Introduction > Writing Scientifically > Field Report

Field Report

Field reports are generally used to document a visit eg to a Nature Reserve. You may be given certain aspects of the visit to note, such as the range of habitats, bird population, conservation issues, or interacting with the public. As well as incorporating these aspects into your report, you should also include sections as follows.

Tree-lined path Title: should highlight the focus of the report eg  The Lookout and its methods of engaging children in science

Introduction: to the site - its location, main use and data regarding past use, future plans, population dynamics (if necessary), etc. Should explain why you're writing the report and what aspects of the site you'll concentrate on

Main Section: focus on the brief you’ve been given and make sure you cover every aspect of the visit that you’re asked to

Conclusion(s): brief summary relating the aims of your visit to the report

References: a detailed list of literature you used

Appendix: anything that adds value to your work but isn't essential in the main body of the text eg location maps, etc.

The length of your field report may differ depending on the credit allocation or your lecturer's preferences, so it's vital to check this before you start writing!

Read the instructions you're given before you attend the visit - this will help you identify what aspects of the visit you should focus on. Wherever possible, include references to other work that are relevant to the field visit and add in your personal views and critical comments to show you fully understand the subject area.

Click to play PodcastDr Ross Cameron, a lecturer in Horticulture and Environmental Management at the University of Reading, discusses common mistakes students make with field reports

Here’s a sample Field Report - notice the structure and the use of headings
<<< Previous Page >>><<< Next Page >>>