8 Types Of Report Writing

Depending on the kind of job or activities you engage in, sometimes you will be required to write different types of reports. A number of the crucial pieces of information you’ll be required to report are the working process, objectives, achievements, and challenges faced. Writing a powerful report informs better judgment among shareholders, lures new investors, and creates a powerful image. But, really, how many different types of report writing are there? Learn the varied classifications, for you to recognize what type you really need to write. However, before diving into the various types of report writing, let us understand what report writing is all about.

Types Of Report Writing


What Is Report Writing?

A report can be defined as a methodical, well-organized document that defines and analyzes a particular issue or a problem. The purpose of a report is to supply information to its readers. In other words, a report may be a specific kind of writing organized around concisely, identifying and examining issues, events, or findings that have happened. Some of these include events that have occurred within a corporation or findings from research projects or investigations. One important thing about a report is that it should be accurate, and objective.

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Features Of Reports

  • A report is to be prepared in a proper form and style. The form and style depend on the reason or purpose of the report.
  • It is prepared for a definite purpose and one general purpose is to pass information. Other purposes include compiling records, providing guidance to action or judgment, making evidence, etc.
  • A report is specific.
  • A report is based upon facts and is also most often backed up with some statistics data, references, etc.
  • The fundamental function of a report is to communicate some facts to an individual, or group of individuals, or members of an organization or public at large.
  • A report is addressed to some specific reader or readers.
  • Reports are meant to satisfy some characteristics for their effectiveness.

Types Of Report Writing

There are different types of report writing according to categories or characteristics. They include :

  • Formal or Informal Reports
  • Vertical or Lateral Reports
  • Informational or Analytical Reports
  • Proposal Report
  • Functional Reports.
  • Short or Long Reports
  • Internal or External Reports
  • Periodic Reports
Formal Or Informal Reports

An informal report’s goal is to educate, interpret, and make recommendations. It typically takes the form of a note, letter, or a very short document, such as a monthly financial report, research, and development report, or other similar documents. In contrast to a formal report, this one is shorter and more informal. It is written in the style and guidelines of the company or organization. The informal report has a more conversational tone and is more popular.

An informal report typically includes the following sections:

  • Title
  • Introduction
  • Discussion
  • Recommendations, and
  • Conclusion

Formal reports are meticulously structured; they emphasize objectivity and organization, provide a great deal of detail, and are written in a style that avoids personal pronouns. A formal report aims to collect and analyze data as well as report information. The formal report is lengthy and complex, and it may be written in bound book volumes.

A formal report usually contains the following elements:

  • Title page
  • Executive summary
  • Introduction
  • Method/methodology
  • Results/findings
  • Discussion
  • Conclusions
  • Recommendations
  • Appendices
  • Bibliographical details

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Vertical Or Lateral Reports

This classification of report writing refers to the direction a report moves. Vertical reports are reports that are moving upward or downward in the hierarchy, and they assist with management power. Lateral reports, on the other hand, help with organization coordination. A lateral report travels between units at the same organizational level (for example, the development and finance departments).

Informational Or Analytical Reports

An informational report is a compilation of data and knowledge on a specific subject. The expense report is one such report: it is a collection of data that is used to request funding allocation. The format is rigidly prescribed, and it is often completed after a business trip.

An analytical report is the other kind of report writing.  This report type begins with information gathering and research, followed by an overview that leads to one or more recommendations. Consider a report that assists a business in determining where to open a new shop. The report could evaluate three properties in terms of traffic, land cost, and nearby shops, and then suggest the best site among the alternatives.

Proposal Report

The proposal report writing is a problem-solving report with a twist. A proposal is a written document that explains how one company should meet the needs of another. The majority of government agencies use “requests for proposal,” or RFPs, to publicize their requirements. The RFP identifies a requirement, and prospective suppliers submit proposal reports outlining how they can fulfill the requirement.

The following sections make up the periodic report’s structure:

  • Project objectives
  • Work progress and achievements
  • Project management during the period
Functional Reports

Functional reports might be easier for you to understand. Accounting reports, marketing reports, financial reports, and several other reports that are classified based on their intended use are included in this category.

Short Or Long Reports

These reports are classified according to their lengths, as the names indicate. A two-page report or memorandum is considered brief, while a 30-page report is considered lengthy. Longer reports are among the report styles that use a structured style of formal writing.

Internal Or External Reports

Internal reports circulate within the business enterprise. External reports, such as company annual reports, are written for dissemination outside of the organization.

Periodic Reports

Periodic reports are reports that are issued regularly. These types of reports are typically vertical reports to check overall company operations or reports published by government agencies, companies, and non-profits.  Incident reports, revenue reports, feasibility reports, and progress reports are all examples of periodic reports.

While no standardized report classification has been settled upon, these report categories are widely used and provide a nomenclature for the analysis (and use) of reports. The format of a report may also be used to classify it. Keep in mind that the classification structure mentioned above overlaps.

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