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.
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.
A small group activity
15 minutes to read the extracts and discuss their features in groups
10 minutes to feed back and discuss as a whole class
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.
Subject lecturers can adapt the examples on the handout to use report extracts from their own disciplines.