Report Writing – Elearning course

Gives you everything you need to know about writing reports.

How to write short, medium or long reports that communicate what you want to communicate to your audiences – all in one interactive online training course, where you will work on your actual report, and have the option of getting one-to-one feedback on your reports from our expert tutors.


This course is aimed at anyone who has to write reports, whether it’s for a village event; a FTSE 100; local business or charity.

The course comes in 3 parts:

Part 1: Why reports? The POWER method of writing
Part 2: The four different types of reports
Part 3: Telling it in words and images

You will learn:

  • How to plan and target your report writing
  • The POWER © method for foolproof report writing
  • The secrets of an effective report
  • The information to include, and how to present facts and figures
  • The questions you need to ask yourself and answer in your reports
  • How to present information in a structure for an audience to understand
  • Creating a structure for your report, from the top summary to the bottom detail

...and much more.

Report writing is an ideal companion to our Effective Writing, Top 20 Grammar Mistakes and how to fix them and Proofreading elearning ourses if you need more of the basics.

If you sat down and did the course in one sitting, it would take approximately 2-3 hours to complete. However, the exercises we include mean it can take longer. You can work at your own pace, and dip in and out of the course as often as you want, and go back to sections to really make sure you've understood. If you have any queries at all, you are very welcome to get in touch with the trainer as often as you want.

We set a 4 week deadline from the point you receive your enrolment information.  If you need longer though, you just need to let us know. The course covers:

Why reports?

  • To present information in a structure for an audience to understand

The two parts to report writing

  • Thinking
  • Putting it into words

How to present information in words, images and graphics

The POWER method of writing

  • Prepare
  • Organise
  • Write
  • Evaluate
  • Revise


  • What is the report for
  • Who is the report for
  • Who will be reading it
  • What will they want from it
  • What will they expect it to do


  • What is your key message
  • Is there more than one
  • How to identify them
  • Are they clear


  • Key evidence
  • Top down order
  • Presenting information in a structure
  • Section to paragraph to sentence

Examples and analysis of well structured and written reports

Planning your sections

  • Breaking up your material
  • The best order for sections
  • Are you answering your readers’ questions

The structure possibilities and how to get them

  • Lists
  • Diagrams

Creating your contents page to help you plan

The different purposes of a report and how to structure them

  • Describe
  • Analyse
  • Options
  • Convince

Combining the four in one report, for:

  • A product launch
  • A reorganisation

Executing your plan

  • Choosing from the options to start your report
  • The executive summary, overview or key findings
  • The foreword
  • The introduction
  • Adding your sections

Considering the ending

  • Conclusions, recommendations
  • Mirroring your opening

The art of précis

  • From the detail to the main parts

Putting your thinking into words

  • The best length
  • Keeping it simple
  • Avoiding too many clauses and watching punctuation
  • Structuring your sentences
  • Favouring active verbs
  • Avoiding jargon
  • Watching for repetition


  • Making the copy visually appealing
  • Using visuals, graphics
  • The images – using them effectively
  • Using headings to draw the reader in
  • The differences between print and online

Taking a final look

  • Does it work
  • Does it do the job it needs to
  • Will it be read

Working on your report

This course is packed with interactive exercises so you can practise what you learn as soon as you learn it.

There are handy tips and checklists at key stages of the course.  These cover vital topics including:

  • How to use POWER and the top down structure
  • Visualising information
  • The four different types of report
  • How to précis a block of text
  • The options for starting
  • Keeping your writing simple
  • Having clarity in your writing
  • Working on an actual report

and many more.

Richard Sharpe, media law and editorial trainerRichard Sharpe is a trainer, journalist, researcher, and a director of ContentETC. As a journalist he has contributed to the Financial Times, The Herald Tribune, The Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Observer, Computing, Computer Weekly and other publications covering IT and its impact. Richard was a senior lecturer at the University of East London and an adjunct professor for the University of Southern California. Richard is a highly successful trainer, regularly training journalists and other content creators at publishing companies and corporations including Bauer, Haymarket and TiMedia and coaching executives at organisations including UCLU and LSE.

Margaret Coffey - director, editorial and writing trainer

Margaret Coffey is a journalist, trainer and founding-director of ContentETC. As a trainer she works with major UK media owners and other organisations to design and deliver programmes to improve the performance of writers across all media channels. For 30 years she has written about business and technology for US and UK publications and websites, including BusinessWeek, The Independent, The Financial Times and many others. Margaret's recent clients include Bauer Media, Immediate Media, the University of Strathclyde, the Museum of London, Tekdata Interconnections and the National Bank of Kuwait Capital.

The beauty of e-learning is that you can do it at a time and place to suit you. But you won't be alone! Richard and Margaret will talk you through the key points to improve your skills and knowledge, and at any time during your e-learning course, you can email them with any queries or comments.

They can also give you invaluable one-to-one feedback on your own reports. If you buy the trainer feedback option with your course, email your work to them after you have completed the e-learning and they will supply you with individual guidance, comments and practical suggestions. Then, once you've improved your work, they will review your revised content and provide a second set of comments. This unique feedback really brings your e-learning to life and makes sure you have truly grasped - and applied - all of the key principles.

If you would like to receive a Certificate when you have completed your e-learning course, please just let us know and we will arrange for one to be sent to you.

Report Writing is £19.99 + tax per user * which gives you full unlimited access to the course for one month. If you need longer though, you just need to let us know.

If you want to add personal one-to-one trainer feedback to the course, the price is £69.99 + tax.

Discounted rates are available for multiple users. The discount applies to this course or a mix of e-learning courses. We will give you an immediate 10% discount off your second course if you book with us again.