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Basics of Narrative Report Writing: Attention to Detail

pen on paper drawingWriting a narrative report should not be confused with writing narrative essays. The main feature and main distinction of a narrative report are detailed depiction of an event in the chronological order. It could be compared to a police report for that matter. Generally, a narrative report can be referred to any detailed chronological factual piece of writing. For example, when you apply to a university, a narrative report in this case might concern your qualifications in either your field or outside it. Narrative report writing is mostly used in legal sphere. People write these reports when resolving disputes, filing complaints, or as a piece of evidence in case settlements. Thus, the skills of narrative report writing would be especially useful for students of legal disciplines.

Key Element of Narrative Report Writing

The main purpose of narrative report writing is to provide a clear and factual depiction of certain events that occurred. Therefore, the paramount element of any narrative report should be attention to detail. Without this, a report would not qualify as a piece of evidence or would be accepted with the lack of trust. In your narrative report writing, you should be able to answer the five W questions — Who? Where? When? What? and Why? Each of those questions should be addressed with evidence provided where necessary.

Before submitting the report, make sure that every question is answered comprehensively, and the slightest details are provided. Never provide unverified assumptions. If you make assumptions, you should base them on facts or evidence that can be proofed. Any deviation from this might lead to you losing your report’s value or your own writer’s credibility.

Structure of a Narrative Report

The essential rule of narrative report writing is to depict the event as it occurred chronologically. In the process, you should account all the details and add your comments where necessary, while maintaining the logical sequence. After providing the factual account of the event itself, you should add information about its consequences and its aftermath.

In general, a narrative report should have the following:

  • Statement of the thesis, or the event. Here, you should state the context of the focal event of your report, its time, place, and actors.
  • Any background information related to this thesis. Sometimes, you can provide information about events that preceded the key event, in case they are relevant.
  • Chronological account of the event or a series of events. We remind you that it should be as detailed as possible. Don’t forget to mention the exact time and all the relevant numbers that can be applied. If there are accounts from other witnesses or actors, you should quote them as well.
  • Summary of the event, its consequences and implications.
    • In most legal cases, qualifications of the writer are required as well. They might include a CV, publications, or cases in which you as the author of a narrative report have acted as a witness. You should be as impersonal and objective as possible.

      There are different implications of narrative report writing, within or outside the legal sphere. Students of legal programs should be able to create narrative reports, as it is going to be an integral part of their professional activity. Medical students, attendees of political study courses, and anyone, who chooses to continue their scientific work or is going to manage organizations, should be familiarized with narrative report writing essentials. While the guidelines of such reports may vary in accordance with the field in which it is required, the main requirement should remain the same — the attention to detail is crucial.

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