Many job profile requires you to prepare a report on many occasions. But preparing a good report is not as easy as it seems. There is a pattern you should follow. In this article, we will discuss the steps in Report writing.
What is a Report?
A report is a piece of writing in which a particular topic is studied and reported down. It can be prepared by a person or a group of people. A lot of studies are done while writing down a report. The aim of the report is to provide detailed information about the subject to the reader who is unfamiliar with it. The report shares a detailed summary or information of any subject or event, the statistics and data related to the topic, interpretation and possible outcome if any.
The writer has to study a lot for the topic and do a lot of research and come up with possible outcomes. There are different types of reports like Academic reports, Scientific reports, Business reports etc. All these reports are written to brief the reader. A well-written report consists of a title, content table, page, numbers, heading and some subheadings under it, citation and bibliography.
Steps in Report Writing
Selecting a Topic
The very first step in writing a report is selecting a topic. If you were working in a company or organisation then the chances are that you will be provided with a topic in that you don’t have to worry about anything. In the case where you have to choose the topic yourself then choose your topic wisely. Choose a topic which has adequate information to write about. It should be something which is not too general or too specific. Select a topic in which you have many sources to study. You should not be facing problems with getting to the sources. Plus the topic you are selecting should be one in which you are interested to write.
When you are writing a formal report, terms of reference are mentioned which answers the question of the readers like – What the report is about? Why it is being written and what its importance is? When the report was written? And What is the motive of the report? All these questions should be answered while a person is reading a report.
These points help the reader to better understand the report more clearly. These are explained in the first paragraph of the report only. This point does not prove to be helpful for the readers but the writer is also benefits in the writing process.
Report writing always requires you to do research on your selected topic. Sometimes you will have easy access to the information you require for writing a report but still, you have to dig a lot and collect information about the topic you have to write about. Many times while writing an official report you have to gather information and organise it in a way that the data is easily understood by the readers. For this, you may sometimes need to create graphs or charts to present your information. To gather information always use official sources and keep a track of them too so that we you are questioned about the source of your information you are answerable.
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Outline of Report
Writing an outline before the report is important as it includes all the sections, heading and subheadings of your report. It gives a gist of your report. Generally, a report has many subheadings under it so the reader is not lost that’s why an outline is provided. Include all the important sections and subsections in your report. It is suggested that the outline of a report should be prepared during your research period so that the writer has an exact idea of which information to include and what to exclude. You can edit the outline and make a few changes before finalizing it.
Rough Draft or First Draft
A rough draft or first draft is always a time-consuming step but it is the most important step. In the first draft, the writer puts all the ideas or essential points he wants in the report it helps to organise your data and all the information in a more systematic way. It is obvious that you will make mistakes here while writing a rough draft don’t be afraid of it. You can always edit or add something. Preparing a rough draft eliminates the possibility of major mistakes in your report.
After writing a report if you come across a problem and know a possible outcome of it then you should mention it. This looks more professional and the readers will know that you have put a lot of effort and study while preparing the report.
Editing and Proofread
As soon as you finish your rough draft start editing it. First, read your rough draft carefully and now start editing it. You have to make a few minors or even major changes like moving a sentence or even a paragraph. Read the report again and again, and check for grammar mistakes and data. As soon you finish your editing you see how good the report has turned out. Proofread your report for the final time. Look for any minute mistakes which have gone unnoticed while looking for big mistakes.
Points to remember
- Whenever you start writing a report keep in mind the target audience. Keep in mind for whom you are preparing the report and what information they need.
- Prepare a rough draft along with an outline for your report.
- Proofread every time and fix the major and minor problems.
- Take others’ advice also and be open to feedback.
A report is a piece of writing in which a particular topic is studied and reported down. It can be prepared by a person or a group of people.
The report is divided into three parts –