- The following guidelines will help you write any short report successfully:
- Anticipate how the audience will use your report. Consider how much your audience knows about your project and what types of information they most need.
- Do the necessary research. Take careful notes, record all necessary background information, collect relevant factual data, and interview key individuals.
- Be objective and ethical. Avoid guesswork, do not substitute impressions or unsupported personal opinions for careful research, avoid biased/skewed/incomplete data, and double check Organize carefully. Include a purpose statement, findings, a conclusion, and recommendations.
- Use reader-centered headings, bullets, numbering, and visuals. Help readers locate and focus on key information in your report.
- Write clearly and concisely. Use an informative title/subject that gets to the point right away, write in plain English, use international English, adopt a professional yet personal tone, and do not include unnecessary background information.
- Use appropriate format and visuals. Make your report look professional, readable, and easy to follow; help readers locate and digest information quickly; be consistent in your design and format; include only the most essential visuals; and design, import, and place visuals appropriately all facts/figures/specifications.
Periodic Reports and Sales Reports
- Depending on needs, periodic reports may be daily, weekly, bimonthly, monthly, or quarterly. They help a company or agency keep track of the quantity and quality of the services is provides and the amount and types of work done by employees.
- Sales reports fulfill two functions: financial and managerial. As financial records, they list costs per unit, discounts or special reductions, and subtotals and totals. As managerial tools, they help businesses make both short- and long-range plans.
- Progress reports are intended for people who are not working alongside you but need to know your activities. They consist of three parts:
- Indicate why you are writing the report, provide any necessary project titles and codes with dates, and help readers recall the job you are doing for them.
- Provide significant details about costs, materials, personnel, and times for the major stages of the project.
- Give a timetable for the completion of duties or submission of the next progress report.
- Travel/trip reports may be field trip reports, site inspection reports, or home health or social work visits. Writing the travel/trip report will be easier and your report will be better if:
- Before you leave, you obtain contact information, do background research, gather necessary documents, bring essential supplies, locate a map/get directions, organize appointments, and if necessary get permissions.
When you return, you write the report promptly, detail where you stayed/how long, exclude irrelevant details, and double check names and figures.
- Incident reports must contain identification details, the type of incident, the time and location of the incident, a description of what happened, an indication of what was done after the incident, an explanation of what caused the incident, and
- Because incident reports may be used as official legal records:
- Submit your report promptly and sign or initial
- Be accurate, objective, and
- Give facts, not
- Do not exceed your professional