Probably wondering how to write a report. Because you are assigned to write a report, either an academic or business, and you have no clue how are you going to tackle this task, this article can help you. Thus, keep on reading.
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What is a Report?
We generally use a report to represent our investigation or analysis of any investigation while recommending options and proposals. Besides, reports tend to be written for a specific audience and purpose. Reports are generally concise, short and sharp documents.
There are numerous types of reports such as scientific, business, and research. But the most fundamental ways of writing a report are quite similar.
Your Report may Contain
The requirements for writing a report may vary from college to college or company to company. But it may generally feature the following elements.
- A description of a sequence of situation or event.
- The significance of these events.
- Facts or the results of your research on the event.
- an argument on the future outcome.
- Your recommendation as to the sequence of actions
- And conclusion
Not all of the above elements are crucial to every report you write. Therefore, you should check out the company’s guidelines beforehand.
The Steps of Writing a Report
Since the basics of writing a report are the same, with a tinge of knowledge you can write a perfect report. Your report is divided into two halves. The first half is focused on the interval before writing your report. Whereas the second half focuses on the structure and course of your report.
The first half of your report tells you what you need to do before you start on how to write a report. It has mainly two steps; brainstorming and knowing your brief.
Step 1. Brainstorming
Before you get started, you should do some homework. Yes, you read it correctly; you should do some homework before writing your report. Brainstorming will help you decide on the structure of your report. Because the structure of your report is as important as the report itself.
The structure of your report will be helpful in leading the reader through your thinking to a course of action and decision. Therefore, brainstorming is worth the time and energy you may spend. For brainstorming, the following questions may help you:
- What information do I need?
- Do I need any reading to do?
- what books or articles do I need?
- Do I need to contact anyone or at least library for any background reading or information?
- Do I need to interview anyone?
- How much time does my report require
- How can I reach my objects in minimum time?
Asking these question or questions such as these might help you draw a rough sketch of your report.
Step 2. Know Your Brief
You will generally receive a precise brief of your report. This brief may contain information about what are you supposed to study and who are you going to present.
Before you start your report, you should be cleared about your topic and your reader. Moreover, keep your brief in mind during both planning and writing your report.
Unlike the first half for how to write a report, the second half of your report writing focuses on how to write a report. However, it is crucial to remember that the first half may seem not very-important-thing but that is actually the building block of your report.
Step 3. Look for Information
Now that you are sure enough about the topic of your report, it is time to look for information. For this step, you may need to read other’s work, talk to people, observe events and more.
You need to keep in mind that your information should be relevant to your brief and guidelines. Besides, if you have any doubts or confusion about anything, we recommend you should ask for the help of your supervisor.
Thus, you need to look for relevant and crucial information which will be the cornerstone of your report overall.
Step 4. The Structure of Your Report
Once you have enough information, you should consider the structure of your report now. Generally, reports have a similar structure, however, some details may vary. How does the structure of your report differ? Well, there are some elements due to which the structure usually differ. Following are some examples of such elements.
- The type of your report: such as research report, investigation report, laboratory report, business report, etc.
- The reader of your report.
- The length of the report.
Therefore, there may be some differences. However, your report will generally feature the following things:
- Title page
- Terms of references
Step 6. Draft your Report
Now that you have brainstormed, found information and drawn a structure of your report, it is the perfect time to write down your first draft. Start with heading and then fill them with all the available information.
Depending on the type of report, it may include Findings and appendices. Findings are generally the result of your reading, interview, and observations. Whereas the appendices are the pieces of information that are too long to include in the body.
Also, writing sections and numbering the information may help you design an appealing report. Such reports are easy for the reader to go through without getting bored or puzzled.
Step 7. Analyze and Draw Conclusion
After you are done with your first draft, it is time to analyze and draw a conclusion. This is when you have to ask yourself: what have I found, what is the importance of my findings and what do they suggest. Once you have answered these questions, you may be able to draw a conclusion describing why the particular situation happened.
Step 8. Make recommendations and reference list
Recommendations are what you suggest should happen or what the solution to the particular problem is. Then, write down a reference list. This list may refer to all the resources you have used to back up your report.
Step 9. Write a Summary and Table of Contents
The summary or the executive summary is usually about 100 words long summary. It gives the reader an open view of your report.
Both tables of contents and summary are the two things which come in the beginning. However, you won’t be able to write them until you are completely done.
Step 10. Revise your Report
It is very crucial that you revise your report. Because you may not want to submit just a draft. Therefore, before you submit your report, you should check the following elements:
- Grammar and spelling
- Facts and figures
- the given instructions and the guidelines
- accuracy of the provided information
- terms, symbols, and abbreviations
- diagrams, graphs, and format
You might go through several drafts before you are satisfied enough about your report. Otherwise, this is how we usually write a report. There may be slight differences in different types of reports. For questions or suggestions, drop a comment down below.