How to Write a Report on Programming

Updated March 23, 2017

Computer programming has undergone a complete turnaround since the 1970s. In the 1970s, computer programming careers were reserved for an outcast group of math geniuses who were socially awkward. Thanks to the Internet, becoming a computer programmer is a highly sought profession option. To be successful in this career, you have to have more than a knowledge of mathematics. You'll also need to know how to write reports that explain your process of designing programs, testing and troubleshooting.

Keep detailed notes of all the actions you take while writing and testing your programs. Take notes on the things that the people who will be reading your paper will be interested in knowing, such as methods of data aggregation, errors you've encountered, parameter types, and statistics.

Collect outside research to support your approach. Focus on your intended readers and what they will think is important information. Interview those readers ahead of time, if possible, and ask them what kind of results they are hoping for or what would they like to know about your programming project.

Separate your notes into separate categories for research, tests, design, and troubleshooting. Pull your notes from previous projects and summarise the process and outcomes of those projects and how they relate to the new project.

Write a rough draft of your report. For the first draft, write everything you can think of on the page and don't worry about writing well until later.

Set the tone of the report in your introduction. Explain why the report is important and a sentence or two about what this report will reveal.

Describe the research, tests and studies you performed on previous programming that were for the same project. Develop the description into one or two paragraphs.

Detail in a few paragraphs or chapters the unique nature of the approach you and other programmers took on the new programming project. Introduce other programmers involved in the project and their roles. Explain what you discovered that led to your conclusion.

Conclude your report by explaining what your research and study has revealed. List all your references. Familiarise yourself with the AP Style Guide (or MLA) and follow the directions for citing references.

Print and save your report and put it to the side for a day or so. Place it in a drawer and leave it alone for a week if possible. Return to your report and start crossing out the things that are irrelevant to making your point. Correct your grammar. Re-write awkward sentences that a reader might misunderstand.

Format your report so that it's presentable to others. Double space so that it's easier to read. Add an additional space between new paragraphs. Add captions to all graphics. Choose a title that's simple and tells what the report is about. Ie. Programming in Cobalt

Type your report and edit it for grammar and spelling mistakes. Re-read your paper allowed to make it easier to catch your own mistakes.

Things You'll Need

  • Pen
  • Paper
  • Index Cards
  • Report Binder
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About the Author

Sam Williams has been a marketing specialist and ad writer since 1995. He has been published in magazines such as "Reaching Out" and "Spa Search." He served in various sales and marketing positions with major corporations such as American Express, Home Depot and Wells Fargo. Williams studied English at Morehouse College.