This work aims to analyze the report dedicated to the advantages and disadvantages of private schools to identify its strengths and weaknesses from the position of report-writing factors. The expediency of this research is determined by the fact that academic writing has multiple rules and standards that should be considered to create a high quality cohesive and comprehensive paper. That is why the analysis of the report with subsequent recommendations will allow the writer to improve his work in the future. The methodology of this research implies reviewing the text for the identification of the violation of academic writing standards. According to the findings, the report has particular strengths; however, multiple weaknesses outweigh them and negatively impact the paper’s quality. It is recommended that the writer to review writing-related materials, create a plan of work, proofread the paper to avoid grammatical and spelling errors, and practice.
This work is the analysis of a writer’s report dedicated to the expediency of private education. In particular, it focuses on the paper’s strengths and weaknesses from the position of report-writing skills. Thus, report-writing factors are assessed to evaluate the quality of the report and its accordance with the standards of academic writing in research projects and university assignments. Moreover, on the basis of this analysis, recommendations for the improvement of the paper and academic writing skills, in general, are provided. The findings show that although the report has particular strengths that indicate the writer’s awareness of the principles of academic writing, there are multiple weaknesses that deteriorate the work’s quality, including poor logical flow, improper structure, and reference- and language-related mistakes.
On the one hand, the report has several strengths that should be considered. First of all, it is dedicated to the identified topic of whether private schools should be abolished. While the report’s executive summary and introduction inform that for and against arguments will be presented, the paper corresponds to this plan creating relevance. In addition, the writer provides evidence in the form of citations and paraphrasing from used sources in order to increase the paper’s validity. In relation to the language, the report has sentences that may be regarded as the excellent examples of academic writing – for instance: “In order to adopt a meaningful and comprehensively considered perspective on this matter of the utmost importance, a range of the best source information from experienced professionals with a relevant perspective on private schools and the educational sector has been used.” All in all, the work has particular report-writing strengths that allow readers to receive information related to a defined topic.
On the other hand, the report has multiple weaknesses that substantially worsen its quality. First of all, regardless of its consistency, it is considerably affected by the absence of conciseness and structure (Murray & Hughes, 2008). In an executive summary, recommendations are presented in one sentence, and while it was formatted appropriately and semi-colons are used to separate sentences’ summaries, an extreme wordiness that complicates the report’s understanding is created. In addition, the logical flow is substantially corrupted by the inappropriate division of paragraphs, their mix, and the absence of headings. Thus, while the elements of a report should include a title page, executive summary, contents page, introduction, findings section, conclusion, recommendations, and reference list, in this paper, the sections of introduction and recommendations are not defined. In addition, the sequences of arguments may be regarded as inconsistent – providing the reasons in favor of private education’s abolishment, the writer mentions the primary argument that is followed by the final reason and one more argument impacting the paper’s consistency (University of Westminster, 2022). In addition, while the main body’s paragraphs should include several elements, such as a topic sentence, evidence, interpretation, explanation, and concluding sentence, some paragraphs are divided into several parts regardless of the fact that they are united by the same idea. Moreover, the structure of the executive summary is not fully appropriate as well – while all elements are presented, they are placed in an incorrect order. Thus, the report’s purpose is followed by recommendations instead of methods. Finally, the introduction does not include the thesis statement, as it is replaced by the writer’s goals.
Moreover, the report has weaknesses in the area of evidence, especially in quotation punctuation and formatting. When a part of a quote is not relevant, ellipsis (…) is used; however, in the sentence: UCL (2019) says, “Pupils in private schools do significantly better at A levels compared to those in similar state schools …… The large difference in resources between private and state schools is cited as the most likely mechanism driving this academic gap,” it is absent while a part of an initial text is absent. In addition, when a direct quotation is provided, the author does not indicate the number of a page from which it was taken. However, a page is not required only in the case of paraphrasing. Finally, Moreover, the formatting of citations is inconsistent and partially incorrect. For instance, in the sentence: “According to (Exley, 2022): “Almost seven in ten (67%) agree parents should have a basic right to choose their children’s schools,” there are mistakes in the format of the author’s name, as I should be “Exley (2022),” quotation marks are not used when a direct quotation is finished, and, as previously mentioned, the page number is not identified. Lastly, the report demonstrates the wrong structure of some paragraphs in relation to citations. In general, the paragraphs of the main body should include the sequence of the topic sentence, evidence, interpretation, explanation, and concluding sentence (Murray & Hughes, 2008). As citations may be defined as evidence, they cannot start paragraphs without an introduction in the form of a topic sentence. However, in the report, two paragraphs start with citations that negatively impact the work’s logical flow as it is not initially clear to what idea they belong.
Finally, the report has multiple weaknesses in relation to language, and due to their number, report-writing factors will be presented in the following way:
- Formal punctuation. The report has contractions (There’re several examples; It’s recommended that) and exclamation marks (This report will discuss whether fee-paying schools should be abolished!; With this in mind, private education should not be abolished as everyone believes parents should have the right to make choices about the education of their children!).
- Person/Voice. The report has parts written in the first person voice with the use of personal pronouns to express the writer’s position (I think that private schools should be abolished; In my opinion, another key reason for abolishing paid-for schooling is that profitable private schools are given charitable tax status; I think that alternative solutions should be considered) and informal, non-academic, and evaluative expressions (talk about;; disgraceful; put under the microscope; got rid of; being thrown behind).
- Linking words. There is a lack of linking words in the report, and it is challenging to trace the changes in ideas, for instance, when the advantages of private education are replaced with its disadvantages.
- Document formatting (Separating paragraphs): All paragraphs have different indentation, breaks, and line spacing.
- Spellchecking. The report has multiple spelling (purpoise; discus; reemoval; privatly; rezources; figors; edukating) and grammatical (private schools are allowed to continue operating in the same way for the time being, but that they’re charitable tax status be removed; there are various arguments; Its recommended that; the system allows parents choice over which schools their children will attend) errors.
The report, under the analysis of its strengths and weaknesses on the basis of report-writing factors, refers to the advantages and disadvantages of private education for the determination of its expediency. While the report has some strengths, including relevance, validity, and the consideration of the principles of academic writing, its weaknesses outweigh them, substantially affecting the quality of the whole work. In particular, there are multiple report-writing factors that were not properly addressed, leading to multiple mistakes in consistency, logical flow, structure, and language. At the same time, this report’s analysis may be regarded as purposeful as it may be used as an example for further works that will evaluate other papers. In addition, it provides recommendations for the report’s author, and on the basis of them, it will be possible to not only correct the paper making it more cohesive and academic but improve report-writing skills in general as well.
- It is recommended that the writer to review material dedicated to report-writing factors, the standards of academic writing, and the rules of research project writing. According to the analysis of the report, especially its strengths, it is obvious that the writer is aware of the principles of academic writing and has particular writing skills. However, it may be one of his first reports, and not all aspects of appropriate writing were perceived.
- It is recommended that the writer make a plan for every report before writing to ensure a proper structure and logical flow. In the case of this report, the writer could list the arguments for private education and arguments against it, one per paragraph, and connect them in a cohesive work with linking words.
- It is recommended that the writer proofread his work to avoid such a substantial number of grammatical and spelling errors. If the writer feels uncertain about his language skills or attention to errors, it is possible to use special programs for grammar.
- It is recommended for the writer to practice writing reports. In the beginning, there could be mistakes, and making them is a natural process of learning. However, if the writer reviews materials related to every mistake he made in his work, more and more report-writing knowledge and skills will be obtained. In this case, the next paper will have higher quality.
Murray, N. and Hughes, G. (2008) Writing up your university assignments and research projects. Berkshire: McGraw-Hill Education.
University of Westminster (2022) Academic English: academic voice and language.