Determining the Purpose of your Report

In a previous article we discussed the importance of defining your reason for writing within your term paper so that the reader knows what to expect from your paper. For this reason your purpose for writing should be defined early on in your composition in the introduction and clearly state why you have decided to explore the subject matter. Knowing how to explain your purpose for writing can be difficult. Obviously, in most cases, your instructor has given you the report writing assignment. However, you aren’t going to make your purpose for writing “Because Professor Smith said that I had to do it”, what you want to do is come up with a motivation based on the value of the subject matter.

Explaining Your Purpose For Writing

Still not sure what we mean by purpose of your report? Consider this, aside from the assignment being part of your academic coursework, why is the information being covered important. An example of a purpose for writing statement would be:

“Throughout the last five years there has been a dramatic increase in instances of teenage bullying via social media leading to suicide. In order to better understand this phenomenon, we have conducted research to determine the relationship between social media and adolescent bullying in hopes that our conclusion will help us come up with suggestions for prevention and education for young people using social media platforms.”

The reason why the author is writing is because they wish better understand the connection between bullying online and suicide and to help come up with preventative education tools that will hopefully help inform young people about how to deal with bullying on the internet. They have clearly stated this as there purpose in this statement. The reader now knows not only why the author is writing about this topic but also what they intend to achieve by researching it and writing a report.

Understanding Your Purpose

No matter what the subject matter is every well-rounded paper should have a purpose behind it. Determining what exactly your purpose for writing is requires some careful consideration of the subject that you are researching. It is important that students think critically about the topic and write a purposeful statement that reflects back on their original thesis. If you are sure what your purpose is, try doing a bit of preliminary research first. This will hopefully help you come up with a good reason for writing about your assigned topic. You can also research interesting report topics to get some ideas. Remember, the point of stating your purpose is to make the reader feel like the content contained within the report has meaning.