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Writing a Business Report: Structure & Examples

Preparation and Planning

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What teachers are saying about Study. Are you still watching? Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds. Add to Add to Add to. Want to watch this again later? Executive Summaries in Business Reports and Proposals. Formal Reports as Problem-Solving Documents: Following the Writing Process for Memos. Comparing Different Types of Proposals. Social Influences on Business: Types of Business Letters: How to Write Recommendation Reports: Ethical Issues in Formal Report Writing.

Comparing Types of Business Correspondence. Informational and Analytical Reports: Organizational Communication at FedEx. Negative Messages in the Workplace: Intro to Criminal Justice: Introduction to Political Science: In this lesson, you will learn why businesses need reports, what the parts of a typical business report are, some types of reports that may be needed, and a simple process for writing a business report.

Writing a Business Report Do you panic at the thought of writing a business report? Parts of a Business Report Let's say Michael wanted to share with his principal information he has accumulated regarding best practices for teaching Latin. He could write a business report which may include some of the following fairly standard sections: Executive Summary Michael would likely start his report with an executive summary.

Table of Contents If the report is lengthy, Michael will include a table of contents. Introduction When it comes to writing the report, Michael will probably start with the introduction. Body Michael is now ready to address the body of the report. Conclusion Finally Michael will bring it all together with the conclusion.

Reference If Michael used other sources of information to help him write his report, such as a federal database, he would include that in the references. Appendix Lastly, Michael may want to include an appendix. Informational Reports Informational reports provide factual information and do not include any analysis or recommendations. There are many examples of informational reports: Financial reports include cash flow statements, balance sheets, or the annual financial report required for publicly traded corporations, so stockholders can see how the company is fairing financially.

Business management reports include reports about labor expenses, web traffic, or customer satisfaction survey responses. There are also compliance information reports. In these reports, a company demonstrates it is complying with required regulations, for instance those regarding financial management.

Present research from a study: This report generally summarizes a research study that has information or findings that relevant to the business. Situational reports are generally written to a supervisor regarding a business situation, including what it was, how it was handled, and how it impacted the business.

Improve polices or processes: These are periodic reports such as employee handbooks that provide employees with guidelines and procedures for their organization.

Analytical Reports Analytical reports provide data as well as an analysis or interpretation of what the data means. Here are some examples of analytical reports: Try it risk-free No obligation, cancel anytime. Want to learn more? Select a subject to preview related courses: First we have SWOT analysis: SWOT stands for Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.

These reports analyze the business in light of what it does well, what it does poorly, and what outside influences can be seen as opportunities for improvement or might threaten the success of the business. Then there are justification reports. These reports are created to justify a proposed change in business processes or purchase of new equipment.

And then there are feasibility reports. This kind of report takes the next step after the justification report. It investigates whether a proposed idea will work. For example, it could discuss production of a prototype that has been tested.

The Writing Process Now that Michael knows what type of report to write, where does he start? Here is a checklist he can use to walk through the steps for writing his business report: First, Michael must determine the objective of the report - or what the purpose of the report is.

Then he must know who the audience will be, or who will be reading his report. Then he must determine what type of report in needed, an analytical report or an informational report. Once he decides that, he needs to figure out what information he will need to write the report. Once all that is known, Michael can start working on collecting the actual data he will need to write the report. Once the data is collected, it's time to organize the information and write the report. Michael must draw conclusions from the data.

Once he does that, he can begin writing the executive summary. After that, it's time to create any necessary graphics and list his references. Then he must proofread, and then proofread again. Then he must create the table of contents. Finally, he must get the report ready to be delivered to the proper audience.

Lesson Summary Writing a business report is no reason to panic. Business Reports Review Business reports are used to provide data that helps companies make decisions. Recall the purpose of a business report Indicate the type of information and sections that should be included in a standard business report Discuss the types of informational reports and analytical reports that may be required when writing a business report Summarize the writing process to be implemented when writing a report.

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These rocks show features that are characteristic of deposition in shallow water on the flanks of a volcano e. Further studies are required to understand depositional mechanisms and to evaluate the present-day thickness of individual rock units. Your contents page should be presented in such a way that the reader can quickly scan the list of headings and locate a particular part of the report. You may want to number chapter headings and subheadings in addition to providing page references. Whatever numbering system you use, be sure that it is clear and consistent throughout.

The introduction sets the scene for the main body of the report. The aims and objectives of the report should be explained in detail. Any problems or limitations in the scope of the report should be identified, and a description of research methods, the parameters of the research and any necessary background history should be included.

In some reports, particularly in science subjects, separate headings for Methods and Results are used prior to the main body Discussion of the report as described below. Information under this heading may include: This section should include a summary of the results of the investigation or experiment together with any necessary diagrams, graphs or tables of gathered data that support your results.

Present your results in a logical order without comment. Discussion of your results should take place in the main body Discussion of the report. The main body of the report is where you discuss your material. The facts and evidence you have gathered should be analysed and discussed with specific reference to the problem or issue. If your discussion section is lengthy you might divide it into section headings.

Your points should be grouped and arranged in an order that is logical and easy to follow. Use headings and subheadings to create a clear structure for your material. Use bullet points to present a series of points in an easy-to-follow list. As with the whole report, all sources used should be acknowledged and correctly referenced.

For further guidance check your departmental handbook and the Student Learning Centre guide: In the conclusion you should show the overall significance of what has been covered. You may want to remind the reader of the most important points that have been made in the report or highlight what you consider to be the most central issues or findings.

However, no new material should be introduced in the conclusion. Under this heading you should include all the supporting information you have used that is not published. This might include tables, graphs, questionnaires, surveys or transcripts.

Refer to the appendices in the body of your report. In order to assess the popularity of this change, a questionnaire Appendix 2 was distributed to 60 employees. The results Appendix 3 suggest the change is well received by the majority of employees. Your bibliography should list, in alphabetical order by author, all published sources referred to in your report.

There are different styles of using references and bibliographies. Texts which you consulted but did not refer to directly could be grouped under a separate heading such as 'Background Reading' and listed in alphabetical order using the same format as in your bibliography. Where appropriate you may wish to acknowledge the assistance of particular organisations or individuals who provided information, advice or help.

It is useful to provide an alphabetical list of technical terms with a brief, clear description of each term. You can also include in this section explanations of the acronyms, abbreviations or standard units used in your report.

All reports need to be clear, concise and well structured. The key to writing an effective report is to allocate time for planning and preparation. With careful planning, the writing of a report will be made much easier.

The essential stages of successful report writing are described below. Consider how long each stage is likely to take and divide the time before the deadline between the different stages.

Be sure to leave time for final proof reading and checking. This first stage is the most important. You need to be confident that you understand the purpose of your report as described in your report brief or instructions. Consider who the report is for and why it is being written.

Check that you understand all the instructions or requirements, and ask your tutor if anything is unclear. Once you are clear about the purpose of your report, you need to begin to gather relevant information. Your information may come from a variety of sources, but how much information you will need will depend on how much detail is required in the report.

You may want to begin by reading relevant literature to widen your understanding of the topic or issue before you go on to look at other forms of information such as questionnaires, surveys etc.

As you read and gather information you need to assess its relevance to your report and select accordingly.

Keep referring to your report brief to help you decide what is relevant information. Once you have gathered information you need to decide what will be included and in what sequence it should be presented. Begin by grouping together points that are related. These may form sections or chapters. Remember to keep referring to the report brief and be prepared to cut any information that is not directly relevant to the report. Choose an order for your material that is logical and easy to follow.

Before you begin to write your first draft of the report, take time to consider and make notes on the points you will make using the facts and evidence you have gathered.

What conclusions can be drawn from the material?

What makes a good report?

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Likewise, in business, confronted with a request for a ‘report’ to a senior manager, many people struggle to know what to write. Confusion often arises about the writing style, what to include, the language to use, the length of the document and other factors.

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Description of the content of each of these sections follows. Additional remarks on report preparation and writing style are given at the end. The ABSTRACT is not a part of the body of the report itself. Rather, the abstract is a brief summary of the report contents that is often separately.

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Looking for the proper report writing format? Start by using the standard report writing format and then adapt it to meet your specific needs. Report writing requires formal writing skills to get done right. Here are some primers and PDF guidelines for all kinds of report writing for school and work.

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Report Writing Format and Sample Report | Check out the Report Writing Format and Sample Report for SBI, UIIC, and other Bank & Govt Job Exams. Write an Article Request a New Article Answer a Request More Ideas Home» Categories; Get the File. Download as Adobe PDF. Download as MS Word. Download as Text File. Open in Office Online. Sample Science Report. Assignment: Explain how the scientific method works.