Articles and reports


An article is a piece of writing on a particular subject which is written for publication in a newspaper, magazine or newsletter. 


A wide range of approaches is possible, depending on the subject matter. A light-hearted or humorous topic might be given a fairly personal treatment, for example, while a more serious topic would be treated in a more neutral, analytical way. 


Articles should have a heading which makes the subject matter clear but which also catches the reader's eye and makes him or her want to read. Newspapers and magazines often use dramatic statements or word play in headings for this reason, and sometimes add a sub-heading which gives more information.


As with any other kind of composition, it’s important to have an interesting introduction and a suitable conclusion to ‘round off’ the piece, and to organise the information into paragraphs which help the reader to follow the argument or understand the different aspects of the subject. In addition, articles often include an outline of the story or the topic near the beginning so that the reader begins with a general picture and then reads on to find out more information.


  • Think up an eye-catching title for your article
  • It is particularly important that the first paragraph should make the readers want to read on.
  • Make sure that each paragraph has a distinct topic and that there is a clear progression from one paragraph to the next.
  • Every now and then ask the readers a question.
  • Express yourself in an emphatic rather than dull way. You might even want to exaggerate a little.
  • At least sometimes, use direct rather than reported speech.
  • Illustrate your points with examples rather than just making general statements.
  • Vary the length of your sentences.
  • Try to create brief pictures in words of what you are describing so that the readers can see in their mind's eye the person or place you are writing about.
  • Surprise or interest the readers by sharing some unexpected or particularly significant fact with them.
  • Making contrasts can be a very effective device in an article. Refer, for instance, to two places, people or situations which are very different from each other.
  • Address your readers in the second person, i.e. calling them 'you'.
  • Bring the article to an effective close by referring in the last paragraph to something mentioned earlier in the article.


Screaming Tyres

by Tracy Cole

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to sit behind the wheel of a racing car? Are you looking for a really imaginative birthday present for a car-mad friend or relation? If the answer to either of these questions is ‘yes’, then you may be interested to hear about a course I took at Stoke Lodge Racing School recently.

My day as a racing driver was the first prize in a newspaper competition I had entered, and I must say that it was the most exciting prize I’ve ever won. The day began with theoretical instruction covering all aspects of safety. This was followed by practical tuition in a high performance saloon car. With no traffic to worry about, I was able to practise controlling the car on bends and prepare myself for the ultimate experience: the chance to drive a single seater racing car.

And finally, with crash helmet and full harness seat belts secured, I was able to rev up the engine and edge my way out on to the circuit. Six breath-taking laps later, my dream had become reality. You also take back with you a video recording of the ride, including your screams and yells! A five star experience!

For those not lucky enough to win a day at the racing school, the cost of the introductory course is £150, which includes all equipment and also an impressive certificate to hang on the wall. Anyone who can drive a car can enjoy the experience, regardless of age. The oldest participant so far has been 85, and I understand that he has booked a second course!


A report is a formal document prepared by one person or a group of people who have been studying a particular subject. Both articles and reports may deal with similar subject matter but the treatment is different. While an article is designed to make a topic interesting for the general reader, a report is usually written for a more informed reader who already knows something about the subject. Reports are generally longer and more detailed than articles. One of the most important characteristics of a well-written report is that it contains clearly differentiated paragraphs.


There are two basic kinds of report:

1. The first simply provides information on a topic and gives a brief conclusion or summary at the end.

Example: A report on the educational system in a particular country.

2. The second sets out to identify strengths and weaknesses in a particular situation and make recommendations for improvement.

Example: A report on the library facilities in a college written at the request of the principal.


Reports are the most impersonal kind of writing and it is usually best to avoid expressing personal opinions or feelings. Instead of ‘I think that …’ or ‘I found that …’, you can use the impersonal ‘it’ construction and a passive, e.g. ‘It was found that …’


Reports should have a clear, factual heading and may also have subheadings which divide the writing into shorter sections. The information should be organised and presented as clearly and logically as possible, with a short introduction, explaining the aim of the report and how the information was obtained and a suitable conclusion, summing up the information and making recommendations if necessary.




The aim of this report is to describe and assess the leisure facilities available in Anytown. It is based on information made available by the Anytown Tourist Office, and on views expressed by local people who were interviewed.


Anytown has a wide range of sports facilities, both public and private. There is a large modern leisure centre in the High Street and facilities include a swimming pool, a sports hall for judo, fencing and other activities, and tennis courts. The centre runs courses in all these sports and these tend to be very popular. Membership costs £150 a year which was felt to be rather expensive, but a special temporary membership is available to visitors. The public swimming pool on the outskirts of town at Downmarket is older, less attractive and often overcrowded, but entry is only £1.50.


There are two theatres in town, the Kings Theatre in Bee Street, which offers mainly 'serious' drama and has a good reputation for its productions of Shakespeare plays, and the Little Theatre in Sea Street which specialises in lighter entertainment and the occasional pop concert. In general, it seems that the Kings Theatre is more popular with the older members of the community while the Little appeals more to people in their teens, twenties and early thirties.

Museums and Art Galleries

The City Museum has an extensive collection of maps, pottery and other articles connected with Anytown's history. The attendants are said to be very friendly and helpful, and there is also a small café with reasonably priced home-made snacks. Interestingly, few of the local Anytowners interviewed had ever been to the museum but it was recommended highly by several tourists.


The Brooks shopping area offers a range of services for both visitors and local residents with The Brooks Shopping Centre at its heart. With ample parking it is a great place to start your Anytown experience. Within The Brooks Shopping Centre you will find a range of High Street names including Primark, New Look, Waterstones, Argos, The Entertainer and HMV as well as an eclectic mix of pop-up shops. The Shopping Centre now has free Wi-Fi, allowing shoppers to browse through social media, surf the web and even continue working with easy access to the internet as they enjoy some retail therapy.


Anytown is well-provided with leisure facilities for a town of its size and these are well-used by the townspeople, on the whole. Sport seems to be the most popular leisure activity (after shopping) while cultural activities like visiting the museum or art gallery appeared to be the least popular amongst the Anytowners who were interviewed. Perhaps the City Council should consider launching a publicity campaign to show how much these facilities have to offer.


Useful Language


The purpose of this report is to describe …

The aim of this report is to present …

In this report I will …

This report gives a description of …

This report attempts to give a presentation …


I would strongly recommend …

My suggestion is …

If these changes are introduced, …

I can recommend …

In conclusion, …