Making a report is no easy task. You are asked to write about a certain topic and asked to do research about it. And what you are asked to do is not just any type of research. The research you will be doing has to follow a scientific method, in which the evidence that you acquire should be measurable and practical. You can’t just base your study on pure logic.
We understand that it is not easy to make a report and so we have compiled some sample reports that you can use for your own report. These samples are in PDF format so using them should be no problem.
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What is a Report?
A report is a formal document that is used to relay information about a certain topic. When writing a report, you should have a clear purpose as to why you are writing one. A report is intended for a particular group of people, whether it be the people in your organization, school, or community. It is often an official document about the given topic and so proper report writing should be practiced. This means that you have to follow a specific format when making one because it is meant to be an official record about it.
The supervisor or person who asked you to make the report would often give you a brief about it so you won’t have any trouble writing for the first time. With this brief comes the instructions as well as the format that needs to be followed. Not everyone is given this information in their brief, though, and our sample reports are a great help in that area. There are many types of reports (e.g. project report, evaluation report, and so on) depending on the requirement of your supervisor.
A report requires an in-depth and thorough research about the given topic. All the data that are included in the report needs to be backed up by quantifiable evidence. That is why an extensive amount of research need to be done. The process is often a lot of hard work but the resulting document would be very valuable pieces of information that will be used in making all the crucial decisions.
Difference Between Formal and Informal Reports
There are different reports that you will be asked to make. It could be a feasibility report, an incident report, and so on. There is quite a huge number of reports out there but they can be classified into just two: informal and formal. It is easy to identify which type of report you are looking at when you know the differences between these two.
- Length – Informal reports are reports that could be completed in one or two pages. They are often short pieces of documents that are used to inform or recommend. Formal documents, on the other hand, are far longer than the informal ones as they offer a more in-depth examination of the topic.
- Subject – The topic for informal reports usually revolves around routine matters. An example for this is an evaluation report as evaluations are routinely done in companies. Formal reports usually deal with more complex problems and subjects.
- Intended Reader – An informal report is often written for someone within the organization while the contents of a formal report could be easily useful for both people inside and outside the organization.
- Format – Informal reports do not strictly follow a certain format and can be in the form of memos or letters. Formal reports on the other hand always follow a set format.
- Formality – Informal reports are not that formal and could sometimes even be controversial as they talk about certain issues within the organization. Formal reports require planning and always follow a format.
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Who Makes Reports
Reports are usually done with a purpose in mind. This means that it is meant to accomplish something and that the data and findings you find in a report are valuable pieces of information. Almost anyone can make a report. When one has the resources and the time, he or she can make a functional document that would be very useful. Listed below are the people that often make reports and the one that can put these sample reports into good use.
- Students – You may be asked to make a research report at school. Or as a student, you may have been asked to make a book report on a certain book that you have read. A school is often a place where reports are made because teachers always ask their students to make one.
- Employees – Employees are sometimes given projects by their superiors that require a lot of research. They could be asked to make a presentation about it and so they need to investigate about it and put the findings in a formal report.
- Senior Executives – It is not only the employees that have to deal with reports. High-level executives within the company are also not exempt from doing reports. High-level executives in the company such as the CEO and vice-president would also need to make reports to the board of directors.
- Business Owners – Business owners are also expected to make reports about the status of their businesses. They may have to do sales reports or when expanding their business, a feasibility report.
- Medical People – You may think that people in the medical field are free from the hassle of dealing with paper works but they are also doing this task as they always prepare reports regarding their patient’s health. People examining the lab results of patients also make reports.
What Makes a Good Report?
Virtually anyone has made a report or was asked to. This means that you need to know how to make one. In order to do that, let us first examine what elements your report needs to have for it to be considered a good report. Listed below are some of the elements that make a good report.
- A good report is comprehensive but concise at the same time. The report that you do needs to cover all the aspects of the topic that was given to you but it should also be a compact document.
- A good report is always accurate. Bear in mind that the data on the reports needs to be based on facts that have been verified. You have to dedicate your time and effort into doing a thorough and rigorous research process so that you only get factual data.
- A good report should be presented in an easy-to-use format for readers. You need to keep your reader in mind when making a report. Make sure that reading it should not be a hard experience. All components should be present and presented in a logical order so readers are not confused.
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The Report Format
It is said that reports are official and formal documents and it follows that a format needs to be followed when making one. However, it is also previously stated that reports are done by different people on different topics and from different industries. This means that there are certain components that would be present in one report but could not be found in another. These sections may be specific to a given industry and so they are not part of some reports.
In writing one, you would need to present all your data in sections and headings and sub-headings. Dividing the report into sections help in making a much more effective report. This is common in most forms and documents such as requisition forms, application forms, and so on. There are general sections in any report that are usually present in a report format and they are listed below.
- Title Page – Make sure to use a title that provides an accurate description of the research that you did. It needs to be concise but it also needs to capture the essence of the study. Usually, the names of the people involved in the study are placed on the title page together with the name and logo of the organization.
- Abstract – This is a short general overview of the whole research. This is also where you state the results of the study, your conclusion, and the recommendation that you made. State all these things but do not go into details as the Abstract should be kept short.
- Introduction – The introduction is the part where you give the readers a background of the whole study. State what is the problem and how it came to be. The purpose of doing the report is also stated in this part.
- Discussion – This part is very important because it forms the body of the whole report. This is where you lay out all the data that you have gathered, the way in which you were able to obtain all those data, and so on. Present everything that you have researched that are essential in supporting the conclusion and recommendations that you made.
- Summary of Results – State in this section the results of the research done. Make sure that the results are presented in a quantifiable manner by showing them in graphs, charts, and tables. This way, it is much easier to interpret these results and you have quick evidence that would back up your research.
- Conclusion – Summarize the results of your findings in this section. Explain what the study has accomplished and its significance to you, other people, the organization, and so on. The conclusion is where you present everything that was already in the report so make sure to not introduce any new information here.
- References – It is likely that you cited several sources throughout your report document. Make sure to provide the full details of the sources that you used in the research.
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Tips in Making a Report
Everyone has probably made a report at some point in their lives, if not during school, which is unlikely, then definitely at work. Report making is no easy task. You are just given a topic or a problem and you need to conduct a lot of research so that you can solve this problem. The research you need to do is not just any kind of research either. You need to make an extensive amount of research because the data you gather form that research will be used as support for the whole study. We understand that it is hard to make a report. Listed below are some useful tips that you can use when you are making one.
- Determine the report’s aim and objective. The objective of the report is the one thing you need to always keep in mind as that will determine the direction that the report is going. When in doubt as to what goes into the report, always go back to the objective that was given.
- Know who your readers are and write for them. When you do not know who your readers are, you are writing aimlessly. Be sure to first determine who your readers will be, their background, familiarity with the subject matter, etc., as that will translate well to your readers. Always keep your readers in mind when you are writing.
- Make you visuals work to your advantage. The great thing about visuals such as images and illustrations is that they effectively grab the attention of the readers. Additionally, when done right, they could actually be used to augment and supplement your content.
- Make it look like it’s an easy read. Nobody likes to spend too much time reading about a topic they may not even be that interested in in the first place. There are design strategies that you can use when making your report. Carefully consider the type and size of the font you use. Make sure to also know how to properly distribute content on a page so it looks like it will be easy to read.
There are many kinds of reports one would be asked to do. There are recruitment reports, incident reports, internship reports, audit reports, and so on. We understand that report making requires a lot of work so we created these sample reports in PDF format to make the writing process an easier task for you.
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