In our daily life, at work and outside of it, it is not uncommon for us to have to write a report at some point to report on a situation or problem.
We also speak of scientific or academic reports when we are responsible for clearly explaining in a document a scientific or social problem with data and conclusions.
Whether it is to file a complaint, to make a request, or simply to document a particular situation, this will be the type of document that we will generally write. But some people may find it difficult to write a report. That is why in this article we are providing you with a series of steps on how to write a report, in general.
What is a report?
A report is a type of document written in prose that is made with the aim that the person making it can communicate something related to a situation or topic to other people. Usually they are usually addressed to higher authorities (for example the city council or a superior), Although you can also find reports aimed at communicating something to a professional other than us so that you can work with the same data and compare or develop it.
There is a wide variety of types of reports, which may have different purposes and differentiated structures. However, this article proposes the production of a report which takes into account the general structure of each of them.
Steps to prepare a report
When preparing a report, we must keep in mind that we must first think about how, when and why we are going to do it.. Subsequently, the report will be drafted on the basis of the situation to be reflected and previous considerations.
Below we will explain a number of useful steps to properly write a report.
1. What is our goal?
Before we start writing, we need to think about what we want to achieve with our report. Are we going to ask for the solution to a problem or just store some data so that we can use it later? Do we want to think about scientific research or file a complaint? We need to take this into account when selecting the most relevant type of report for you.
2. Think about the type of text you are going to use
Not all reports are the same, each with its own distinctive characteristics. For example, an explanatory report reflected the data without carrying out any type of interpretation with regard to them, without the possibility of drawing conclusionsWhile the demonstrative type will require the subject to make hypotheses and test them in order to obtain a series of results and conclusions.
3. Gaze at the target
Not only do the why and the how matter, but we need to think about the target audience for our report. This will allow us to adapt the language level to both our needs and those of this audience.
4. Selection and analysis of information
Depending on the previous step, it is essential to gather the information that we want to provide and to structure it correctly so that our speech has a common thread. The type of data to be reflected and who or how the information was extracted should also be considered..
5. We can use graphic elements
Although it depends on the type of report, it is possible to use visual elements that make the data easier to understand.. For example, we are talking about using bar charts to analyze frequencies or to perform benefit and cost analysis.
Although it might sound silly to mention it, correctly title the report in a clear manner, in relation to the subject that implies its realization and easily understandable this is something that makes it much easier for readers to understand.
7. Write the introduction
In this first section of the report in question, we will give a brief summary of the subject to be covered in the report.. It must include the purpose of the report and the problem that generates the need for its existence and the context in which it is carried out.
8. Develop ideas and explain what is sought in development
In the body of the report we will organize and expand the information about the past or the investigation, Specify the methods and actions that show how the situation happened or took place and how the data was obtained. If it is a report that reflects an investigation, aspects such as theoretical models and situational exploration will be incorporated.
9. Draw a conclusion
In the last part of the report the end result of what is explored and reflected in the report or request or request should be reflected what is done in order to resolve the situation. It must be clear and understandable.
10. Language to use
It is essential that the language be clear and concise throughout the wording. It should be written formally and objectively, in the third person and in a passive voice. Facts should be separated from inferences made (if any) and the data processed must be provided directly and clearly explained why it is relevant.
- Bunge, M. (1975). Theory and reality. Barcelona. Ariel.
- Quine, WV (1998). From stimulus to science. Barcelona. Ariel.
- Russell, B. (1959). Human knowledge: its scope and its limits. Madrid. Taurus.