Are you a student required to submit your proposal report in a few days and don’t even know where to start? Or a professional who is supposed to submit a report on a task you handled by the end of the week or worse still, a professional that is doing part-time studies and reports are required form both ends and you are totally clueless? Relax and read on and discover the best report writing tips to get you started.
A report, typically, is a piece of writing that gives an account of a specific matter through research, investigation or observation. It is meant to clearly discuss and conclude a given topic with recommendations or persuasion. While writing is not a task to some people, the majority can’t do good reports. Practice makes perfect, read on and learn some tips on excellent report writing.
Tips to Consider
1. Consider The Objective
When discussing tips on report writing, understanding the objective comes first. Before you work on any report, you need to understand its intended outcome. It is here that you either lose or make it. Is it descriptive, persuasive, explanation or does it require you to problem solve and make recommendations? Depending on the context, the body of different reports takes different shape.
2. Understand Your Audience - Professional Report Writing Tips
On business report writing tips, you need to have a clear picture of who you are addressing. For instance, writing an annual report is different from writing a following report on an ongoing task. Professional report writing tips include using tailor-made vocabularies to match the subject at hand. Your type of audience also determines your choice of language. Your seniors would require the use of more respectful words compared to addressing your teammates.
3. Do Proper Research
Anytime report writing tips for students are discussed, facts and well-researched data should be emphasized. Academic research needs relevant engaging information. You can go to the library or utilize the internet to get and prove your data. Citing case studies gives your research more viability; it should always be used where necessary. Always indicate the source of your information at the end of the report. It’s, therefore, necessary to keep track as you go.
When doing a professional report, research is also expected. Take for example, that you were writing a persuasive report on why a certain policy should be changed. Research on the implications of the current one; those both happening at your office and elsewhere. While pointing out on the new policy you recommend, proper research is necessary when citing actual places where the policy in question has been used and how positively it has influenced the organization.
4. Choose An Appropriate Structure For The Report
The structure is the image of your report. It’s the first thing that hits the reader the moment your report is in their hands, or the moment you start reading it out. Depending on how you have structured your work, the reader may read on or just stop and conclude it has nothing of importance. Sometimes a specific structure may be recommended. In this case, follow the instructions to the latter. If no limitations are placed, here is the standard way a proper report should be written.
i. The executive summary
Although it is the first part of a report, it is written last as it’s a summary of your completed work. A glance at it makes the reader decide whether you have captured what they are looking for or if it will be a waste of their time. Make it very clear and captivating, capturing the main subjects pointed out in the instructions.
ii. The introduction
Introducing your topic to the audience lays a foundation for the context that is to follow. What necessitated this research and its scope should also be pointed out at this point. On to tips on report writing for students, the introduction should be used to mention all methodologies used.
iii. The body
Tips on report writing skills are most crucial now; your writing is being put to the test. This is the most detailed part of a report. You present your case study, all the background information, your analysis and recommendations and any other data you found relevant. Make sure every fact you mention is backed by enough evidence.
Finalize your report appropriately. This parting shot goes back to the type of report you were doing. If you were recommending, voice your opinion out for the final time. In a persuasive report, you should make a last appeal to your audience.
For academic reports, the conclusion should clearly indicate the solution to the subject in question or an opinion on the final analysis.
5. Proof Read Your Report
Go through your work after it’s done to correct any spelling and grammatical errors and see that it makes sense when read from the beginning to the end. There are various applications on the internet to proofread any piece of writing, utilize these resources. For example, Grammarly helps your check any grammatical errors.
After the first proofreading, let your report lie for a day or two for your head to clear then read it re-read it again to see any mistakes you didn’t see the first time. Alternatively, you can have another person do the second proofreading for you. Better still, read your final report out to a group of people and let them tell you what they think.
Too much work? Maybe, but it’s all worth it if you really want to do effective reports.
Important Points to Note on Tips to Writing Excellent Reports
- If you are a student, be clear on what your supervisor wants. Most academic reports have specific instructions on the methodology, context, and reference material.
- When writing a business report, it is advisable to use professional language and vocabulary where possible. It makes your report formal and develops a good rapport with your audience. It sends the message that you know what you are doing.
- Your report should be readable. Use good formatting, write some bits in point and list form and maximize but don’t overuse visuals.
- Use a proper choice of language. A report like any other piece of writing requires you to get your reader engaged. This does not mean you write fluff and use jargon, just be clear and straight to the point with simple language. Use active as opposed to passive language, it makes the reader relate to the report.
- Let your ideas flow well. Great but unidentifiable ideas, what a waste! You have good opinions and factual research, now let your audience into your mind through your piece of work. Otherwise, the report is as good as undone. Make sure the four parts of report writing come out clearly, following each other as supposed and with each part being tacked with finality.
- If you have the liberty to choose, select a topic you like. It’s easier to write on something you enjoy than doing it for the sake of completion.
- The many writing styles available should not overshadow the natural writer in you, only compliment. By this I mean, don’t follow written samples so much that you lose your originality.
With these report writing tips, you will start to find your report writing tasks a walk in the park.