Report Writing

I.     Course Prefix/Number: LAE 150

       Course Name: Report Writing

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

EGL 101 or placement in EGL 101.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course will improve the report writing and communication skills of students, police officers, detectives, and corrections officers. Students will learn how to write a clear and precise police report, focusing on format, coherence, and voice. Appropriate diction, grammar, punctuation, and spelling will be addressed. Students will also learn how to report incidents and document the crime scene accurately and thoroughly. Course may not meet major requirements at transfer institutions.

IV.   Learning Objectives

The student will learn to:       

  • Effectively organize a police report
  • Take proper notes at a crime scene and in an interview
  • Write grammatically correct sentences
  • Use appropriate diction (word choice)
  • Understand and apply the legal implications of proper report writing
  • Write accurate and effective “Use of Force” reports
  • Understand and use technology in report writing
  • Choose appropriate formats for various types of police reports
  • Document a crime scene

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  • Getting Organized
  • Taking the Call
  • Write it Up
  • Basic Grammar, The Boring Stuff
  • Important Legal, but Still Boring Stuff
  • You caught him, now what?
  • Use of Force Report Writing
  • Using Technology: The Geek Chapter
  • Forms and samples

VII.  Methods of Instruction

This course will use interactive lectures, discussions, in-class group activities, in-class and out-of-class assignments, and/or demonstrations.  Instruction is designed to maximize student mastery of the learning objectives of the course.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Students are expected to read and follow the schedule in the course syllabus, read assigned text chapters, read assigned lecture N\notes, and select and read additional suggested resources.  In addition, students are expected to be alert and attentive, take notes in class, and participate in all discussions.  Exams are to be completed within the deadlines given by the instructor, and any special instructions for writing assignment(s) are to be followed precisely; students will use WebCT for assignments, quizzes, and instructions.

Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

The Best Police Report Writing Book – with Samples
A.S. Michael
Publisher: Trumpet Publishing Corp
Copyright: 2008

Material will be presented in class, and handouts will be used extensively in appropriate areas. In addition, course materials will include PowerPoint presentations, videos and WebCT.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

Grading is based a numerical score:

  • A grading chart is available in WebCT.  That chart will show you how many points you need to earn an F, D, C. B, or A
  • Students will be given grade score forms at the beginning of the semester so they can keep track of how many points they are earning.  The instructor is NOT responsible for giving updates on point in class
  • Each student decides the grade they want at the beginning of the semester and work stoward that goal.  If you receive a final grade of “D” that must have been the grade you wanted.

Quizzes CANNOT be made up.

Mid-Term Examination (maximum value: 0 - 200 points) 2 points for each correct answer

  • The mid-term will cover the first part of the course.
  • Taking examination is not confined to a single time or date.  The exam is open book and is taken in the classroom during a span of time as announced in class.
  • The mid-term examination will consist of 100 questions; they are true and false and multiple-choice.  An essay question may be included.
  • If you are not able to take the mid-term exam with the rest of the class, you will be required to schedule the exam prior to the scheduled date of the class test.   No mid-term exam can be made up after the class has taken the scheduled date unless approved.

Final Examination (maximum value: 0 - 200 points) 2 points for each correct answer

  • The final exam will cover the second part of the course.
  • Taking examination is not confined to a single time or date.  The exam is open book and taken in the classroom during a span of time as announced in class.
  • No Final Exam make up is available.

XI.   Other Course Information

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at

Electronic video and/or audio recording is not permitted during class unless the student obtains written permission from the instructor. In cases where recordings are allowed, such content is restricted to personal use only. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited. Personal use is defined as use by an individual student for the purpose of studying or completing course assignments.

For students who have been approved for audio and/or video recording of lectures and other classroom activities as a reasonable accommodation by Oakton’s Access Disabilities Resource Center (ADRC), applicable federal law requires instructors to permit those recordings. Such recordings are also limited to personal use. Any distribution of such recordings is strictly prohibited.

Violation of this policy will result in disciplinary action through the Code of Student Conduct.