Report Writing

Introduction and Essential Elements of Report Writing

Report writing is a formal style of writing elaborately on a topic. The tone of a report is always formal. The audience it is meant for is always thought out section. For example – report writing about a school event, report writing about a business case, etc. Today we shall learn about the essential elements of Report Writing.

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Introduction to Report Writing

Report Writing

Before we get into Report writing, how about we first draw a clear distinction between essays and reports. These words are sometimes used interchangeably, but there is definitely a difference of purpose for both. Let’s see some differences between essays and reports:

Essays Report Writing
Presents information and opinions Presents facts and information specifically, no opinions
Written for everyone in general Written for a specific audience, a report concerns itself to only a certain set of people related
The structure is casually flowing in paragraphs The structure is very crisp and clean, using pointers and numbered headings and sub-headings
Essays usually have room for expression of one’s opinions, need not be supported with graphical proofs Using tables, graphs, charts to prove a point is very common
An essay has a logical flow of thoughts but no need of a summary A report often needs a quick summary addressing highlighting points
Doesn’t have an appendices Often has appendices
Both essay and report writing need formal writing, analytical thinking, solid reasoning behind every conclusion, careful reading and neat presentation, but a report-writing layout is very different from essay writing Crisp, often pre-designed layouts

Essential Elements to Report Writing

From the previous section, you must have gotten a tiny idea of what Reports are like. Let’s break it down further here extending from that point

  • Reports are written with much analysis. The purpose of report writing is essential to inform the reader about a topic, minus one’s opinion on the topic. It’s simply a portrayal of facts, as it is. Even if one gives inferences, solid analysis, charts, tables and data is provided. Mostly it is specified by the person who’s asked for the report whether they’d like your take or not if that is the case.In many cases, what’s required is your suggestions for a specific case after a factual report. That depends on why are you writing the report and who you are writing it for in the first place. Knowing your audience’s motive for asking for that report is very important as it sets the course of the facts focused in your report. You will know what we mean in further chapters where we actually explain this with examples.

    Furthermore,

  • write-up flows like – introduction, body, conclusion and summary. The layout is pretty crisp with a title page, numbered subheadings, clear bulleted points, recommendations, references, appendices, dates, and timings reported exactly sometimes, and so on. This format stays consistent throughout.
  • All your facts and information presented in the report not only have to bias-free, but they also have to be a 100% correct. Proof-reading and fact-checking is always what you do as a thumb rule before submitting a report.

Parts of a Business Report

So, broadly here’s what we have as sub-headings in a report for a business student in the given order: Executive summary, table of contents, introduction, body, conclusion, references, Appendices.

This gives you a broad idea of what flow of thought you are to keep while writing a report.

Example of a Report for Business Students

XYZ Case study
Short Business Report: Guidelines

This document provides an outline for our annual business. Please follow this format when preparing your case reports.

Contents

The report should begin with a table of contents. This explains the audience, author, and basic purpose of the attached report. It should be short and to the point.

DATE: March 24, 2018
TO: Mr. Siddhartha Malik
FROM: Jeena Claudette, Marketing team, XYZ company

Executive Summary

The second page of the document must have a report title at the top, and provide an executive summary, that is a paragraph or two that summarizes the report. It should provide a sufficient overview of the report so that an executive (who doesn’t have the time or energy to fully read through the long report) can actually grasp the main points beforehand.

Most importantly, the summary should contain (a) the purpose of the report, (b) what you did (analysis) and what you found (results), and (c) your recommendations. These recommendations should be short and not go beyond a page.

Report

Next page in the report must contain a title at the top (the same title that you put on the top of the previous page. This is the first page that should actually be numbered, and it should be page 2 (as the table of contents is not technically part of the report).

  • This part introduces the reader to your report, sets the purpose in place and broadly plates out the content of your entire document.
  • Throughout your report, keep breaking points and starting off a new logical thought with a numbered sub-heading
  • A conclusive paragraph ties up all the information written before and leaves room for inferences if any
  • The length of the body of the report will be determined by necessity to convey the analysis and conclusions, but should generally not exceed 10 pages.
  • Tables and figures must all be labeled.
  • References could be cited in footnotes, or in a separate “References” section, if they are many or if you prefer that format.

Remember there’s a format that’s structure-wise similar but some of your sections are actually your preferences. For being on the safe side, it’s always better to be extra careful in your initial report writing days and eventually, your style will evolve from there. Stay tuned, we got a lot more fun report-writing to do.

Solved Examples for You

Question: Read the information and fill in the report blanks.

Global Warming:
– A threat
– Caused ecological threat to many countries
– We must check it
– Otherwise, it will be too late.

Global warming ________ [1] the world. It ________ [2] disturbances. There is a ________ [3] countries and islands. If we want to save our planet, we ________ [4]. We have to use methods to create ecological balance otherwise it ________ [5].

Solution:

Global warming is a threat to the world. It causes ecological disturbances. There is a serious threat to many countries and islands. If we want to save our planet, we should keep a check on it. We have to use methods to create ecological balance otherwise it will be too late.

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