Effective Report Writing
What is Report Writing ?
A report can be defined as a testimonial or account of some happening. It is purely based on observation and analysis. A report gives an explanation of any circumstance. In todays corporate world, reports play a crucial role. They are a strong base for planning and control in an organization, i.e., reports give information which can be utilized by the management team in an organization for making plans and for solving complex issues in the organization.
A report discusses a particular problem in detail. It brings significant and reliable information to the limelight of top management in an organization. Hence, on the basis of such information, the management can make strong decisions. Reports are required for judging the performances of various departments in an organization.
An effective report can be written going through the following steps-
- Determine the objective of the report, i.e., identify the problem.
- Collect the required material (facts) for the report.
- Study and examine the facts gathered.
- Plan the facts for the report.
- Prepare an outline for the report, i.e., draft the report.
- Edit the drafted report.
- Distribute the draft report to the advisory team and ask for feedback and recommendations.
The essentials of good/effective report writing are as follows-
- Know your objective, i.e., be focused.
- Analyze the niche audience, i.e., make an analysis of the target audience, the purpose for which audience requires the report, kind of data audience is looking for in the report, the implications of report reading, etc.
- Decide the length of report.
- Disclose correct and true information in a report.
- Discuss all sides of the problem reasonably and impartially. Include all relevant facts in a report.
- Concentrate on the report structure and matter. Pre-decide the report writing style. Use vivid structure of sentences.
- The report should be neatly presented and should be carefully documented.
- Highlight and recap the main message in a report.
- Encourage feedback on the report from the critics. The feedback, if negative, might be useful if properly supported with reasons by the critics. The report can be modified based on such feedback.
- Use graphs, pie-charts, etc to show the numerical data records over years.
- Decide on the margins on a report. Ideally, the top and the side margins should be the same (minimum 1 inch broad), but the lower/bottom margins can be one and a half times as broad as others.
- Attempt to generate readers interest by making appropriate paragraphs, giving bold headings for each paragraph, using bullets wherever required, etc.