Previous step: Report outline

In the real world, when reports and tender documents are submitted, they are likely to be one document in a pile of many! Your cover page may be your one chance to say: “Read ME!” before your hard work is consigned to a pile on a desk marked “REJECTED. This post continues from the post: Phase 1 Report outline and can only be completed once you have your PAT topic.

In this post:

  1. Details
  2. Layout
  3. Styles
  4. Controls
  5. Cover page image
  6. Page numbering
  7. Borders

All dates must be in long date format, eg: 11 September 1971.

1. Details

The following full details (NO abbreviations) must be included on your cover page:

  • All grades:
    • your full name & surname
    • your grade
    • the full name of your school, eg. Wittedrift High School
    • the full subject name: Computer Applications Technology
    • the PAT Topic
    • the due date, in long date format, eg: 25 July 2021
  • Grade 10 & 11:
    • the Focus Question (below the Topic)
  • Grade 11 & Grade 12:
    • Controls must be used for all information on the Cover Page
    • a control for a meaningful abstract (Grade 11’s leave this empty until Phase 3)
  • Grade 12:
    • the Learner Guide actually instructs you to add the abstract itself to the Control in Phase 1

2. Layout

I am no creative artist, but I think a basic layout like the one below is a great start for a cover page. Notice specifically that I have used generous vertical whitespace (using paragraph before and after spacing) to use the entire page.

Additionally, I have used font size to emphasize the topic. I have included a screenshot with formatting marks displayed to demonstrate that I have NOT used blank paragraphs (the Enter key) to create vertical spacing!

An example of a basic layout for a PAT cover(Show/Hide activated).An example of a basic layout for a PAT cover.

3. Styles

Grade 11 & 12’s should attempt to create and apply their own custom styles on the cover page and then link those styles to the Controls. Remember that you may only use 2 different font styles in your document (see item 6 on page 42 of the Grade 12 Learner Guide 2021), so don’t go crazy with font styles on your cover page!

The Grade 10 Learner Guide does mention using WordArt and Shapes in the design of your cover page with the reminder that this is a “professional report”.

4. Controls

Grade 11 & 12’s must use Controls. The Grade 12 Learner Guide (2021) reads: “Use appropriate content controls to display information”.

Controls (with the correct titles/names) must be used for all the information on your cover page. Interestingly enough, whilst the curriculum specifies that we learn to use only form controls from Legacy Tools in Microsoft Word, the only way to create a control with a title as required is to use the newer, Rich Text Content Control.

The 2021 Learner Guide no longer specifies that your Controls have titles (see section 1 of the Marking Rubric on page 42). This means you can use the legacy controls as per the curriculum.

Developer toolbar, Microsoft Word 2016

In the screenshot above we see the Rich Text Content Control (2) and the Legacy Tools button (3) on the Developer Ribbon (1)

Content control properties, Microsoft Word 2016

Use formatting, but NOT Styles (unless you create special Styles especially for your cover) on your cover! If you do go the extra mile and create or use appropriate Styles, remember that you can even “attach” a Style to a Rich Text Content Control!

5. Cover page image

You should include a striking graphic, relevant to your topic, on your cover page. Remember to give credit for the image. I recommend placing the credit for a cover page image beneath your Table of Figures. If you download the image from the internet, credit using the URL as a minimum.

6. Page numbering

There must be no page number on your cover page.

7. Borders

The style guide in the Grade 12 Learner Guide refers to the cover page, saying: “This should be the only page on which a page border is used.” and “Avoid ‘arty’ borders and backgrounds/Do NOT use Word Art/Text Art.”

If you choose to add a border to your cover page: graphic elements are in — full borders are out! In my layout example earlier in this post I used a page border on just the left side of the page to create such an effect.

QR code that directs to a Google Image Search for design idea for a professional cover for your report.
QR code for design ideas

Next step: Focus Question

By MisterFoxOnline

CAT Educator

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