What You Should Know About Technical Reports

What You Should Know About Technical Reports
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Technical reports are very common in engineering. They often appear in the workplace serving as a practical document written by engineers for other engineers, managers, or customers. We hope that this quick guide from College-Writers service will help you understand how to write a technical report.

Thus, every report is aimed to not only present information. There are a few common purposes, such as:

  • Persuading readers, for example:
    • Convincing a client that you have a great solution;
    • Convincing government agencies that certain actions will have a positive effect;
    • Convincing the public that they will benefit from a certain project.
  • Persuading readers to do something:
    • Persuading a client to choose a particular design;
    • Persuading a council or government to take a certain action;
    • Persuading another organization to partner with your project.
  • Informing readers (often with a particular purpose):
    • Instructing engineers on how to work according to your plan;
    • Providing government institutions with the necessary information;
    • Informing stakeholders about the outcomes of a project.

Plan your report in advance and start by defining its purpose. Technical reports focus on a specific message or have a certain function. They don’t just inform readers. However, students often have to write reports aimed to demonstrate their knowledge of a subject, with no intention to persuade readers.

Although reports have different purposes depending on the information they convey (industrial projects, environmental impact, investigative studies, etc.), they all have the same structure and should meet the same requirements.

The Purpose of a Report What Is Used
Communication of information Bulleted lists; Tables and figures
Selective reading Numbered headings and subheadings

This article is about technical reports in general. Therefore, we recommend that you clarify the requirements of your department or unit for a specific report.

General Structure

Most often, reports contain the sections listed below. However, you may include more or fewer sections depending on the type of your report and its purpose. Obviously, the body of each report is also unique. Quite often, a writer has an opportunity to choose a structure. We recommend that you approach your task as if you were a reader and think of what your readers would like to know first, and how to develop the story of your project logically.

Here are the standard sections of a technical report:

  • Title page;
  • Summary;
  • Table of contents;
  • Introduction;
  • Body;
  • Recommendations and conclusions;
  • Appendices and references.

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