MATH 6627: Writing Reports

From MathWiki

Original version from Javier Cabrera's web page for a Statistical Consulting course (


Guidelines when you write your reports.

The content of a report

1 Project Outline
In the title page include:
Project title.
Your name.
Summary. ( very short and to the point).
The summary contains a brief account of your conclusion. Write the results not the description of the problem. Say: I found that the IBM price stock was at a higher level in October than in November, in October the mean price was ......
2 Introduction
If any, must be very short. Describe your project and give the background information. Try to be brief but at the same time do not leave out the relevant information. Here you include the basic descriptive statistics, graphs and summaries of the data. If you have many graphs or large tables, put them in the appendix and refer to them from the main text.
3 Results
State your points or hypotheses and prove them or disprove them. Go point by point showing performing the corresponding hypothesis tests and interpreting the results. If you have computer-generated output files, put them in the appendix and refer to the output here to report and confidence intervals and perform hypothesis tests. Include graphs and small tables that tell the main part of your story. Other graphs and tables should be placed in the appendix and referred to from the main text.
4 Conclusion
Like the summary but longer.
5 References
List of books or articles that are cited on the text. If you do not cite any then omit it ( you are not required to have it).
6 Appendix
with computer output, computer generated or hand made graphs. Try to underline and number the places in the output that are quoted in the above text, and use those numbers to refer to that piece of output in the text.


Paragraph Structure
When you write a paragraph try to be organized. A way to do this is to start by saying the thesis, then follow with a list of arguments that prove it, quoting the output, performing hypothesis tests, etc. Finally reinforce the result.
Say the thesis.
Prove it.
Say it again.
Another way to construct paragraphs is by using concatenation: from A prove B , from B prove C, and so on.
Most of the reports that you will write in this class will be no more than 3 or 4 pages of text plus some graphs and a few more of output. The output should be organized in tables + charts, but never append a thick printout. A good report should be as brief as possible.