How to Write a Progress Essay

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A progress essay might be required for a business project.
A progress essay might be required for a business project. (Image: Nick White/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

When you are working on a project, you might be required to write a progress essay at some point to inform your superiors about how much you have accomplished on the project before you are actually finished. When you know you will have to write a progress essay, you are more likely to stay on task while completing the project. Within the essay you should include several key sections.

Create a heading for your progress essay that lists the project you’re working on, the date you’re sending out the progress essay, the names of your direct superiors you are writing the essay for, your name and your position.

Outline your essay by creating the important sections needed and then filling in each section. Apply these sections to what is most important to your goals. For example, if one of your main tasks is finishing your work in a given time frame, create a section to track your progress. However, you could leave such a section out if no time frame is necessary.

Write out a purpose statement on the first page of your progress essay. The purpose statement explains the nature of the project you’re working on and that you are writing a progress essay for that project.

Give some background on the project. Remind your supervisors why you are working on the project and the most important details of it.

Spend most of your words focused on results. This is the key section and the main reason for writing the essay. If your supervisor can't easily find real results without being bogged down by other information, you may find yourselves in different frames of mind concerning the project later.

Explain where you are in the process, whether you are nearly finished or only halfway done. If others are helping you, be sure to include detailed information about the work they have completed as well. If you expect any upcoming complications, detail what they will be and don't commit to a result you are unsure of.

Add a section on problems encountered if it applies. Give lots of details, including if and how the problem has been solved or how you plan to solve it.

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