Current Date :May 24, 2024
A Comprehensive Guide on Writing a Bug Report

A Comprehensive Guide on Writing a Bug Report

Out of all the test artifacts, there is one software tester meets each day. It is a bug report – a document defining a problem, its severity and priority, and the steps that enable reproducing this problem. Using bug reports, developers can quickly recognize what part of code works inaccurately and resolve it.

A well-written bug report assures effective cooperation between a developer and a QA team. Therefore, generating good bug reports is one of the most crucial skills for a software tester. So how to create a bug report that will make developers happy? We’ll share few tips based on the experience of our QA specialists. 

How to Write a Good Bug Report

When it occurs to documentation writing, there is a general rule you can apply: make it simple. The simpler, the better. However, simple doesn’t imply short.

Bug reports should highlight the details that let a reader understand the type of defect. In other words, there should be adequate information to see how the detailed behavior is a bug and reproduce it.

Meanwhile, you should bypass any extras that don’t append new information to what’s already been written.

  • So what does ‘good’ stand for? We can tell a bug report is effective if: 
  • a defect has a particular unique number assigned to it;
  • this defect is reproducible, not a one-time occurrence;
  • a description is particular and covers only one issue.

Don’t try to use bug reports as incriminating proof that someone has done a mistake. Use important information and avoid harsh wording. Always review your writing before you submit it.

Ensure to recreate a defect two or three times before you begin documenting it. Don’t incorporate more than one defect in your report. Eventually, before you report a new bug, ensure it doesn’t seem on the list of known bugs yet to avoid duplicates. 

Bug Report Structure

If you are looking for a bug report example, we’ll suggest beginning with theory – namely, with a list of things a bug report should highlight. To provide a document that will be helpful for a client’s team, our software testers incorporate the following information in their bug reports: 

  1. Summary.
  2. Product.
  3. Platform
  4. Status.
  5. Priority.
  6. Severity.
  7. Preconditions.
  8. Steps to reproduce.
  9. Actual result.
  10. Expected result
  11. Attachments.

You can utilize this list as a plan for your own bug report. Below, we’ll give a brief explanation of every point. 

1. Summary

A summary is a short description of a bug. Ideally, it should answer three questions: what, where, and when. For example: (what?)  Console Error seems(where?) on the  Statistics tab (when?) after a user clicks the  Download button.

Seldom, however, you can skip the where section. For example: an application fails after a user clicks the Sign In button. You can define the page where it happens or skip this part if there is only one place to discover the form and the mention of it is self-explaining. 


2. Product

This part normally symbolizes a version of a build under test that highlights a bug you are describing. A QA specialist gives this information so that a developer can compare the latest tested version of a product with a former one and see what has evolved. It makes it much easier to recognize what caused the defect.

3. Platform

A software tester should mention on what platform the bug appears. For desktop projects, we show an operating system. For web projects, it is browser information that values the most. As for mobile projects, a QA specialist should show a device model and a version of an operating system it utilizes. 

4. Status

A bug status has all members of the development team updated on the bug fixing method. The status allows you to know whether a developer has accepted the defect, whether it has been given for retesting, fixed and closed, etc. The type of statuses depends on the workflow a team employs.

5. Priority

Bug priority determines how critical the defect is for the business and defines the order of fixing. Normally, a Product Manager, a Product Owner, or a Team Lead specifies the priority. 

There are three kinds of priority:

P1 – High: needs to be corrected immediately.

P2 – Medium: needs to be corrected after high-priority defects.

P3 – Low: corrected in the last instant, after there are no P1 and P2 defects left.

6. Severity

Unlike the priority, the severity is specified by a software tester based on how bad a bug is for the system, to what degree it influences the critical functionality, etc.

S1 – Blockers: it is impossible to use an app due to the error.

S2 – Critical: an error blocks a portion of the functionality, but there is an alternative method to use it.

S3 – Medium: an error affects a part of the functionality, so that a feature works, but not accurately. 

S4 – Minor: an error doesn’t intervene with the core functionality, but rather with UI/UI aspects.

S5 – Trivial: an error has the least impact on the overall functionality or performance of a software product, like a misspelled word or a grammatical error.

7. Preconditions

Preconditions define the required actions or parameters to execute or meet before executing the steps that let you recreate a bug. No particular format is needed for this description, just ensure to have the list and order logical. 

8. Steps to Reproduce

The best way to explain the steps is to give a numbered list with the order of user actions that end with identifying a defect. Use simple sentences to recommend what to do next. For example:

  1. A user opens the Statistics tab
  2. The user clicks on the Save button.
  3. The user refreshes the page.
  4. … and so on.

9. Actual Result

An actual result is a problem that occurs after a person follows the steps discussed above. Specify the result using the rule mentioned in the summary, declaring what happened, where, and when. It will assist a developer to know what the problem is. Also, such concise and accurate descriptions will also be helpful for a QA team in the future.

10. Expected Result

In this paragraph, explain an expected outcome of the listed steps – in other terms, how the application is expected to behave. That’s why an expected result can indicate an error – in case a QA engineer examines a negative scenario. For example, if a user enters the wrong credentials, they cannot sign in to the system and view an error message. 

11. Attachments

Attachments are extras that can appear in a bug report. It is often simpler to reproduce a bug using visual guidelines, especially if it is difficult to explain the steps or the result verbally. Screenshots or short videos added to the textual description help to prevent any confusion. Just remember that visual materials should be appropriate and clear. 

Also Read: A Comprehensive Guide On Chatbot Testing: Features To Check & Quality Tips To Keep In Mind

Bottom Line

It is important to build the documentation other team members can learn and use easily. Besides, it can save a lot of time and effort in the future, when the project starts and new members join the team. Now, you know how to write a bug report in manual testing. Even more than that: you know how to build a report the developers will enjoy. So save the bug report outline and get good use of it. 

At TestUnity, we strive for the highest quality in every project, and our professional QA specialists are ready to ensure it. Contact us if you’re looking for a dedicated team to enhance your product’s quality.


Testunity is a SaaS-based technology platform driven by a vast community of testers & QAs spread around the world, powered by technology & testing experts to create the dedicated testing hub. Which is capable of providing almost all kind of testing services for almost all the platforms exists in software word.

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