The end material (references and appendixes) is placed after the body of the report.

The list of references, included when the report contains information other sources, is discussed along with citation methods in Appendix B (pp. 441-459).

The appendix contains information of a subordinate, supplementary, or highly technical nature that you do not want to place in the body of the report. Today the trend is toward greater use of  to shorten the main report. Sometimes the writer treats the  as an appendix to the introductory material. In most cases, you not place so much ill the appendix that you fail to in the main report. To avoid this, prepare simplified versions of complex or detailed appendix data to use within the main report. Follow these guidelines:

  • Refer to each appendix item at the appropriate place in the body of the report .
  • Name major subsections, under Appendixes, in the table of contents .
  • Number  illustrations in the appendix in the sequence begun in the body of the report.
  • For short reports, continue page numbers in sequence from the last page of the body.
  • For long reports, use a separate pagination system. Since the appendixes are often identified as Appendix A, Appendix 3, and so on, number the pages starting with the appropriate letter: A-I, A-2, B-1, B-2.•


The format for formal reports uses various standard elements to indicate content. Among these elements, transmittal correspondence directs the report to the person who requested the project. The title page indicates title, author, date, and other pertinent material. The table of contents lists first- and second-level heads, indicating the pages on which each section is found. The list of illustrations gives the p”ge on which each visual is found. The introduction contains brief statements on (1) the purpose of the report, (2) its scope or boundaries, (3) the procedure or method of solving the problem, (4) background information, and (5) an explanation of the problem and  significance. The summary, usually placed near the beginning, is a miniaturization  of the body. The conclusions and recommendation explain the main results derived in the paper. The first recommendation provides the solution to the problem posed in the paper. A clear heading and pagination system make the paper easier to grasp. A reference list documents any information used from other sources. The appendix presents highly technical material.


The following model-Illustrates a complete formal report  written by ,student


By .
Gerry bentzler
February 14, 19XX
Prepared for
Mr. Simon Kelly

Formal Report






This report investigates two power-activated hammers, the Hunter DX350 and the Emerson R06. I researched the hammers because our current method of installing acoustic partition wall systems is too slow. Construction crews used both tools for four weeks. During that time I witnessed demonstrations, interviewed the workers, and talked’ to distributors. I evaluated the hammers in terms of four criteria: speed in repeat use, ease and satiety of use, availability of services and supplies, and cost.
The Hunter DX350 meets our needs better in each criterion, particularly safety. I recommend that we purchase .10 of them.


Builders Unlimited specializes in erecting acoustic partition wall systems. These systems are secured in place to existing concrete and steel building members by the use of several fastening devices. The present devices are proving too time consuming to use. For the frequent installation of large quantities of metal plate, hat channel, wood furring, and acoustic “z” strips, we require a fastening device that is strong,well in steel and masonry, and requires little time and to use. I recommended to management that  steel stud,  or shot into concrete or steel surfaces, should be used to secure the wall system in place. The installation urn« tor  fastener is much faster than what is presently being used; it will prove to be a great time saver. To install these tempered steel studs, however, a suitable explosive power-actuated tool is required. As a result of my earlier suggestion, I was asked to survey the tool  and select the one that is most suited to the needs of our installation procedures. Two makes of .such a tool were selected and purchased for comparison.

The purpose of this report is to determine the power-actuated tool that is most
suitable for driving tempered steel studs into concrete and steel building members
for various fastening purposes.
I selected four criteria that reflect the needs of our installation methods. The four criteria, which are of almost equal value, are speed in repeat use the ease, simplicity, and safety of the tool during use; the availability of maintenance service and related supplies; and cost.

After reviewing the market for explosive power-actuated tools, two were selected as stable or our installation situation, the Hunter DX350 and the Emerson R06. Two of each toot were purchased, and one of each given to two of our installation crews. Each crew used both brands of tools and was asked to note the performance of each over a four-week period. At the end of this time period, I interviewed all operators about the performance of each tool. I also witnessed demonstrations of each tool by its operator and Interviewed distributors  suppliers of the tools and their related materials.


  1. In speed of repeat use, the Hunter JX350 tool is taster than the Emerson
  2. The Hunter DX350 has £lr1 advantage over the. Emerson R06 in safety
    characteristics; both tools are easy to use.
  3. Hunter service and supply availability are superior,
  4. Hunter is slightly cheaper, but the difference is minimal.


On the basis of the conclusions of this study, I recommend the Hunter DX350 power-actuated tool for use by our installation crews. The only criterion in which the Emerson rates close to the  of easy and safe operation. Both tools are easy to use, but the Hunter has an advantage over the Emerson with ‘respect to safety during reloading procedures.


Speed Use
The speed of repeated use of such a tool or gun is of great importance because of the large quantities of materials our crews install. A few minutes saved on  the installation of each piece of wall plate, for example, can easily add up to a considerable amount of time saved during an entire installation project Hunter .. The Hunter has a plastic magazine holds ten charges in the handle of the tool and that allows the tool 10 be reloaded immediately after firing by  barrel of the gun, It is almost identical in operation to a semiautomatic pistol.

Emerson. The Emerson requires the operator to open the breech of the tool, remove the spent charge by-hand, load one charge into it, close the breech, and then ) During the demonstration I witnessed, the Hunter averaged two to three shots io the Emerson one: this is a clear advantage when such a tool is used to install a large number of fasteners.

Conclusion. Because of the reloading nature of the gun, the Hunter

DX350 is superior to the Emerson model for rapid repeat use.





In planning the format of the body, you will have to make careful decisions about heads and page numbers.

Levels of heads an  Choose d head system that has enough levels for the divisions of your text. In addition,. follow these guidelines:

  • Generously put first-level heads at the top of  pages, giving each section “chapter a appearance.
  • Use content word, not generic words Total Cost  not Criterion Section One Sometimes you can combine the two types: “Problem:
  • Parts out of  ranee
  • Maintain parallel structure for each Level Use all words, or “how to” phrases, or whatever, The different levels do not have to be parallel with one another
  • Questions can be very effective. In a proposal, instead of using the head  Cost say How Much Will the Solution Cost find other attractive reports to use as’ a model for ‘formatting your heads.

Assign each page in a report a number, whether or not the number actually appears on the page. There are many page numbering systems. The key is to be consistent within your own report. Follow these guidelines:

  • Place the numbers in the upper right-hand corner or bottom  middle
    of the page, with no punctuation.
  • Use headers and footers (phrases in the top and bottom margins), to identify the topic of a page or section. Most word processing programs include the ability to create headers and footers.
  • Consider the title page as page 1. Do not number the title page.
  • Give each full-page table or figure a page number. .
  • In very long reports, use small roman numerals (i, ii, iii) for all the pages before the text of the discussion .
  • See below for paging the appendix.

Many word-processing systems automatically place the number centered at the bottom, without any punctuation. As these systems are standardized, this method will probably become more prevalent. Most word-processing systems will number the title page as page I, unless instructed not to.



Transmittal Correspondence

Transmittal correspondence is a memo or letter that directs the report to someone. A memo is used to transmit an internal, or in-firm, report. An external, or firm-to-firm, report requires a letter.  In either form, the information remains the same. The correspondence contains the following:

  • the title of the report
  • a statement of when it was requested
  • a very general statement of the report’s purpose and scope
  • an explanation of problems encountered for example some unavailable data
  • acknowledgment of those particularly helpful in assembling the report



I am submitting the attached  report, entitled Industrial Scrubbers for Production and Warehouse  Areas,” in accordance with your request of November 1, 1990.The report examines two industrial scrubbers to determine which one would best alleviate the safety problems that have arisen in the production and warehouse areas. The scrubbers are compared in terms of five criteria established at a joint meeting of the Inventory, Production, and Industrial Engineering Departments. The Pennant 527 scrubber is recommended . This project flowed smoothly from beginning to end. All  departments involved cooperated generously with requests for time and data.

Title Page

A well-balanced, attractive title page makes a good first impression C  the reader. Some firms have standard title pages just as they have letter he stationery fur business letters. As  a title page co nuns Report title Name and title of the writer, (and his or her firm’s  name if the report is external) Date  Report number (if required by the firm) Name and title of the person to whom report is addressed, and the name of his or her tiny:

              Here are some guidelines  writing  title page.

  • Name the contents of the report in-the title.
  • Set the left-hand margin for the title and all elements at about 2
  • Use either all cap!’ or initial caps and lower-case letters; use boldface
    as appropriate.

Documentation Page

A documentation page contains boxes for all the appropriate information for identifying a report. This page, used in documents that have a hard cover, replaces the title page and summary. A sample documentation page appears

Table of Contents

 A table of contents lists the sections of the report and the pages on which they start. The contents page previews the report’s organization, depth, and emphasis. Readers with special interests often glance at the table of contents, examine the abstract or summary, and turn to a particular section of the report. Here are some guidelines for writing a table of contents.

  • Present the name of each section in the same wording and format as
    it appears in the text. If a section title is all caps in the text, place it in
    all caps in the table of contents.
    Kevin Harris
    December 1, 1990
    Final Project Report
    P1FR 06-03R
    Prepared for:
    Mr. William O’Neill
    Vice President
    Industrial Engineering
    A Title Page for a Formal Report
  • Do not underline: in the table of contents, the lines are so powerful that they overwhelm the words.
  • Do not use “page” or “p” before the page numbers.
  • Present only two levels of heads .
  • If the table of cor tents and the list of illustrations are both short, put
    them on the same page; do not include the list of illustrations in the table of contents.
  • Use’ a leader, a series of dots, to connect words to ,page numbers.



Contents for a Formal Report

List or Illustrations (Table and Figures)
The term illustrations includes both tables and figures. The list of illustrations  gives the number, title, and page of each visual aid in the report. Here are guidelines for preparing a list of illustrations . Title it “List of Illustrations” if it contains both figures and tables

  • If it contains only figures or tables, call it “List of Figures” or “List of Tables”.
  • If it contains both types, list all the figures first, then list all the tables
  • List the timber, title, and page of each visual aid
  • Place the lists on the most convenient page. If both it and the table of
    contents are brief, put them on the same page.



Glossary and List of Symbols

Traditionally, reports have included glossaries and lists of symbols. However, such lists tend to be difficult to use. Highly technical terminology and symbols should not appear in the body of report that is aimed at a general. or multiple audience. Rather, they should be reserved for the appendix, whose more knowledgeable readers do not need the definitions. When you must use technical terms in the body of the report, define them immediately. Informed readers can simply skip over the definitions. Still, if you need a glossary, follow these guidelines:

  • Place each term at the left margin – start the definition at a tab (2 or 3 spaces) farther to the right. Start all lines of the definition at this tab,
  • Alphabetize the terms.

Summary or Abstract

A summary or abstract is a miniature version of a much longer piece of writing, in this case, a formal report. (See Chapter 6 for a full discussion of summaries and abstracts.) In the summary, sometimes called an executive summary, the writer gives the main points and basic details of the entire report. After reading a summary, the reader should know

  • the report’s purpose and the problem
  • the conclusions
  • the major facts on which the conclusions are based
  • the recommendations

Follow these guidelines to summarize your formal report:

  • Concentrate this information into as few words as possible, a page at most.
  • Write the summary after you have written the rest of the report.
    (If you write it first   might explain background, not summarize the contents.)
  • Avoid technical terminology, (because most readers who depend on a summary do not have in-depth technical knowledge).


This report recommends that the company should purchase  the Tennant 527 industrial scrubber for the Production and Inventory Departments. Production increases in precision metal parts have caused safety problems due to the contortion
of le floors. Aller two  accidents, the departments involved requested that a solution be found. Two scrubbers  the Tennant 527 and the Fujico 200 – are compared in terrorist variety of use, mufti shift capabilities, cost, warranty and service, and special features.

The Tennant picks up small Jitter better, has a larger cleaning capacity, and,will withstand multi-shift use better.The Fuji costs less – $11,000, including all special features and training, compared to $18,000. Tennant’s service center is much more accessible to us. Only Tennant is able to provide a squeegee wand, an essential in the view of the departments involved. The Fujico is cheaper.tsn the Tennant is more flexible to use, IS more durable in multi-shift use, has a closer service center, and is able to provide us with the squeegee wand.

Formal Introduction

Introductory material orients the reader to the report’s organization ‘and
contents. After finishing the introductory material, the reader should
largely know the answers to a number of questions:
What is the purpose of the report?
What are the divisions of this report?
What procedure was used to investigate
the problem? .
What is the problem?
What is the significance of the problem?
What or who caused the writer to write
about the problem?

Purpose, Scope, and-Procedure Statements Statements at purpose, scope, and procedure are used to answer the first three questions above. These statements are usually fairly brief and straightforward. State the purpose in one or two sentences. Follow these guidelines:

  • State the ‘purpose  clearly. “The purpose of this report is  (to solve whatever problem necessitated the report, or to make whatever recommendations).
  • Use the present ense
  • Name the alternative s if necessary. (In he purpose statement ‘below,’the author names the problem [to find a scrubber] and the alternatives  he investigated.

A scope statement never Is t he topics covered in a report. Follow these guidelines:

  • In feasibility  and recommendation reports, name the criteria; include statements explaining rank order and source of the criteria.
  • In other kinds of reports, identify the main sections, or topics, of the
  • Specify the boundaries or of your investigation.


The purpose  report is to present the results of.my investigation of two industrial scrubbers. the Tennant 527 and the Fujlco 200. and to recommend the purchase of 0’1 ot  them

At the  request of the Product! n and Inventory Departments tenant were developed to decide which scrubber 0 purchase.
The chose scrubber Will fulfill the needs of the two departments
because meets most or all of the criteria, The Production,
Inventory, and Industrial Departments set me following criteria,
in order of importance:

  1. The scrubber chosen should be able to handle a variety solvents, oils, small litter, etc.
  2. The scrubber should be able to handle multi-shift use Interdepartmental should not exceed $20,000,
  3. The scrubber ‘should have at least 18 month’s warranty on major parts (engine, transmission)
  4. An edequate selection of optional equipment should be available.

This report discusses each crltenon and gives details on how
th.e Fujico 200 and the Tennant 527. meet them.

All information for this report was gathered from either the Methodology manufacturers or present users. All specifications and mechanical
data were obtained from manufacturers’ literature. Information on performance in industry for the Fujico 200 was provided by Fujico Inc. Information about the Tennant 527’s impermanence in industry was provided by the U.S. Air Force, a present user of the 527.

Problem and Background Statements You must explain the problem. Point out the appropriate data, tell the sources of that data, and explain its significance. Also discuss who or what caused you to write. Your goal is to help the readers understand – and agree with – your solution because they view the problem as you do. To orient the reader, you can use a problem statement and a background statement in the introduction. Depending on the complexity of the problem, you can use a short problem statement in the introduction as well as a lengthy section in the body. These statements should explain the origins of the problem, who initiated action on the problem, and why the writer was chosen. Follow these guidelines:

  • If your reader is close, use a brief description of the problem and
    your involvement.
  • If the reader is distant, provide more detail about the problem and your involvement.
  • Give basic facts about the problem.
  • Specify causes or the origin of the problem.
  • Name the significance of the problem (short and long term).
  • Name the source of your involvement.

The following problem statement succinctly identifies the basic facts (two accidents) the cause (increases in production), the significance (violating safety standards), and the source (departments recommended).

Increases in production at KLH have caused a problem with the safety conditions of the floors in the production and warehouse areas. Recently two accidents occurred in one week in these areas. Both were caused by the condition of the floors, which might be violating OSHA standards. Both departments recommended that an industrial scrubber be purchased to solve the problem.

Alternatively, you can explain both the problem and its context in a longer statement called either “Problem” or “Background.” A background stuntmen: provides context for the problem and the report. In it you can often combine background and problem into one statement. To write a’n eff lenitive background statement, follow these guidelines: Explain the general problem.

  • Explain what has gone wrong .
  • Give exact facts.
  • Tell the significance of the problem.
  • Specify who is involved and. in what capacity
  • Tell why you received the assignment.

KLH Inc. has been extensively involved with the production of precision metal parts, both small and large. As production has gone up, the production and warehouse floors have become too soiled for maintenance to keep up with the cleaning, causing a safety problem. In one recent week, two accidents on the job were caused by the condition of the floors. Both the Production and Inventory Departments request that the Industrial Engineering Department investigate and solve the problem. IE decided that a large industrial scrubber should be purchased to clean the production and warehouse floors. As the industrial engineer who works in both the production and inventory areas, I was asked to recommend which of two
scrubbers should be purchased. Investigation narrowed the choice of scrubbers to either a Tennant 527 or a Fujico 200.

Conclusions and ~Recommendations/Rationale .

As mentioned previously, writers may place these two sections at the beginning
or at the end of the report. Choose the beginning if you want to ‘give readers the main points first, and if you want to give them a perspective from which to read the data in the report. Choose the end if you want to emphasize the logical flow of the report, leading up to the conclusion. In many formal reports you will only present conclusions because you will not make a recommendation. Conclusions The conclusions section emphasizes the report’s most significant data and ideas. You must base all conclusions on material presented in the body. Follow these guidelines:

  • Relate each conclusion to specific data.
  • Use concise, numbered conclusions.
  • Keep commentary brief.
  • Add inclusive page numbers to indicate where to find the discussion . of the conclusions.

This investigation has led to the following conclusions,  (The page numbers in parentheses indicate there supporting discussion may be found.)

  1. The Tennant 527 is the ‘more versatile in handling a variety
    of detergents for the cleaning of oils, solvents, and cooling,
    fluids. The Tennant is also capable 01 handling small
    litter, glass.,and metal chip
  2. The Tennant is more capable of handling multi-shift use. Investigation of charted maintenance history shows that the Tennant will operate In crestless environments for  longer times between. maintenance (8-.9).
  3. The Fujlco 200 costs $11,000, Inclu ding special featuresand training. Tile Tannant costs $18,qOO, including special feature and training (1’0-11).
  4. The wimanlies available tor the Tennant and the Fujico are comparable. The aervlce available for the Tennant Is supenor because the Tennant service center Is more accessible to KLH (12).
  5. T.nEfiennant is able to supply all the special features that The Fujico cannot supply the essential  wand attachment (13-14) .

Recommendations/Rationale If the conclusions are clear, the main recommendation is obvious’. The main recommendation usually fulfills the
purpose of the report, but do not hesitate to make further recommends. In the sample below the writer recommends two other items that logically follow, from the purchase .of the Tennant.  In the  you explain your recommendation ,by showing how the  of the-criteria supports your conclusions. In this case, the Tennant, “lost” on o major criterion cost. The sentence that follows the recommendation shows how Qe results ‘of the other four criteria offset that important Sailing’Follow. these guidelines:

  • ,Number ‘each recommendation,
  • Make. the solution  to the problem the first recommendation.
  • If the rationale section is brief, add it to the appropriate recommendation.
    ‘If it is long make, it a separate section:


  1. The Tennant 527 Industrial Scrubber should be purchased. Although the  $7000 the Tennant is superior in its ability to clean more kinds of debris, in its reliability over a number of years, in the closeness of its service center, and in its ability to supply theessential squeegee wad.
  2. All the essential features should be purchased as outlined in the Special Features section of this report.
  3. A training session should be contracted for and schedule at the earliest possible date.



You can arrange these elements into one of two patterns, administrative or traditional. The difference between the two patterns is in the placement of the conclusions and recommendations. In the traditional pattern, conclusions and recommendations appear at the end of the report. In the administrative pattern, they appear towards the beginning of the report. Logically, they belong at the end of the report because they represent the outcome of the investigation described in the body. However, since they are often the part that a reader is most interested in, writers frequently place them first~The theory is that the parts read more frequently should be placed first ovoid the need for cumbersome paging through the report.




When producing a formal report, the writer employs a number of elements that orient readers to the report’s topics and organization. These elements occur at the front, in the body, or at the end of the report. Most of the elements appear before the body of the report. Two of the elements  the conclusion and recommendation sections  can be placed either at the beginning or at the end. Here are the elements of a formal report:


Some of these format elements are traditional and are always handled the same way. Some however, can vary, depending on the roles of the writer and the readers in the particular situation. This chapter explains and exemplifies all of the elements.

Formal Format

Formal Format


Formal reports provide the information that management needs in order to make decisions affecting the future of departments or entire firms, As part of a company’s decision-making process, a formal report communicates with many people: executive. and management personnel, senior engineers, perhaps legal and financial officers and others whose areas will be affected by the decision. The technical knowledge of these people varies, but the report serves as the main source of information for all of them