A business report is merely the summation of a lot of facts and figures. A typical business report is a written document whose purpose is to provide information and a lot of analysis, with the intention of helping a business in making calculated decisions.
The major intention of a business report is to include information regarding its efficiency, its competition and followed protocols. The idea is to make the necessary information available to everyone in the company. The report writing format is kept organized with clearly defined sections and is preferably written in easy to understand language.
Usually, a report brief is provided to you before you start writing your report writing sample; this helps in guiding you with the instructions. It also outlines the instructions, defines the audience, highlights the issue or the problem that needs addressing. This should guide you with the format you need to follow to make correct structure of a report.
How to structure a report? How do you write a good introduction for a report? How to start a report introduction?
These are among the many questions that come to a student’s mind when it comes to report writing in English. And you will get answers to all these questions in this particular informational blog.
Firstly, what makes a business report good?
The major reasons why reports are used as a source of information are:
- To find out what you have learnt from your reading, research and experience.
- To give you an idea of a crucial skill that is used in the workplace predominantly.
An efficient report writing sample presents and analyses information and definitions that are relevant to the pre-discussed problem statement. All the sources that have been referred to for the work must be acknowledged throughout and should be in accordance with the guidelines of your department. It should be devoid of plagiarism and should be structured well and written in an easy to understand language. The report writing format should be in accordance to the guidelines of your specific university and in an easy to understand language. A properly written report highlights the writer’s ability to:
- Understand the purpose of the report and structure it according to the specified guidelines.
- Gather, evaluate and analyzes the relevant information.
- Structure the relevant material in a coherent manner.
- Present the report in a consistent manner following the rules in the report brief.
- Make relevant conclusions that are backed by evidence and data.
- Make appropriate practice recommendations.
Report writing for students in this generation is a lot convenient compared to what it was just a decade ago. Thanks to the abundance of information on the web and the ease of the internet, it’s a lot easier to gather information. The layout of report writing has not changed much since the beginning. The essentials still remain the same, as the purpose of business report writing remains the same too.
Title and Title Page
This should include details like your name, the date and the purpose behind writing this report. The rules of report writing structure for students state that the title page should give the reader a brief idea about the intent of the writer and the intention of the report.
A typical title page of a business report looks like the one as below:
- Be Specific and concise when framing the title: Avoid too lengthy or too short a title
- Do not use any abbreviation in the title
- Keep a target to reform and edit your title after completion of the work. As the initially decided title may not exactly define the scope and specify the actual study.
- A typical word count is of 10-12 words is allocated to writing the title.
- Be particular that the title of your report should help differentiate it from other reports.
Terms of reference:
Make use of this headline to mention the ideal audience that would be reading this report. It should briefly talk about how the audience would find this report to be of use and when they can refer to it. An ideal research report example would also include the ways or the techniques that were followed in order to write this report. This tells the audience about the authority of the writer and keeps things more genuine for them.
As the name suggests the summary should be a brief summation of the whole report. It should include what conclusions were reached at and what else was found in the report; Ideally the highlights of the report that the reader would we interested in. It should ideally be half a page in length and restricted to just the main points outlined. An ideal report writing introduction always has a crisp summary. This makes sure that the reader is curious enough to delve deeper into the report.
Contents (Table of Content):
The contents page should list all the chapters that’s included in a strategic manner. The reader should be able to quickly scan through and decide on a chapter he/she wants to open. You should ideally number headings and subheadings for the purpose of ease. It should be easy to understand and consistent throughout the report.
- Do not write too long a heading or sub-heading(limit to 5-7 words as an ideal size)
- Start with introduction as 1
Introduction / Background / Context
This section acts like the trailer to the whole report. The aims and objectives should be explained in detail in this section. Also, mention any problem or any scope of limitation in the report in this section. A good report introduction example would include research methods followed, parameters of the research and all the necessary background history too.
Methods and Findings:
This section involves the description of all the data collection and analysis methods used in the report. This section also includes the findings made in the report.
Results and discussion:
This includes a summary of the results of the research. It also includes the necessary diagrams, graphs and other data used to reach the result. Make sure you present your result without any discussion in a crisp manner.
The discussion happens in the main body of the report. You should divide your discussion section into parts in case its very lengthy. It should be structured in such a manner that it is easy to understand and follow. All the sources should be acknowledged. All report examples for students across universities are structured with bulletin points; so that it’s easy flowing.
- “How to write a proper report” is a question a lot of students ask. Well, it’s mostly about the introduction and the conclusion, that talks how great your whole report was. This is where you should talk about the significance of what you have covered or done. Discuss the value addition that you believe your work is. You can also remind the reader of all the highlights of your work again for him/her to take away. Make sure you do not bring in any new facet into your report at this point.
All the best English report writing examples that you will find on the web always make sure to include the references they have mentioned in their report. It’s practically impossible to write a report without mentioning external sources. However, you should make sure you acknowledge them and not take credit for their hard work.
You might have to refer to an interview or to any other supporting material that helps to prove your point in the report. It could be transcripts or data in raw form that is the work of someone else. You can give credit to that person in this section. You will find this section in all the report writing examples you refer to. The reason is, it makes the writer seem credible and not as someone who takes credit for someone else’s work.
Steps To Report Writing
Step 1:Understanding the requirement
This is the most critical step where the purpose of the report needs to be identified. Setting an objective clearly is a must at this stage. Also, based on requirement the type of report required majorly formal, informal, business report, grant demand report that needs to be decided.
Step 2:Collect required facts and figures
To start of work first you need to brainstorm as to what information you require and which would be good sources to attain those information. Decide upon whether primary, secondary or both type of facts and figures would be required and how you would go about choosing the sources. This is the correct stage to get a background check on the topic ad area that forms the theme of the report.
Step 3:Plan structure of the report
Once you are ready with the basic ideas it is time to outline and formulate a rough structure to initiate work. Do not go by the order in which you arrange your final report. It is practically impossible to start writing with the executive summary.
Step 4:Start your writing with the methodology section.
This is the most important section that guarantees your success in formulating an appropriate report. This section usually takes the maximum time in formulation so don’t panic if you are late in finishing off the section.
Step 5:Move to the Literature review, introduction and then the discussion section.
Based on methodology and understanding of the purpose of the work, frame out the literature review section. Be careful when choosing the literatures for the work. You need to be appropriate and relevant in flow of your discussion.
The introduction section needs to be written next. Start with giving a bigger picture and not the niche that is the central idea in the report. Do specify aim, objective, structure and limitation of the work.
The discussion section should be well in flow with the findings. Formulate it in line with the report requirements as has been specified to be deduced in the introduction.
Step 6: Then write the conclusion and recommendations
Though there lies a confusion as content in recommendations and conclusion is often overlapping.be specific in segregating recommendations and summary of findings, as to be written in conclusion.
Step 7:After the whole body is completed one should formulate the executive summary or synopsis.
Hurray!!! You are almost done by now. So pick the main idea that formulates the report to start your executive summary with. Then state its purpose and move to specify the main findings as identified and also specify the main recommendations.
Step 8: Do not forget to redraft and proofread the document if required.
Step9: It is time to consider the presentation aspect.
Add the table of contents, glossary and appendices. Alignment, font type and size all needs to be cross-checked before submission.
The structure and steps to write a report may vary a little based on the type of report that is being written. Majorly categorised under formal and informal report, the structure ought to vary also the content tone.
Use this document along with other specific guidelines provided to structure your report.
Have a quick look at the general norms below: