Identify the sections of a report

This post was originally added to Learnhigher on: 15th Jan, 2012
Activity time: 25 Minutes
Types of media: Handout/s, Webpage, Helpsheet, PDF file
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A classroom activity which helps to develop understanding of the reasons why reports are organised as they are. Further to this, it highlights the differing writing styles appropriate for each section.
Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 3.0

(This resource can be freely repurposed and reused)

Report Writing

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About the Activity

This activity is designed to demonstrate how the sections of a report serve different purposes and have different writing styles in order to communicate their information effectively. 

It helps students see the reason behind having sections in a report; they are not just a set of formal guidelines to be followed. 

It also helps students focus on appropriate writing styles, which is something they may not have explicitly thought about before, especially if they are working in a science subject. 

The activity takes extracts from different sections of reports and asks students to identify which section they come from. More importantly, students have to justify this decision using evidence from the texts. 

Activity Type

A small group activity


15 minutes to read the extracts and discuss their features in

10 minutes to feed back and discuss as a whole class

Suggested use

This can be used as an activity in a workshop on effective report
writing. It could also be used as a short diagnostic exercise or take-home
activity from a seminar. 

Download the suggested answers for identifying the sections of a report

Subject lecturers can adapt the examples on the handout to use 
report extracts from their own disciplines.


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