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Report Writing
A comparison between reports and essays
 

Report writing is an important skill to develop as it is a common form of writing at university and in later employment.

It is important to read your assignment question carefully to find out the specific requirements of a report in your subject

In general though, reports may differ from essays in a number of ways:

Reports Essays
The purpose of a report is to convey specific information to provide the reader with information. The purpose of an essay is to show how well you have understood the question and are able to answer it.
A report usually contains a description of events/results of research. Often you need to do more than just describe the events or results**. You may also need to analyse these events or results, or use them to put forward a proposal for future action or to solve a particular problem University essays usually require some form of argument in response to the essay question.
A report may often contain conclusions and recommendations An essay will contain a conclusion, but including recommendations is rare.

Despite these differences, in some disciplines, the distinction between an essay and a report can be blurred; for example, an essay can be structured more like a report with headings separating the sections of the essay.

**It is recommended that students consult their lecturers regarding the particular style of report required in their specific subject.



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