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Writing a Report 3

Look at this task:

An English friend of yours is working on a series of articles called Young and Old
Around the World which looks at different towns and cities through the eyes of
teenagers and senior citizens. She has written asking for your help and this is an extract
from her letter.
What I want is some first-hand information about what its like to live in your town from
the point of view of the two different age groups. You would need to interview, say, ten
people in each category on the main topics of public transport, entertainment, and
shopping and write me a brief report. Could you also include a short introduction about
your town and give a little summing up at the end?

Write your report in about 250 words.

A report is a formal document prepared by one person or a group of people who have been
studying a particular subject. There are two basic kinds of reports:
The first simply provides information on a topic and gives a brief conclusion or
summary at the end. Example: a report on the educational system in a particular country,
written to help someone research the subject.

The second sets out to identify strengths and weaknesses in a particular situation
and make recommendations for improvement. Example: a report on the library facilities in a
college written at the request of the principal.

Language and register

Reports are the most impersonal kind of writing and it is usually best to avoid expressing
personal opinions or feelings, except, perhaps, in the conclusion. Instead of I think that
or I found that for example, you can use the impersonal It construction and a passive,
eg It seems that It was found that
It is also advisable to avoid making very definite statements unless youre absolutely sure
theyre true. Instead of saying It is for example, you can use a modal verb eg It
could/may/might be or a more tentative expression such as It seems to be or It tends to be.
Layout and organisation
Reports should have a clear factual heading and may also have subheadings which divide
the writing into shorter sections. The information should be organised and presented as
clearly and logically as possible, with a short introduction explaining the aims of the report
and how the information was obtained and a suitable conclusion, summing up the
information and making recommendations if necessary.
Useful language

The aim of this report is to..

This report is intended to..
This report looks at / describes..

It is based on
It draws on
It uses..

Reporting an

It seems/appears that..
The majority / minority of
According to

As X said


It may / could / might (well) be that ..


In general


As might be (have been) expected

Making a recommendation:

Summing up:

It was found that..

It was felt that ..
In the words of

On the whole

In the main


It is interesting that

It is recommended that ..
(Perhaps) it would be advisable for X to (do)
(Perhaps) X might /should consider

To sum up / To summarise On balance

In short

Study the following example carefully:

Leisure Facilities in Grimthorpe
The aim of this report is to describe and assess the leisure facilities available in Grimthorpe. It is
based on information made available by the Grimthorpe Tourist Office, and on views expressed
by local people who were interviewed.
Grimthorpe has a wide range of sports facilities, both public and private. There is a large modern
leisure centre in the High Street and facilities include a swimming pool, a sports hall for judo,
fencing and other activities, and tennis courts. The centre runs courses in all these sports and
these tend to be very popular. Membership costs 150 a year, which was felt to be rather
expensive, but a special temporary membership is available to visitors. The public swimming
pool on the outskirts of the town is older, less attractive and often overcrowded, but entry is only
There are two theatres in town, the Kings Theatre in Bee Street, which offers mainly serious
drama and has a good reputation for its productions of Shakespeare, and the Little Theatre
in Sea Street which specialises in lighter entertainment and the occasional pop concert. In
general, it seems that the Kings Theatre is more popular with the older members of the
community while the Little appeals more to people in their teens and twenties.
Museums and Art Galleries
The City Museum has an extensive collection of maps, pottery and other articles connected with
Grimthorpes history. The attendants are said to be very friendly and helpful, and there is also a
small caf with reasonably priced home-made snacks. Interestingly, few of the local people
interviewed had ever been to the museum but it was recommended highly by several tourists.
Grimthorpe is well provided with leisure facilities for a town of its size and these are well used by
the townspeople on the whole. Sport seems to be the most popular leisure activity, while cultural
activities like visiting the museum or art gallery appeared to be the least popular among the
Grimthorpians who were interviewed. Perhaps the City Council should consider launching a
publicity campaign to show how much these facilities have to offer.

Now use these tips to help you write your answer to the task above.

First Certificate Writing a Report Get It Right

Posted on 23 March, 2011 by todayschoolblog

When you write a report here are the top things you need to think about:
You need to write 4 or 5 paragraphs, including an introduction and
The first paragraph should state the aim of the report+ where you got the
Use headings to make it easier to read.
Use points under each heading with bullet points or numbers.
Avoid your personal opinion and I , my , We etc. Use the passive voice.
Use formal language and generalising functions.
Sum up the reports possible recommendations and suggest the best one(s).

Here is a typical task:

Write a report suggesting improvements to classes at Today School.
Look at a students answer to the question. Appropriate language is highlighted in red.
The aim of this report is to compare different ideas to make classes in Today School more
enjoyable for students while learning at the same time. A large number of students were
interviewed to find out differing opinions.
Classroom Activities
Some of the students suggested using more videos and songs during the classes and
some even mentioned that parties with alcohol would be a good idea. A few of them gave
reasons why they preferred these activities:

Pop music and films are interesting and topical

Alcohol makes people relax and talk more.

Outside Class
The majority of students mentioned that homework should be reduced drasticallywhereas
others expressed a preference for doing excursions in English, giving the following

Too much homework makes students stressed.

Excursions are a fun way of putting into practice what is learnt.

Some of the ideas have benefits, however, suggestions to allow alcohol and reduce
homework should beimmediately discarded. On the other hand, it is felt the majority of
students would take advantage of more pop videos and excursions andso these
suggestions are recommendable.
Other useful language for a report:

This report is intended to

Many of those interviewed stated
Others pointed out that.
Several people thought that..

Another option that was mentioned was

Both/All the ideas seemed interesting
Taking all the points into consideration.
On balance then, I feel that.
Without a doubt the first option was

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