overall purpose of your report. Jot down anything you already know about the topic in the relevant sections. 3 Do the Research. Steps 1 and 2 will guide your research for this report.

  9. How to Write a Research Paper

    Develop a thesis statement. Create a research paper outline. Write a first draft of the research paper. Write the introduction. Write a compelling body of text. Write the conclusion. The second draft. The revision process. Research paper checklist.


    Academic Writing "Writing" is usually understood as the expression of thought. This book redefines "writing" as the thought process itself. Writing is not what you do with thought. Writing is thinking. Better living through interpretation: that's the promise of academic writing, which is a foundational course in most schools because ...

  11. Academic Reports: Key Features

    Learn the key parts and components of academic reports, such as title page, abstract, acknowledgements, table of contents, introduction, literature review, method, results, discussion, conclusion and recommendations. Download a help sheet to write an academic report.

  12. Academic Report

    How to Write an Academic Report. 1. Title Page. This means what it literally means. The title of the general report should be indicated on this page of the academic report. In some cases, the title page also includes your name as the author and student number, the name of the course and the course code. For example:

  13. Report

    A report is a well-structured and researched document that informs a specific audience on a particular problem or topic. Learn how to write a report for different purposes, audiences and disciplines, with tips on structure, language and format. Find resources for specific report types such as research, lab, case and technical reports.

  14. Structuring your report

    The structure of a report has a key role to play in communicating information and enabling the reader to find the information they want quickly and easily. Each section of a report has a different role to play and a writing style suited to that role. Therefore, it is important to understand what your audience is expecting in each section of a ...

  15. How to Write an Academic Report

    An academic report is a piece of writing produced for class that uses a formal style to convey information learned through reading and experimentation. Academic reports are a required part of many fields of study, including chemistry, physics, biology, sociology and even humanities like political science. What differentiates an academic report ...

  16. How To Write A Lab Report

    Introduction. Your lab report introduction should set the scene for your experiment. One way to write your introduction is with a funnel (an inverted triangle) structure: Start with the broad, general research topic. Narrow your topic down your specific study focus. End with a clear research question.

  17. Writing a report

    Purpose and sources - Explains the purpose of a report and the kind of sources you would use to write one. Time to complete 10 minutes. Overall stucture of a report - See all of the sections of a report. Includes a sample report structure with all the sections explained. Time to complete 35 minutes.

  18. Academic Report: Overall Structure

    Click on 'Captions' for English subtitles.For more information about writing academic reports looks here:

  19. Crafting an Academic Report: An In-Depth Guide for Students

    This approach maintains writing focus, ensuring a coherent and organized report. 1. Start With a Strong Introduction. The introduction establishes your report's foundation with a topic overview and main points. Include a thesis or hypothesis to give readers a preview of what's to come.

  20. The Fundamentals of Academic Science Writing

    Stereotypical academic writing is rigid, dry, and mechanical, delivering prose that evokes memories of high school and undergraduate laboratory reports. The hallmark of this stereotype is passive voice overuse. In writing, the passive voice is when the action comes at the end of a clause—for example, "the book was opened". In scientific ...

  21. Report writing

    Learn how to write a report for different purposes and audiences at university and in the workplace. Find out the differences between a report and an essay, the steps to plan and write a report, and the format and layout of a report. Check with your lecturer for more detailed information about what is expected.

  22. 4 Examples of Academic Writing

    Academic Writing Example 4: Articles. Academic articles are pieces of writing intended for publication in academic journals or other scholarly sources. They may be original research studies, literature analyses, critiques, or other forms of scholarly writing. Article Structure. Title. Abstract and keywords. Introduction. Materials and methods ...

  23. (PDF) How to Write an Academic Report

    PDF | WRITING SCIENTIFIC AND RESEARCH REPORTS (ACADEMIC REPORT) | Find, read and cite all the research you need on ResearchGate

  24. How to Write a Report Correctly : r/Students_AcademicHelp

    This is a requirement associated with the need to develop students' research and critical thinking skills. Today, I want to tell you how to write a report - one of the project activities. How to start a report📕. First, I decide on the form. A report can be made in the form of a paper, or in the form of a presentation.

  25. What the Data Says About Pandemic School Closures, Four Years Later

    A second factor associated with academic declines during the pandemic was a community's poverty level. Comparing districts with similar remote learning policies, poorer districts had steeper losses.