Technical Report Writing
What is a Technical Report?
A technical report can be classified as that type of a document that explains the steps, development, interpretation and reporting of the findings and recommendations of a systematic study that is conducted as a solution or remedy for a specific stated problem in that particular document. Technical report results in revealing findings that will facilitate the researcher(s) to provide a certain conclusion to the situation and further provide recommendations and suggestions based on the data on which the analysis has been carried out.
In this day and age, technical reports are the primary and one of the most important source of systematic information. Chiefly because of the fact that the technical reports use a systematic design in securing the information in well-structured and uniform manner, where a certain information seeker can easily identify and obtain the relevant information that he seeks. Information searcher is facilitated by the well organization and well defined structure of the technical reports because he can easily identify that what information is in written in which content of that particular technical report.
Technical Report Writing in Organizations
Technical reporting is carried out not only for the organization’s internal purpose of information sharing, but it is also crucial in sharing information with other organizations as well including customers, clients, and any other stakeholders as well. Technical reports can also be a consequence of a studies that are conducted in order to explore, investigate or discuss certain problems, gaps or issues that might be relevant to an organization’s cause, a certain situation faced by an organization, design new product/offerings for the target market, to capture the overview of prevailing customer/consumer wants, in short to facilitate in making certain decisions for that particular organization.
Nowadays, scientific or technical report writing in some cases may also be mandatory in obtaining certain academic degrees especially in the attainment of graduation and post-graduation degrees. Whereby the student is required to identify a specific topic in his area of specialization and expertise, then related to that particular theme, the student then pinpoints a certain problem that is generating a certain gap that needs to be fulfilled. As a consequence this gap becomes a primary area of concern for this particular researcher where he observes previous studies in order to reveal what methodologies were used in order to solve similar problem in the past. Secondly the researcher also has to gather the data that is relevant to the problem in at hand so that analysis perform can be relevant to this problem and produce authentic and valid results.
Constituents of a Technical or Scientific Report
- Page of Title
The title page of any technical report includes the subject of that technical report where by it is followed by the researcher’s name and the name of the institution where the researcher is affiliated or sponsored or where this technical report is owned.
Abstract is in actual the summary of the entire research report where by the researcher includes a brief background of the subject followed by the problem here in at hand and that gap generated by it, scope and objectives of this particular study followed by any limitations that might plague this study. The researcher also includes brief data details that from where the data is obtained, how many samples or respondents are interviews or their opinions are recorded or quantified. Following the data details the scientific researcher then briefly discusses the data analysis and conclusions followed by the recommendations or suggestions.
- Acknowledgement/ Dedication
This portion of the technical report is where the researcher or report writer actually gives the credit and acknowledges the assistance of the facilitators, mentors, respondents or any of the direct and indirect participants or stakeholders of this particular technical report. The technical report or research can also be dedicated to any individual or individuals by the author of the study.
- Table of Content
This component of technical report includes and exhibits all the constitutes of a particular technical report where by the title of all components and their page numbers are displayed in the list of the table of content of that technical report.
Initial part of the technical report starts with the background information that a researcher has gathered in order to capture the interest and develop understanding of the reader or information seeker. The background of a scientific report can be quiet extensive when the nature of the study is highly specialized. Because the more specialized the topic is the more information the technical writer has to obtain in order to create a favorable ground where the reader understands the study.
Followed by the background comes the actual problem statement which in fact is the primary reason of conducting such study. Problem leading to such study is explained in detail and the gap generated by the existing problem is well defined which authorizes the researcher to conduct a scientific study.
Subsequently, the research objectives are also declared by the researcher whereby he will collect data and responses that are relevant and in accordance of achieving these objectives. Such studies have certain impact and directly concern a certain sector which is comes under the scope of the study which is also identified by the report writer and the researcher might also mention that what are the advantages, benefits that this study will exert on the area of scope.
No man made thing in this world is flawless and perfect, certain constraints might limit the study and such limiting contains are mentioned in the technical reports for example, like the budget, time, and place and any other technical limitations might be mentioned in the technical report by the author.
- Literature Review
Author of the technical reports also review extensive literature in order to generate a comprehensive understand of the theme and subject of the problem at hand. Author also investigates that how similar problems in the past were handled, how relevant data was collected, what were the methods used, what were the conclusions made and what were the contributing recommendations and suggestion made in the past.
This constituent exhibits is where the technical report writer defines that what systematic steps are followed in order to find, gather, interpret and analyze the data or responses relevant to the problem at hand. Author may also provide justification that why he has chosen a particular methodology over the other or why a certain chosen methodology is more productive and value additive over other available options.
- Data Analysis/Discuss
The author of the technical report analyzes and discusses the data that has been gathered for investigation and interpretation to extract conclusions and findings for the predominant problem. Nature of the data analysis and interpretation is primarily dependent on what methodology is chosen by the author. Facts about the data and their meaning and implication are also suggested in the discus of the data in this constituent as well.
- Conclusion & Recommendations
Certain points and facts are suggested by the author of a technical report in the concluding part that are based strictly on the data gathered and findings from that data. Certain implications are also discussed by the author followed by the recommendations and suggestions on the part of the author to improve and optimize the current scenario and minimization of the problem at hand or a certain conclusion to that problem may also be suggest by the author.
It is that part of the technical report where author attaches the data, responses, statistical techniques if any applied or any other form of data that the author wishes to present along with the report to the readers of information seekers. Certain questionnaires, tables or any figurers can also be included in the appendix of a technical report.
Technical reports or scientific reports in this day and age are easily available and accessible on the internet where they are hosted by their respective publishers. Publishers might charge or might provide free of charge publication in the hard form and web space provision, or any means of publication for such technical reports depending upon their policies. Certain organizations like universities and other academic institution might also provide for means of publication for their students or host the content themselves as well whether it may be on the internet or own intranet of the organization.
Technical reports are one of the most important and crucial documents or instruments that have systematic or well-designed and structured in order to store information in a way that it facilitates the reader whether he is extensively familiar with it or not. The design of such reports have facilitated and rendered information storing more efficient and effective in the long run. Not only technical reports have rendered the storage of information more secure but these instruments also have abstract in their format which renders fast browsing of the technical reports which immensely facilitates fast scanning of relevant information.