Structure of Reports

This section will cover the following topics:

What is a report?

1. What is a report?


Before looking in detail at report structure it is important to clarify what a report is. A report tells about (reports on) something that you did. It describes what was done, it analyses what this means and it evaluates (makes judgements) this in relation to theory and real life examples.
A report has headings and an expected format

How is a report structured?

2. How is a report structured?

Report writing chart

All reports have a beginning, a body and an ending. Reports based on research generally include the following sections:

Beginning

Title page

This includes the title of report, your name and date

Executive summary

The executive summary is a summary of the whole report. It usually contains one sentence summarising each major section of the report.

Introduction

The introduction provides context and background and clearly states the purpose of the report. It also outlines what will be covered in the following sections so the reader knows what to expect.

Body

Body covers what you found and what it means

Ending

Conclusion & recommendations Sums up what you found and makes recommendations

How to structure this report

3. How to structure this report

What are you being asked to do?

The structure of your report will have headings that respond directly to your assignment task.

Where do you find your headings?

Structuring reports

 

Table of contents

Example of a Table of contents for this assignment

Table of Contents

 

The Introduction - 10% of assessment

The introduction outlines the context, background and purpose of your assignment and clearly states the purpose of the report. It also outlines what will be covered in the following sections so the reader knows what to expect.

Activity

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View the complete introduction
Example of complete introduction

The Foreign Exchange (FX) market functions as a continuous cash market where currencies of nations are traded simultaneously and constantly across local and global markets. The conditions of the FX market are volatile and can change quickly in response to events happening in real-time. Hence, there are risks involved in FX trading, and in effect investment portfolios will increase or decrease in value. However, participants are able to hedge against, or speculate upon to make profits from foreign currency movements using spot and forward FX products.

Depending on the position of being price makers (banks) or price takers (corporations) in the FX market, both roles will have different goals and objectives. In effect, the actions and decisions made by either party will be based upon the research on the market conditions and market indicators that they intend to trade in. Generally a strategy is recommended to be put in place prior to trading on the FX market that is concise, clear and focused on the outcome to be achieved. The achievements of a corporation and a bank will evidently be different as each entity has different purposes and goals to meet. A corporation generally requires foreign currencies in the course of doing business, making investments or hedging. A bank generally earns profits by buying and selling currencies from and to each other, and corporations that require any foreign currency exchanging.

This report details the dealing room performances of a bank (named X) and a Corporation (named Y.) The trading processes in both banks and corporations relied on our market view, which was established before commencing each trading session. In addition, the report also discusses the role of team dynamics particularly the effect of constructive working relationships on positive trading outcomes. The primary task of Bank D was to be a price maker, realize a trade profit and to square all currency positions with the secondary objective of speculation on the foreign exchange market. The primary objectives of Corporation I were:

  • To raise 80m EUR immediately to pay for an equipment purchase that you have made from Germany.
  • To raise 60m USD to pay for raw materials purchased from US with the payment due in 3 months time.
  • To raise 3bn JPY to fund a new factory complex near Osaka, with settlement due in 6 months time.
  • The secondary objective of Corporation I was to speculate in the FX market, but only after the primary objectives were completed.

     

    Executive Summary

    Purpose

    • Summarises the whole report in a logical order
    • Outlines purpose, findings, conclusions & recommendations
    • Written last mainly in past tense
    Activity

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    Activity

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    Tip for writing the executive summary:
    Go through your table of contents to make sure you have summarised the main point/s listed in the table of contents

     

    Conclusion

    The conclusion summarises the main findings and comments on what this means in relation to the 'big picture'. It does not contain any new information.

     

    View a sample conclusion
    Sample Conclusion

     

    This report has described and analysed two trading session conducted by a team representing Bank X and Corporation Y in the FX currency market. To be successful the team had to develop positive working relationships and team dynamics in relation to quoting favourable bids/asks to produce profitable spreads and entering deals into the trading system. This involved considerable learning and some difficulties for team members initially and this was particularly evident after the first session. However by the second trading session it was clear that there was overall improvement in team dynamics, a greater understanding of the trading system as well as greater competence in executing profitable spreads. This resulted in a successful outcome with the completion of both primary and secondary tasks, and most significantly the ability of the trading team to turn a trading loss into a profit for the corporation. Also discussed was the importance of the strength of the team's communication skills, in particular the group's ability to develop good relationships and rapport with other trading teams.This group attribute was especially instrumental in the achievements of the trading team and our overall improvement in both the first and second trading sessions.

     

    Include figures and tables

    Tables and graphs are an excellent way to present and communicate information. Always refer to tables and graphs in the text of your writing.

    Figures and Tables

     

     

    Line graphs are useful for predicting trends
    Line graph

     

     

    Pie graphs show sub-categories in relation to the whole
    Pie graph

     

     

    Tables are useful for summarising data
    Table graph

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    Always carefully analyse two things when planning an assignment:

    1. What are you being assessed on? (assessment criteria sheet)

    2. What are you being asked to do? (assignment task)
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