What are the parts of a report?
The report is a document that allows us to publicize 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.
With the will to inform, as its name indicates, this written exhibition aims to describe the qualities, characteristics and context of any event. This translates into an orderly text based on observation and analysis. Want to know more? In a HOWTO, we explain what the parts of a report are. Find out everything about this type of academic text below.
Types of infome
Now that we know what a report is, we can differentiate various types of report, which will depend on the purpose of the researcher, the length, the content and the characteristics of the text. Therefore, the categorization of a report can be classified according to its structure, content and length.
Reports according to their length
While we tend to think that reports are usually very long texts, there are two types of reports according to their length that usually depend on the subject matter on which the report is made:
- Executive reports (short): these documents do not exceed 8 or 10 pages.
- Long reports: they 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:
- Scientific reports: they are focused on scientific research and use technicalities and their own rigorous and very formal language. These reports are aimed at exclusive readers, such as doctors, researchers, engineers, physicists, among others.
- Technical reports: Technical reports are usually addressed to public or private organizations that have commissioned research or study on a specific topic. For the writing, technicalities and a language similar to scientific texts are used, but always taking into account the reader for whom it is intended (psychologists, statisticians, entrepreneurs, etc.) to ensure that its reading is accessible. An example of a technical report are management reports, practice reports and reading reports.
- Disclosure reports: these documents are addressed to the general public, so they are usually written in accessible language and understandable to all readers. This type of report usually appears in newspapers, magazines or other publications.
- Mixed reports: these are texts addressed to a company or organization, but that can also be made known to the general public. This may be the case with clinical reports, although these can also be exclusively scientific.
While 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 the area to which the analyses are directed. Among them are:
- Financial report
- Academic report
- Internship or internship report
- Working 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 carrying out evaluations or including conclusions with subjective connotations. They can also be called dossier.
- Analytical reports: Analytical reports are those that have the objective of justifying a decision or an action, usually raised previously. They are also often known as “project” or “proposal.”
- Persuasive reports: this type of report is intended to convince the recipient, so that he can make a concrete and specific decision along the lines of the study presented.
Parts of a report
As a general rule, reports usually follow the same structure, even if 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, which sets out the main idea on which the analysis and justification of the report is carried out.
- The development, or part in which the procedures followed and the methodology used in the collection of the information are explained
- The conclusion, which sets out the results obtained and the valuations.
This structure may vary, adding elements and sections or parts, always depending on the type of report we are preparing.
The cover of the report is the first thing the recipient will observe. It is usually sober and formal, but it must include basic data such as:
- Title of the report
- Name of the author of the report
- Date of preparation of the document
- Place of preparation or presentation of the document
Selecting a good title is important so that the reader, at a glance, knows what is being talked about in the document. The title should summarize a clear idea, related to the subject of the document, in a brief sentence.
Every report must include an index, a fundamental part to structure the document. The index indicates all the sections of the report, as well as the total number of pages. In addition, this part acts as a guide for the reader, who can resort to it when he wants to look 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, since it is a cover letter of the work and will help the report to be correctly understood in its entirety.
To do this, the introduction must accurately and concretely highlight both the idea and the objective of this report, taking into account that this part should never exceed 2 pages.
Body of the report
Development or body is the part in which the main information of the research is exposed. In addition to text, the body can be complemented with graphs, extracts, diagrams, footnotes and other resources to explain the procedure through which the research was carried out.
All essential information of the study or analysis must be included, since it is the part with the highest 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 party must answer the questions raised in the introduction, which gave input 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 have subjectivity, since they can try to convince the reader with the analysis presented, as is the case with persuasive reports.
In any report it is essential to present the references consulted in a bibliography section. In it, any document consulted, such as books, encyclopedias, articles, other studies, audiovisual media, must appear in alphabetical order and by date of consultation.
Any support used to answer the questions in the report and specify the ideas of the report should be referenced in this section.
Some reports, such as scientists or financial reports, may include annexes after the bibliography. They will add information that is self-worthy and that offers us additional information to that contained in the main document.
The annexes usually include images, graphs and specific content that could not be fully explained in the text so as not to extend it too much, such as calculations, plans, manuals, among others. Any information that may help expand the main text should appear in this section.
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