Reports are an essential part of business communication and are in demand skill at organizations with a progressive approach. A report helps the higher management to analyze the ground realities of the business. A lot of executives seek help from reports to devise policies. Policies are then implemented for the betterment of the organization; hence the importance of the report becomes many folds in such scenarios. Progress reports of the employees are used to aid in promotion decisions, and excellent report writing skills can help an individual to climb up the ladder of success quickly. A report is a concise document containing information in an organized format. There is a clear difference between a report and an essay. A report is based on evidence, and opinions are not encouraged in reports.
The structure of a good report is standard, including different chapters with different purposes but converging on to one central point. Some organizations have a specific format for the reports, and they urge their employees to stick to that format strictly. For a good report, you must be adept at researching and planning about the given topic. The predicament in composing a good report can be a lack of knowledge, motivation, and ability to comprehend available data. The structure of a good report is as follows.
Title Page: The title of the report briefs the reader about the content he will read once he starts. So, the title should preferably be able to influence the attention of the reader. A crisp and concise title can prove helpful in delivering the theme of the report.
Terms of reference: A single paragraph defining the reasoning of the report, intended audience, methods involved, and purpose of the report.
Summary or abstract: It is a short summary of your document, making your audience aware of what is going on further in the document. It defines methods, results, and motives behind the report. It should provide a clear, concise overview of the content.
Table of content: Table of content tabulates all the chapters, heading and subheading number wise with their respective position in the report that is their page number. Make sure what you write here is consistent with the rest of the document; otherwise, it can confuse. There is a difference among report and an essay in terms that the latter one does not require a table of content.
Introduction: Intro sets the tone for the rest of the document. Write about the topic of your report and quote any useful information that can help your reader understanding the theme of the report. Keep it jargon-free and use formal yet simple language.
Methods: Explain the method of information collection, materials used, equipment involved, and procedure followed. Also references to the problems and solutions to eliminate the problem.
Results: Discuss the results achieved as a result of applied methods or processes. Summaries the results and add relevant data tables, figures, graphs, and diagrams.
Discussion: This the heart of the report and provide the analysis of the whole process. You can discuss evidence, info graphs, and methods. This portion also deliberates what went well and what can be improved?
Conclusion: In here, you can stress the significance of the report and how results can help in improving future decision making.
Bibliography: This section is for tabulating the supporting sources and references
Acknowledgment: use this space to acknowledge and thank anyone who helped you compose your report.
This Approach of report writing is called IMRAD and is usually used in business reports and covers all the aspects of an excellent report.