Cambridge Advanced Report Writing

Cambridge Advanced Report Writing

Advanced Report Writing

In the Cambridge Advanced exam, writing a report is one of the tasks you may be asked to do in Part 2. Here we will look at what you need to know about Advanced report writing.

What you find in the Cambridge Advanced report

 

An advanced report is an example of a real world writing task where you are required to analyse a scenario or problem and generally offer solutions that can be acted on. As you can see from the exam question below the audience is real.  

Advanced report example question

You have just completed a cooking course. As part of the school’s efforts to offer improved classes, they have asked you to write about your experience as a student.

Your report should discuss what you learned from the classes and what you thought of the teachers and their instruction methods.

Mention any ways you think the class could be improved and say whether you would or would not recommend the course to a friend or relative.

Write your report

 

 

What to do

Firstly, you need to show that you have an understanding of the type of register and structure needed. For reports the style is generally formal or very formal. An additional requirement is that you follow the very clear conventions that go with the structure of reports.

Structure
In a report each section or paragraph is expected to have a title or heading and you can always expect to use Introduction as a title for the first part and Conclusion or Recommendations for the final section. For other sections use a title that describes the theme or topic in that section or paragraph.

Other considerations

  • You should use a title. Something in the form of Report on ..  is suitable.
  • When using modal verbs, particularly for recommendations, could and should are preferable to the more dogmatic must.
  • Passives are also extremely useful but don’t overuse them as they can make a text very difficult to read.
  • It is uncommon to use that many personal pronouns in reports. This means pronouns like you or I should be avoided but we can be used to refer to yourself or even the organisation you are writing for.

How to do it

Initially you need to determine what you have to include in the report. All of that information is contained within the question. Equally the question often provides the likely headers we might use. Our report may well have the following layout and headers.

Advanced report example layout

Report on college cooking classes course

Introduction

Classes

Teaching Methods

Course Recommendations

Writing an introduction

The introduction is the one part of the report where the structure is identical for any report. An introduction states the purpose of the report and provides any basic relevant background. The sample below is a typical approach to the introduction. 

Example introduction

The aim/purpose of this report is to review the full-time college cooking class, how the classes were taught and to make some suggestions as to how the course could be improved in the future.

Other sections of the report


For each of the remaining parts it is important to provide support and details to any opinions you offer.  As you can see in the example section below, the explanation contains sufficient relevant details.

Teaching methods

Teaching Methods
The teachers were all professional and knowledgeable about their subject. They were also very passionate about the topic.  For students, they were tremendously supportive although when some students found activities difficult, it could slow down the class. The communication method was clear through whiteboards and lots of photocopies. It seemed to be effective for many of the students as they felt they had made a lot of progress  over the duration of the course.      

 

Concluding your report

The final part of a report is where a reader expects to see new proposals or an overall analysis. It should draw together some of the details from the preceding sections and, if required, offer potential options. These suggestions are always based on what has come before in the report.

Completed Advanced report example

Report on college cooking classes course

Introduction
The aim of this report is to review the full-time college cooking class, how the classes were taught and to make some suggestions as to how the course could be improved in the future.

Classes
As a complete novice these classes were absolutely perfect.  Instructions and information are available in a way that all students can understand. The format of the classes in particular were very useful in the sense that they provide both theoretical ideas and also plenty of opportunities to practise new techniques. There was also good extra support from the tutors themselves who were always happy to assist students.

Teaching Methods
The teachers were all professional and knowledgeable about their subject. They were also very passionate about the topic.  For students they were tremendously supportive although when some students found activities difficult it could slow down the class. The communication method was clear through whiteboards and lots of photocopies. It seemed to be effective for many of the students and they felt they had made a lot of progress over the duration of the course.

Recommendations
While the courses are well-run and ideal for anyone learning to cook, there are some improvements which can help make the courses better.

  • One feature that could help all students would be extra support on the college website, through activities or even some videos for example of different techniques.
  • Finally, it would be useful to have all materials available online to students. Apart from the college demonstrating better green credentials students will be less likely to lose copies of the material.

Advanced Report Writing Tips

  • Variety of language
    Look for as many ways as you can to say the same thing. For example The company started sponsoring the team in 2018  can also be expressed as  The company first agreed to sponsor or  The initial sponsorship took place.  By attempting to vary the language you can improve your score for range.
  • Review & Rewrite
    As you prepare for the exam, regularly review what you write and rewrite sentences and paragraphs. It will give you more writing practice as well as make you more critical of what you have written.  
  • Use More Linking Devices
    Given the nature of a report it is vital that you avoid using the same linking devices. Aside from not demonstrating a wide enough range it can also lead to a dull writing task.

Want help with your report writing? 

 

Our online Cambridge Advanced Writing course may be just what you need!

Find out more about other Cambridge Advanced writing tasks

Now on Udemy!

First Exam
Course

Preparation

Learn all about the Cambridge First exam, how it is organised and what each of the different parts is about. 

–  Explore each part of each exam.

–  Learn key strategies. 

–  6 hours of extra practice exercises to improve reading, Use of English and Writing performance.