for Writing Reports
will help you to turn your work into a professionally presented
document and also help to avoid unnecessary problems.
1. Type your text in
the default font. Make no changes to the appearance of the text
at all at this stage. A good practice would be to plan out the
work and type in all sub-headings first, then go back and fill in
with paragraphs between them. Apply the following rules as you
- Enter one empty
line between paragraphs and headings.
- Do not indent
the start of a paragraph.
- Type one space
between words, after any punctuation.
- Type two spaces
- Words at the
start of a sentence and proper names must start with a
- Use language
suitable to your audience. Technical terms should be
explained. Do not express yourself using a phrase like
"I went to File/Save" when "My work was
saved on the hard disk" or similar would make more
sense to the average reader. You might then add (File/Save)
if this is appropriate.
- Remember to put
your name, tutor group and the date at the bottom of your
work, together with references to anybody elses
work you have made use of.
2. At frequent
intervals, save your document using a meaningful filename that
will remind you what the work was about at a later date.
3. When you have
done all this, now is the time to change its appearance:
- Change the
whole text to a suitable font such as Times New Roman or
Arial. It is not normally considered to be good practice
to have a mixture of fonts.
- The main
heading or title should be made a bigger size and
possibly bold and/or underlined.
should be made either bold or underlined and all the same
throughout the document. They should have less weight
than the main title of the work.
- Proper names
could be changed to italic to make them more special.
- Technical words
or other key words could be changed to bold
the first time they are used in the text.
- Colour could be
used instead of bold, but you must be consistent. Red or
blue go best with black text.
- Unless you have
good reason, do not make whole paragraphs bold,
underlined, italic or coloured this can make the
work difficult to read comfortably.
- If making a
list of statements (like here) you should consider
applying bullet points.
- A picture can
speak a thousand words. It can also make the document
more appealing to the reader.
BE CAREFUL NOT TO
OVERDO ANY OF THE ABOVE
(and by the way, the
use of capital letters like this may be considered as shouting
and impolite by the reader).
4. Save your
document using a different filename (File/Save As) before
printing it. You could do this by simply adding a 2 to the
original name. This means that you will still have all your hard
work safely saved from before you made any changes to it.
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