How To Write A Report

Education


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In the centuries, when individuals were tasked to observe an event dissect a topic or issue, they were required to bring back a feed that was mainly submitted verbally. The level of inaccuracy and inconsistency with details was quite high, and there was the need to pen it down to avoid forgetfulness of relevant facts and details.

What is a Report?

For the above reason, I believe I conceived the idea of report writing. The word “report,” like most English words, originated from the Latin word “reporto,” meaning ‘carry’ or ‘bring back. A report can either be documented or spoken, but in these times, when people refer to reports, they imply the documented one, which is officially recognized.

A report, therefore, is a brief, succinct description of an event, a topic, or an issue. It is written for a particular purpose and audience. Reports come in different forms, but they all tailor around the following as content;

  • Details of an event or situation.
  • The consequences or ongoing effects of an event or situation.
  • Evaluation of statistical data or analytics.
  • Interpretations from the information in the report.
  • Predictions or recommendations based on the information in the report.
  • How the information relates to other events or reports.
  • Your recommendations towards a course of action.

There may be other contents not captured here, but basically, these are some of the contents that report orbit. The kind of report you are writing will determine what content you will have to capture. Some reports may engulf all these, and in others, they may cover a few of the above listed.

Reports and essays have a few things in common, albeit they are both distinctive on the outlook. Both reports and articles are common in dealing with facts, but essays touch the writer’s opinions and ideologies.

On the other hand, reports make no room for opinions and ideas, and it deals with the facts of the situation and opens a little floor for the writer’s interpretation of the facts.

Furthermore, reports are well-structured, with headings and subheadings plus tables of contents. This makes it convenient for readers to peruse for specific insights and details. Essays here are less structured like reports, and it’s written together with no subheadings or table of contents, and it’s meant to be read from start to finish.

Types of Reports

Reports come in a few different forms, based on the purpose and the report’s recipient. The following briefly discuss a few common ones;

  • Business reports: bring out facts and details relevant to the company’s growth. It serves as a source that informs management decisions. Examples include marketing reports, SWOT analysis, internal memos, and feasibility reports.
  • Academic reports: assess a student’s understanding of the subject. Examples include book reports, reports on historical events, and biographies.
  • Scientific reports: makes available research findings such as research papers.

Reports can also be grouped based on how it appears or is written. For instance, a short or long report can be called so based on the report’s length. We can also have formal and informal reports, internal or external reports, a lateral or vertical report based on the direction of rank, etc.how-to-write-a-report

How To Write A Report

It is very important to structure your report very well to rightly guide the reader through to a concrete decision or a course of action. There is, therefore, the need to plan before starting.

Step 1: Know your brief.

Mostly, clear briefs are given for a report containing what you observe and the report recipient.

Firstly, take into consideration the brief given to you. Know clearly who you are writing the report to, why you are writing the report, and the action you want the reader to take after reading. Whether to make a recommendation, make a decision, or agree to what you reported on.

Step 2: Keep your brief in mind at all times.

When writing the report, let the brief be your guide through it all.

It is necessary to keep in mind who you are writing the report to and why you are writing to. This will help you be clear with precision and with the right reverence. All irrelevant things should not be included.

Structure of a Report

The structure of reports varies from place to place, and it becomes necessary to consider the guidance given by the recipient of the report.

For a general structure, there should be the following;

  • Executive summary/Abstract
  • Main body
  • Conclusion
  • Recommendation

Executive Summary/Abstract

The executive summary or abstract is a brief abridgement or summary of the entire report. The maximum length should be half a page. The summary is to give a clue of what the report encompasses. This offers busy readers who can’t go through it all a chance to know what the report is about.

Introduction

Like the beginning of everything, the limelight should be thrown on the subject of matter. The introduction is made to summarize the subject of matter and briefly touch on the conclusion of the report.

Main Body

The main body of the report is supposed to dissect the issue under discussion thoroughly and precisely, while keeping the reader on the right path. It should be divided into sections using numbered subheadings relating to themes or areas of consideration.

The issue must be tackled and laid bare the details, facts, and figures precisely with each theme.

Conclusions and Recommendations

The conclusion is to bring together your understanding of the totality of the matter under discussion. It is supposed to be concise and inference from the argument above and no other place else. It may include suggestions or recommendations, or another section can be created.

The few things that one must be careful of in writing style is the avoidance of jargon, employ the use of simple and plain English, short sentences and many other things.­­

Final Words On How To Write A Report

This article highlighted how to write a report successfully. By following our guide above, we believe you will write a good report of any meeting.

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