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REPORT WRITING

What is a report? Basically a report gives information, puts forward ideas, gives survey findings and recommends action.  The writing style of a report depends on its purpose, audience and setting  The usual sections of a report are: 1. Introduction 2. Findings 3. Conclusions or Evaluation 4. Recommendations

Types and Formats of Reports  Reports can be broadly divided into two main types: 1. Informational Reports 2. Analytical Reports  Formats of a report is governed by its length. Printed forms . Memo format c. Manuscripts format d. and purpose a. topic. audience. Letter format b.

It’s a routine occurrence. Its emphasis is on facts  Some examples of Informational Reports: a.Informational Reports  Informational reports deliver data and answer questions without offering recommendations or much analysis. Periodic Report b. Progress and Interim Reports . Situational Report c.

Justification/Recommendation Reports b. Feasibility Reports c. Research Studies . Its emphasis is on reasoning and conclusions  Some examples of analytical reports: a.Analytical Reports  Analytical reports not only collect and present data but also analyse the data and try to persuade the reader to accept the conclusions and act on the recommendations.

Periodic Reports  Summarise regular activities and events performed during the reporting period  Describe irregular incidents/events deserving the attention of management  Highlight special needs and problems  Look at sample A on page 64:  activity summary  competition update  product problems and comments  needs .

Situational Report     Reports covering nonrecurring event (trips. name. convention. or convention reports: (Refer to sample B pg 65)  Begin by identifying the event (date. conference. conferences) Usually presented in a “Direct pattern” Introductions (to familiarise reader with the topic and conclusions (to give a sense of ending) The general outline for trip. suggesting action to be taken or synthesising the value of the trip or event . location)  Preview the topics to be discussed  Summarise in the body three to five main points  Itemize expenses (if requested on a separate sheet)  Close by expressing appreciation.

Situational Report  Progress and Interim Report is another example of Situational Report.  Continuing projects often require progress or interim reports to describe their status  Progress reports typically follow the following pattern of development (see Sample C pg 66):  Specify in the purpose and nature of the project  Provide background information (if needed)  Explain the work currently in progress  Anticipate problems and possible remedies  Discuss future activities and provide the expected completion date .

Analytical Reports  Differ significantly from Informational reports. Analytical reports analyse the data and try to persuade reader to accept the conclusions and act on the recommendations  Answer questions about specific problems  Emphasise reasoning and conclusions  They can be organised in a “Direct or Indirect Pattern” depending on the kind of audience .

Introduction/Problem 2. Conclusions/Recommendations 3. Facts/Findings 4. Conclusions/Recommendations . Introduction/Problem 2. Discussions/Analysis 4. Facts/Findings 3. Discussions/Analysis The “Indirect Pattern”: 1.Analytical Reports   The “Direct Pattern”: 1.

Yardstick reports What distinguishes them is their goals and organisation .Analytical Reports   Four typical Analytical reports are: 1. Research Studies 4. Feasibility Reports 3. Justification/Recommendation Reports 2.

the report can be organized in a “Direct Pattern” according to the following sequences: (Refer to sample D pg 67)  Identify the problem or need briefly  Announce the recommendation. and recommendations which is agreeable to readers.Justification/Recommendation Reports  For non sensitive topics. or action concisely using action verbs  Explain fully the benefits of the recommendation or steps taken to solve the problem  Include a discussion of pros and cons. solution. and the costs  Conclude with a summary specify the recommendation and action to be taken .

and use specific examples. beginning with the least successful one. use the sequence of an indirect approach: (Refer to Sample E pg 68 & 69)  Describe the problem. Specify the action it requires  Ask for authority to proceed with the recommendation . and present the most promising alternative last  Show how the advantages of your recommendation outweigh its disadvantages  Summarise your recommendation. authoritative quotes to establish credibility to the seriousness of the problem  Discuss alternative solutions. supporting statistics.Justification/Recommendation Reports  For hostile reader who may oppose your recommendation.

Feasibility Reports  Analyse whether a proposal or a plan will work  Answer the question “Will this plan or proposal work?”  Focus on the decision: whether to stop or to proceed with the proposal  Since your role is not to persuade the reader to accept the decision. therefore you will have to present the decision immediately .

Feasibility Reports  In writing feasibility reports. consider the following suggestions: (Refer to Sample F pg 70)  Announce your decision immediately  Provide a description of the background and problem necessitating the proposal  Discuss the benefits of the proposal  Calculate the costs associated with the proposal (if appropriate)  Show the time frame necessary for implementation of the proposal .

and reach conclusion growing out of the findings  This approach leads reader through all the steps to discovering the answer to the problem  The answer comes as a result of assembling facts and evidence  The emphasis in this kind of report is on educating the reader with objective facts and reasoning .Research Studies  Examine an issue or problem. collect data to solve it.

and limitations of the project  Present the information collected. or need objectivity  Define the significance. problem. research methodology.Organisational Plan for Research Studies  Discuss the purpose. organising it around reasons leading to the conclusions  Draw conclusions that result naturally from the findings  Make recommendations (if requested) (Refer to the steps and ideas on page 63) . scope.