10 Typical Mistakes in Technical Report Writing 1

10 Typical Mistakes in Technical Report Writing

Technical reports are important documents that required time and effort to produce and which require precision and careful attention to detail to make useful.

A simple mistake can change the meaning of your document and create challenges or even major problems for the end user.

If you are writing a technical report, you’ll want to be sure to look out for these top ten typical mistakes in report writing outlined by experienced academic writers from Smart Writing Service designed to produce custom-written papers of outstanding quality.

Unclear Structure

One of the most important mistakes in technical writing is the use of an unclear or sloppy structure.

If your writing doesn’t clearly outline what you need to deliver in your paper for it to be useful to your readers, they won’t be able to find the necessary information and understand the results of the technical reports.

In other words, for information to be useful, it must be clear and easily understood.

Heavy Use of Jargon

Another similar mistake it too much use of jargon. Jargon is the technical words that are used within an industry but which are not widely understood outside of it.

Jargon is problematic because it can impede understanding and make it difficult to correctly interpret the context and meaning of a technical report.

Jargon is sometimes essential when a technical term must be used, but it should be avoided when plain language conveys the same idea.

Punctuation Problems

Punctuation may seem like a minor issue as long as you get the periods in the right place at the end of the sentence, but it turns out that a single misplaced comma can completely change the meaning of a sentence.

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Some legal documents have even ended up in court because of the problems caused by a missing comma.

Be sure to punctuate clearly and accurately to ensure your meaning comes through.


A document that has been newly revised, written over a period of time, or written by more than one author can have inconsistencies.

These inconsistencies can be small—like how to spell a word. Or they can be very large, such as referring to the same project or process by different names.

Inconsistencies can be distracting or confusing, but they also can be dangerous if they cause misunderstandings that lead to mistakes.

Inflated Language

Technical reports are a type of formal writing, but that doesn’t mean that they should be written with inflated language.

Many report writers try to sound formal and educated by using big words and complicated constructions.

But this can yield confusion and create situations where complicated grammar can make it difficult to understand what is being said.

Instead, use simple but clear language, which will let you sound formal and understandable at the same time.

Informal Language

It might seem a bit contradictory, but just as writing can be too inflated, it can also be too informal. Avoid slang, text-speak, and overly familiar colloquialisms.

Try to avoid addressing the reader as “you.” Your goal should be to strike a balance so your text reads as formal but not inflated.

Confusing Grammar

Because technical reports rely on clear linkages between parts of the sentence, any confusion in grammar can create major problems.

Unclear antecedents, for example, create serious problems because they can make it difficult to determine whether a pronoun refers to one noun or another, potentially changing the meaning of the sentence.

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Technical reports are, by their nature, technical. But the denser the presentation, the less information you are actually communicating.

Avoid overlong paragraphs, for example, to help break up the appearance of the text and reduce the cognitive load on the reader.

Judgmental Language

Stick to the facts rather than insert opinions that readers may not agree with. For example, if you describe a “simple technique” or a “simple formula,” not all of your readers may agree that it is simple.

Instead, leave out judgmental or opinionated words to ensure that you are presenting the technical facts rather than your subjective opinion of them.

Unexplained Abbreviations

Abbreviations can make writing move faster, but they only help when the reader understands what they mean.

On your first reference, spell out an abbreviation so the reader will always have a place to go to understand what it means.

Don’t assume that a reader can guess or should know.

Don’t use abbreviations in the abstract since many readers will never read the full paper to find out what they mean.

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