A Brief Overview of Report Writing
According to C.A.Brown, “A report is a communication form of someone who has some information to someone who needs that information.”
The report is a logical representation of information and facts in the research paper. It is the product of a written form of research, study, and investigations. It is the basic tool that can help you to base decisions. To assess progress and plan for future action, the information presented in the report is necessary. Reports provide an entity with feedback to guide future actions.
The purpose of the report is to make the information as simple and easy as possible and as accessible. Reports in their intent vary widely. They also vary in the type of audience for which they are written.
A report is a relatively simple, easy-to-understand form of assignment. The writing of reports comes in different forms, types, and styles, depending on your subject and the specifications of your supervisor. Many reports contain all common components of report writing, while others contain just a few of them.
Here in the handout, the experts of Ireland with their report writing skills have tried their best to explain every possible type of report in a very clear manner. It can help the Irish students in determining which type of report they have to write according to the given topic. So, let us not divert our focus and have a look at education report writing types.
Different Types of Report Writing
Based on some special characteristics, a report can be a certain kind. Depending on the report’s purpose, it’s always best to know which type would be more suitable for any case.
For instance, informal reports may not be appropriate in formal office contexts. In that case, even if your report is up-to-date and the best, only the structure or format or language might work against your report. Small things like that shouldn’t stand in your way to get your point across. And so let’s dive into the types of reports that exist for these reasons and more so that we can make clear decisions about their usage.
Let us address the various types of report writings briefly. The Irish experts have divided the types into categories for the convenience of the students.
A. On the basis of the formality
1. Formal Report: A formal report is an official report containing detailed information, research and data required for making business decisions. The general purpose of formal report writing is to solve any specific problem. Example: Safety report, Inspection report.
2. Informal Report: An informal report, also known as an informal memo, is distinct from a formal report and does not include abstract or executive summary sections. An informal report is used for internal business and research purposes and also used as an outline for a subsequent formal report.
B. Depending on the problem rate
1.Periodic or Routine reports: These reports have introduced in the normal course of business at regular intervals. The period of time might be annual, semi-annual, quarterly, fat annually, weekly, or even regular.
Generally speaking, these reports are merely factual statements. They don’t go with an opinion or a recommendation. For example, Report on growth, monthly sales report, etc.
2.Special Reports: The relation and generation of this type of report are mainly for a single occasion or circumstance. These reports deal with not replicated issues. To investigate the situation and present its findings, an individual or a committee is appointed.
They give recommendations to the management for decision-making — for example, project report, feasibility study report, First Information Report [ F.I.R] etc.
C. Based on the function
1.Informative Report: A report provides readers with knowledge about a subject chosen by providing them with the facts. Generally, an informative report is written to give facts on living or non-living entities. It can be an individual object or an entity category. For example, a quarterly report with sales figures.
2.Interpretive Report: The interpretive report interprets the facts. A reporter attempts to balance the reporting with a development’s explanations and meanings. The reporter will provide the information along with an explanation of its significance. For example: if the document deepens the causes of low sales over a given period, it becomes an interpretive or analytical study.
D. Other types of report writings
1.Long and Short Reports: As the name suggests, these forms of reports are quite straightforward. A document of two pages or sometimes referred to as a memorandum is short, and a report of thirty pages is quite long. You being a student, normally compose longer documents in a formal manner.
2.Internal and External Reports: An internal report, as the name suggests, exists within a particular organization or group of people. Internal reports are for within the company in the case of office settings.
We prepare external reports for dissemination outside the agency, such as a news report in the newspaper about an accident or the annual reports of businesses. People generally call external reports as public reports.
3.Vertical and Lateral Reports: It is about the hierarchy of the ultimate objective of the reports. It’s a vertical report if the study is for the management or mentees. Wherever a trajectory moves up or down, we call it a vertical document.
On the other hand, lateral statements help in organizational coordination. A document that moves between divisions at the same tier of the company (for example, a report between departments of administration and finance) is lateral.
The above defined are the most common report-writing types. There are some more types as well based on the nature of the subject: Problem determining report, Report writing for nursing, Technical report, Performance report, fact-finding report, financial report writing, etc. You can also fit them in the above-defined categories, as well.