A report is a very formal document that is written for a variety of purposes, generally in the sciences, social sciences, engineering and business disciplines. Generally, findings pertaining to a given or specific task are written up into a report. It should be noted that reports are considered to be legal documents in the workplace and, thus, they need to be precise, accurateand difficult to misinterpret.
What are the types of reports?
laboratory reports health and safety reports
research reports case study reports
field study reports cost-benefit analysis reports
proposals comparative advantage reports
progress reports feasibility studies
technical reports instruction manuals
financial reports And on it goes …
When would I beasked to write a report?Engineering Reports can outline a proposal for a project; report on progress of a project; present research and findings from a project; detail the technical aspects of innovations; present results from a feasibility or cost-benefit analytical study.
Education and Health Science Practicum reports are based on experiences at prac. school or hospital. Ongoing journal entries are written up into areport at the end of term. There are field and research reports.
Science and some Social Sciences Laboratory reports outline, analyse and evaluate results from experiments. Research or field reports are findings from the field and make recommendations based on this. Feasibility studies report investigations into the feasibility of something and make recommendations accordingly. Case studyreports are found especially in the areas of social welfare, social work, and psychology.
Business Report writing is frequently used in business subjects. Reports can range from short memos to lengthy reports such as cost-benefit analysis reports; research and field reports; financial reports; proposals; progress reports; health and safety reports; quality reports; case study reports.
How doestehe structure the report differfrom the structure of an essay?
Reports are organised into separate sections according to the specific requirements of the given task. While it is important that paragraphs are structured and there is unity, coherence and logical development to the report, it is not a continuous piece of writing like an essay. Each type of report serves a very specific purpose and isaimed at a very particular audience.
Report writing may seem repetitive to us, but this is because reports are not usually read from cover-to-cover by one person. For example, a manager may read only the synopsis or abstract and act on the advice it contains while a technical officer may read only the section that explains how things work. On the other hand, a personnel officer may look at onlythe conclusions and recommendations that directly affect his or her working area.
What should I include in a report?
Because there is such a wide range of reports that serve different purposes, your faculty will generally have guidelines that they want you to follow. As a general rule, however, the following should give you some indication of what to include in a formal report.
A letter oftransmittal
This is a covering letter which is sent with the report to the person or organisation that requested the report. (Your assignment may not require you to provide this with your report.)
Sample letter of transmittal
A title page
This outlines the name of the report; who prepared the report; for whom the report was prepared; the nature of the report; the date the report wasprepared.
Sample title page
An abstract or synopsis
An abstract or synopsis outlines, very briefly, the entire report. It contains: the aim or purpose, the procedures followed, the main findings and conclusions and recommendations that are outlined in the report. The abstract or synopsis is like an introduction of an essay.
This report discusses the feasibility study...