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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There are various types of report writing. These are;
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;
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.
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:
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;
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.
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.
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.
In this section, offer a brief summary of information presented in your report. Avoid rewriting your introduction and introducing new ideas.
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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