When do you need reports?
- You need to provide detailed information on a specific topic
- Your readers need the information to support existing or new decisions
- You want to make recommendations supported by research
The word report is used to describe a wide range of documents–from a two-page memo detailing the progress of a specific project to a 100-page annual report describing the activities of a corporation to shareholders. You can categorize most reports into three types: descriptive, comparative, and analytical. The type of report you need to write for your company or organization depends upon the needs and expectations of your readers.
A descriptive report provides readers with information related to a specific situation. Here’s an Outline of a Descriptive Report. The majority of reports produced in business are descriptive reports that often also include recommendations.
You write a comparative report when you want to compare two or more factors that your reader needs to evaluate. A well written comparative report presents the reader with a balanced view of the factors being compared so that an informed decision is possible. Here’s an Outline of a Comparative Report.
You write an analytical report when you need to provide your reader with an interpretation of factual information. An analytical report often includes both descriptive and comparative components. Here’s an Outline of an Analytical Report.
Helping You Write and Format a Report
Reports are possibly the most daunting of business documents to write well. Fortunately, I’ve developed techniques to help you organize and present your content. I can work with you to develop the content or I can edit and format a report that you’ve already written.
I can also facilitate workshops to teach your staff how to write a clear and logically structured report in a fraction of the time they are likely taking now.