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A report is a collection of data gathered and organized together to serve a specific purpose for a particular audience. It may be delivered verbally or through a written document.
Reports provide us with detailed facts and evaluations for a specific subject matter or audience. Having a reliable set of tools will quicken the task at hand. In making a handover report or a project report, ready-made sheet templates and cover page templates will come in handy. Utilizing all the available research and reporting materials will make your report more comprehensive and reliable.
Understanding the purpose and the focus of the report will provide a kick-start to your task. Identify the importance of the research and data that you will be collecting and the people or organizations that will be using or will benefit from the report. Doing so will narrow down your sample checklist and will lighten your workload, saving you enough time and resources. This will also give you an idea of how to create a suitable title for your report.
To gain more insight and data regarding your assigned topic, research and investigation reports are required to gather every detail of the information required to complete the report. Accessing copies of previous reports made will give you ideas and info on how you can construct your report outline. Even professional and credible journalists commence in thorough research to establish an accurate report. This is to ensure that the report contains dependable and non-bias information.
Before writing the final draft for your simple report, you should create an outline for all the information that you acquired during the research. Classify the main topic, subtopics, and the supporting details from your draft and create a concise summary for each topic. To avoid being stalled while creating the draft, reread the conditions and the requirements of your assigned topic. Samples can also help in formulating ideas for your draft and will serve as a guide to form the structure of your report.
Following the format of your rough draft, arrange and organize the data and transfer the summarized information from your draft to your report sheet and adjust the formats. Insert additional information and make revisions if necessary to polish your report. Make sure that the data of your report is arranged in chronological order to buildup the interest of the audience and to avoid confusion.
Review the final copy of your sample report. Meticulously check the content of your report for grammar, vocabulary, sentence structure, and typos. Make necessary corrections or modifications for unsupported statements, false or inaccurate opinions, and unsure or bias language. Proofreading will save you from submitting a low-grade, poorly edited, and misleading report. Let someone reread the contents of your report to effectively erase any traces of doubts and discrepancies in your work.
The different types of reports include:
There are two categories of formal reports: informational and analytical reports. The informational report gathers data and facts used to draw conclusions. The analytical report contains the same information as the informational report, but it also offers recommendations to solve a problem.
A long report is always written in a manuscript (narrative style) format. Short reports being informal do not require extended planning and contain varieties of formats. A long report being formal needs careful planning before it is written because planning focuses on your reader(s).
The steps to writing a good report are:
Step 1: Decide on the 'Terms of reference'
Step 2: Decide on the procedure.
Step 3: Find the information.
Step 4: Decide on the structure.
Step 5: Draft the first part of your report.
Step 6: Analyse your findings and draw conclusions.
Step 7: Make recommendations.
Step 8: Draft the executive summary and table of contents.
A progress report is exactly what it sounds like – a document that explains in detail how far you've gone towards the completion of a project. It outlines the activities you've carried out, the tasks you've completed, and the milestones you've reached vis-à-vis your project plan.