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Kinds of Reports

Last updated date: 23rd May 2024
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When we talk of formal documentation, reports are the first things that come to our mind. They are written to provide official information to a large group of people. This could be the employees in a company, school, and college students, etc. Some common things to keep in mind while writing all kinds of reports are as follows.

  • All the facts, analyses, and statistics that you present in a report have to be 100% correct without any errors. Alongside, they also need to be bias-free. 

  • Before submitting the report, after making the required edits, ensure that you proofread it properly. Check all the facts for authentication. 

  • Reports mainly include providing the reader with a piece of information about a topic, without including any personal opinions. It simply involves portraying the facts in all different types of reports. Alongside, data, charts, etc. are added to justify them. 

  • Instead of giving any opinions, all you can do is provide suggestions for the factual report. Understand the target audience well. It may vary depending on the various types of reports. 

What Are The Types of A Report?

Depending on the situation, there is a classification of reports. You must know all the purposes that reports serve, based on which you can understand which type is the best for the specific case. To make a clear decision and have a better understanding of making proper reports, here is the classification of reports.

  • Long Reports and Short Reports: Their name justifies it all. A short report is also called a memorandum. It can be one or two pages long. However, a long report can even be a hundred or five hundred pages long, depending on the topic. While writing both these reports, one needs to follow a formal and structured format. The long reports mainly begin from a table of contents and end with an appendix.

  • Internal Reports: These kinds of reports stay in the organization itself and are mainly used by the employees, and people who have access to it. Not all are allowed to use their data and content.

  • External Reports: These reports are also called public reports. External reports serve the purpose of providing information to a mass group. This may also include sending out reports in the newspaper, and a company’s annual report, etc.

  • Lateral and Vertical Reports: These vary depending on the hierarchy. The reports which move upward and downward in an organization are called vertical reports. They help in managing the tasks across various levels in a company. Whereas, lateral reports are the ones that travel at the same organizational level. It helps in the coordination of a unit. 

  • Periodic Reports: These reports are prepared based on pre-scheduled dates and sent out accordingly. They usually help in management control. The periodic reports are prepared using computer-generated data. 

  • Formal and Informal Reports: A formal report is usually made for a bigger group. It has a meticulous structure with proper organization. These reports eliminate any personal data and information, including opinions. They provide deep insight and are written in a specific style. Informal reports are used less in comparison to the formal ones. They are usually short messages with a casual language. Informal reports are mostly used between a team, college peers, etc.

  • Informational Reports: These reports contain all the data, statistics, analyses, and facts related to a certain topic. They aim at solving actual problems with these reports. 

  • Proposal Reports: These reports are like a pitch, and are solution-oriented. They aim at problem-solving for a company, helping them deal with the issues better.

  • Functional Reports: These kinds of reports have a specific function. Almost all reports like the financial report, marketing reports, etc. are included in this type of report. 

FAQs on Kinds of Reports

1. What is The Structure of Report Writing?

The reports are usually written in a manner to provide the audience with a structured format of obtaining information. They are usually divided into sections and subsections which help the individual get the correct data. The structure of report writing involves the following elements.

  • Title page: It includes the report topic, name of the individual making the report, submission date, etc.

  • Executive summary: It provides an overview of the report about what all is covered in the report.

  • Table of contents: It is a numbered list of all the topics included in the report.

  • Introduction: It is the beginning of the report, about what the reader can expect from the report.

  • Body: It contains all the data and content related to the topic. It is usually in a heading and subheading format.

  • Conclusion: It sums up all the discussion, analytics, and facts of the data.

  • Reference list: It contains all the references from various sites.

  • Appendix: It is the additional information that is not an integral part of the explanation.

2. What Are The Key Points That Contribute to a Good Report?

Even though you know all the points and the structure of the report, preparing a good one can be a task. To keep the report concise and clear, here are a few points that one must consider.

  • First and foremost, keep the structure intact and organize it well.

  • Choose a topic that is interesting and has some indulging data and facts. You need to keep the reader engaged throughout the report.

  • Support your ideas and points through references and authentic links.

  • Have strong arguments and claims for your report.

  • Check the report well for grammar, spelling, facts, etc.

All these things don’t happen at once. You need to practice well and give a considerable amount of time towards it.

3. What is a Report And How to Get Started With it?

To put down in simple words, a report is a formal piece of writing about a certain topic that explains its details, facts, and analysis. Many times people get confused about what is a report and how to write it. For all the people who are willing to get started with a report, it is important to make thorough research and brainstorm ideas before you finally settle for a topic. Once you finalize the topic, make an outline for it, and then start working accordingly.