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RMIT University Library - Learning Lab

Overall structure of a report


Report structure

The sample report used is only an abridged report for the purposes of modelling the different sections.

Report structure showing beginning, body, ending and references. Refer to text below

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


  • 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 covers what you found and what it means.


Conclusion and recommendations. Sums up what you found and makes recommendations.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents are used in longer reports and are written on a separate page. The following is a general guide to the structure of a research report. Note that all reports have a particular purpose so the format will often vary.

The following sample Table of Contents uses a numbering system. This may not always be required.

Table of Contents
Title Page - separate page  

Table of Contents

- separate page

- for reports longer than a couple of page


Executive Summary

- seperate page

1.0 Introduction 3

1.1 Context

1.2 Purpose

1.3 Definitions

2.0 Main section of the report 4

2.1 Literature review - if required

2.2 Methodology / method

2.3 Results / Findings

2.4 Discussion - interpretation of the results





3.0 Conclusions 14

Summary of what was found

No new information

4.0 Recommendations 15

Based on conclusions

Offering possible changes or solutions

5.0 Appendices 17

Relevant additional material
(eg, surveys, questionaires)







6.0 Bibliography / Reference List 22

1. Check course guide for specific course requirements

2. Headings and subheadings show where to find specific information

3. Check that page and numbering are accurate

Sample Table of Contents layout. See link below for long description

Sample 2 - Table of contents

1. Executive summary
2. Introduction 
3. Market view 

3.1 Individual currency

3.1.1 Australian Dollar (AUD)
3.1.2 United States Dollar (USD) 

4. Dealing session strategy
5. Performance Analysis

5.1 The Achievement of Primary Objectives 
5.2 The Achievement of Secondary Objectives

6. Team work
7. Improving our Performance
8. Conclusion 
9. Appendices
10. References 

Notes: Develop your own headings in the body of the report (Results and Discussion section).