How to write Informational Report: Best Guide

How to write Informational Report: Best Guide

When you talk of writing an informational report, many students find it like an intimidating process since they are not aware of what it contains. This article will elaborate on what it is, its contents and how to write it. What is an informational report? An informational report is a writing that contains details of information, data or facts about an event without providing an analysis or recommendations. The main objective is to present information without explaining about it.

When you focus on how to write an informational report, go for a topic you like and understand. Allocate enough time to research on your topic in order to provide logical and relevant information. Ensure all data collected is well organized. You can do this by listing down ideas and later writing them into paragraphs. When writing, it is important to always start with the most important points to the least. Always revise your work before submitting it. Ensure your report can easily be understood by people with little knowledge of the topic of discussion.

There are various types of reports which includes; scientific, business and research reports. When writing either of these reports, the format remains the same. An informational report consists of an introduction, main body and a conclusion.

The topic of your report and thesis should appear in your introduction. Note that, a good introduction will draw attention of your readers. Always let your introduction start with a hook. The main body of your report should have details, facts and discussion based on your report.

Conclusion should be the summary of all contents presented in your report (avoid re-writing your introduction). Always avoid introducing new ideas in your conclusion that were previously not stated in your thesis.

Informational report

Tips on how to write an informational report

When you focus on writing a good informational report, there are steps to follow to make it presentable. Here is a guide on how to write a report.

  1. Determine your guide. Ensure you read instructions carefully and information provided about your report. This will help to understand your assignment. Outline purpose of your report considering what you want to write about, the content your report should have and why it is needed. In addition, consider time needed to write and your target audience. Always ensure you seek essay writing service for assistance on anything you don’t understand about your assignment.

Choosing a topic you are conversant with will guide you when doing your research and actual writing. Having these in mind will help you make an effective plan in report writing.

  1. Determine procedures to use. Decide on procedures you want to deploy in your writing. During decision making, ensure you keep in mind what kind of information is needed. More so, inquire if there is any need for background reading and the types of documents or articles that may be required in writing your informational report.

In addition, think if you require any assistance from library or if you will conduct an interview to collect data. You can decide to use your own observation in researching. Decide also if it is necessary to keep a record of data collected and how to facilitate this. Putting these facts into consideration will enhance an easy flow of ideas to include in your informational report.

  1. Compile information needed. Collect all the information needed for your report. This is well achieved by reading books, talking to people and interviewing them. You can also observe people around and social activities they get involved in. Ensure information collected is relevant and suitable for your report.

Assess your work by going through recommendations and requirements that were provided for your report. Check the marking scheme and examine your work by awarding marks to yourself.

  1. Formulate your structure. Structures of most reports are similar though; some details make them differ when writing. These includes: type of a report you are writing about. For example, a research report structure will be different from a business report, laboratory report etc.

The status of your report makes a difference in your report writing. A formal report structure is different from an informal structure. In addition, length of your report can alter your report structure thus making it different from the rest.

Regardless of the type of report to be written, all report structures constitutes of; title, summary, contents of your report, an introduction, procedure and findings etc.

  1. Write first draft of your report. Start your report with a heading consisting of topic you are writing about. Introduce your topic and bring out its argument. Ensure that your introduction is engaging to capture attention of your audience. Provide additional information on your topic and include points to be discussed. This will help your reader to know what to expect in your report. Continue by filling in with all information you have collected.

When writing the body of your informational report, ensure that each paragraph contains a major point of your topic. Consider starting your paragraphs with the most important points to the least. Providing evidence is important to support your points. These evidences should be derived from research sources used to gather information. To keep your report organized and have a good flow, link these researches to main paragraphs by paraphrasing or quoting them directly. You can also analyze the topic and use your ideas as evidence in relation to how you understand the topic. Link these ideas to your thesis.

Write a draft on terms of reference, course of action and findings.  Note that, report findings form the foundation of your writing. These findings are compiled through reading books or journals, conducting interviews and exploring, and also by observation.

When writing informative reports, using pictures and graphs can enable reader to easily understand your report. They are easier to interpret thus making your report easy to read and follow.

When writing your draft, ensure compliments and long messages that couldn’t be incorporated in the body are written in your appendix.eg spreadsheets and brochures.

  1. Analyze your research and conclude. Informational report writing requires an analysis of your research findings. Having this analysis will enable you to write a conclusion by interpreting your findings. It is in the conclusion that you show importance of information in your report and the value it adds to already existing researches. In case of any problems encountered during your research, provide solutions.

Let your conclusion be descriptive on data collected. This will enable you to explain how situations happened, significance of your findings to organization requiring your report and offer solutions. Avoid incorporating new ideas in your conclusion that were not previously presented in your informational report.

  1. Write down your recommendations. In an informational report, recommendations refer to your own thinking on solutions to problems encountered when collecting data. To write your recommendation, read through your research findings and conclusions. Think of the dos and don’ts of person receiving your report.

Ensure your recommendations are actual and rational in relation to your conclusions. A well detailed list of recommendations will enable reader to point out what needs to be done and by whom. List your recommendations from the most important ones to the least.

  1. Write your summary and table of contents. Summary and table of contents in an informational report are written after finalizing with your structure and recommendations. Though it appears at the beginning of your report, it proves impossible to write them down until you are through with your report. Your summary should be short and precise. It is in the summary your reader will know what your report was all about.
  2. Write a reference list. A reference list contains a record of all sources you used in collecting data for your report. The main objective is to provide your readers with valid information they will require to in finding these sources. Organize your references in alphabetical order starting with authors’ last name.
  3. Read, revise and edit your work. It is crucial to revise your report before submitting it. In your revision, consider the following:
  • Check on any information that could be left out in your writing.
  • Ensure you followed all guidelines and answered questions accordingly.
  • Check your writing skills and ensure all necessary sections needed in your report are included and written in order.
  • Ensure your thesis is rational in relation to your recommendations and conclusions.
  • Countercheck if your diagrams, graphs and tables are well labeled.
  • Check if your informational report format is correct, well numbered and has a good flow.
  • Check on your grammar and listen to your report to determine whether it is clear and logical.

Note that, when writing an informational report, avoid jargon. Use simple words that are easy to understand. This will help the audience understand without straining.

Always consider your target audience. This will enable you determine the correct choice of words. When writing information reports, proving factual information is crucial. Avoid hypothesis in your report.

Types of reports

There are various types of report writing. These are;

  • Formal and Informal reports
  • Short and Long reports
  • Proposal reports
  • Vertical and Lateral reports
  • Informational and Analytical reports
  • Internal and external reports
  • Functional reports
  • Periodic reports

Formal and Informal Reports. These two types of reports are mainly are mainly used to present business reports. When writing a formal report, using professional tone is crucial. Ensure its structure is carefully presented. Write these reports (formal reports) in an organized manner bringing out the aim of their writing. Make sure you eliminate personal pronouns. An informal report is written as a spoken conversation. Its structure is short and precise with natural and casual language. An internal memo in an organization is a good example of an informal report.

These two reports are however different in their presentation. Formal reports are descriptive thus written as a narrative whereas informal reports are presented in a letter format. Formal reports are period while Informal reports are written often (daily or weekly). Formal reports are distributed to first class people in administration while informal reports are distributed to all members within the firm.

Short and Long Reports. The length of a report depends on the subject, intended use and target audience. Short reports are categorized under informal reports while long reports are under formal reports. Long reports are more detailed and cover a wider range of topics. Writing a long report calls for an understanding of the topic. This type of report is written in a prearranged format. On the contrary, short reports are precise and hit direct to the main agenda. A letter and a memo are examples of short reports.  There are some common aspects in both long and short reports. However they got some differences. These include;

  1. In your introduction when writing short reports, less information is required whereas in long report, much introductory elements are required.
  2. Short reports don’t require any format while long report calls for a formal report structure.
  3. Short reports are usually written to people you know thus creating a personal relationship with your audience which is different with the long reports. There is no personal relationship created between writer and reader in long reports.
  4. Short reports are usually informal whereas long reports are formal.
  5. Short reports are shorter and may constitute a page or two while long reports are long and have many pages.
  6. Short reports are usually written to people in the same firm e.g. an internal memo, while a long report can target people in the same organization or even outside the organization.
  7. Short reports are written directly without analysis .It hits direct to the main point and offers recommendations. On the contrary, long reports are written after making an analysis and interpretation of your data. They provide solutions to problems encountered in your report and offers recommendations.
  8. Short reports are written as a routine or to point out a problem that reoccurs. Long reports are written for uncommon complex issues.

Proposal Reports. Proposal reports are mainly written to organizations presenting ideas and offering solutions to a problem. They can also be written as reference documents considering solutions offered prior.  .For example if you got a project that you have not received clearance or authority to start, first you need to present your proposal before approval. When writing a proposal report, the main objective is to present your logical argument and detail everything that will favor your ideas. Consider requirements needed by the organization to include in your report. Proposal reports are lengthy and constitutes a number of pages.

Vertical and Lateral Reports. These reports classify the direction your reports are travelling to. Reports moving upward or downward ranking are called vertical reports. These are mainly reports from management in control of an organization. Lateral reports are reports written targeting people on the same organization level, e.g. accounts and finance departments. They help in coordination in an organization.

Informational and Analytical report. An informational report is written containing details of information, data or even facts about an event without providing an analysis or recommendations. Examples of informational reports are; annual reports, reports of personnel attendance etc. Analytical reports also contain data, facts and information but they analyze and offer preferred recommendations in solving problems. Example of analytical report is; scientific research.

Internal and External reports. Internal reports are written for people within the same organization. These reports are confidential and are not shared to anyone not belonging in that organization. They are mainly used to improve performance in that firm. In the contrary, an external report is written and distributed outside the firm.

Functional reports. These includes, accounting reports, financial reports and other varieties of reports. Functional reports can inhabit all these other reports. It contains several pages of questions on activities of applicants, their shortcomings and how they effect on their daily lives.

Periodic reports. These are reports containing data and logs that are periodically analyzed. Their analysis is based on hour, day, week, month etc. Periodic reports are mainly used in graph settings. The main objection of a periodic report is to provide information with a goal. Annual or quarterly periodic reports should be presented as a formal report.

Ways of presenting your report

There are various ways you can present your informative report to your audience. One of the ways can be using templates. There are various types of templates. These include; site templates, snippets, form templates etc. There are also report templates which give a narration of report details but they must be straight and brief. Let us look at what are an informational report template and its benefits.

What is an informational report template? An informational report template refers to a document written to provide analysis on a specific topic. This document must be written in a methodical and well organized manner.

The benefits of using templates when writing your informational reports are:

  1. They are practical thus making it easy to use given a short training.
  2. They are comprehensible and consistent.
  3. They can easily be customized to fit your needs.
  4. They can be programmed thus enabling them to be shared digitally.

Using templates is advantageous in that, it will help in saving time and money. This is because, when you use an already designed template, you will consume less time than starting from scratch to create documents. In addition, informational report templates are consistent and easy to understand since they are visible and someone can make judgment by observing.

When you organize an information report directly, in what order should the ideas be presented? The order in which ideas should be presented is as follows;

  1. Write your introduction
  2. Give reasons for your research
  3. Write your recommendations
  4. Write your conclusion

Introduction

Introduction consists of information showing reasons why the report was written, its impact and the target audience. It also consists of background information and solutions to problems encountered during research. Your introduction should have particular objectives about your report. Capture attention of your audience by writing a strong introduction.

 

Reasons for research

In this section, you write about all your research findings, facts and information gathered. The main objective is to provide an analysis of data collected during your research. You can include methods used in your research. Do not include compliments or detailed information here. Instead, you can save the data to be written later in the appendix. Consider interests of organization requiring the report.

Write your recommendations

Recommendations are mostly found in analytical reports. In this section, the main aim is to clarify data collected is supportive to recommendations in your report. This is because readers’ expectation is to find a report that has recommendations with supportive information. Solutions to problems encountered during research are offered here. Recommendations should be valid and logical. Avoid hypothesizing.

Write your conclusion

In this section, offer a brief summary of information presented in your report. Avoid rewriting your introduction and introducing new ideas.

Conclusion

In this article, we have detailed ways on how you can write an informational report since it has been a challenge to most students. You have learnt that an informational report is a writing containing details of information, data or facts about an event. An informational report does not provide analysis or recommendations on the information collected. Its main objective is to present information without explaining about it.

This article gives details on the various types of reports and their ways of writing. When writing informative reports, avoid jargon by using simple words that are easy to understand. This will increase ability of your report to be understood by a larger audience without straining. In addition you can use informational templates to present your report. This helps in saving time and money. Using templates helps reader to understand your report easily since they are visible and can be judged by observing. Always proofread your work before submission.

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