Grammar, Writing

Introduction to Report Writing

by VIDYANAND

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What is a Report? 

A report is a piece of writing that contains accounts of things that are seen, heard, known or investigated.  Report writing is very similar to article writing, but the latter is more casual that the former. Reports are meant to be published in journals, newspapers and magazines.

The characteristics of a report:

  • Informs the reader about an idea, phenomenon and piece of news or information
  • Describes a situation or a sequence of an event
  • Presents an opinion or an objective analysis
  • Can be formal or informal depending on who the readers are
  • Is more formal than a report
  • Is well researched and the facts are true
  • Can be used for descriptive purposes

Format of a Report


How to Write a Report

Before one starts writing, ask four questions. Use your imagination and visualise the prompt.

  • What has happened?/What will happen?
  • When has it happened?/When will it happen?
  • Where has it happened?/Where will it happen?
  • Who are involved?/Who will be involved?
  • How has it happened?/How will it happen?

Example:

Headline: Science Exhibition at Poddar High School

What has happened? – Science exhibition

  • When? – Tuesday
  • Where? – Poddar High School
  • Who?—Students of Poddar High School/ Students of other schools/ teachers
  • How?—Gathered at Poddar High School—exhibited science projects—themes revolved

around science—Principal judged—Gurukul High School won—Came to an end after cultural shows

  • Think of a catchy headline that may give the reader a brief idea. Do not include too many details in the headline.
  • Use the title case for writing headlines. All the words except prepositions and articles will start with a capital letter.
Tsunami Rocks Southern India
Blood Donation Camp at Vasant Kunj
Two Injured in a Tree Collapse
Angry Tusker Creates Mayhem
  • Write the name of the reporter or the Byline if it is given in the question. If not, then write ‗By Staff Reporter‘.
  • If the report is meant for a school magazine and if the name is not given, then write ‗By a Student Reporter‘.
  • Write the place and the date below the byline.
  • The placeline should correspond with place where the incident took place.
  • The date should correspond to the day the report was published, not when the event in the report happened
By Tahira Rashid
Mumbai, September 2014: …
By Rachna Shettigar
Bengaluru, March 2015:…

Structure your article by dividing your points into three parts—introduction, body and conclusion.

  • Introduction: Include the most important details in the introductory lines. Do divulge details in the first line.
  • Answer the What? Where? When? Who? Questions.
    • Two civilians were injured when a tree collapsed at Girija Nagar yesterday.
    • Mayhem ensued when a tusker ran amok at Indira Nagar earlier today.
  • Body: The body of the report will expand the details given in the introductory line.
    • Mitesh Shah (41) and Jagadish Jalan (29) were injured when a century old banyan tree collapsed in yesterday‘s rain.
    • Umashankaran, a 10-year-old elephant, created chaos when it ran amok at the jaggery market at Indira Nagar yesterday
  • The body of the report will also include details like quotes of people and accounts of eyewitnesses. 
  • Quotations will create a feeling of being at the scene
  • Rajesh Gajanan, an onlooker said, ―It was very unfortunate. The two men didn‘t expect the sturdy tree to collapse so suddenly.‖
  • Chinnamma, a vendor who sells palm sugar at the location, recounted the great fury of the tusker. He trumpeted very loudly at the sight of the mahout.‖
  • The closing lines will tie up the loose ends and divulge in any extra or related information.
  • It may also present the reader with the current status of the incident.
    • The two are now recuperating at Maruti Hospital and are believed to be out of danger.
    • The elephant has now been tamed and confined at Juno Animal Hospital. Dr Pashupati will now check the tusker for any signs of elephantine dementia.

Some Examples Of Report Writing

Example 1.

You are Amit Patel writing for your school magazine. Write a news report about the Teacher‘s Day Celebration in your school.

Teacher’s Day Celebration at Saraswati Vidyalay By Amit Patel

Malad, 5th February 2015: The Teacher‘s Day celebrations at Saraswati Vidayalay this year was exciting and special at the same time. In addition to the song and dance routines performed by students, there were numerous skits based on the lives of many famous people such as Dr Radhakrishnan, Rabindranath Tagore and Savitribai Phule.

As an initiative, the students of the school with the help of their parents collected money which will be used for the benefit of the retired teachers of the school. There were also games and activities organised for the teachers.

Senior teacher Mrs Godbole said, ―I am moved by the gesture of the students. Our students are the finest.‖ The programme ended with a special lunch arranged by the students for the faculty.


Sample 2.

Report the arrest of a prank caller who sent the police on a wild goose chase about a nonexistent bomb

Hoax Caller Arrest By Ruksar Ansari

Delhi 7th September, 2014: A local man has been arrested in connection with a hoax call that was made to the Delhi police. A.C Murugesh, a resident of Saket, has been arrested for not only misleading the police but also delaying three flights. The perpetrator claimed to have knowledge of three bombs that were apparently planted in a UK bound flight. The call set the police force in motion who along with the bomb squad cordoned off the airport area and moved the people to safety. Eventually, it was determined that the call was a hoax. Police employed the Aircel cellular service to track the location where the call was made and apprehended the culprit. The investigation is in progress to ascertain whether the perpetrator has a history of mental illnesses.


Sample 3.

Report a burglary that took place in your locality.

Thief Outwitted by the Silent Alarm By Amit Patel

Malad, 5th February 2015: Ruckus ensured when a thief was apprehended by the traders at Bougainvillea Marg yesterday. The area is well known for its jewellery shops and has experienced thefts in the past. Three jewellers and a mobile store owner have been robbed in the course of 3 months.

Mr. Rajat Zaveri was settling his accounts when a stranger armed with a switchblade entered the shop at 10 pm. The man then ordered him to sit still while he emptied the shelves. Initially, Mr Zaveri did as he was told; he later switched on a silent alarm and alerted the other shopkeepers nearby.

Within five minutes, not only did they notify the police but also beat the thief black and blue. The accused was identified as Sajjan Singh, an unemployed youth who indulged in petty thievery.

The police believe that he may have some information about the series of robberies that has taken place at Bougainvillaea Marg.


Sample 4.

You are the student reporter. Report an incident where two of your classmates injured themselves.

Mayhem in Class 10 B By a Student Reporter

Powai, 7th March 2015: Two students of Class 10 B were reprimanded by the teacher on account of their bad behaviour and were taken to the principal‘s office yesterday. The students Ganesh Apte and Manish Tilwani were caught by the headmistress Mrs Fonseca wrestling in the class.

Students say that it was a case of a simple game gone wrong. Yesterday, the two were playing ‗Truth or Dare‘ when the former dared the latter to call a classmate by an offensive name.

His reluctance to do so caused his friend to poke fun at him. This resulted in a war of words and the two started pummelling each other.

The principal did laud Manish for refusing to perform the odious ‗dare‘ but ultimately held him responsible for being the first person to react violently. The parents of the students will be called tomorrow for a meeting with the principal.


Sample 5.

A leopard has been rescued from a well by wildlife activists. Report the rescue operation.

Big Cat Rescued in Vasai Village By Tanisha Aggrawal

Vasai, 13th November 2014: A leopard was rescued from a well here yesterday at 8 am. In a rescue operation that lasted 3 hours, the animal was finally retrieved from the well where it lay for 10 hours.

The Bhoir family members were awakened by growls emanating from their well in the wee hours of the morning. Madhusudan Bhoir, the patriarch of the family, flashed some light into the well and found the wounded feline in neck-deep water.

Dr Pankaj Navate, a leading zoologist who has recent written a paper on the preying habits of the leopards, was called to the spot. His assistants shot a tranquiliser to sedate the leopard.

Afterwards, Dr Navate was lowered into the well with a help of a pulley to retrieve the sedated animal. The operation was a success.

Dr Navate said that leopards wander into human territory in search of smaller mammals to prey on. The feline may have targeted the Bhoir family pet, a golden retriever. In the process of stalking it, the leopard may have missed the well. ―We ourselves are responsible for this situation. Rapid deforestation and human encroachment have caused the animals to showcase such aberrant behaviour.‖ The leopard is now under observation and will soon be released into the wild


Sample 6.

Write a report on the Annual Sports Day held in your school.

Annual Sports Day a Success By Jay Menon

Ghatkopar, 17th December 2014: St Pius School held its 45th Annual Sports Day on the 16th of July 2014 at Kapadia Nagar grounds. Students from Class 5 to 10 participated in a variety of sporting events. The Principal Dr Thayagarajan inaugurated the event and regaled the students with anecdotes and jokes. He raised their spirits and wished them the best.

The school band marched past the audience with a flag bearing the schools emblem. The prefects ushered the athletes to the ground. At about 10 am, the sporting events were kick started. The events were divided into two categories—under 13 and under 15.

The winners of each round were selected for the final rounds. Short putt, long jump, running race, walking race and javelin throw were some events that were showcased. Student athletes who excelled in these events participated in the finale. The winners were awarded medals and certificates. Raghav Handa from Class IX A won the title of ‗St Pius All-rounder‘.

At the closing ceremony, the principal wished the winners and gave a short speech on the importance of sportsmanship.


Sample 7.

Write a report on the Republic Day celebrations at your school.

Republic Day Celebrations at Mahatma Gandhi Vidyalaya By Krishna Sarathy

Mumbai, 27th January 2014: The 66th Republic Day was celebrated with a lot of fanfare and grandeur at Mahatma Gandhi Vidyalaya yesterday. Students and teachers from all the classes participated in the plethora of cultural programmes which took place in the school premises.

The day began with the hoisting of the national flag by our Principal Dr Mehta at 7 am. The entire assembly of students sang the national anthem immediately after the flag hoisting. The school band marched past the ground playing drums and trumpets. The members of the band were dressed in the colours of the school‘s emblem and wore attractive sashes and headgears.

The cultural events were kick started with the dance competition where students competed with one another in the solo and group dance categories. Miss Umang from Class 9 won in the solo category, and Class 6 won for their colourful rendition of a folk song. After the cultural events, an environment exhibition was held where the students displayed various models on environmental awareness and solar-powered gadgets.

The model for a solarpowered garbage disposal won the first prize. After a short prayer, the Principal gave a speech on the empowerment of the youth. The event concluded with a group song by the teachers.


Sample 8.

Write a report on a blood donation camp that will be organised by a local hospital.

Blood Donation Camp at EST Hospital By N Chandra

Pune, February 16: A blood donation camp is being organised on Independence Day by EST Hospital. Dr R. C. Patil will inaugurate the camp which will take place at Raviwar Peth, Pune. The hospital is going to have a free medical check up for all donors before the blood donation. Karuna Catering Services has partnered with the hospital to serve nutritious refreshments to all donors after the donation.

The hospital is also going to give the donors an identity card that will identify the people as registered blood donors after they have participated in this camp. The hospital has also invited volunteers who can register themselves as bone marrow donors. This will help cancer patients get a new lease of life.

EST Hospital hopes the camp will be a success so that it can organise the event every year


Sample 9.

Write a report on how a woman was robbed at an ATM.

Daylight Robbery at C. S Society By Jagan Tiwari

Pune, 4th April 2014: A lady was robbed at knifepoint here in the early hours of Thursday. Mrs Subbhalakshmi (38) was on her way to work at 8 am when she decided to withdraw some cash from the Axis Bank ATM outside C. S Society.

Once she entered the ATM, a man opened the door and barged inside. He brandished a knife at her and asked her to withdraw Rs 15,000. When she resisted, he held the knife to her throat. He even reminded her of an incident in Bengaluru where a woman was hacked inside an ATM by an unknown man. Claiming to be the same person who attacked her, he asked her to do as he said. Once the money was withdrawn, he fled the spot.

The police have retrieved the CCTV camera footage where a middle-aged man is seen threatening Mrs Subbhalakshmi. Inspector Shewale and his team are close on the perpetrator‘s heel and have circulated his images in the newspapers. Shewale said, ―We are certain that this man is a habitual offender. There have been cases of knifepoint robbery in the past. The composite sketch that we made back then resembles the person in the CCTV images.‖ Mrs Subbhalakshmi was unavailable for comment.


Sample 10.

Write a report on a science exhibition held in your school.

Science Exhibition at G. L. Singhania By Shashwati Asthana

Mumbai, 18th November 2014: The Science Fair 2014 kicked off with much fanfare at G. L. Singhania High School on Monday, the 17th of November. Students from 30 different schools participated in the annual event. The theme of the exhibition this year was ‗Across the Universe‘, and schools were asked to present exhibits on the theme if they wished to win.

Krishna Vilas High School had exhibited a model of a Martian colony. Through computer simulation, the students created a virtual Martian landscape and sustainable colonies that can support life. Through an interactive interface, one could navigate through the planet‘s terrain and vicariously experience the thrill of living on Mars.

G. L Singhania‘s students made a batch of Indian food that can be eaten in space. Siddhi Thakur, the brain behind the idea, said that these food packets can be consumed in zero gravity and would stay fresh for a very long time.

The winner, however, was St Aloysius High School with their Sunspot Reader. They created a device that could detect the relationship between solar activity and the flow of rivers. Their area of study is considered the holy grail of solar studies.

The students Rohan Pattnaik, Trideep Iyer, Swarna Naidu and Manasi Kaul were awarded the G. L Singhania cash award of Rs 20,000 for Excellence in Science.