There are various methods on how you can communicate information and one of the best out there is through writing a report. Reports make it possible for you to send information with a clear purpose to a specific audience. Even if you are dealing with a range of topics, you can easily present it with the use of a report but only if you will make sure that you present it using a well-structured format to make it possible for your audience to smoothly follow through.
With the help of the discussions about reports in this article, you will eventually find it easy to write a report that can easily get a hold of your readers’ attention. We have also provided downloadable report templates in Apple Numbers format that you can easily edit.
Learn about the essential elements that make up a good report below. Make sure that you will incorporate all of these in your report.
1. Letter of Transmittal: This element is directly addressed to the principal reader or the person who commissioned the report. The letter of transmittal contains the purpose of the report. This element also briefly introduces the readers to its contents and reminds the readers the details as to when and why the request to write a report was made.
2. Title Page: This is the only element in your report that contains the most white or blank space. The title page consists of the title of the report, the author names and positions, the date of submission, and the principal reader of the report. These details are placed at the center of the page. You may also see narrative report examples.
3. Abstract: This element mainly contains the general overview of your entire report and gives your readers a broad understanding of what your report is all about. The abstract can be used by your readers to determine whether they can find significant information they needed in your report. Depending on your purpose, an abstract can be descriptive and informative.
4. Table of Contents: The table of contents contains both major categories and subcategories that are distributed in your report, along with its respective page numbers. Its hierarchical structure or format enables readers to easily navigate through your report. If your reports contain more than ten pages, you should really consider adding this element.
5. List of Illustrations: If you made use of figures, tables, graphs, drawings, or photographs in your report, consider having a separate list for it. These illustrations may possibly contain pertinent information that, should you want to support or prove a point, you can just easily point out to your readers or to the one who requested for the report. You may also see investigation report examples.
6. Major and subcategories: The main body of your report might contain a lot of information. For you to easily sort it all out, you have to make use of categories. You can either make use of major categories and subcategories. Topics will be discussed separately throughout your report and it will also give you a good flow on the manner how you present your information.
7. Glossary of Terms: The glossary of your report must list down the technical terms and its definitions. It must be arranged in alphabetical order. Having a glossary will enable your readers to understand the terms and concepts that you have used in your report, particularly those terms that can no longer be simplified.
8. References: Give proper credit to all the outside sources you have used in your report by including a page where you will list down all of them. Follow a reference style basing on your report’s type and/or nature. Among the reference styles you can use are the American Psychological Association (APA) style, the Chicago Style, the Modern Language Association (MLA) style, and the Turabian style. You may also see project report examples.
For you to communicate information effectively through report writing, you must know you can make one. Here is a guideline you can follow in making a report.
1. Know the purpose of your report: Report can be used for various reasons in various sectors with various audiences. And for you to write an effective one, you must first know the purpose why you have to write a report because this will help you determine how you are going to tailor your report in a way that it will reach and even exceed your expectations. Aside from that, it will also enable you to give the accurate information that your target audience wants to get from you.
2. Gather accurate and relevant data and information: Understanding the purpose of your report and knowing the preference of your audience will enable you to finally start collecting data and information that you would like to include on your report. Ensure that the date and information that you will gather is indeed factual and significant. Otherwise, your credibility will get negatively affected.
3. Follow an organized structure: For your readers to easily follow through your report, make sure that your report follows an organized structure. Regardless of the complexity of the data and information you have gathered, you still have to present it well using a logical structure so there will be no room for any confusion. You can also consider the preference of your target audience so you can easily tailor your report’s structure with it. You may also see monthly report examples.
4. Develop a detailed discussion: After gathering data, you can now develop and establish a detailed discussion out of it. Make sure to always check if your main ideas and supporting data and information will help you in making sure that your readers are will be able to understand the topic of your report.
5. Review and revise: Another way that you can possibly get discredited is when you will leave errors in your report unchecked. Aside from checking out for grammatical mistakes and spelling errors, you also have to check for the quality of your content. You may also consider having someone to check your report.
Writing a report is no rocket science. You can use some simple but definitely useful tips for when you will be writing your own report.
Here are the answers to the frequently asked questions about reports:
Oxford dictionary defines a report as a “formal written account of a specific matter that a person has observed or investigated in some depth“.
The scope and style of reports depending on the intended audience of the report, the purpose of the report, and the type of information that is being communicated in the report. For example, the degree of technicality in your technical report will depend on intended audience’s knowledge of the technical concepts that you will be presenting.
In a way, reports can be used as a written assessment because a report can help you figure and find out the learning you gain from your readers, researches, and even in your experiences alone. Aside from that, reports are also widely used in the workplace setting where a lot of other forms of assessments will surely take place.
We hope that you have gained an ample amount of knowledge and understanding about reports with the help of the discussions and templates that we have provided here in this article. Writing a report may seem like a tedious task at a glance but now that you already have a good grasp on how to do it right, you can surely write a report that is well-written and clearly structured.