School reports are not always the most exciting things to write. However, with some good planning and research, your reports can come together easily. You will have a sense of accomplishment when you are finished and your reports can consistently earn you high marks.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Research material
Identify your topic. If you do not completely understand the topic that your instructor gives you to write about, ask for clarification. If you can choose your own topic, check out Resource 1 below for some ideas on brainstorming.
Choose your topic and narrow down your focus. A topic such as "The History of England" is too broad. You could focus instead on how the Industrial Revolution shaped agrarian culture from 1800-1850. This will save you a significant amount of time and effort in the research process.
Define your thesis. Your thesis is what you will argue in your paper. You can describe an event in history for five pages or you can say why you think the event was caused in the first place.
Research your topic extensively. Take notes that support or provide another viewpoint on your thesis. Keep your topic in mind as you research, however. Jotting down unnecessary and unhelpful information will not support your arguments; it will only lead to superfluous extras in your paper that take up white space but that don't say anything substantial. Ask your school's librarians for help if you need some assistance finding the right information for your paper.
Write your outline. An outline will help you to formulate your thoughts around your thesis and it will help you to see the logic that flows throughout your paper. One argument should lead easily and fluidly into the next. Focus on your thesis and who your audience is.
Write your first draft. Using your outline and your notes, develop your report. Your report should include an introduction, a body that supports your thesis and a conclusion in which you restate your thesis and arguments in a concise way. Your conclusion tells the reader why you believe what you do about your topic.
Revise and proofread your report. You should write at least two drafts of your report. After you write and revise the first one, write the second one and let it sit for a little while. Come back to it after you have rested and see if your report makes sense and presents your findings and ideas clearly.
Tips and warnings
- Write in a conversational tone and consult a thesaurus to help you find synonyms for words you use often.
- Ensure that the logic of your article makes sense and that your supporting arguments are well-developed. Ask another person to read it with these purposes in mind.
- Citing sources properly is vital. Ask your teacher how he wants you to give credit to authors you have used in your research.
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