What Is a Technical Report?

A technical report is a written and scientific report that communicates information about technical research in a traditional, objective, and fact-based manner. A technical report consists of three principal features of research, including the process, progress, and results associated with the study. Some common areas in which technical reports are prevalent are in industries like agriculture, engineering, and physical and biomedical science. As such, intricate and complex information in a technical report must be easily readable, understandable, and efficient. Technical reports are a product of thorough and factual research. As such, it is necessary to keep in mind the audience or readers that will be reading the report. Identify whether the target audience is professors, industry experts, professionals, or customers whom the organization is selling its services or products. Aside from the target audience, structure the report according to the comprehension and knowledge of the reader about the particular topic, aligning the content and length to its intended audience. Writing a formal technical report must be complete, concise, and well-organized, referring to the performed work and the obtained results.

According to the information from the Library of Congress, the library houses over five million hardcopies, microform, or digital media that are in the Technical Reports and Standards Unit (TRS) of the Science, Technology, and Business Division.

Components of a Technical Report

In terms of writing a technical report, the document must have organization. It must consist of different sections that the format is very significant in a technical report. It fosters uniqueness from other reports as it contains technical information that requires thorough planning and analysis. The organization must understand the structure of a technical report to achieve its objective. The section below covers the different sections of a technical report, along with explanations and descriptions of each component.

Title page: The title page comes first when writing the technical report. It contains the report title, report date, the name of the institution, and the supervising body of the report. The title page is also known as the cover page. The title page of the technical report must not contribute to the word count of the entire report, and the page itself is a separate entity from the entirety of the document.Abstract: The abstract consists of a concise description of the report that includes its purpose and significant results. Remember that the abstract must not be longer than half a page without containing charts, figures, or references to them. Most technical reports usually do not contain goals and objectives since the main focus is on the results. The objectives and goals of the report are relevant to the overall document. When writing the purpose of the report, make sure to include keywords that will be visible during database searches. Paper abstracts are utilized by professionals when finding information for their jobs and making rational decisions. A summary of the results is present in the abstract, and the amount of it varies depending on its audience. The common components of the abstract include percent error on results. It is also advisable not to indicate technical language and jargon in the abstract section of the report.Table of contents: The table of contents section indicates the different parts of the report, including appendices. Creating the table of contents section is easier since programs and applications can generate the page.Introduction: The length of the introduction in the technical report depends on the purpose. However, the author must deliver content with clarity, interest, and brevity. The introduction must consist of work objectives, problem description, and how the author plans to tackle it. It must provide the readers with an overview of the reason behind performing the work, the process of performing work, and the most relevant results. The introduction also concludes with a description of the sections following the introduction. The information helps the readers to acquire detailed information about the rest of the report. Make sure not to utilize specific jargon or abbreviations.Background theory: The purpose of the section includes a discussion of the necessary background information about the subject of the report. Indicate the theory that the readers need to understand the subsequent sections for the reading audience, tied to the purpose of the work and the entire report. When deciding what must be included as the background theory, consider researching and presenting the material specific to the work the author reports that the author learns before processing the work that includes theoretical equations to calculate the values, compared to the measured values. The background theory can have further divisions of subsections as necessary. Make sure to keep discussions brief without compromising the relevant content for understanding, referring the reader to outside sources when appropriate.Report design: The purpose of the design section is to provide detailed development of the designs in the report. Take note that the design section of the technical report is only necessary if the document contains a design aspect. Make sure to introduce and describe the design in line with the context of the problem statement. Make sure to use full sentences instead of a series of equations without description or context. Utilize citations when referring readers to reference materials. Similar to the background theory, divide the section into subsections as necessary. The process that the author follows to develop the design of the report must be available through a general statement using specific numbers for the performed work. Lastly, the section must provide the actual design that the author tests, including a clear explanation and description of the development process of the design.Theoretical analysis: There are situations where the report design incorporates the theoretical analysis. It is under the author’s discretion whether they need to create a separate section or group them. Any theoretical work that the author utilizes must be part of the design section, but the theoretical analysis can be put into a section all on its own. Do not incorporate a theoretical analysis section if the description of theoretical work is already part of the background theory and design. The theoretical analysis section in the technical report provides vital information about all the performed analyses. In writing the theoretical analysis, make sure to be brief. Do not include every step of the process and focus more on the main points. If there are multiple steps to the process, the author must redirect them to the appendix section. Perform the theoretical analysis using specific numbers from the performed work that produces theoretical results, comparing them to the experimental results section of the report. After reading the results section, the readers must be able to be familiar with the theoretical values present, already available in this section.Procedure: This section of the theoretical report varies depending on the requirements of the assigned work and the target audience. In the procedure section, the author describes the used method for the theory, discusses the procedures and processes, verifies the design, and conducts the necessary activities. Presenting the procedure depends on the field of research and its audience. Despite this, the author must be brief with their presentation of procedures, getting straight to the point. Similar to other lengthy documents, the readers become bored reading through the entire report. Make sure that the procedure section does not include specific result measurements in numbers, results discussions, or explanations about margins of errors. All the diagrams, charts, and tables that the author provides must have numbers, titles, and labels. Depending on a particular situation, there are two types of procedure sections. One comprises detailed procedures previously supplied due to proprietary laws. The other consists of the author supplying the necessary information that readers and audiences can duplicate. The latter selection is more common in the lab setting. Results and discussion: Present the essential results stemming from the work performed that is within the context of the problem statement by using clean and neat visual representations like tables and graphs. If comparative data exists, present the data to show the comparison. Include sample calculations for readers to understand the results better. Always accompany the results with meaningful discussions. The discussion section explains what the results mean, pointing out the trends. The results speak mostly for themselves with a brief discussion with a sentence or two that explains how the counter works, referring to different parts of the table to justify the provided statements. In many cases, the results section includes data from more than one source to establish their validity. Always discuss the significant areas of error and how to provide actual and accurate results. Do not incorporate areas of error that are not significant to the report. Expecting areas of error does not excuse the lack of action to detailing when executing procedures to minimize error. Errors and mistakes are different; it is unacceptable to make mistakes. When working in the industry, guarantee the accuracy of results. Authors must take the time and effort to present accurate and precise results. Conclusion: The final section of the body of the report where the author briefly summarizes the content. The conclusion must be a concise description of the report that includes its objective and purpose and the most significant results to provide specific quantitative information. The reader must be able to read this section without technical jargon, acronyms, and abbreviations.References: Authors that paraphrase their writing must write their sources in a technical report. Authors indicate the citation material using parenthesis or provide clear bibliographical information by creating a reference list and page. If there is an annotated bibliography, indicate annotations for all sources that describe the purpose of use and its credibility. References are usually incorporated in the order that they are cited in the body of the report. The reference section must occupy a new page of the report and not be on the same page as the conclusion. Appendix: The appendix section may or may not be present. Materials in the appendix include sheets, lists, diagrams, extensive calculations, and analyses. Use numbered or bulleted lists to make the page easier to read and understand.

How To Write a Technical Report

A good technical report is easy to recognize. A good technical report is a document that an author produces for its readers. The report must also be concise, containing organized information, and incorporate accurate references. There must also be clear and accurate writing with accurately-placed diagrams with descriptions. There are different topics that the author can choose when writing a technical report. The section below helps the authors write a comprehensive and organized report for the institution.

  • 1. Identify the Approach that You Will Use

    When writing the technical report, the author chooses two different approaches depending on the requirements of an organization or institution. In the top-down approach, the author structures the report from the title, and subsections, down to the conclusion. It allows the author to have a transparent thought process when writing the report. In the evolutionary delivery approach, the author decides when to write as the work progress. It provides authors with a broader horizon, adding certain parts when new idea and inspiration comes.

  • 2. Work through a Defined Structure for the Report

    The report must have a clear and defined structure. By creating a convenient and easy-to-read structure, readers and audiences can easily navigate and access the different parts of the technical report. It must also clearly describe the objective of writing the document. As such, refer to the previous section of the article to identify the different parts of a technical report.

  • 3. Identify the Writing Style You Need To Implement

    There are different things to keep in mind when writing a technical report, especially when it comes to the writing styles that the author follows. Avoid using informal language. Make sure to check for grammatical and spelling errors when writing. Write from a third-person perspective when constructing the technical report. Authors must also have an understanding of when to use numbered and bulleted lists. Numbering is best for explaining sequences, while bulleted lists are for listing out different points.

  • 4. Take the Time to Proofread the Entire Document

    The work does not end even when the author completes writing the technical report. Proofreading is an essential part of the writing process. Through proofreading, the author sees their work through the eyes of the target audience, correcting mistakes and errors they commit moving forward. The author must check everything from the context, writing styles, and layout of the report.

  • 5. Prepare for the Presentation of the Technical Report

    When submitting the report to an evaluator or institution, the author must make sure that they follow the requirements. Make sure that the margins are equal throughout the report. Take note of the fonts, paper, and presentation materials that the evaluator requires upon submission.

What are the three main parts of a technical report?

The three primary components of a technical report include the introduction, the body of the report, and the summary, conclusions, and recommendations.

What is the purpose of writing a technical report?

The purpose of developing a technical report is to clearly and comprehensively describe technical work, the reason for processing the work, the obtained results, and the significance of the results for a particular field.

What are the different types of technical reports?

Technical reports come in different shapes and sizes that varying industries use. Technical reportsĀ are in the form of medical and scientific papers, user manuals and assistance guides, guides from technical writers, assembly manuals, and technical documents and reviews.

Technical reports are essential in different industries and societies to ensure that audiences and readers can read the written document to have an idea of the technical work, the procedure to perform the work, the results, and the significance of these results. When writing a technical report, the author must understand the requirements and put in the effort to create an easy-to-read yet comprehensive document for their audience. For an author to create a well-written technical report, they must be aware of the different components that make up the report. Start creating a technical report to provide audiences with a better understanding of technical work. Download fromĀ Sample Technical Report – 20+ IN PDF from the article above, only from Sample.net.