Writing a Report in Spanish and giving it a title

Do you need to write a report in Spanish? What is first the report or the title?

Choosing a title of your Spanish report may sound as one’s funeral, but do not worry. This post is meant to help you, with specific guidelines, do the right choice and do not feel the pain. Thus, practicing, asking questions of relevance, presenting your own idea of a certain topic, and sticking to writing rules are key factors in the process of choosing the title of your Spanish report.

Primarily, to get skilled at academic writing, you should first practice it. And, believe it or not, free writing helps a lot. Take a pen and paper and start writing for 2 minutes without stopping. You might not have a topic, a flow of thoughts, or even an opinion, but writing without stopping will teach you in time, how to stick to a thought and effectively work with word choice. After you have mastered this, you can decide to write just a paragraph about a certain topic, then a page etc, moving on to a report.

An essential clue is, ask yourself questions. Think thoroughly about the audience, as they are determiners of the success of both your title and the content. Who is reading your report? Do they have some previous knowledge on the topic? Do they want to be entertained or rather acquire specific scientific knowledge? How do you want them to feel when reading your report? One certain thing is that your audience will be Spanish-speaking, so you would have to make sure that your writing is correct and in accordance to the Spanish grammatical system.

To make this clearer and less general, let’s say your Spanish professor asks you to write a report on the left-wing political party in Spain, PODEMOS, and that is the only instruction you have. These instructions, of course, are too general and a title as The Political Party PODEMOS in Spain will only make you fail the course. Thus, let’s narrow it down. The more specific you get, the more successful it would be. Who is your audience? Your professor. Does he have some knowledge about the topic? Well, we hope so, otherwise he would not have suggested it. Therefore, in your report, you should not spend too many precious words of explaining what PODEMOS is. It is essential, but make it short. Does your professor want to be entertained or get a scientific knowledge about it? Well, it is obvious that he/she wants a scientific knowledge, but who doesn’t want to be entertained either?

In order to continue with questions and answers, you need to investigate the topic and find something of your interest. If it is boring for you, it cannot result in an interesting report. Next, during your research, you found out that PODEMOS issued a collaboratively written program for the European Elections 2014. You are getting more specific. But not enough. The program for the European Elections 2014 by PODEMOS is still not a good title. Investigate the policies, pick one and bingo! You are getting really specific. Let’s say that maintaining abortion rights caught your attention. Now, we are almost done. How did you feel when investigating on this? Are you defending it or against it? It is essential that you include your idea, your own opinion about a specific topic. But, a title as “Abortion is a murder”, as suggested in policy no.12 in the Program for the European Elections 2104 by PODEMOS tends to be quite a good title in terms of detail, but bad in terms of politically correct wording and attitude. Even if you are passionate about a topic, keep it to yourself. An academic report means that you will argumentatively introduce your idea on something, without emotional exaggerations. You want your professor to feel that he/she is discovering new way of thinking that might even influence his/hers. Therefore, think about your idea and make it sound good. Euphemisms are a good way to do that. Avoiding to use emotionally colored words as “kill” is also a good way. Try to use numbers, clues, citations, facts, reliable websources as suggested in the previous post etc.

Lastly, you may have a strong opinion about abortion in this case, but, throughout your research, you may find strong arguments against is as well. You might even change fully your opinion. Reports are dangerous, they make you read thoroughly, they will get you into thinking, and they might change what you have always thought to be your opinion. Therefore, be ready that the title is the most relative and most modified aspect of your report, it will fully be defined only after you have finished writing.

Last but not least, after you have finished with the semantic side of your report, make sure you introduce linking words in Spanish, that you have structured it well, and that it makes you happy at the end. The best advice I have got over choosing a title and writing a report is “Sleep it over. Write a paragraph, go cycling, take a shower, write the introduction of the second paragraph and leave it. Next day, you might find your writing non-argumentative, you might correct it all, or make it more profound. Then go out for a coffee”. So, what title did YOU come up with of the previously elaborated topic?

And of course, once you have it finished you can hire a native Spanish speaker to proofread it.


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