A full-length report presents a comprehensive analysis of a subject, process or area of research and may contain well over one hundred pages of text. Although there are differenttypes of reports, they all share the same objective: to communicate information to the reader.
A good report should allow the reader to understand how the subject of the report has been approached andalso to see how the data presented has been collected and analysed.
Some reports are standard in form and simply present result that have been obtained in a particular department or business unit.Some are more analytical in approach and are designed to provide original research which may lay the groundwork for operational change and the introduction of new procedures. Other reports may presentproposals for conducting a Project or analyse the progress that has been made to date.
Full length reports are usually formal in style and, depending on the complexity of thesubject that they present, may be divided into many different sections, which may each have several subheadings. It is essential for them to be presented in a consistent manner and for the differentsections to be clearly labelled so that the reader knows exactly what the various components of the report are (see opposite for a typical layout). Full-length reports always contain an executivesummary, which autlines the background of the report and presents its scope, methodology and principal findings.
Writing a good report means organising the content in such a way that thereader can see a progression in the presentation of the facts and the analysis and commentary that may follow. To facilitate this, reports contain different types of headings:
- Main headings -are presented in capital letters and indicate the principal sections of the report.
- Subheadings – indicate which components are included under the main heading.
- Sub-points – give an...