Report Writing Checklist

physical presentation, legibility, layoutstapled or comb-bound, folders should not be used
heading and sub headingsdeveloped logically and consistently at each level (eg. size and style of headings)
decimal numbering systemused accurately and consistently, fourth level avoided
Tables and figures 
key tables/figuresuses in text (others, if required, in appendix)
zeros and rounded numbersused for clarity sometimes
captions of tables/figuresselected for specific differences between tables/figure
caption informationconsistent with text information
data in tables/figuresconsistent with data in report
symbols/labels/signsexplained clearly
asterisksadded explanatory notes of further information, abbreviations, sources etc. that do not fit into rows or columns
names/titles of people etcspelt correctly & acknowledged fully
executive summarywritten to highlight and summarise significant information
table of contentsmatched exactly to text (e.g. titles of headings with decimal and pages numbering)
numbered sections with headingsintroduction, body (divided clearly and developed logically) and conclusions
definitions of new termsexpressed accurately and clearly
abbreviations & acronymswritten in full when first used
report self-containedinclude all relevant information
appendiceseach referred to in the text of the report
information contentdepth & appropriateness, use of sufficient reference material, author's opinion/key finding clearly stated
quality of discussion, conclusionsrelationship to content, summative quality
acknowledges all sources of information (other than your own)includes sources for diagrams and tables and wherever information is paraphrased or quoted in the text of the report. Referenced correctly twice, both in text and in reference list
fully documented reference listonly one reference system used: author-date or numerical system-all elements included
punctuation and elementsstandardised exactly (e.g. order of elements, punctuation, capitals/case, formatting)
 the report has been adequately proof-read
wordinessredundant or unnecessary words and phrased omitted
sentencescomplete, tight, focued and varied in length
passive voice

used appropriately to emphasise the object of action rather than the agent

Passive: A large deviation was observed (object is large deviation - agent is unknown)

Active: I observed a large deviation (agent is I - object is large deviation)

parallel construction in lists

Where practical, begin each point in a list with similar grammatical pattern.

  • Density is reported in ...
  • Blast-hole diameter is usually reported in ...
  • Rock strength is reported in ...

Subjects and verbs are related in number and person

e.g. She does/we do/it does

other expressiongender inclusive language, grammar, spelling, punctuation, consistent and appropriate tenses, fluency, correct word choice, conciseness, avoids cliches

(Adapted from Winkel & Hart, 1996, p.44)