How to Write Up a Report

A report helps professionals communicate in business.
A report helps professionals communicate in business. (Image: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

When you are required to write a professional report, you maybe confused about the information to include. Business writing, particularly for reports, often has a format and style that should be followed. When you are accustomed to writing in the format and style required for professional reports, you should be able to write up a report quickly and easily.

Review the style of report writing. Unlike narrative or essay writing, report writing is highly efficient. Any superfluous words should be removed, and the language is simple and direct. Use active voice and avoid redundant information.

Add bullet items whenever you can. Rather than explaining something in sentence form, a report will explain it with a bullet list. For example, the features of a business project would not be written in paragraph form, but rather listed out with bullets.

Break up paragraphs so that each one is only a few lines long. Report writing does not include lengthy paragraphs.

Avoid including information that your audience already knows. With an essay, you often assume that the reader knows nothing of the topic. In writing a report, delete all information that your audience already knows. For example, if you’re writing a report about a new company policy for the management staff, do not include general information about your company that the managers would already know. However, that information might be included if the report is for a group of new employees.

Include supplemental materials with the business report. Things like charts, graphs, photographs, tables, diagrams and other visuals can be used to enhance the report and make the meaning clearer.

Put headings throughout the report to make referencing the various sections easier for the reader.

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