In the world of business, report writing and report writing types is considered the most research-based and qualified form of writing that simplifies business process and modules and creates a better understanding of the data and facts included for the target audience.
What Is Report Writing?
Report Writing is a well-organized writing process that needs enough skill, research, and details.
This report writing process is usually time-consuming and often requires a detailed research for which the report writer may have to visit places, meet people and find a solid conclusion at the end of the day to write a good report.
Use of report writing is to explain a matter or issue and inform higher authorities to help them take a right decision or action in regards to the matter or issue.
There is a little room for creativity in the report writing structure as the main focus is to enlighten the readers about a matter or issue and make the whole thing self-explanatory for easy understanding.
Report Writing is the primary tool of media personnel through which they pass on specific information about an incident or topic.
Apart from the media usage, report writing is required in various sectors like corporate, government, politics etc.
To offer a better understanding, learning about the essence of this form of writing – ‘The Report’ is very important.
What is a report?
A report is a methodical, well planned document which outlines and evaluates a subject or problem, and which may include:
• The record of an order of events
• Explanation of the implication of these events or facts
• Evaluation of the facts or results of research presented
• Discussion of the consequences of a conclusion or course of action
Reports must always be:
Every organization has a predefined report writing format and hence a writer can’t remain stuck to a specific format for different reports.
While writing a formal report, the freelance writer must keep in mind that the target readers need don’t have to do unnecessary research to take a decision or action after reading the report.
Everything must be in details. There are many types of report writing for organizations that are used for various purposes. Have a look at the primary report writing types mentioned below.
Formal Report Writing
Formal Report Writing is pretty complex and time-consuming. Usually, it demands an immense research, explanation, references, links, lists and many other things to make the primary point clear enough for the readers.
This type of report writing is usually preferred for an important incident, issue or matter by big organizations. Formal report writing is generally long and expensive.
Formal Report writing has an internationally accepted pattern that includes various components that are mentioned below.
Cover – The cover of a report is something that drives a reader’s attention first. The report’s cover leaves a huge impression on the reader’s mind and he/she can get an idea regarding the report’s topic or quality through the cover design.
There is a saying – ‘’don’t judge a book by its cover’’ but it is also true – what seems well, sells well and hence the report writer must take care of the cover of the report.
Title Of The Report – This component includes the report’s title and the name of the writer. Apart from these things, the title can also have a date and the name of the organization for which the report has been prepared.
The cover also has these things but putting them in details in the title section is mandatory.
Table Of Contents – This section includes headings and subheadings of the primary text written. This is a very important portion of report writing. It helps your readers to reach desired sections in your report in a hassle-free manner.
Summary – Here you basically provide the synopsis of the whole report’s primary text and you can also call it an informative summary.
Many times, it is referred as ‘executive summary’. You can also use descriptive summary which is a simple table of contents. The format is always decided by the organization.
Introduction – This is the most important section of the main text. The main text always includes three components – introduction, discussion, and conclusion.
Here, you introduce the main text of your report in the most intriguing a detailed manner so that all types of readers can get your point without much effort.
Discussion – In the discussion section, a report writer discusses the main story of the report. According to your reader’s convenience, you decide the order of the report’s results.
You can also do a result to theory comparison here along with the analysis, evaluation and interpretation of the data included.
Conclusion/Recommendation – You can present the summary of the discussion section here. Here, you mention your findings and recommend the elements to your readers as per your overall evaluation.
Appendix – In the appendix portion, you can attach the graphs, lists, survey and suchlike stuff that are related to your report and helps your readers to understand the report comprehensively.
Reference/Bibliography – You can cite your report’s references in this portion.
Informal Report Writing
This type of report writing is comparatively easier and less time-consuming than the formal report writing. Here, you need to perform lesser research and it also includes lesser components.
The basic components of informal report writing include – Introduction, Discussion & Reference/Recommendations. Different organizations include more components to this type as per their requirements.
Informal Report Writing can also be divided into few types – Credit Report, Feasibility Report, Progress Report, Sales Activity Report, Financial Report, Personal Evaluation and Literary Report.
All the above-mentioned information in regards to Report Writing and its types must have helped you, but to understand the process in a better manner, here is a seven step process for report writing that can help any report writer to master the report writing technique.
Best Process For Report Writing
To bring up an effective report, the right process has to be followed. Here are seven steps to undertake best report writing process.
Decide the Objective:
Like any other process, report writing sets its base on the purpose, why a report is being created. With a clear objective ahead, it helps report writer to stay focused and produce quality report that is easier to engage the reader.
Understand Your Audience:
Right understanding of the audience definitely leads to a quality report. For example, an annual financial report for stakeholders is completely different from a financial review.
And with an understanding, a writer can alter the use of language, data incorporated and supporting material that can uplift the indulgence for the set audience.
Having a personal touch as per the audiences’ preference can help produce ideas based on their choice. With an understanding writer can present the report that suits their preference.
Report Format and Types
For a report to be an effective communication tool, it must follow a particular format or type. Deciding on parameters like, written report or presentation; what type – formal, informal, financial, annual, technical, fact-finding or problem-solving report; design templates if any available.
Collect the Facts and Data
Adding figures, facts and data adds credibility to the report and strengthens the argument. Adding data or facts brings along a crucial responsibility to cite or mention the sources, like interviews, articles, sayings, articles, etc.
Structure the Report:
A report typically has four elements, the executive summary (this is written after the report is finished), introduction (this includes the structure of the report and table of contents), body (main text and report is occupied in this portion), conclusion (this is a binding portion that brings all the elements of the report into a systematical end).
For a better understanding on the structuring of a report, read The Structure of Reports by UniLearning.
The readability part is definitely a crucial aspect as it becomes a must to make the report enjoyable and accessible to read. A great navigation is the best way to make the reader take a uniformed path through the information flow.
Adding proper formatting (h1, h2, h3…), graphics/visuals, break up of long text into shorter for better read and giving the text in report writing structure with bullet points for better understanding.
The initial draft of report writing is never perfect (at least 90% of times). This calls for edition and revision of the content.
Best practice can be keeping aside the report document for few days and then once more start working over it again or ask a fellow member to review or proofread it for you.
Final Words –
Report writing is the best mean to end a project and document the knowledge or information for the next upcoming project.
These above seven steps offer a systematic and logical way to process the text into a report and develop a report that faultlessly solves its purpose.
So if you are now about to start report writing, or want to become a report writer, or are looking out to hire a report writer, then the above information might interest and help you through a successful process.