Report Writing Format Examples

Admit it, a report can be a hassle to compose. Report writing may involve academic, technical, business or feature recommendations for particular actions. It typically presents facts about a given situation, process or project that are thoroughly defined and analyzed by the author. But writing a report is a bit more complicated than essay writing, as every aspect of the report plays a significant role in the delivery of a certain message. Apart from using the right choice of words, following a report writing format is critical in obtaining clear communication.

Main Elements of the Standard Report Writing Format

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An organized report is essential in any given field — be it business or education. In order to create a report that is easy to understand, the document must be structured properly. Though a report writing format may differ depending on the purpose or the policy given by an entity, there are a few components of an average report format that you can follow.

1. Title Section

The format of the title section of your report would depend on the length of the said document. Short reports may include just the author, date prepared, and other information deemed necessary. Long reports, on the other hand, may require designated pages for its table of contents and definition of terms as well.

2. Summary

A summary is an essential part of any lengthy document. It should provide an overview of the report’s content for readers to refer to. Since some people choose to skim through the summary rather than read the whole report, this section must consist of the key points, conclusion, and recommendations. Relevant information must be presented accordingly for the audience to comprehend. It would be best to write this portion by the very end of the writing process to ensure that every major detail is included in the report.

3. Introduction

The introduction of your report should explain the problem at hand along with the purpose of preparing the report. You may also insert the definition of terms in this part if you have failed to include it in the title section. An explanation about how the details of the report are arranged must also be presented to provide a general overview for readers.

4. Body

The body of your report typically consists of the most number of pages. It may also be broken down into subparts with subtitles that support and expound the major points stated in the report. These subparts may vary depending on the type of report you are creating as well. Information is typically arranged according to its level of importance, with the most significant data coming first.

5. Conclusion

This part connects everything together. Similar to the summary, most people read this section to study the data and results gathered in the report. For this reason alone, crafting a conclusion that is free of jargon is important. Instead of repeating everything you have mentioned in your report, you must present your final thoughts or statement on the subject at hand.

6. Recommendations

Any suggestions or additional actions that need to be taken are discussed in this part of the report. Any limitations or concerns that you have failed to tackle in your report must be stated for future reference as well. In most cases, recommendations are presented in order of priority.

7. Appendices

Technical details of your report are usually found in this section. Experts in the given field usually consider this section critical for further studies. This may either be in a statistical, explanatory or bibliographical nature.

Guidelines for Writing a Report

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Besides following the right format, you must focus your attention towards the content of your report as well. So here are some pointers in report writing to help you get started:

  • Make it clear and specific. There are some words that can sound a bit too vague, opening doors to other ideas that aren’t relevant to your report. This is why it’s always important to strive for clarity in communication. You can do this by limiting yourself to one idea per sentence in order to carry out a specific message to readers.
  • Use simple language. Instead of trying to impress your readers with a series of complex terminologies and what not, it would be better to focus on communicating properly with your audience. Avoid technical words that are difficult to understand by the majority, unless completely necessary. If so, you must explain these terms in a well-detailed manner. Expound ideas that need to be understood, and make sure all the words written in your report have a significant purpose.
  • Stick to facts. Guesses and hunches have no place in a report. Refrain from using statements that are drawn from mere assumptions. It’s important to stick to facts to avoid conflicting thoughts or possible misinterpretations.
  • Write in paragraphs. There’s a good reason why paragraphs play a vital role in communication. For starters, it allows us to organize ideas accordingly for better delivery. This will help make your report appear more logical for an audience to read and comprehend. The proper use of transitional phrases and sentences is also essential in report writing.
  • Use a bullet style for lists. Sometimes, writing in paragraphs can be challenging, especially when dealing with similar or conflicting points that need to be enumerated one by one. For cases like this, using a bullet style to create a list is highly recommended. Not only can it keep things organized, but it can also highlight thoughts that need to be emphasized in the report.   
  • Observe proper grammar and punctuation. Even professional writers can commit errors with their narratives. Knowing this, it’s important to proofread your report for any spelling or grammar mistakes. You may even try reading the report aloud to see if the flow of words and sentence construction make sense. The correct use of punctuation marks must also be observed.

Presentation and Style

Presenting a report in a simple and concise manner should be of top priority when it comes to report writing. Take note that proper formatting also involves the subsections, font style and size, and the manner in which data is presented. Listed below are common formatting styles that may be used in your report to make it look organized and presentable for readers:

  • Font – The standard font style for any formal report is Arial or Times New Roman, due to its easy-to-read nature, but your font choice may also depend on the instructions given. Make sure to use only a single font style throughout the document for consistency and formality.
  • Lists – If the circumstance calls for it, use a list to break down information into several points that may easily be understood. While you may have the option to use a numbered list style, a bulleted list style would be more appropriate.
  • Headings and subheadings – Headings and subheadings are a principal part of a formal document. Similar to a thesis proposal, a report must be sectioned into manageable chunks of information. This will help both the author and the reader identify definite topics discussed in the paper. Each section should then be listed in the table of contents to serve as a guide for readers.

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One of the end goals in report writing is to make the right impression. But to do this, you must first follow a structured format to keep your thoughts on track. Not only will this help create a natural flow of ideas for readers to grasp, but this will also contribute to the credibility and reliability of the writer as well as the information contained in the report. Once you have a well-crafted report that follows a proper report writing format in place, you’re sure to leave a lasting impression with your targeted audience.

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