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BAZA ZNANJA


Kurs: - Business English

Modul: Reports - Izveštaji

Autor: prof. Gordana Matorkić

Naziv jedinice: General Information on Business Reports



 

GENERAL INFORMATION ON BUSINESS REPORTS

 

Reports, like proposals, are a standard part of business writing and are situationally defined.  That is, what is included in a report, the type of report written, and the organization of a report are determined by the situation that gives rise to the report. Despite their variety, however, all reports have one thing in common:  they are a description of a task, project, or research activity either at its completion or at some mid-point to summarize your actions.

Good report writing includes the ability to plan the layout and organization of the report; you must decide what elements are useful in the report and how to include them so that they form an effective framework for the material and information you wish to relate to your reader. 

Short reports and those that are standardized don`t require a great deal of special arrangement of the material.  However, longer reports or special reports must contain elements that require special attention.

In addition to the information or material you wish to communicate, these elements include cover letters or memos, letters of transmittal, title pages, tables of contents, headings, summaries, formal and standard introductions, conclusions, special instructions, glossaries, appendixes, recommendations--in addition to the body of the report.   Not all reports contain all of these elements.  You must decide which to include by the context and situation in which you are writing and by your reader`s needs.

Reports often go hand-in-hand with proposals as they tell of the progress of the proposed project or describe the proposed project at its conclusion.  Reports also summarize the conclusion of a research or other type of project.  Finally, reports can be short or long, formal or informal.

Quite often, reports have a transmittal memo or letter that identifies the report and explains the key points.  The memo or letter can also describe the situation that gave rise to the report.  Do not worry about the report and the transmittal letter/memo containing the same information--they will.  Reports and their transmittal documents are often separated as they travel from reader to reader, thus need to be redundant.  In addition, the different sections of a report must stand alone--even if this seems repetitive.  Some readers will only read one section of your report, so each section must be complete.

Formal reports usually contain the following elements:

  • Letter of Transmittal
  • Title Page
  • Table of Contents
  • Executive Summary
  • Formal Introduction
  • Section or Division Introductions
  • Body: Methods, Facts, Discussion, Objectives, Results, Criteria, Alternatives, Evaluation

(depending on the type of report you are writing--see below)

  • Conclusion
  • Recommendation
  • Bibliography/References
  • Appendixes

 

 


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