Technical reports are commonplace in technical professions, such as engineering, computer science, and medical sciences. Unlike non-technical reports, technical reports contain lots of in-depth technical data and special terms aimed at specific audiences. A poorly written technical report can undermine even the best research work. So, if you’re a student taking a technical course, you’ll need to know how to write a technical report like a pro.
How do you ensure that your technical report communicates your design concepts, findings, and solutions effectively? This guide explains everything you need to know about a research report, including the purpose and commonly accepted structure. Follow the steps when writing a technical report to produce an accurate and professional paper.
What is a Technical Report, and What is it used for?
A technical report is a document that guides the reader through how scientific or technical research was conveyed. It explains the steps, data, results, conclusions, and recommendations of the research. Technical reports are a common assignment for students taking STEM subjects, such as computer science, engineering, chemistry, and physics.
A technical report serves many purposes, such as:
- Showing the process of your work. The audience may want to know how you arrived at the results. So, you use a technical report to demonstrate how you did it.
- Bringing attention to an existing problem. A technical report is an effective way of demonstrating an existing problem to readers and why action is needed.
- Presenting important information. If top management wants to communicate key information to employees on different levels, they can use a technical report that contains the details of where the company will develop in the future.
- Structuring data. You can use a technical report to logically represent information and demonstrate cause-and-effect relationships between data sets.
How to Write a Top-Notch Technical Report: A Comprehensive Guide
If your assignment requires you to write a technical report, knowing the requirements and proper structure can make it easy to craft an impressive paper. The conventions and structure of a technical report rarely differ, regardless of the purpose. However, before we learn how to write a report, let’s check out a few things you should do beforehand to prepare.
- Establish the goal of your report — Before you start, make sure you clearly understand the goal and the message you want to pass through the paper. Also, identify the supporting information you’ll use to support the message. This way, you avoid data dumping, which is a common mistake in Technical reports.
- Identify your audience — A technical report is designed to convince the reader of your position and persuade them to act accordingly. Therefore, you must identify your target audience in order to make content that is relevant to them. Also, learning your audience can guide you on whether to use technical language or cut back on the jargon for non-technical readers.
- Choose your approach — You can present a technical report in two main ways. The most common method is a top-down approach that includes a structured report with specific titles and subsections. Another approach is the evolutionary delivery method in which the report takes shape naturally.
- Create an outline— Technical reports require excellent presentation and organization to communicate key messages. Therefore, always start by creating an outline with details of all sections and how important content will be presented.
Ways to Write a Top-Notch Technical Report
Now that you’ve done all the preparation, you can start writing your report. Follow the step-by-step below to learn how to craft a stellar technical report.
The title page tells the reader about the status of the project. It’s the first thing the audience will see, so make sure it includes relevant details such as:
- Report title
- Author’s name
- Institution’s name
- Professor’s name
Note that, the contents of the title page are not considered in the word count.
The section introduces the goal of the paper to help the reader understand the purpose of your report. It specifies the context, previous literature, objectives, and hypothesis. Keep in mind that if you’re still new to technical reports and worried you’ll make mistakes, you can use the help of professional writing services, such as CustomWritings which processes “write my assignment” requests. Working with an expert report writer will ensure you get everything right done for you. That way, you optimize academic excellence and polish your report-writing skills for the future.
A summary gives the general picture of the report for those who won’t read the whole report or those who want a reminder of what they’ve read. It includes the results, conclusions, and recommendations of the report. This section is a key area of focus for audiences who don’t have time to look at all the steps. To ensure it’s clear and concise:
- Keep it under 250 words
- Comment only on major findings, conclusions, and recommendations
- Give enough background information in the introduction so that the summary makes sense.
- Use continuous prose and no diagrams.
The body is the most important part of technical reports because it carries the main parts of the research. The contents of the body are based on the type of audience and nature of the project. The information should be in chapters with headings and subheadings to make it more presentable and clear. Also, include figures, equations, tables, and formulae to present information to convey ideas to readers more effectively.
A conclusion sums up the main ideas developed in the body and the decision you came up with. Mention the main findings of each chapter, the goals reached, the implications of the findings, and the significance of the research made. Although the conclusion must be concise, it should also answer every question the reader may have.
If your technical report homework requires recommendations for action, include them here in two ways:
- List the action statements that give answers to your problem. For example, you recommend that approval be required before issuing ventilation fans.
- You can also provide conditional statements based on certain actions. For example, the study found that fans should be made from forged steel and fan houses be constructed from galvanized steel, but future research should explore…
The last part includes all the subject details of the report, which include references and appendices
- References — They are sources used in writing the report. The list may include references to figures, quotes, graphs, and statistics. Students must include references to avoid violating academic integrity.
- Appendices — This is where you put the graphs, computer code, raw data, diagrams, and other specifications that are essential for the full understanding of your technical report.
Writing a Technical Report like a Pro Requires Planning and Practice
A technical report is a powerful medium for presenting your expertise. However, you must know the best way to make it clear, informative, and concise for your readers. Use the quick tricks and tips in this article to write a technical report that gets the desired response.