|While writing a short formal report, you need to follow an outline which includes certain things that are required in business writing. You should first get the title of the report clear. The title should give an idea of what the report is all about. It should also include your name and the course for which you have done the research. The date should also be included, so that it gives a clear idea of when the research was done.
Next, comes the summary or the abstract of the research. It should describe in brief what the report is all about. The abstract should pay attention to the procedure, results, objectives, besides the conclusion. It’s the focal point which holds the report together. Many a time, people don’t read the complete report, but will only go through the abstract, so providing clear information is of utmost importance. It should not be too long; at the most a couple of paragraphs would do. Once the abstract is done, you need to create the table of contents. It includes the headlines and page numbers.
Even though an outline is usually not included in a report, yet, you can choose to include it, as it helps in giving the readers an idea of your thought process. It would also give your readers an idea of what to expect in the report.
The outline is followed by the introduction, which prepares the tone of the formal report. It gives readers the required information in brief, besides helping them to understand the report in the proper context. The introduction also includes an analysis of the theoretical aspect of the research, the basic principles which you want to study and the theory which you apply to get to a conclusion.
This is followed by the methods followed for the research. Here, you need to explain the process which you have followed for getting the desired result. It also includes the details of the result, graphs, and tables which shows the results (if any), and how the research relates to theory.
Next comes the discussion, which in reality is the main body of the report. Here, you need to give details of whatever you have written in the introduction. It should provide all supporting information, research, and statistics which back up the process which you have carried out. The discussion should give in-depth details, and while writing it, make sure that readers understand whatever you want to convey.
The discussion is followed by the conclusion, which gives a summary of your findings. It should be a summary and analysis of your research. The appendix comes last, and this would include all the resources which you have used. Here, you need to mention the names of books, publications, and authors whose work you have referred to.
|The Title Page
Table of Contents
You need to remember the audience and their needs while writing the report. The style should be such that it can be easily interpreted.