Field Report: Definition, Uses, and Example

Field reports are a type of academic writing focusing on writing assignments requiring observation and analysis. Your teacher will most likely ask you to write one to enable you to put into practice theories you have learned in class. Field reports are often strand-specific and use language and themes distinct to a specific discipline. All field reports, regardless of subject matter and intended academic discipline, aim to inform readers about the result and impact of an observed person, place, or event. Through actual observation you will be immersed in concepts, thereby allowing you to experience authentic life and career situations. Just like any type of academic writing, the field report should follow the principles of good writing and must include the essential parts that help explain an event or phenomenon. 

In order to write a good field report, you must have a systematic way of documenting your observations in the field. Gathering information for a field report involves recording the details of your experience and this can be done mostly through note-taking and taking of photographs and videos. Keep in mind that part of your field report includes providing a description of your activities, so make sure to capture important aspects of the place or event that you think should be included in your report. Properly documenting your observations will help you recall details more accurately and allow you to come up with a comprehensive analysis and conclusion in your report.

Field reports enable you to:

  • understand important concepts better by observing, analyzing, and reflecting on how these concepts are applied in authentic situations outside the school setting or workplace.
  • gather data more easily through immersion in actual situations.
  • enhance your ability to describe persons, places, or events.

Your teacher may require you to write field reports for any of these school requirements:

  • a service-learning activity
  • a mock job interview
  • a seminar or workshop
  • an on-the-job training activity
  • an immersion activity/outreach project
  • a sports event
  • a field trip to a museum or historical landmark
  • a retreat
  • any activity within or outside the classroom that is meant to teach you an important theory or lesson.