The following is a typical structure for a report. For exact requirements, please refer to your module handbook or other guidance provided for the report

Report template

Executive Summary (not always required – check coursework guidelines)

This is a summary of the main ideas contained in the report. It is intended to provide an overview of the aim, scope, main findings, conclusions and recommendations. It is not an introduction – it does not tell readers what they can expect to read, but it is an alternative to reading the whole report. It is always written after the report has been completed. This document highlights the differences between introductions and executive summaries, and provides an example executive summary


Contents page

[Main body divided into headed sections and sub-sections. These are often numbered eg]

1.0 Introduction

2.0 Heading (outlines the key issues discussed in this section – leads into 2.1 and 2.2)

  • 2.1 Sub-heading
  • 2.2 Sub-heading

3.0 Heading (outlines the key issues discussed in this section – leads into 3.1, 3.2 and 3.3)

  • 3.1 Sub-heading
  • 3.2 Sub-heading
  • 3.3 Sub-heading

4.0 Conclusions (5-10% of word count)

5.0 Recommendations

An example of actual headings within a report could include:

Executive Summary

1. Introduction

  • 1.1 History of the organisation
  • 1.2 Product and services
  • 1.3 Market and competitors
  • 1.4 Mission, vision and objectives

2 Innovation within the organisation

  • 2.1 Types of innovation
    • 2.1.1 Incremental/radical
    • 2.1.2 Product and process innovation
    • 2.1.3 Social innovation
  • 2.2 Examples of innovative development
  • 2.3 Examples of innovative development

3. Management of innovation

  • 3.1 innovation strategy
  • 3.2 Innovation networks etc


All sources listed in alphabetical order by surname following Harvard referencing conventions


Contains additional information that may be useful to the reader, but is not essential to understand the report. Lengthy and detailed financial analysis, statistical information or descriptive detail is often put in an appendix, rather than in the main body of the report – it should be referred to in the text.