FRONT MATTER

Letter of Transmittal

  1. Explain the purpose and content of the report
  2. Precedes the title page
  3. Acknowledge those who helped with the report
  4. Highlights parts of the report that may be of interest
  5. Talk about any problems
  6. Make observations

Cover

  1. Purpose is to protect the report
  2. Contains the title, writer’s name(s), date of creation, company name and/or logo

Title Page

  1. Contains the document title
  2. Author(s)
  3. Intended readers/recipients
  4. Date of documentation creation
  5. The title should describe the contents of the document very clearly and therefore, it should be as informative as possible.

Abstract

  1. Condensed version of the writing that highlights the major points covered
  2. Concisely describes the content and scope of the writing
  3. Reviews the contents in an abbreviated form
  4. Abstracts can be descriptive or informative
  5. Descriptive Abstract: Provides purpose, methods, and scope. Does not provide results,
    conclusions, recommendations. Introduces the subject to the readers. This
    section should be very brief – usually less than 100 words
  6. Informative Abstract: Communicate specific information from the report including the
    purpose, methods, scope, results, conclusions, and recommendations. This
    section lets a reader decide if they want to read more of the report and
    is usually under 250 words.

Executive Summary

  1. The section is similar to an abstract. It reviews the essential elements of
    the report including the subject, purpose, scope, methods, conclusion, and
    recommendations.
  2. Gives a decision maker enough information to make a choice.
  3. An executive summary is usually about 10% of the total length of the report.

Table of Contents

  1. This section lists the headings and the page numbers of the sections that
    correspond to those sections.
  2. The reader uses this section to find part of the report that are of interest
    to them.

List of Illustrations

  1. This section lists the documents illustrations along with the page numbers on
    which they can be found.
  2. There are usually two categories, figures and tables.

BODY

Introduction

  1. The introduction talks about the subject, purpose, organization and scope.
  2. Discuss why the report was written and what benefit it will provide the
    organization.
  3. Show the major sections of the report and present the order in which they will
    be discussed.
  4. Define the scope and limitations of the document.

Methods Section

  1. Discuss what methods were used to obtain the information for the report and the
    parameters in which it was obtained.

Results Section

  1. Note the key data that was obtained and give a detailed analysis of the data.
  2. Should be clearly organized and objective.

Conclusion

  1. Provide an interpretation of the data presented in the body of the report.
  2. All conclusions should be built upon data that was presented in the body of
    the report. New information should not be introduced.

Recommendations

  1. This section should contain a recommendation based upon the information
    presented in the conclusion of the report.

BACK MATTER

Glossary

  1. List the key terms used in the document.

List of Symbols

  1. Symbols and abbreviation

Appendices

  1. Could be a variety of material that helps the reader understand the report
    better.

Reference List

  1. List of sources.

Index

  1. Similar to the table of contents but with more detail.
  2. Usually for long reports.