For some students (and parents) the idea of report writing can seem overwhelming. By breaking this down into steps that are more manageable you can transform a mentally exhausting project into one that enriches and enlightens and ends up giving your child an enormous sense of satisfaction. The following is a list of the five basic steps to report writing. Each step can be broken down even further to make reports more digestible for you and your child.
Some people call this brainstorming and others call it prewriting. Whatever you call it, it’s the first step in writing a report. There are a lot of brainstorming techniques and you need to find the one that suits your child’s learning style best. Some people like writing down all of their ideas as they come to them and then reviewing them later. Others prefer the free writing technique where they just begin writing on the topic, not concerned about anything but the free flowing imagination, reviewing later to see what points jump out. Still others prefer a mapping method where the topic is in the center of the page and then a few keywords are written around it, then a few keywords around that, etc.
No matter which brainstorming technique your child employs, the point of this part of the process is to ignite the imagination and to encourage the flow of ideas and an understanding of the topic.
Write the Report
The next step is to write the report. This doesn’t need to be as intimidating as it sounds. Take the information you gathered in your brainstorming technique and organize it into paragraphs, then flesh out those paragraphs, adding proper grammar, punctuation, and other language points. This is just a rough draft and should be treated as nothing more.
Edit the Report
Once that rough draft is completed it is now time to begin the editing process, which may involve a lot of writing as well. Read the report and fill in areas that are lacking, cut out parts that are repetitive or don’t lend themselves well to the topic, and double check all grammar points.
The editing step is a great place for parents to step in and provide homework help. Read through the report to make sure the points are solid and that the grammar is solid.
Proofread the Report
The proofreading step is often forgotten or skipped, which is unfortunate because it’s one of the easiest steps and can mean the difference between a polished report and a sub par one.
This is another place where the parent can provide an objective eye and make sure that everything is in place grammatically and logically. The student should carefully proofread their report, sometimes even reading it aloud, to make sure that it says exactly what they were hoping it would.
Publish the Report
Finally, its time to publish your report. If you followed the above steps for writing a report you should now be confident in the finished product and proud to turn it in to your teacher.