It is not so difficult to achieve the results visually.
In our day to day, both at work and outside of it, it is not uncommon that on some occasion we must prepare a report to account for a situation or problem.
We also speak of scientific or academic reports when we are charged with the task of clearly explaining in a document a scientific or social problem with data and conclusions.
Whether to file a complaint, to make a request or simply to document a certain situation, this will be the type of document that we are generally going to write. But some people may find it complex to report. That is why in this article we provide you with a series of steps on how to write a report, at a general level.
What is a report?
A report is a type of document written in prose that is carried out with the purpose that the person who makes it can communicate something about a situation or subject to other people. In general, they are usually directed to higher authorities (for example, the City Council or a superior), although reports can also be found aimed at communicating something to a different professional from us so that he can work with the same data and contrast or expand it.
There is a wide variety of report types, which can have different purposes and different structures. However, this article proposes the realization of a report that takes into account the general structure of any of them.
Steps to prepare a report
When preparing a report we must bear in mind that first of all we are going to have to reflect on how, when and why we are going to do it. Subsequently, the actual writing of the report will be carried out based on the situation to be reflected and the previous considerations.
Next we will explain a series of useful steps in order to write a report correctly.
1. What objective do we have?
Before we start writing we must reflect on what we want to achieve with our report. Are we going to request the solution to a problem or simply to store data so we can use it later? Do we want to reflect a scientific investigation or file a complaint? We have to take this into account to select the type of report that is most relevant according to the case.
2. Take into account the type of text you are going to use
Not all reports are the same, and each one may present its own distinctive characteristics. For example, an expository report will reflect data without making any type of interpretation regarding them, there being no possibility of making conclusions, while a demonstrative type will require the subject to elaborate hypotheses and test them in such a way as to obtain a series of results and conclusions.
3. Contemplate the target
Not only does it matter what for or how, but you must think about which public your report is aimed at. This will allow us to adapt the language level to both our needs and those of said audience.
4. Selection and analysis of the info
Based on the previous step, it is essential to gather the information we want to provide and structure it properly so that our discourse has a common thread. The type of data to be reflected and who or how the information was extracted must also be taken into account.
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. We are referring, for example, to the use of bar graphs to analyze frequencies or to carry out a profit and cost analysis.
Although it may seem silly to mention it, the correct title of the report in a clear way, relative to the subject that involves its completion and easily understandable is something that greatly facilitates its understanding by readers.
7. Write the introduction
In this first section of the report in question we will make a brief summary of the subject to be addressed in the report. It should include the objective of the report and the problem that generates the need for its existence and the context in which it is carried out.
8. Expand the ideas and explain the research in the development
In the body of the report we will have and expand the information on the event or investigation, making clear the methods and actions that show how the situation occurred or performed and how to obtain the data. If it is a report that reflects an investigation, aspects such as theoretical models and exploration of the situation will be incorporated.
9. Make a conclusion
The last part of the report should reflect the final result of the explored and reflected in the report or the demand or request that is made in order to resolve the situation. It must be clear and understandable.
10. Language to be used
It is essential that throughout the writing the language is clear and concise. It must be written in a formal and objective way, in the third person and in a passive voice. The facts have to be separated from the inferences that are made (if there are any) and the data that is being dealt with must be offered directly and clearly explained why they are relevant.
- Bunge, M. (1975). Theory and reality. Barcelona. Ariel.
- Quine, WV (1998). From encouragement to science. Barcelona. Ariel.
- Russell, B. (1959). Human knowledge: its scope and its limitations. Madrid. Taurus.