In the world of failure analysis and material characterization, compiling a final report may not be on our priority project list yet we will discover that the layout, syntax, and format of our reports can have as large an impact on the reader as the data we have collected. In an industry where the transmission of valid and understandable information from the lab floor to the requestor is vital, it becomes necessary for each of us to search for resolution to this quandary. In answering the question of how can we write better research documents and reports, this paper will present research to discuss 1) the needs of each group involved with research documents and reports; 2) the difference in expectations between readers and writers; 3) the techniques used to teach report writing; and 4) what makes an effective report. The conclusion of this paper will form a generalized statement of the factors that lead to better-written research documents and reports and will point out areas of consideration for future research.

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