Formatting Guidelines

These are the report formatting guidelines for the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT). Students, please make sure that all submiited reports follow these guidelines.

Business reports are prepared on plain white paper, without unnecessary pictures or borders.  Charts relate to the topic of the report.  Pictures and charts are referred to within the report and sourced in a caption.

The system-wide date format is DD MONTH YYYY for example 11 January 2005.  Change your computer to accept this format.  The system-wide time format is the 24 hour clock for example 0930 hours.  For currency, dirhams is abbreviated as “Dh” -  Dh99.

The most commonly used font in business is 12 point, Times New Roman or Arial.  HD1 uses the Left aligned, Open Punctuation model.

There are two types of reports - bound and unbound.  An unbound report is stapled together at the top left hand corner.  A bound report is bound on the left side or at the top using special binding material, such as a coil. 

Report Format Unbound
Top margin 2.5 cm or 1”
Bottom margin 2.5 cm or 1”
Left margin 2.5 cm or 1”
Right margin 2.5 cm or 1”
Header and Footer 1 to 1.5 cm

Reports use 1.5 spacing.  Paragraphs should be left aligned as this is more efficient to prepare.  Paragraphs have one blank line between them.  Page numbers start after the Title or Contents page with the number at the bottom right side of the page.

Standard parts of a report

Report Format Contents
Title page* Title of Report
What course
Prepared for
Prepared by: Name ID and Section
Table of Contents* Headings and page numbers (use the auto feature in MS Word)
Introduction Purpose
Background information required by reader
Brief description of report contents
Body Facts resulting from research
Conclusion Summarizes findings (this is usually not necessary in business plans because the Executive Summary include the main highlights)
Bibliography Sources used to prepare report in MLA format
Appendices Numbered in order (Appendix 1, Appendix 2...) and includes additional information or proof that is discussed in the body of the report but not an absolutely essential component of the body.

* These are not required for a report that is less than three pages

All reports have a main title, which is centered.  A subtitle (if there is one) is centered and follows the main title.  Headings and sub-headings are at the left margin and in bold.  There is one blank line between each section and/or paragraph.

Create headings Outline View and save your work as a Template.  Heading 1 should be level 1, heading 2, should be level 2, heading 3 should be level 3.

A report can be continuous or it can have each new heading starting on a new page.  There must be no widows or orphans; therefore, you cannot separate a three-line paragraph, or a heading from at least two lines of its paragraph.

In-text citations follow MLA style References/Bibliography follow MLA style.  You may use a citation generator such as Noodlebib to create your references.

Headers and footers should be used for student reports, with student name, ID , section, date  pages and file name in the footer.  The filename follows the HD1 naming convention.

Formatting and Referencing

Cover toc


in-text References

Please see the MLA link above for referencing.