What are the parts of a report
The report is a document that allows us to present specific results of work, studies, research, or analysis. As a general rule, the text is written in a formal and informative language that includes a specific and concrete vocabulary.
To inform, as its name indicates, this written exposition aims to describe the qualities, characteristics, and context of any event. This results in an orderly text based on observation and analysis. Do you want to know more? In HowOrWhat.com, we explain what the parts of a report are. Find out everything about this type of academic text below.
Types of reports
Now that we know what a report is, we can differentiate between different types of reports, which will depend on the purpose of the researcher, the length, content, and characteristics of the text. For this reason, the categorization of a report can be classified according to its structure, content, and length.
Reports according to their extension
Although we tend to think that reports are usually very long texts, there are two types of reports depending on their length that generally depend on the subject on which the report is made:
Executive reports (short): these documents do not exceed 8-10 pages.
Long reports: exceed 10 pages in length.
Reports according to their content
The reports are classified according to the subject or content to which they are addressed, from which we can distinguish:
They are focused on scientific research and use technicalities and their language, rigorous and very formal. These reports are aimed at exclusive readers, such as doctors, researchers, engineers, physicists, among others.
Technical reports are usually addressed to public or private organizations that have commissioned an investigation or study on a specific topic. Technical terms and language similar to scientific texts are used for the writing, but always taking into account the intended reader (psychologists, statisticians, businessmen, etc.) to ensure that it is accessible to read. An example of a technical report is management reports, the reports of practices, and reading reports.
These documents are intended for the general public, so they are usually written in language that is accessible and understandable to all readers. These types of reports usually appear in newspapers, magazines, or other publications.
These are texts addressed to a company or organization, but which can also be made known to the general public. This may be the case for clinical reports, although these may also be exclusively scientific.
Although this is the general classification of the reports according to their content, we can find many other types of reports depending on the sector or area to which the analyzes are directed. They stand out from them:
- Financial report
- Academic report
- Report on internships or practices
- Work report
- Work performance report
- Psycho-technical report
- Investigation report
Reports according to their structure
Depending on the way a report is organized, the structure of the text, and the presentation of your ideas, these documents can be divided into the following categories:
Expository reports: these are documents that collect all the information on a topic and present it, without making evaluations or including conclusions with subjective connotations. They can also be called a dossier.
Analytical reports: analytical reports are those that have the objective of justifying a decision or an action, generally raised in advance. They are also often known as a “project” or “proposal.”
Persuasive reports: this type of report is intended to convince the addressee, to make a concrete and specific decision following the line of the study presented.
Parts of a report
As a general rule, reports tend to follow the same structure, although the content is different. However, this structure could vary depending on the purpose of the document. Broadly speaking, the parts of a report are summarized in three main sections :
- The introduction, in which the main idea on which the analysis and justification of the report are carried out is exposed.
- The development, or part in which the procedures followed and the methodology used in collecting the information is explained
- The conclusion, in which the results obtained and the evaluations are exposed.
This structure may vary, adding elements and sections or parts, always depending on the type of report we are preparing.
We will explain the parts of the report in more detail below.
The cover page of the report is the first thing the recipient will see. It is generally sober and formal, but it should include basic information such as:
- Report title
- Report author-name
- Document elaboration date
Place of preparation or presentation of the document
Selecting a good title is important so that the reader, at a glance, knows what the document is talking about. The title should summarize a clear idea, related to the subject of the document, in a short sentence.
Every report must include an index, a fundamental part to structure the document. The index indicates all sections of the report, as well as the total number of pages. Likewise, this part acts as a guide for the reader, who can turn to it when he wants to search for a specific section within the document.
The introduction to the report is a brief overview of the main topic of the report. This introduction is one of the most important parts of the document, as it is a presentation letter for the work and will help the report to be properly understood in its entirety.
To do this, the introduction must precisely and concretely highlight both the idea and the objective of this report, taking into account that this part should never exceed 2 pages.
The development of body is the part in which the main information of the investigation is exposed. In addition to text, the body can be supplemented with graphs, extracts, diagrams, footnotes, and other resources to explain the procedure through which the research was conducted.
All essential information from the study or analysis should be included since it is the part with the greatest content and the central axis of the work.
The conclusions present the results of the report, the most important or with the most weight. This part must answer the questions posed in the introduction, these gave entry to the development of the research and raised all those questions that arose on the subject in question.
In some reports, these conclusions are usually objective, as is the case with expository reports, which can sometimes dispense with them. However, the conclusions can also be subjectivity, as they can try to convince the reader with the analysis presented, just as with persuasive reports.
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