Report writing resources

There are some great report writing resources available. To get an overview of report writing have a look at QUT cite|write resources on report writing and also the resources available from the University of NSW.

The report that you are being asked to complete for this assessment is not a research report, it is a report to management recommending a way to solve a problem.

You are required to compare and contrast a minimum of three technologies that may be of use to the organisation in resolving an issue.

The most important things to remember are:

  • you only need to choose one scenario, and then contrast at least three technologies that may help resolve the issue
  • your analysis of the technologies must be evidence based, this means that you should be referring to relevant literature throughout this analysis
  • you must provide recommendations to the management about which solution to adopt, again these should be evidence based and refer to relevant literature

You will see in a lot of the report writing templates that there is a separate literature review section, this is not necessary in your report. Rather than a separate literature review you should be referring to literature throughout the analysis and recommendations.

There are many suggested report formats that are available, some good ones to work from are available from Charles Darwin University (under business reports) or Massey University.  Kate Davis has also created this excellent video about report writing.

Remember that you are free to modify the templates as you like but the key elements that are expected in every report are listed below:

Executive summary

This should provide a snapshot of the report, including recommendations.

Introduction / Background

This section should provide some background to the problem, remember that you are writing this report for an organisation that is having an issue that would like help resolve. While you are not expected to create a detailed scenario about the issue you will need to discuss it.

This section should have references, so if you have chosen the scenario about distributed teams you would provide some information about issues that may arise in these teams, referencing relevant literature.

This section may be broken down into further sub-headings, have a look at the resources recommended above to get some ideas about how to do this.

Discussion

This section can be broken down as you would like, but you could divide it into sections by the technologies that you are analysing as a start and then work from there, so it might look something like this for each technology:

1. Facebook
1.1 Advantages
1.2 Disadvantages
1.3 Implementing Facebook in ABC organisation

Analysis of the technology should all be based on relevant literature.

Conclusion

This section should outline what you have done in the report, and whether you have successfully met the aims of the report.

Recommendations

This section is crucial, it should recommend a course of action for the organisation to take, again based on relevant literature.

Finally what does ‘relevant literature’ mean? In this type of report where you will be discussing emerging technologies the relevant literature means more than academic sources, it may also include online articles, trade publications, even blogs may be appropriate. However it is expected that there will be some traditional academic sources used in this report as well, this means sources such as books and peer-reviewed journal articles.

You will notice in the criteria sheets that there is no set number or type of resources listed for each grade. You will need to use your own judgment to decide what an authoritative source is, and how many you need to back up your claims.

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