Then, perhaps, you may ask, what is the nature of the conventions governing the report?
A clue, I think, can be found in its basic structure.
A highly structured and disciplined report is written in sections, and these sections, by and large, follow an established sequence.
What this means is that, in the telling, your story is to be cut up into chunks. Different parts of the story are to appear in different places in the report.
What you did and why you did it appear in the section called introduction. How you did it is in the method section. And what you found out is in the result section.
And, finally, what you think it shows appears in the discussion part.
As you can see, the report, therefore, is a formal document composed of a series of sections in which specific information is expected to appear.
We will discuss the precise conventions governing each section as we go along.
For example, what are the subsections in the method?
But today, I will introduce to you certain general rules straight away.
The first of these concerns the person to whom you should address your report, whom I should call your reader.
A very common mistake, especially early on, is to assume that your reader is the person who will be marking the report.
In reality, however, the marker will be assessing your report on behalf of someone else:
an idealized, hypothetical person who is intelligent but unknowledgeable about your study and the area in which it took place.
Your marker will, therefore, be checking to see that you have written your report with this sort of reader in mind.
So you need to make sure that you have, one, introduced the reader to the area relevant to your study;
two, provided the reader with the background necessary to understand what you did and why you did it;
three, spelt out and developed your arguments clearly;
four, defined technical terms;
and five, provided precise details of the ways in which you went about collecting and analyzing the data that you obtained.
In short, you should write for someone who knows little about your area of study, taking little for granted about your reader's knowledge of your area of study.
So when in doubt, spell it out. This is my advice to you.