When Neeraj got a job in the production department of a chemicals company, he faced a major challenge in the first few days itself.
Right after his first shift, Neeraj’s production manager asked him to write a report to describe all the unit operations in the process of manufacturing chemicals.
The day after he submitted his first report, it was sent back to him with a lot of comments from the production manager. He scrutinized it thoroughly, saying the report failed to provide a detailed note on the unit operations during the previous shift.
Neeraj was upset about creating a bad impression at the very start of the job. He immediately set out to make amends and started researching on ‘how do you write a report’. In the process, he found Harappa Education’s Writing Proficiently course through which he learned the GRT—Goal, Recipient, and Tone—Framework of effective writing.
These three elements bring clarity and make your writing more effective. The first step to effective writing is to identify the goal of your communication. But having a goal isn’t enough; you also need to know your recipient. And finally, the tone of your communication is important
The course gave him some tips on how to write a report.
How to Write a Report
1. Understand the aim of the report
In Neeraj’s case, the report aimed to collect the details about the operations performed in chemical manufacturing units. Your manager may ask you to create a sales, project, or audit report. Once you have a clear picture of the report’s purpose, collecting the right information and writing the report will be easier.
2. Know the target audience
Ask yourself if you are writing a report for an official event, an annual general meeting, or a project? It’s important to understand the target audience before deciding what information, writing style, structure, and tone to use in the report. Conveying the right message to your target audience through the report is crucial.
For example, a slightly casual and conversational writing style may appeal to your juniors or colleagues, while the management may prefer a more formal tone.
3. Decide on the structure and layout
Once you have a clear idea of the report’s objectives, target audience, and the information you need to present, you must decide on its structure. The structure will differ based on the type of report you are preparing. But here’s the most common structure you will find when searching for ‘How to write a report in English’:
- Executive summary
- Table of contents
- Main body
- Reference list
4. Get down to writing
This is the most crucial part of the stages of writing a report. While you create the first draft, here are some tips on how to write a report:
- Keep the tone of the report formal
- Write short sentences
- The report should be distributed in three parts: introduction, body, and conclusion
- Never forget to edit and proofread the content
Guidelines on How to Write a Report
Reports should not only present the facts and figures but also provide corroborative references and theories to substantiate the facts you’re mentioning.
Let’s understand this through an example. Michelangelo, the great sculptor and painter, has several masterpieces to his credit. The Statue of David, an 18-foot-tall marble sculpture in Florence, is one of them.
One day while working on this statue, a little boy went up to him and asked what he was doing with the flawed rock of marble. Michelangelo replied that he was hitting the rock to set the little angel hiding inside it free.
Similarly, after writing the first draft, which may include a lot of information, you should edit and proofread the content. Remove unnecessary details and change the sentence structures, if needed, to create an impressive and constructive report.
A meticulously designed report will offer a 360-degree view on any topic you’re writing about and provide an efficient summary.
The PREP model of writing that you learn in Harappa’s Writing Proficiently course can help you design an efficient report.
This method has four stages:
P or Point or stating the main point briefly
R or Reason or providing reasons to substantiate the point
E or Example/Evidence or providing examples to validate the reasons
P or Point or adding a concluding point while re-emphasizing the main point
Harappa Education helps you hone the skills necessary to make the best of all growth opportunities. Master the report writing skill which is a great tool for your professional journey. Register with Harappa Education today.
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