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10 teacher tips for writing truly effective report card comments.

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So it’s report card time again, and you want to write report card comments that show parents you’re thinking about their child’s individual needs and convey exactly what families need to know to help kids move forward. But you also have grades to compile, lessons to plan, and more than 20 of these report cards to ready before they have to be posted to students’ online portals.

You need help writing report card comments, and you know what? You aren’t alone. In a 2018 survey of teachers by the non-profit Learning Heroes, most teachers said they felt untrained and unsupported when it comes to having tough conversations with parents, and a third felt like they had pressure from the administration not to put too many low grades on their students’ report cards. What’s more, while 6 in 10 parents told Learning Heroes they assume As and Bs on their report card means their kids are on track, most teachers said a report card ranks third in terms of the tools they’re using to help parents understand student achievement — showing a disconnect regarding report cards.

Of course, there’s added stress knowing that report card time is not always a happy time for students. A study published in 2018 JAMA Pediatrics showed that when report cards were sent out on Fridays , child maltreatment seemed to increase on the Saturdays immediately following — proof of what teachers have long suspected.

So where does that leave teachers who have a pile of report card writing to do? To help bridge the divide, these report card writing tips may help.

Tips for Writing Report Card Comments

Use simple language.

Most parents are not experts in pedagogy and are unlikely to know the acronyms you use on a daily basis  and may not even be familiar with your school’s particular grading system. Stick to simple language in your report card comment writing, and when possible add explanations of things they may not know about. It’s better to overexplain than to have frustrated parents bombarding your email the night after report cards go out!

For example: Instead of “Grace applies a range of higher-order thinking skills and comprehension strategies when decoding texts,” write “When reading, Grace uses a range of skills to identify the meaning of the text.”

Don’t wait until report cards are due

We know you have a lot on your plate, but making notes throughout the marking period and collecting data in a student folder can make report card writing a whole lot easier! So don’t leave your collection of data and report writing to the last minute. The more you collect, the more evidence you will have, and the easier it will be to write your report card comments.

Stick to the point

When you’re working your way through more than a dozen report cards, sometimes you can feel like you’re repeating yourself and be tempted to deviate from the point at hand. But remember, parents only need to hear about important matters that are relevant to their child. Unnecessary information will only cause confusion.

For example: Instead of “John delightfully expresses a range of different ideas during whole-class discussions,” write “John participates well in class discussions and shares his ideas with others.”

Focus on levels of achievement over specific achievements

There are myriad steps that kids take toward proficiency, and parents don’t need to a long list of all the units and activities you’ve covered in class during the marking period. instead, they need to know how their child is performing in relation to the expected levels of achievement and how they might need to improve.

For example: Instead of “Jayshawn has developed efficient mental and written strategies and uses appropriate digital technologies for multiplication and division where there is no remainder,” write “Jayshawn uses his knowledge of multiplication facts to solve a range of division problems. He is now working towards solving problems with larger numbers.”

Refer to the child’s ongoing performance

When reading their child’s report, parents want to know what was learned, how well their child performed, whether there are any areas for improvement, and what should be done for their child to meet the next achievement standard. Avoid comments that may only refer to task completion or that only provide an evaluation.

For example: Instead of “Kia has completed the required writing task,” write “Kia has achieved a personal writing goal by constructing an informative text. She is now working towards punctuating her writing correctly.”

Download a  free list of report card comments !

Use evidence to support your comments.

When writing reports, continuously refer back to samples of students’ work. Use these work samples as evidence to indicate individual student achievements against the standards, or in comparison to other students in the class. Base your comments on quality evidence, and be prepared to provide parents with examples of their child’s work.

Use sentence starters

Your students aren’t the only ones who could use a little bit of help to get their creative juices flowing. Start off with a series of basic sentence starters such as:

Use a checklist

Prevent the chance of leaving something out or writing too much by using a report card comment writing checklist. The checklist will ensure that you have included student achievements, areas for improvement, what the school is doing to support the student and their learning, suggestions for the parents to help their child progress, and a general comment with new learning goals.

Find something positive to say

Even when a child is struggling or behaving poorly in the classroom, there is always something positive to say about your students — and this gives both kids and their parents something positive to build from. The areas of improvement should not be ignored, and you don’t have to ignore a child’s disciplinary actions entirely, but the report card comments section should be about building toward student success and not a forum for complaints.

Prepare the parents

There will be times when you will need to write a report that doesn’t reflect the expectations of the parents. If you are aware that a child is not going to achieve a standard or has required additional support to complete set tasks, then it is strongly recommended that you reach out to the parents of those children prior to them receiving their child’s report. Parents greatly appreciate being informed about their child personally by their teacher, instead of waiting for a report card to read about it, and you can start working together immediately to form a game plan for support and improvement.

When meeting with parents, have an open conversation about how their child is performing in class and what support you are already providing with suggestions for the future. Create a partnership with the parents, and provide them with suggested activities to support the child at home.

A Final Word

For many parents, opening a report card with their child can be a challenge. To help them — and you — we’ve created this helpful list of tips teachers can share with parents in their classroom about how to discuss a report card.

You may also want to download a list of suggested report card comments to make your job just a little bit easier — created by the teachers on the Teach Starter team!

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How to Write a Report: A Guide

Matt Ellis

A report is a nonfiction account that presents and/or summarizes the facts about a particular event, topic, or issue. The idea is that people who are unfamiliar with the subject can find everything they need to know from a good report. 

Reports make it easy to catch someone up to speed on a subject, but actually writing a report is anything but easy. So to help you understand what to do, below we present a little report of our own, all about report writing. 

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What is a report? 

In technical terms, the definition of a report is pretty vague: any account, spoken or written, of the matters concerning a particular topic. This could refer to anything from a courtroom testimony to a grade schooler’s book report. 

Really, when people talk about “reports,” they’re usually referring to official documents outlining the facts of a topic, typically written by an expert on the subject or someone assigned to investigate it. There are different types of reports, explained in the next section, but they mostly fit this description. 

What kind of information is shared in reports? Although all facts are welcome, reports, in particular, tend to feature these types of content: 

Reports are closely related to essay writing , although there are some clear distinctions. While both rely on facts, essays add the personal opinions and arguments of the authors. Reports typically stick only to the facts, although they may include some of the author’s interpretation of these facts, most likely in the conclusion. 

Moreover, reports are heavily organized, commonly with tables of contents and copious headings and subheadings. This makes it easier for readers to scan reports for the information they’re looking for. Essays, on the other hand, are meant to be read start to finish, not browsed for specific insights. 

Types of reports

There are a few different types of reports, depending on the purpose and to whom you present your report. Here’s a quick list of the common types of reports:

Reports can be further divided into categories based on how they are written. For example, a report could be formal or informal, short or long, and internal or external. In business, a vertical report shares information with people on different levels of the hierarchy (i.e., people who work above you and below you), while a lateral report is for people on the author’s same level, but in different departments. 

There are as many types of reports as there are writing styles, but in this guide, we focus on academic reports, which tend to be formal and informational. 

>>Read More: What Is Academic Writing?

What is the structure of a report?

The structure of a report depends on the type of report and the requirements of the assignment. While reports can use their own unique structure, most follow this basic template:

If you’re familiar with how to write a research paper , you’ll notice that report writing follows the same introduction-body-conclusion structure, sometimes adding an executive summary. Reports usually have their own additional requirements as well, such as title pages and tables of content, which we explain in the next section. 

What should be included in a report?

There are no firm requirements for what’s included in a report. Every school, company, laboratory, task manager, and teacher can make their own format, depending on their unique needs. In general, though, be on the lookout for these particular requirements—they tend to crop up a lot: 

As always, refer to the assignment for the specific guidelines on each of these. The people who read the report should tell you which style guides or formatting they require. 

How to write a report in 7 steps

Now let’s get into the specifics of how to write a report. Follow the seven steps on report writing below to take you from an idea to a completed paper. 

1 Choose a topic based on the assignment

Before you start writing, you need to pick the topic of your report. Often, the topic is assigned for you, as with most business reports, or predetermined by the nature of your work, as with scientific reports. If that’s the case, you can ignore this step and move on. 

If you’re in charge of choosing your own topic, as with a lot of academic reports, then this is one of the most important steps in the whole writing process. Try to pick a topic that fits these two criteria: 

Of course, don’t forget the instructions of the assignment, including length, so keep those in the back of your head when deciding. 

2 Conduct research

With business and scientific reports, the research is usually your own or provided by the company—although there’s still plenty of digging for external sources in both. 

For academic papers, you’re largely on your own for research, unless you’re required to use class materials. That’s one of the reasons why choosing the right topic is so crucial; you won’t go far if the topic you picked doesn’t have enough available research. 

The key is to search only for reputable sources: official documents, other reports, research papers, case studies, books from respected authors, etc. Feel free to use research cited in other similar reports. You can often find a lot of information online through search engines, but a quick trip to the library can also help in a pinch. 

3 Write a thesis statement

Before you go any further, write a thesis statement to help you conceptualize the main theme of your report. Just like the topic sentence of a paragraph, the thesis statement summarizes the main point of your writing, in this case, the report. 

Once you’ve collected enough research, you should notice some trends and patterns in the information. If these patterns all infer or lead up to a bigger, overarching point, that’s your thesis statement. 

For example, if you were writing a report on the wages of fast-food employees, your thesis might be something like, “Although wages used to be commensurate with living expenses, after years of stagnation they are no longer adequate.” From there, the rest of your report will elaborate on that thesis, with ample evidence and supporting arguments. 

It’s good to include your thesis statement in both the executive summary and introduction of your report, but you still want to figure it out early so you know which direction to go when you work on your outline next. 

4 Prepare an outline

Writing an outline is recommended for all kinds of writing, but it’s especially useful for reports given their emphasis on organization. Because reports are often separated by headings and subheadings, a solid outline makes sure you stay on track while writing without missing anything. 

Really, you should start thinking about your outline during the research phase, when you start to notice patterns and trends. If you’re stuck, try making a list of all the key points, details, and evidence you want to mention. See if you can fit them into general and specific categories, which you can turn into headings and subheadings respectively. 

5 Write a rough draft

Actually writing the rough draft , or first draft, is usually the most time-consuming step. Here’s where you take all the information from your research and put it into words. To avoid getting overwhelmed, simply follow your outline step by step to make sure you don’t accidentally leave out anything. 

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes; that’s the number one rule for writing a rough draft. Expecting your first draft to be perfect adds a lot of pressure. Instead, write in a natural and relaxed way, and worry about the specific details like word choice and correcting mistakes later. That’s what the last two steps are for, anyway. 

6 Revise and edit your report

Once your rough draft is finished, it’s time to go back and start fixing the mistakes you ignored the first time around. (Before you dive right back in, though, it helps to sleep on it to start editing fresh, or at least take a small break to unwind from writing the rough draft.) 

We recommend first rereading your report for any major issues, such as cutting or moving around entire sentences and paragraphs. Sometimes you’ll find your data doesn’t line up, or that you misinterpreted a key piece of evidence. This is the right time to fix the “big picture” mistakes and rewrite any longer sections as needed. 

If you’re unfamiliar with what to look for when editing, you can read our previous guide with some more advanced self-editing tips . 

7 Proofread and check for mistakes

Last, it pays to go over your report one final time, just to optimize your wording and check for grammatical or spelling mistakes. In the previous step you checked for “big picture” mistakes, but here you’re looking for specific, even nitpicky problems. 

A writing assistant like Grammarly flags those issues for you. Grammarly’s free version points out any spelling and grammatical mistakes while you write, with suggestions to improve your writing that you can apply with just one click. The Premium version offers even more advanced features, such as tone adjustments and word choice recommendations for taking your writing to the next level. 

how to write student report

Ultimate Report Writing Tips for Students: Best Ideas [Free]

At some point, whether in school or university, you will be required to do report writing. Generally, reports are used to communicate information, which was compiled as a result of studies and analysis. For instance, academic reports are to discuss the findings of studies or surveys.

Our specialists will write a custom essay on any topic for $13.00 $10.40/page

The tips on report writing are easy to follow:

To assist with academic work, our team has prepared several report writing tips for students for you. In the present article, we will talk about the report’s definition and structure. Besides, check the report writing tips according to the type.

So, if you’re wondering about the rules of report writing, proceed to the next part.

📋 What Is a Report?

A report is a way to communicate data that you have collected and analyzed so that the intended audience can understand the information concerning a specific issue or problem. Reports always follow a clear and defined structure. It includes sections and subsections and allows the information to be organized logically.

Top tips for report writing.

But that’s not all:

There are several essential report writing tips you have to learn as a student :

🧩 Academic Report Structure

There are many different types of academic reports that depend on the various disciplines for which they are written. Yet, each one relies on a similar structure, which is a minimum requirement.

Let’s take a look at report writing structure:

Each of these must be present in a general report structure and format. However, specialized types of report writing might call these sections by different names. They might include additional parts to help deliver the required information.

At the very least, you should generally include a title page, a table of contents, and appendices. The University of Leicester provides excellent examples of a report writing format.

Receive a plagiarism-free paper tailored to your instructions.

🔬 Report Writing Tips According to Type

Let’s take a look at some specific and common types of reports that you might be asked to write with that in mind.

But remember:

Regardless of whether you see a specific format for report writing here or elsewhere, you have to ensure that it fits with the type you are required to write.

To make sure this is the case, here are some helpful tips for report writing:

The academic writing format varies with the type of report. Therefore, it’s time to start learning about the most popular ones.

Just $13.00 $10.40/page , and you can get an custom-written academic paper according to your instructions

Financial Report Tips

A financial report is a type of business report writing, and its structure is very similar to the organization provided above. If you are a student of business, then you need to learn how to write them.

What should be included in a financial report?

A financial statement consists of several elements. Two elements are essential: the balance sheet and the income statement. Additionally, cash flow statements and notes to financial statements are prepared.

The main elements of a financial report are as follows:

You can refer to the University of Wollongong for detailed information on how to write a financial report.

Lab Report Tips

The time will come when you have to present your lab results in the form of a formatted laboratory report. This is where you might be wondering how to write one. Relax. It’s easier than you think.

A lab report is a scientific paper that summarizes the goal of the lab you conducted, including your methods and findings. Its purpose is to demonstrate to your instructor that you understood the lab and adequately present your findings.

A lab report generally consists of seven primary sections, as follows:

Naturally, you might be writing lab reports in many sciences, such as physics, biology, chemistry, and geology. However, they, along with technical report writing, tend to follow the same format. Here is a lab report example for students:

Students’ math performance depends upon a number of factors. Among these, the learners’ innate abilities, the effectiveness of instruction, and the psychological climate in the classroom are the most important. Manthei and Kelly (2010) concluded that classical and popular music has no effect on academic performance.

The goal of this research is to investigate the impact of rock music on the math performance of high school students. The hypothesis of this study is that background rock music can have a positive impact on the psychological climate in the classroom and on students’ math performance. The same math test was carried out in two different classes with and without background rock music…

The University of Toronto provides a great breakdown of the structure of a lab report. For a lab report sample, check out the University of Delaware .

Medical Report Tips

If you are a medical student, then you are bound to be required to write medical reports. Since prominent doctors began to announce their significant findings concerning their progress, medical reports became an essential part of delivering responsible medical care.

There are three essential tips for writing a medical report:

Unlike many other types, when writing a medical report that you intend to share with a third-party, you will need the patient’s consent or their legal guardian prior. A formal request might also be a reason to write a report in the medical profession.

All original notes to accompany a medical report. The Royal Children’s Hospital of Melbourne provides an excellent set of guidelines for writing a medical paper. Monash University also provides a tutorial on how to write a case report with the use of a medical report sample.

A case study is one of the most common types of medical reports, which involves examining a particular subject, like a person or a group. A case study can be used as a foundation for all other types of medical reports.

The following is its general writing format:

To see how it all works out, check a medical report sample .

Thanks for reading! We hope that now you understand how to write a report. We’d love to see your opinion on the article in the comment section below.

This might be interesting for you:

🔗 References

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How to Write a Student Report

Daniel smith.

Girl wearing black headphones.jpg

Students begin writing reports as early as middle school. A student report can be for a science project or to summarize a book read during the summer reading program. Several basic concepts should be followed to write a student report regardless of topic or class. Following the basic concepts to write a student report will help you be successful and earn better grades.

Explore this article

1 Find out topic

Find out what topic will be covered in the student report. If you do not understand what the topic is about, the report will not be a success. Research, study, and understand the topic as much as possible before beginning the task.

2 Write an outline

Write an outline of the basic information from the topic. Review the outline. Number the information in order of importance. This will help you organize the information before beginning the actual report.

3 Write an introduction to the student report

Write an introduction to the student report. The introduction lets the reader know what topic will be discussed. A thesis sentence provides the reader with what information they will learn. A solid introductory paragraph tells the reader the basic concepts and ideas that will be discussed in the report.

4 Write a closing paragraph for the student report

Write a closing paragraph for the student report. In the closing paragraph, restate the basic concepts and ideas. Provide readers with a conclusion as to why the information they learned in the student report was important. Tell readers what they should have learned from reading the report.

5 Write the body

Write the body of the student report. Use one or two paragraphs to support each concept introduced in the introductory paragraph and summarized in the closing paragraph.

6 Fill in transitional sentences

Fill in transitional sentences between the paragraphs to make the report flow. Use a word or phrase from the last sentence of the preceding paragraph in the following paragraph to improve flow.

7 Set the student report aside for a few hours

Set the student report aside for a few hours. Read the student report out loud. Fill in any areas that are awkward or need more explanation.

8 Check the student report for grammar

Check the student report for grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. Correct any mistakes.

9 Read the student report

Read the student report one final time. Make any required changes. Repeat this step until you are happy with how the report is written.

About the Author

Daniel Smith graduated from technical school in 1993 and has been writing since 2005. His has written numerous articles for the instructional website called eHow in areas including gardening, home improvement, celebrating special events and health-related topics.

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From our blog

105 Report Card Comments to Use and Adapt

how to write student report

Reviewed by Sarah Tino, M.Ed.

Engage and motivate your students with our adaptive, game-based learning platform!

Learning skills (positive comments)

Learning skills (needs improvement), addition and subtraction, skip counting, place value, comparing numbers, addition with regrouping.

Language (general)

Reading responses, reading comprehension, response journal, note taking, distance learning.

Just about every teacher agrees: report card comments are important to provide insights and next steps to students and families. But there are few who actually look forward to writing them.

Because every instructor knows working under tight deadlines to create upwards of 20 unique and detailed reports at the end of the year or term isn’t exactly straightforward (or particularly fun). That's especially true in the era of distance learning.

And while no one at your school knows your students better than you do, writing valuable report card comments for each of them can be a huge challenge.

That’s why we created a list of 105 sample report card comments — starters to help you find ideas, inspiration, and insights while writing your own report cards.

The 105 report card comments in this list will help you:

Report card comment starters

You'll notice that the report card comments below can act as a springboard for more fully developed ones. But don't worry, using them you'll be able to take some of these one-liners and turn them into insightful and actionable next steps!

For example, you'll be able to take a 1st grade number sense comment like "Your child is able to add and subtract numbers up to 20 using various manipulatives" and transform it into:

Your child is able to add and subtract numbers up to 20 using various manipulatives. This was evident when he was working independently to solve a real-world problem by adding toys in the classroom toy bin. As a next step, they should continue to add to larger numbers to encourage his skills. You can support him by asking him to add his own toy piles at home.

Or taking a responsibility-related learning skill comment from "Your child is able to take responsibility for her own actions both in and out of the classroom" to:

Your child is able to take responsibility for her own actions both in and out of the classroom. She often checks her agenda and day planner to make sure she has all of the necessary materials to complete work at home before leaving. During indoor recess, she takes time to tidy up everything she was playing with.

Notice the difference?

Compared to a single number or letter grade, report card comments can provide even more value to your students and their families. In other words, a number or letter or grade captures the what , while an accompanying comment captures the how .

Depending on the age group or grade level you teach, a letter or grade letter might be enough. However, research in Phi Delta Kappan, the professional journal for educators, suggests:

Comments that identify what students did well, what improvements they need to make, and how to make those improvements, provided with sensitivity to important contextual elements, can guide students on their pathways to learning success and ensure that all learn excellently.

Gather insights into student performance all year long and make report card writing easier with Prodigy, the adaptive math game that students love.

Math (general comments)

Word problems (math)

As we move into language and literacy, the following sections include starter report card comments which cover reading, writing, oral communication and critical thinking skills.

Tips for teachers to write more effective report card comments

how to write student report

Somewhere around the halfway point to your deadline for report cards, you make your best effort to use time at the end of each week to reflect — and jot down notes — about your students’ performance and class week.

What are their strengths and weaknesses? How are their social skills developing with classmates? How is their class participation - are they an enthusiastic learner? Have they shown great improvement in one particular subject area? Are homework assignments getting done? Have any new challenges come up that affect learning?

Even just a few minutes of note-taking in the weeks preceding report card deadlines will help to ease your stress when the time comes to write your final comments.

Moreover, having a dated log of information detailed throughout the school year will help you remember how students are performing throughout each week, which can be valuable information come parent-teacher conference time.

This will also help to engage and reassure parents who want relevant and detailed commentary about their child’s performance at school.

how to write student report

Use Prodigy to write insightful report cards with a minimum of hassle. Prodigy Math is an engaging math adventure for students where success depends on correctly answering adaptive math questions. 

As students play, you’ll get insights into:

Use one of Prodigy’s eight reports to track student progress throughout the year. When the time comes to write report card comments, you’ll have detailed reports on all your students’ achievements.

Just getting started with Prodigy? No problem! The first time students explore the world of Prodigy Math, they’ll start completing the Placement Test — without even knowing. Once they’re done, you’ll have a snapshot of the grade level they’re at, what they know and specific skills they still need to work on.

Five middle school students sitting at a row of desks playing Prodigy Math on tablets.

Spend more time teaching and less time grading

Prep for standardized tests, deliver adaptive skill practice or test students on a new skill — all while they play Prodigy Math, Prodigy English, or both!

how to write student report

Although every report card cannot be glowingly positive, do strive to write in an encouraging and informational tone. As you write constructive report card comments, use encouraging language that focuses on the student’s opportunity for improvement.

For example, instead of describing a student struggling with listening as a “bad listener,” remark that the student “would benefit from listening more carefully.”

If appropriate, frame a negative comment in terms of what students are doing well -- and consider how this more successful characteristic can help them bolster performance in other areas.

how to write student report

Lead your report card comments with the positive comments, followed by areas that need more attention.

Choosing the right format for reporting information will simplify the entire process, while resulting in a clearer and more organized final product.

If you are unclear about your school’s format for report cards, request samples or consult with other teachers or staff members to clarify.

how to write student report

Being open and honest about a student’s performance requires tact and consideration with regard to how you  express  those comments. Be transparent, and remain mindful that your goal is to improve your students’ learning experience.

Openness and honesty are key to ensuring that experience is the best it can be. If possible, discuss what  intervention strategies  you can use to help improve the student’s learning outcomes. 

As elementary teacher Donna Donaghue remarks in her book  A Guide for Beginning Elementary Teachers: Getting Hired and Staying Inspired :

If there is a problem, most parents will be grateful to you for telling them and will want to help you correct it as soon as possible. Many problems that show up at school are also problems noticed at home, so your comments will not surprise parents. Ideally, at some point prior to receiving the progress report, parents have already discussed the problem with you.

how to write student report

If you get stuck completing the comments for a particular student, move on to your other students and return to it later. You will likely have more trouble completing comments for students who have multiple areas needing further improvement and attention.

Feel free to move on and return to those students periodically or as you find the right language to express your insights.

how to write student report

While every report card comment is ultimately about your student, think of your students’ parents or guardians as much as possible and offer suggestions for their participation.

In fact, if you can, keep parents up to date on an ongoing basis. This will help ensure they don't get caught off guard by any of your comments.

As you make note of your students’ strengths and weaknesses, endeavor to include practical insights into how parents can involve and support their child at home. If possible, make reference to how you use  differentiated instruction  to support the student in question.

Simple examples of tips for parents include:

As high school educator and teaching comprehension expert Anne Goudvis writes in her book Strategies That Work:

It is important that you include the parents in your comment so they know the child’s education is a joint mission. Sometimes you need to sound firm so that parents know you need their help and that you will not allow their child to continue inappropriate behavior.

how to write student report

It is unlikely that your students or parents will compare their report card comments, but it is still a best practice to aim for unique commentary for each student that reflects each, individual learning outcome.

Report card time is perhaps your busiest period of the year, and it is understandable that you want to simply get them over with.

Despite this, you should make sure to double check all your comments before hitting print and handing them out. All your communications to parents are a reflection of you as a teacher, and should mirror the care and attention you show your students in class.

how to write student report

Make use of your school’s parent portal or email system to let parents know — as needed — that report card time is coming up.

This will help parents be prepared, and will also ensure that any important questions they may have are addressed before the final report cards are delivered.

how to write student report

Record and use classroom anecdotes in your assessments. No matter how involved you are in your students’ progress, it can still be difficult to produce specific examples related to their performance if you haven’t recorded them along the way.

When you notice a positive or negative skill, ability, strength, or weakness in a class activity or assignment, be sure to note it down so that you may refer to it in your report card comments. Likewise, consider noting a sample of a student’s work every week or two.

To help with ease of access, keep ongoing files of this work in a personal folder or use a digital tool such as a Google Doc.

Putting this into practice is a time-saver and helps prevent last-minute stress. A strategy like direct observation and note-taking (as soon as possible) is far more reliable than trying to recall information and behaviors from weeks or months prior.

Key considerations for report card comments at the end of the year

Report card comments should aim to deliver feedback to students and parents that is  personalized, detailed,  and  meaningful .

how to write student report

Writing report card comments doesn’t have to be stressful. Use these strategies to create livelier, more meaningful evaluations.

Effective report card comments emphasize and discuss:

Effective report card comments are personalized – customized to each, individual student – and discuss:

Effective report card comments are expressed with clear and simple phrasing, using:

Report Card Comments: Final Thoughts

how to write student report

Common Sense Education observes that "effective parent communication is crucial in helping students learn. But, for busy teachers it can be challenging just to keep up... Transparency and equity are key to managing any communication between home and school."

Personalized report card comments that are clear, precise, and meaningful are essential for informing students and their parents about what students have learned, what their strengths are and how they can effectively progress.

Among the pressure and deadlines of writing report cards, it can be helpful to keep these key goals in mind.

Get inspired by the report card comment examples — and strategies for success — above to ensure that precision, clarity, and meaning shine through in your report card comments.

When it comes time to hand out your report cards, you can do so with the full confidence that you are doing yourself — and each of your students — the justice your hard work deserves.

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125 report card comments.

It's report card time and you face the prospect of writing constructive, insightful, and original comments on a couple dozen report cards or more.  Here are 125 positive report card comments for you to use and adapt!

how to write student report

You've reached the end of another grading period, and what could be more daunting than the task of composing insightful, original, and unique comments about every child in your class? The following positive statements will help you tailor your comments to specific children and highlight their strengths.

You can also use our statements to indicate a need for improvement. Turn the words around a bit, and you will transform each into a goal for a child to work toward. Sam cooperates consistently with others becomes Sam needs to cooperate more consistently with others, and Sally uses vivid language in writing may instead read With practice, Sally will learn to use vivid language in her writing. Make Jan seeks new challenges into a request for parental support by changing it to read Please encourage Jan to seek new challenges.

Whether you are tweaking statements from this page or creating original ones, check out our Report Card Thesaurus [see bottom of the page] that contains a list of appropriate adjectives and adverbs. There you will find the right words to keep your comments fresh and accurate.

We have organized our 125 report card comments by category. Read the entire list or click one of the category links below to jump to that list.

Attitude Behavior Character Communication Skills Group Work Interests and Talents Participation Social Skills Time Management Work Habits

The student:

Communication Skills

Interests and Talents


Social Skills

Time Management

Work Habits

Related: Needs Improvement Report Card Comments  for even more comments!

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how to write student report

School Report Writing: 10 Top Tips and Expert Advice for 2022

Learning Ladders Blog School Report Writing: 10 Top Tips and Expert Advice for 2022

How to write a school report

We would all like to think that parents thoroughly read through our carefully crafted pupil school reports. How they must appreciate the hours we put into school report writing! However, the reality is that reports are often not as cherished as we would hope. It’s very easy to get them wrong. Wrong name in a copy and paste. Blanket statements for the class such as “We had a great time at Arundel Castle”, then finding out the student didn’t attend that day…

But it’s also just as easy to get them right. Being specific. Writing in simple language. Providing opportunities for parents to get more involved in their child’s education. All of these elements help to create a great school report.

To help you write great end of year reports, let’s answer the simple question: what is a school report? In a nutshell it’s a written assessment of a pupil’s performance and provides valuable guidance to parents and teachers, as well as students.

Reports take time

Unfortunately, school report writing can take time. To make them as personal as we would like to, they can take hours. We want to add personal touches. We want to tailor everything to every time. But if you are writing them frequently, end of year reports can eat into quite a few weekends. Writing them termly, or bulk writing huge reports yearly is very time consuming. Automation can help nowadays. No longer do you have to use the clunky systems of the past – many modern assessment systems can take away some of the strain. Ongoing communications with parents can streamline reports, so you don’t have to include those things which have already been discussed.

Personalising school reports can go wrong

Despite all attempts to the contrary, personalisation can go wrong. It can be difficult when trying to remember everything about every child over the whole year. Remembering exactly who did what at the nativity performance is difficult in June! For those teachers who teach one subject to many children it is even harder.

Teachers and parents each have a different focus Teachers may spend ages pouring over assessment data to pick out some key targets and achievements. Some parents may want to jump to the end of the report to see if their child has loads of friends. Other parents do want to have detailed information on their child’s successes and want to help from home. A lack of detail in this area could leave them feeling like they cannot build on the recommendations.

So how do you get it right?

Here are 10 top tips to assist you with school report writing:

To find out how Learning Ladders makes school report writing easy, whilst keeping all those individual touches that parents love, have a read about our automated pupil reports .

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How to Write a Report

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Some academic assignments ask for a ‘report’, rather than an essay, and students are often confused about what that really means.

Likewise, in business, confronted with a request for a ‘report’ to a senior manager, many people struggle to know what to write.

Confusion often arises about the writing style, what to include, the language to use, the length of the document and other factors.

This page aims to disentangle some of these elements, and provide you with some advice designed to help you to write a good report.

What is a Report?

In academia there is some overlap between reports and essays, and the two words are sometimes used interchangeably, but reports are more likely to be needed for business, scientific and technical subjects, and in the workplace.

Whereas an essay presents arguments and reasoning, a report concentrates on facts.

Essentially, a report is a short, sharp, concise document which is written for a particular purpose and audience. It generally sets outs and analyses a situation or problem, often making recommendations for future action. It is a factual paper, and needs to be clear and well-structured.

Requirements for the precise form and content of a report will vary between organisation and departments and in study between courses, from tutor to tutor, as well as between subjects, so it’s worth finding out if there are any specific guidelines before you start.

Reports may contain some or all of the following elements:

Not all of these elements will be essential in every report.

If you’re writing a report in the workplace, check whether there are any standard guidelines or structure that you need to use.

For example, in the UK many government departments have outline structures for reports to ministers that must be followed exactly.

Sections and Numbering

A report is designed to lead people through the information in a structured way, but also to enable them to find the information that they want quickly and easily.

Reports usually, therefore, have numbered sections and subsections, and a clear and full contents page listing each heading. It follows that page numbering is important.

Modern word processors have features to add tables of contents (ToC) and page numbers as well as styled headings; you should take advantage of these as they update automatically as you edit your report, moving, adding or deleting sections.

Report Writing

Getting started: prior preparation and planning.

The structure of a report is very important to lead the reader through your thinking to a course of action and/or decision. It’s worth taking a bit of time to plan it out beforehand.

Step 1: Know your brief

You will usually receive a clear brief for a report, including what you are studying and for whom the report should be prepared.

First of all, consider your brief very carefully and make sure that you are clear who the report is for (if you're a student then not just your tutor, but who it is supposed to be written for), and why you are writing it, as well as what you want the reader to do at the end of reading: make a decision or agree a recommendation, perhaps.

Step 2: Keep your brief in mind at all times

During your planning and writing, make sure that you keep your brief in mind: who are you writing for, and why are you writing?

All your thinking needs to be focused on that, which may require you to be ruthless in your reading and thinking. Anything irrelevant should be discarded.

As you read and research, try to organise your work into sections by theme, a bit like writing a Literature Review .

Make sure that you keep track of your references, especially for academic work. Although referencing is perhaps less important in the workplace, it’s also important that you can substantiate any assertions that you make so it’s helpful to keep track of your sources of information.

The Structure of a Report

Like the precise content, requirements for structure vary, so do check what’s set out in any guidance.

However, as a rough guide, you should plan to include at the very least an executive summary, introduction, the main body of your report, and a section containing your conclusions and any recommendations.

Executive Summary

The executive summary or abstract , for a scientific report, is a brief summary of the contents. It’s worth writing this last, when you know the key points to draw out. It should be no more than half a page to a page in length.

Remember the executive summary is designed to give busy 'executives' a quick summary of the contents of the report.


The introduction sets out what you plan to say and provides a brief summary of the problem under discussion. It should also touch briefly on your conclusions.

Report Main Body

The main body of the report should be carefully structured in a way that leads the reader through the issue.

You should split it into sections using numbered sub-headings relating to themes or areas for consideration. For each theme, you should aim to set out clearly and concisely the main issue under discussion and any areas of difficulty or disagreement. It may also include experimental results. All the information that you present should be related back to the brief and the precise subject under discussion.

If it’s not relevant, leave it out.

Conclusions and Recommendations

The conclusion sets out what inferences you draw from the information, including any experimental results. It may include recommendations, or these may be included in a separate section.

Recommendations suggest how you think the situation could be improved, and should be specific, achievable and measurable. If your recommendations have financial implications, you should set these out clearly, with estimated costs if possible.

A Word on Writing Style

When writing a report, your aim should be to be absolutely clear. Above all, it should be easy to read and understand, even to someone with little knowledge of the subject area.

You should therefore aim for crisp, precise text, using plain English, and shorter words rather than longer, with short sentences.

You should also avoid jargon. If you have to use specialist language, you should explain each word as you use it. If you find that you’ve had to explain more than about five words, you’re probably using too much jargon, and need to replace some of it with simpler words.

Consider your audience. If the report is designed to be written for a particular person, check whether you should be writing it to ‘you’ or perhaps in the third person to a job role: ‘The Chief Executive may like to consider…’, or ‘The minister is recommended to agree…’, for example.

A Final Warning

As with any academic assignment or formal piece of writing, your work will benefit from being read over again and edited ruthlessly for sense and style.

Pay particular attention to whether all the information that you have included is relevant. Also remember to check tenses, which person you have written in, grammar and spelling. It’s also worth one last check against any requirements on structure.

For an academic assignment, make sure that you have referenced fully and correctly. As always, check that you have not inadvertently or deliberately plagiarised or copied anything without acknowledging it.

Finally, ask yourself:

“Does my report fulfil its purpose?”

Only if the answer is a resounding ‘yes’ should you send it off to its intended recipient.

Continue to: How to Write a Business Case Planning an Essay

See also: Business Writing Tips Study Skills Writing a Dissertation or Thesis


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