Assessment reports are handy measurement tools that fit comfortably into a variety of settings. Regardless of the topic under study, these analytical summaries hover around a precisely defined research question. Governments might order assessment reports to scan the impact of political campaigns in certain regions. Educators use them to gauge the effectiveness of new teaching models. Even businessmen are prone to rely on assessment reports when pondering important business decisions.

Start the report with an executive summary. Phrase the report’s topic in the form of a question. For example, the main query of an educational assessment might be, “What has been the impact of new literacy standards on instruction materials for high school seniors?”

Define key terms in the next paragraph. Provide background information on the topic. For example, state when and why new literacy standards were implemented.

Describe key findings in the following section. Introduce the findings with a statement that begins, “This assessment report discovered that…” Provide a numbered list of specific findings. For example, the list might say teachers report the new standards are easily worked into daily lesson plans.

Create a section for related findings. Summarize conclusions resulting from the assessment which are not directly related to the report’s research question but may interest readers. For example, researchers might have discovered the requirement for new standards at the high school prompted middle school teachers to align their teaching methods with the new requirements.

Call the next section “Background.” Summarize the history of the topic, identifying key players and citing relevant statistics that cover all angles of the research question. For example, the report might relate how the new standards became necessary after studies by the state’s education department noted literacy rates among graduating seniors had dropped. Identify research published by national literacy experts who might have spotted similar trends, explain their attempts to correct the downward trend and describe the local district’s express reasons for adopting new standards.

Title the next section “Methodology.” Provide details about how the assessment was done and by whom. For example, the report might identify the literacy consultant who examined test results of district students over a 10-year period. The report might then explain the consultant’s criteria for confirming or refuting the state’s results.

Finish the report with “Recommendations.” Reiterate the reason for undertaking the assessment. Create a numbered list of recommendations with references to the key findings that support them.