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CHE 331
• Definition
• Confidential Report
• Non-Confidential Report
• Title page
• Abstract
• Content
• Introduction
• Body
• Result and Discussion
• Conclusion
A technical report (also scientific report) is a document that describes the process, progress,
or results of technical or scientific research or the state of a technical or scientific research
problem. It might also include recommendations and conclusions of the research. Unlike
other scientific literature, such as scientific journals and the proceedings of some academic
conferences, technical reports rarely undergo comprehensive independent peer
review before publication. They may be considered as grey literature. Where there is a review
process, it is often limited to within the originating organization. Similarly, there are no formal
publishing procedures for such reports, except where established locally. It can also be
defined as a formal report designed to convey technical information in a clear and easily
accessible format. It is divided into sections which allow different readers to access different
levels of information. This guide explains the commonly accepted format for a technical
report; explains the purposes of the individual sections; and gives hints on how to go about
drafting and refining a report in order to produce an accurate, professional document.
N/B: Grey literature are materials and research produced by organizations outside of the
traditional commercial or academic publishing and distribution channels.
Categories of Report
 Confidential Report: This is circulated to persons with a
direct and immediate need for it
 Non-Confidential Report: This category of report has a
wide circulation
 Secret Report : This is restricted in circulation and can
only be read by authorized persons
When it comes to the writing of a technical report, the format is very important because it is
unique from other reports in that it carries technical information. A technical report contains
technical information which should be planned well. You need to understand all the structure to
achieve your objective. A technical report should contain the following:
The Title page
The title page comes first when you wrote your report. The title page contains the title of the
report the date and the institution/organization plus supervisor. The first page is also referred to a
the cover page and for situations were a word count limit is placed on the report the title page
serves as a separate entity and should not be added to the word count.
In the summary, you need to write an overview of the whole report including the results and
conclusions made. Hence, this is meant to be the last thing written after the experiment
In this section the numbers and lists of all the sections and subsections with their heading and
page number are given
In the introduction, you are supposed to highlight the main aim of the paper to the
reader. Let the reader understand the purpose of you writing the report. It simply states
the objectives of the report and comments on the way the topic of the report is to be
Experimental details
This is the part that you need to state every detail of the experiment starting from the
equipment that you used to the procedure for the experiment. This part may be
excluded if the report did not involve any experiment.
The body is the most important part of your report because it carries your content. You
should introduce small subheadings in your report as per the point being put across.
This will make your work look more presentable as the reader will be guided with this
subheading what point you are talking about
This is where you are expected to show the calculations done from your experiments and
explain the results that you obtained from your experiments. You should give a clear
explanation so that the reader cannot ask themselves any questions on your result.
When it comes to the writing of your conclusion what you need to do is write a summary
of the main points in the body of your report and wrap it up. Remember also that the
conclusion should be short and precise avoiding a lot of stories in your concluding
paragraph spare all the stories for the body of your report
The recommendation usually comes after the conclusion. In the recommendation, you
are supposed to suggest solutions to the challenges that are there in the body. This is
where your opinion on what would be the best cause of action or what more could have
been done
In the references you need to list all the materials that you used in your research. You may
have quoted some text somewhere so it’s a point that you need to list it so that it does not
become a plagiarized work. When you write the references, you acknowledge that the
content that you used is from a certain source
A bibliography is more like the references but in a bibliography you can go ahead and list the
sources that you did not use in the research, but they may be useful in the explanation of
your content. Mostly bibliography usually contains sources that can be used for further
reading on the topic .
In this section, you are supposed to list all the people that have helped you in coming up with
your report. This includes even those that proofread your work to make sure it is well
written. This is a way of appreciating the effort of other people in your work.
N/B: plagiarism is the wrongful appropriation, stealing and publication of another authors
language, thoughts, ideas or expression
You may have used other materials to put across your points in the report such as
graphs or diagrams but are not necessarily required in the report. This is the place
where you should mention them
Title page
The sections which make up the body of the report
Appendices (if appropriate)
Must include the title of the report. Reports for
assessment, where the word length has been specified,
will often also require the summary word count and the
main text word count
A summary of the whole report including important
features, results and conclusions
Numbers and lists all section and subsection headings
with page numbers
States the objectives of the report and comments on the
way the topic of the report is to be treated. Leads straight
into the report itself. Must not be a copy of the
introduction in a lab handout.
Divided into numbered and headed sections. These
sections separate the different main ideas in a logical
A short, logical summing up of the theme(s) developed in
the main text
Details of published sources of material referred to or
quoted in the text (including any lecture notes and URL
addresses of any websites used.
Other published sources of material, including websites,
not referred to in the text but useful for background or
further reading.
List of people who helped you research or prepare the
report, including your proofreaders
Any further material which is essential for full
understanding of your report (e.g. large scale diagrams,
computer code, raw data, specifications) but not required
by a casual reader
For technical reports required as part of an assessment, the following presentation guidelines are recommended;
The report must be printed single sided on white A4 paper.
Hand written or dot-matrix printed reports are not acceptable.
All four margins must be at least 2.54 cm
Page numbers
Do not number the title, summary or contents pages. Number
all other pages consecutively starting at 1
A single staple in the top left corner or 3 staples spaced down
the left hand margin. For longer reports (e.g. year 3 project
report) binders may be used.
How to write a technical report and where to start
Assembly of all needed sources for the report
Listing and arrangement of ideas and topics according to their respective
Write a rough draft of the report
Review the first draft and make finishing touches where changes need to be
done and
 Fonts
Avoid the over using of fonts so that your work isn’t fussy and unprofessional. Use them to pinpoint and emphasize an idea
for the reader
 Headings
Use of headings and subheadings to show your different points making it easier for top executives to scheme through the
major headings
 Referencing/Citing
When using a content that doesn’t belong to you it is necessary to quote/cite the reference material it was gotten form so
that it won’t be considered plagiarism
 Source/information verification
These are documents top executives use to make decisions and if your facts are wrong it will lead to a wrong decision.
Hence sources to be verified before use as not everything on the internet is correct
 Proofreading
This is done to make sure that there are no grammatical errors that are avoidable. It can also be used as an avenue to
make sure all the intended points are present
 Graphs
The graph should be well labelled to avoid confusion of the variables
 Diagrams
Simple diagrams should be drawn to make for easy explanation and should appear before or after the content being
 Tables
The use of tables are very important as they are necessary to list out points and for comparison