of light and shadows

A REPORT is usually written for a superior (e.g. a teacher) or a peer group (e.g. members of an English club). Candidates are expected to give some factual information and make suggestions or recommendations. A report should be clearly organised and may include headings.


- Begin by stating the purpose of your report.
- You may invent where you got the information.
- Use a clear layout with:
- Headings. They will make it clear that your report is not an essay or review.
- Lists of numbered points or bullets where appropriate. (DON'T overdo it, though. If you use them in more than one section, you won't be able to show the full range of structures and vocabulary you know.)
- Divide your report into sections according to the input.
- Develop the ideas in the task input. Focus on a maximum of two points.
- Give a clear summary of the situation and make a comment/suggestion only in the last paragraph.
- Use an impersonal, semi-formal style.

Useful language for a report

Paragraph 1

Stating the purpose of the report:
The main aim/objective/purpose of this report is to ...

Describing how you got the information:
To prepare for this report, I conducted interviews with... / I visited three of the most popular... / I discussed the issue with...

Paragraphs 2, 3...

Reporting your results:
According to ...
All those who were interviewed believe that/are concerned that... / It is thought that... / It was commented upon by a number of people we talked to that...
A cause of dissatisfaction was...

Presenting a list
The arguments against ... are the following:
1 ...
2 ...
The following were the main reasons given for supporting ...: firstly, ..., secondly, ...
Points mentioned in favour of/against ... were:
1 ...
2 ...
There are several ways in which ... might be ... :
1 ...
2 ...

Last paragraph

Making recommendations
Taking all the factors mentioned into account...
I would therefore recommend ....
Clearly, more could be done to .... I would make the following recommendations:
1 ...
2 ...
3 ...

Model questions and answers
Report 1

Your English teacher has asked you to write a report on where people can eat out in your area. You should include the views of visitors and local people, comment on any recent trends and dissatisfaction and make a recommendation.
Write your report in 140-190 words in an appropriate style.

The main purpose of this report is to give an overview of the town's eating facilities. As part of the survey, both tourists and local residents were asked their views.
Cafés, pubs and restaurants
There are a number of good quality restaurants in the area, which cater for most tastes: pizza houses, sushi bars, exclusive French restaurants and gastro pubs. We are also fortunate to have several cafés and sandwich bars, which are very popular in the mornings with young mothers and children and with office workers at lunchtime.
Recent trends/Dissatisfaction
It was reported that in recent years most of the fast food restaurants had extended their hours, with most open until midnight. It was also stated that prices had gone up dramatically in some of the better restaurants and, as a consequence, people are going out less than they used to or eating at cheaper restaurants.
Room for improvement/Recommendations
The main area of concern among a number of people interviewed was the lack of vegetarian meals available in many of the restaurants and it is recommended that restaurants are made aware of this view.
[+/- 185 words]

Report 2

Your college has been asked to accept a group of 50 students from another country for two weeks. Your principal has asked you to write a report. What would be the advantages and disadvantages of accepting this group? What would you recommend?
Write your report in 140-190 words in an appropriate style.

Report on proposed visit by 50 overseas students
The purpose of this report is to consider the advantages and disadvantages of accepting a large group of students from overseas for two weeks. I have discussed the issue with all the senior members of college staff.
All those I interviewed believe that for students, this would be an exciting opportunity to explore a foreign culture, both in the classroom and socially. Overall, they thought the visit would be stimulating for the college at a quiet time of the year.
Some members of staff are concerned that:
there would be insufficient seating in the library at busy times.
the visitors might be more interested in enjoying themselves than studying.
the restaurant queue would be very slow at lunchtime.
Conclusion and recommendation
Clearly, the visit might involve some practical difficulties, but on the whole, everyone thought that it should be seen as an opportunity not to be missed. I would therefore suggest that the college accepts the group.
[+/- 170 words]

Report 3


You work for the Student Travel Agency of your college. The principal of the college is interested in the experiences of students who have worked abroad during their summer holidays. She has asked you to write a report on the advantages and disadvantages of such work. In particular, she wants to know whether the college should recommend "working holidays" to its students.
Write your report in 140-190 words in an appropriate style.

The purpose of this report is to consider the advantages and disadvantages of working holidays abroad. In order to obtain this information, I interviewed more than 30 students who had worked in different countries.
The benefits of working holidays
A large number of the students I spoke to said that they had enjoyed working abroad and had become more open-minded as a result. Apparently, they felt they had learnt a lot about the local people and their way of life by working side by side with them.
The disadvantages of working holidays
Not surprisingly, many students complained that they had worked too hard in certain countries. They believed that they had been exploited by their employers, who paid them very little money. According to some students, there had also been problems with documents such as work permits.
Conclusions and Recommendations
It appears that the majority of students found the experience of working abroad very beneficial. Therefore, I believe that the college should recommend "working holidays" to its students. However, it should also warn them about the problems they could face and the precautions they need to take.
[+/- 190 words]

@темы: Writing, FCE, English