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Types of Report

All reports include a heading either in memo format or letter format An introduction, a discussion and conclusion/recommendations. Lets look at the criteria for seven common types of reports: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Trip Reports Progress Reports Lab Reports Recommendation Reports Incident Reports Investigative Reports Meeting Minutes

1-Trip Reports
Purpose A trip report allows you to report on job/study related travel. When you leave your workplace and travel for job-related purposes, your supervisors not only require that you document your expenses and time off-site but they also want to be kept up-to-date on your work activities.

Following is an overview of what you will include in an effective trip report Introduction In the purpose statement section, document the date and destination of your travel. Then comment on your objectives or rationale. When and where did you visit? What is the purpose of visit? Personnel. With whom did you travel? Authorization who recommended or suggested that you leave your work site for job related travel

Discussion (body, findings, agenda) Using subheadings, document your activities. This can include a review of your observations, contacts, seminars attended or difficulties encountered


What did you accomplish? What did you learn? What sales did you make? What benefit to yourself, colleagues, or your company occurred?

What did you suggest next? Should the company continue on the present course or should changes be made in personnel or in the approach to a particular situation? Would you suggest that other colleagues attend this conference in the future or was the job related travel not effective? In your opinion what action should the company take?

2-Progress Reports
A progress report lets you document the status of an activity, explaining what work has been accomplished and what work is remaining. Supervisors and customers want to know what progress you are making on a project, whether you are on schedule, what difficulties you might have encountered and what your plans are for the next reporting period. Because of this, your audience might ask you to write progress reports daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually. Heading Introduction (overview, background) Why are you working on this project? What problems motivated the project? What do you hope to achieve? Who initiated the activity? With whom are working on this project? If this is the second, third, or fourth report in a series, remind your reader what work has already been accomplished. Bring them up-to-date with background or a reference to previous Discussion (findings, body, agenda) Work accomplished: using subheadings, itemize your work accomplished either through a chronological list or a discussion organized by importance Work remaining: tell your reader what work you plan to accomplish next. List these activities, if possible, for easy access

Problem encountered:

Inform your readers of any difficulties encountered not only to justify your possibly being behind schedule but also to show the readers where youll need help to complete the project Conclusion/ Recommendations Sum up what youve achieved during this reporting period and provide your target completion date. Recommendations If problems were presented in the discussion you can recommend changes in scheduling, personnel, budget, or materials that will help you meet your deadlines 3-Lab Reports A lab report lets you document the status of and findings from a laboratory experiment, procedure or study. Professionals in electronics, engineering, medical fields, the computer industry, the computer industry and other technologies often rank the ability to communicate as highly as they do their technical skills. Conclusions drawn from a technical procedure are worthless if they reside in a vacuum. The knowledge acquired from a laboratory activity must be communicated to colleagues and supervisors so they can benefit from your discoveries. Criteria The following are components of a successful lab report Introduction Why is the basic purpose of writing this report? What problems motivated this report? Under whose authority is this report being written?

How was the test performed? Apparatus (what equipment, approach or theory have you used to perform your test?) Procedure (what steps-chronologically organized did you follow in performing the test?)

The conclusion of a lab report presents your findings. Now that youve performed the laboratory experiment

What have you learned or discovered or uncovered? What are the implications?


4-Recommendation Reports
Recommendation report accomplishes two goals. First it studies the practicality of a proposed plan. Then it recommends action. Occasionally your company plans a project but is uncertain whether the project is feasible. Will the plan work, does the company have the correct technology, will the idea solve the problem, or is there enough money? One way a company determines the viability of a project is to perform a feasibility study, to document the findings and then to recommend the next course of action. Criteria Heading

What follow up action?

What is the purpose of this feasibility report? What problems motivated this study? Who initiated the feasibility study?

State the criteria upon which your recommendation will be based Criteria are established so you have a logical foundation for comparison of personnel, products, vendors, costs, options, schedules and so on

In this section, compare your findings against the criteria. In objectively written paragraphs, develop the points being considered. You might want to use a visual such as a table to organize the criteria and to provide easy access

In this section, you go beyond the mere facts as evident in the discussion section. You state the significance of your findings. Draw a conclusion from what you have found in your study.


Once you have drawn your conclusions, the next step is to recommend a course of action. What do you suggest that your company do next? Which piece of equipment should be purchased? Is there sufficient market for the product?

5-Incidents report
An incident report documents an unexpected problem that has occurred. This could be an automobile accident, equipment malfunctions, fire, robbery, injury, or even problems with employee behavior. In this report, you will document what happened. If a problem occurs within your work environment that requires analysis and suggested solution, you might be asked to prepare an incident report

Using subheading or itemization quantifies what you saw. You should list your finding in chronological order Make or model of the equipment involved Police departments or hospitals contacted Names of witnesses Extent of damage Follow up action taken to solve the problem

Relate what could be done in the future to avoid similar problems

6-Investigation Report
As the word investigate implies, an investigation report asks you to examine that causes behind an incident. Something has happened. The report does not just document the incident. It focuses more on why the event occurred. You might be asked o investigate causes leading up to a problem Heading

In the purpose section, write the date of the incident. Then comment on your objectives. What incidents are youre reporting on and what do you hope to achieve in this investigation? Where did the incident occur? Who was involved in the incident? Who recommended that you investigate the problem?

This is the major part of the investigation. Using subheadings document you findings A review of your observation. This includes physical evidence, descriptions, lab reports, testimony, and interview responses. Answer the reporters question Contact people interviewed Difficulties encountered Techniques, equipment or tools used in the course of the investigation Test procedures followed organized chronologically

What did you accomplish? What did you learn? What discoveries have you made regarding the causes behind the incident? Who or what is at fault?

Recommendations What do you suggest next? Should changes be made in personnel or in the approach to particular situations? Should technology be changed? How can the problem be fixed?