8/20/2021Business Communication for Success | OER Commons1/99.4 ReportLearning Objectives1. Discuss the main parts of a report.2. Understand the different types of reports.3. Write a basic report.What Is a Report?Figure 9.6
8/20/2021Business Communication for Success | OER Commons2/9Choose a type of report by its function, and display the information in a vivid way that is easilyunderstood.Pixabay– CC0 public domain.Reportsare documents designed to record and convey information to the reader. Reports are part ofany business or organization; from credit reports to police reports, they serve to document specificinformation for specific audiences, goals, or functions. The type of report is often identified by itsprimary purpose or function, as in an accident report, a laboratory report, a sales report, or even abook report. Reports are often analytical, or involve the rational analysis of information. Sometimesthey simply “report the facts” with no analysis at all, but still need to communicate the informationin a clear and concise format. Other reports summarize past events, present current data, andforecast future trends. While a report may have conclusions, propositions, or even a call to action,the demonstration of the analysis is the primary function. A sales report, for example, is notdesigned to make an individual sale. It is, however, supposed to report sales to date, and mayforecast future sales based on previous trends. This chapter is designed to introduce you to thebasics of report writing.
8/20/2021Business Communication for Success | OER Commons3/9Types of ReportsReports come in all sizes, but are typically longer than a page and somewhat shorter than a book.The type of report depends on its function. The function of the report is its essential purpose, oftenindicated in the thesis or purpose statement. The function will also influence the types of visualcontent or visual aids, representing words, numbers, and their relationships to the central purpose ingraphic, representational ways that are easy for the reader to understand. The function may alsocontribute to parameters like report length (page or word count) or word choice and readability.“Focusing on the content of your longer business documents is not only natural but necessarybecause doing so helps ensure complete, correct information” (Bovee, C., and Thill, J., 2010).Reports vary by function, and they also vary by style and tradition. Within your organization, theremay be employer-specific expectations that need to be addressed to meet audience expectations.