Reportwriting Tips For Elementary School Students

Writng a report gives you the chance to become an expert on your area of study.

Students are often given the assignment to write a report on a topic. This can feel both exciting and nerve wracking at the same time. There is so much to learn about in the world around us. By doing some selective reading and organized note-taking you will quickly become an expert on the given topic and be able to successfully write your report.

Instructions

1. Gather your resources and begin skimming and studying.

Gather the materials you will need to research your topic. Encyclopedias, the Internet, books and magazine articles are all great places to start your research. Skim through the table of contents and headings to find the pertinent information for your research topic. Write important facts and keywords you find about your topic on note cards. Include the title, author’s name and year published on the note card each time you use printed information. Refer to the report requirements to ensure you have enough information to fulfill each of the subject areas for your topic.

2. Graphic organizers are a great way to synthesize your notes.

Organize the information on the note cards using a graphic organizer. Use the outline or organizer given to you by your teacher or find a good one online (see Resources). Transfer the content from the note cards onto the graphic organizer under the appropriate heading. Draw an “X” over the card when the information has been included on the graphic organizer. Ensure that each of the note cards has been used.

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3. Allow your creative side and your informational notes to combine when writing your paragraphs.

Build paragraphs around each topic area using the information transferred onto the graphic organizer. Indent for each new topic. Use complete sentences when writing the information. Draw an “X” over the subject area when the paragraph is complete. Write an introduction paragraph that “hooks” or interests your reader. You might include one interesting fact about your topic or ask your reader a question. Write a concluding paragraph by summing up your topic with general statements from your report or what the future holds for this topic.

4. Be conscientious about editing your report.

Edit your report carefully. Read each paragraph several times out loud. Determine if the information flows logically or if the sentences are disjointed, meaning your topic keeps changing with no apparent link. Circle words that you think may be spelled incorrectly. Look in a dictionary or use a spell-check program on the computer to correct mistakes. Check that you have no run-on sentences. Ensure that you have indented at the beginning of each new paragraph.

5. Give credit to your sources by creating a bibliography.

Cite the works that you have used in your report by creating a bibliography. Common resource citations would be the following:

Books: author last name, author first name, underline title of the book, city of publishing company, name of publishing company, year of publication.

Encyclopedia article: “Title of article used,” underline name of encyclopedia set, year of publication.

Magazine article: “Title of article used,” underline name of magazine or journal, month and year of issue.

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For further details regarding citations please refer to “Resources” below.