Writing reports for the courts

Given that documentation is an important skill for a forensic psychology professional working within the courts, you will be asked to write a report for this week’s Application Assignment. To complete this assignment, you will extract the factual material presented in the “Case Study Facts: Week 4” handout, provided in this week’s Learning Resources, and convert it to a formal report.

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As for writing the report, there are different ways to do so based on your style of writing, personal preference, statutory mandates, and/or institutional requirements. This week’s Learning Resources provide many different examples of reports that address a variety of court referral questions. Be sure to use these as guides in completing your forensic evaluation report writing in this Application Assignment.

To prepare for this assignment:

  • Review Chapter 18 in your course text Psychological Evaluations for the Courts, and focus on the functions and guidelines of forensic psychology reports used in the courts.
  • Review the article “Forensic Report Writing,” and think about the types of forensic reports that are used in court settings. Consider the factors that determine which type of report to use.
  • Review the article “Ethical Considerations in Writing Psychological Assessment Reports,” and think about the ethical considerations that must be taken into account when writing a forensic report for the courts.
  • Review Chapters 1, 2, 7, and 8 in your course text Writing and Communicating for Criminal Justice, paying particular attention to the elements of effective report writing.
  • Review Chapter 19 in your course text Psychological Evaluations for the Courts, and think about the important elements included in each type of report and under what circumstances you would use each element.
  • Review the “Case Study Facts: Week 4” handout provided in this week’s Learning Resources. Consider the referral question and the information presented.
  • Select a report from Chapter 19 in your course text Psychological Evaluations for the Courts on which to model your report.

The assignment: (3 pages)

  • Describe the type of report from Chapter 19 of your course text that you used as a model for your report and explain why you selected it.
  • Write a report using the information from the “ Case Study Facts: Week 4” handout using guidelines from this week’s Learning Resources.
  • Explain any ethical considerations that you took into account and why they were taken into account.
  • Explain any insights or conclusions you had as a result of writing the report.
  • Be specific and support your response with references to the literature.


  • Article: Ackerman, M. J. (2006). Forensic report writing. Journal of Clinical Psychology62(1), 59–72.
  • Article: Michaels, M. H. (2006). Ethical considerations in writing psychological assessment reports. Journal of Clinical Psychology62(1), 4758.
  • Psychological Evaluations for the Courts: A Handbook for Mental Health Professionals and Lawyers
    • Chapter 18, “Consultation, Report Writing, and Expert Testimony” (pp. 582–586)
    • Chapter 19, “Sample Reports”

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