The design of reports does not impose as stringent requirements as the design of larger-scale works (term papers, diplomas). However, negligence in design, non-compliance with standards can lead to lower grades.
What the report consists of
The composition of the report is similar to the composition of the abstract. The following structural elements can be distinguished:
- The title page – often the report is not submitted to the teacher in print form at all (the student simply reads it to the audience), then there is no need to prepare this element. Upon receipt of the assignment, you can clarify the procedure for submission, but if you do not know how to make a report at your institute, it is better to prepare the cover page.
- Content (table of contents) – it is allowed not to make content for works of small volume (and the report rarely exceeds 10 pages). If the report is large, or is divided into many questions, the content will be useful to the speaker himself.
- Introduction – may not stand out as a separate structural element (do not have a heading), but some introductory design that allows you to interest listeners is required. The volume of introduction should be 5-10% of the total report volume, i.e. if the report has a volume of 5 pages – no more than half a page. In this part, it is necessary to indicate the relevance of the work, briefly indicate which side the topic will be considered in the report.
- The main part is the actual disclosure of the topic of the report.
- Conclusion – Like the introduction, it may not be highlighted. It may also be called, depending on the topic, “conclusions”, “results”, “results”.
- References – if a source is used in the report without mentioning it, it can be considered plagiarism.
Proper presentation of the title page of the report
If the report is submitted for examination to the teacher, attention should be paid to the design of auxiliary elements (supplementing the main text).
The first thing a person sees when he picks up a report is the title page. Mandatory details must be indicated on the title page. We list them from top to bottom:
- Higher organization – for most universities this is the Ministry of Science and Higher Education. Industry affiliation is also possible.
- The name of the institution.
- Name of faculty, department.
- Type of work – “Report”.
- “By discipline” and the name of the discipline.
- Information about the person who completed and checked the work.
- City and year of writing the report.
Making the text of the report
A very common question is what font to write the report. There is a certain freedom of choice, limiting only the minimum font size (it must be at least 12 pt.). For the design of works, they traditionally use 14 fonts with one and a half intervals, the most popular font is Times New Roman.
When preparing a report, it should be borne in mind that its main purpose is a tip for the speaker. Therefore, the font should make it possible to read some fragment easily and quickly: the speaker should not peer into the text, painfully analyzing the words. It may be convenient to print the report in two versions – one with the standard 14 Times New Roman font (to be checked), and the other more convenient for the speaker to personally perceive (to peek during the story).
The text should be divided into paragraphs (perhaps structural elements, if the report is sufficiently voluminous). In the cheat sheet report, you can highlight key points for yourself with the help of effects – bold, underline, italics. In the teacher version, this is not recommended.
Enumerations are best written not in solid text separated by commas, but using bulleted or numbered lists (text editors such as Word or Writer have the necessary tools in their composition).
The use of figures and tables in the report itself is impractical: a large number of numbers are poorly perceived by ear, and the figures will be completely inaccessible to the audience.
Correct design of the list of references
The design of the list of references for the report is no different from the design of this element in any other form of scientific or educational work.
The specific elements of the source description depend on its variety – a book, an electronic source, an article in a periodical, etc.
The correct bibliographic description of the book can be taken on one of its first pages. Difficulties can arise only with old editions, which took shape before the advent of the new standard.
The greatest difficulty is the design of electronic sources, especially sites.
The order of sources in the list of references for the report is alphabetically. Since the reports usually do not make footnotes, ordering as they are mentioned in the text is inappropriate. It is possible to separate normative legal acts into a separate block (precede all other sources).
Handout for the report
To revive the report or illustrate some of its provisions, you can use visual materials. For a small audience, it’s easiest to prepare handouts.
Handout may contain various information that is worse perceived by ear than visually, or their perception by ear is completely impossible.
Examples include graphs, charts, tables with numbers, reproductions of paintings.
The specific type of handout and the degree of support in it in the text determines the required number of copies.
So, if the report is dedicated to the artist, you can convey reproductions of his paintings in one or two copies: the time for the speech is enough for the whole group (or even 2 groups) to see the paintings. If the report is based on the analysis of numerical information, a table with numbers should be in front of each listener’s eyes throughout the entire report.
There are no clear requirements for the design of handouts. The main thing is that the material is readable, the images are clearly printed, sufficiently bright and contrasting. The paper should be clean and not wrinkled, it should be nice to pick up.
How to make a presentation to the report
The development of multimedia technology allows you to replace handouts with a presentation. If the audience has the necessary equipment (projector, screen), and the teacher allows them to use it, this option is preferred for the speaker:
- The presentation can be used as a hint to the speaker, if you put on the slides the key provisions of the report.
- Slides are visible to the entire audience at once, no one has to wait until the material reaches him.
- The speaker can point out some significant fragments of the picture (drawing, map and other types of images) to emphasize.
- Printing costs are reduced (color printing of a large number of copies is a rather expensive event, and black and white does not always convey the necessary information).
- Working with visual images can be supplemented with sound information (for example, music, if this helps to reveal the topic of the report).
The presentation should be well read (a dark font on a light background is recommended), not overloaded with animation and effects, not containing unnecessary decorations that distract from the content.