A report is a literal document that summarises the reality of a specific issue, event or topic. The fact is that anyone can find what they want to know about a subject on a good report.

The report makes it straightforward for any person to understand the subject. To understand what to do when writing a report, we have presented all you need to know about report writing.

Definition of report

In practical terms, a report is any literal document written or spoken concerning a particular matter. This can be from a school grade report book, testimony from the courtroom or even a project report.

When you hear about a report, what comes to your mind is an official record talking about the facts of a particular subject, typically investigated and written by a specialist of that area. We are going to explain to you various kinds of the report below.

What types of information are usually in a report? Although a report can have any information, there are specific features that a report must show.

  • Your Reports should give details of the situation or an event.
  • Should give the details of ongoing occasion or event.
  • Should have a summation of statistical data.
  • Information from the report should be interpreted.
  •  There should be suggestions or predictions depending on the information in your report.
  • There should be a relationship of other events in your report.

Writing a report is similar to writing an essay, but there are some differences. Both depend on facts,  but you can add your own opinion and argument in the essay. In reports, you only talk about facts only, but you can interpret this fact in your way, mostly in your conclusion.

Reports are more organized, mostly with a table of contents, heading and subheading. This makes readers too easily go through information without reading everything. While in essays, everything is meant to be read from the beginning to the end.

Different types of report

Different reports depend on whom you are writing to and the purpose.

These are some of the familiar types of reports:

  1. The academic report shows a student’s comprehension of a particular subject matter, including biographies, book reports, and historical events’ reports.
  2. Business reports include important information to business, such as internal memos, feasibility reports, marketing reports, and SWOT analysis.
  3. Scientific reports show research findings such as case studies research papers mostly seen in scientific journals.

Reports can be further be grouped depending on how they are being written. For instance, the report can be informal or formal, external or internal, and long or short. There is a vertical report; this shows information with personnel in the different hierarchy, while lateral reports show information to people on the same level but in separate offices.

There are many different kinds of reports depending on how they are written. But in this guide, we will concentrate on academic reports that are formal and educational.

How is the report organized?

The way the report is structured depends on the requirement it needs to meet and its report. Although each report can use its structure, most reports use the following structure.

  • Executive summary – just the same way abstract act as a summary in an academic paper, executive summary act the same. It summarizes the finding in your research so that your readers have an idea of what your paper is talking about. These are commonly used in official reports and less used in school reports.
  • Introduction- your introduction summarizes the topic that you are about to talk about together with your thesis statement. It introduces background information on your topic before you start discussing your finding.
  • Body- The body of your report contains your main findings divided into heading and subheadings. Your body should contain most of the part of your whole report. Your body can take several pages, while your introduction and conclusion take two or three paragraphs.
  • Conclusion- this is the part where you come to make your judgment and interpretation of your findings. The conclusion is usually the last paragraph, summarising your inferences and opinion.

If you know how to research paper is written, you will realize that writing a report follows the same structure; from introduction to the body, a conclusion, and sometimes an additional executive summary. Also, sometimes, there are additional features in reports, such as tables of content title pages, which we will explain in the following section.

What a report should have

There is no formal requirement that a report should have. Every Company, task manager, laboratory and teacher can make their structure depending on their distinctive needs. But most of the reports have common features such as;

  • Title page- formal reports usually have a title page to be organized. Keep this track report if you have to read several reports title pages.
  • Table of contents – table f content is important as it helps the reader to search the part they are interested in.
  • Numbering the page – numbering your page is very important, especially to a very long report to avoid mixing up, especially when you are printing.
  • Heading and sub-heading- reports are usually divided into heading and sub-headings segments. They enhance reading and scanning of the report easier.
  • Citations- this is where you are referencing information you got from another report. Every report is given its format of referencing.
  • Works cited page- this is a bibliography written at the end of the report. It enlists the legal information of various sources you used to get information from.

Ask for a specific guideline that you will need to use when writing your report. People who go through your report should inform you which format or style guide you should use.

How do you write your report?

Let us now be specific on how you should write your report. The following steps will help you write your report from the beginning to the end.

  1. Select a topic depending on the assignment given

First of all, you need to have a topic for your report, but mostly you are given a topic as with most with the nature of your work, or business reports and even in a scientific, if you tend to have a topic, you can ignore this step.

But if you are the one to select your topic, like in an academic report, then try to select a topic with the two criteria as follows.

There is enough information: select a topicthat is neither too general nor too specific. Ensure there is adequate information but not too large that you will be unable to cover all of them..

You have passion for it: although this doesn’t matter much, it will help the quality of your report.

Also, ensure you follow the instructions given, such as length, when making decisions in your report.

2. Conduct research

In scientific and business reports, you can be provided with research, but still, you will need to look for more external research.

You will need to do your research in the academic report unless you use class notes. That is why selecting a good topic is important. You are not likely to write much if the topic you selected doesn’t have enough materials.

When looking for research, make sure you go for sources with a reputation, such as research papers, official documents, case studies, other reports, and books written by well-known authors. You can also cite research that has been cited from other reports.

3. Put down your thesis statement.

Please write down your thesis statement so that it helps you to understand the theme of your report. Your thesis statement should summarize all the major points of your writing.

You can write your thesis statement in your executive summary and your introduction.

4. Write your outline

Writing your outline is important to all types of writing, especially in the report, divided into heading and subheading. This helps you stay organized while ensuring there is no point left behind while writing.

It would help if you tried to list down all the main details, points and evidence and put them into specific categories to turn to be headings and subheadings.

5. Prepare a draft

Write your rough draft by following your outline to ensure that you are not leaving anything behind.

Don’t be afraid to make errors; make all the mistakes you can as it is not expected to be perfect. Write naturally and relaxed, and don’t worry much about word choices, as you will correct that later.

6. edit and revise your report

Once you have completed writing your draft, start fixing all your mistakes. It would help if you first reread your work to fix sentences and paragraphs not in order.

7. Proofread your report

This is the last step while writing a report. You need to go through your report one more time to ensure there are no spelling and grammatical errors.

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