How to write a field report

Updated February 21, 2017

Field reports are reports that may be written in an office environment but list results and other data obtained from a trip. They are sometimes called field trip reports. An example of a field report would be a report written about observations of wildlife seen in a national preserve. This could be a report put together from notes taken literally in a field. But there are other types of field reports. A company may send an employee to various branches of the organisation to collect information about how each branch functions in relation to the organizational network. For any field report, there are steps that you can take to help ensure that yours is effective and professional.

Take good notes when you're on your trip. List dates with each observation you make. If the weather or any other factor has an influence on what you're observing, note the factor for inclusion in the report. If you do any interviews, write the names of interviewees and their job titles or function.

Begin writing your report after your field trip. Start by writing your name, the date and a title of the report. The title could simply be "Field Trip" followed by the date. If the field trip had a specific purpose, this should be included in the title.

Follow the title with a statement about why the field trip was made, the date(s) of the trip and a general summary of the observations or results from the trip. This can be under a section header such as "Overview."

Write the body of the report. It can be written in a number of different ways, depending on the context of your trip. You could use an organizational structure such as the types of activities that were performed, the names of people interviewed or the species of animal that was observed. If nothing comes to mind, use a simple chronological order and write about what occurred day by day.

Finish your field report with a section titled "Conclusions." These can be of a personal nature, but they should be supported by the data and observations that were introduced in the body of the report.


Write a first draft of your report and then have a friend or colleague read it to check for grammar errors. The reviewer may also suggest improvements for clarity if there are passages that aren't clear. Be sure that you report on the extent to which you achieved the purpose of your trip.


Write carefully: any mistakes in a field report may be seen by people who make employment decisions.

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About the Author

Doug Hewitt has been writing for over 20 years and has a Master of Arts from University of North Carolina-Greensboro. He authored the book "The Practical Guide to Weekend Parenting," which includes health and fitness hints for parents. He and his wife, Robin, are coauthors of the "Free College Resource Book."