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5.20: Report

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    A report is a very technical document that presents information in an objective way – it’s like the polar opposite of an essay or memoir or story. No fluff. Low on creativity. Be precise.

    Types of Reports

    • Progress: explains one’s progress with a project or course materials
    • Incident: explains what happened during an incident
    • Periodic: Reports issued at regular intervals.
    • Analytic: shares statistics, predictions, and solutions, so that a person/group can evaluate the action plan
    • Proposal:\(^{135}\) problem-solving reports that include an overview and solution

    How to Write a Report\(^{136}\)

    To have an effective report, try these steps:

    1. Choose the main objective – stay focused and engage the readers with clarity
    2. Analyze your audience – change the data, vocabulary, and supporting materials depending on the target readers. If you understand your audience, you can add some personal touch and suit the preferences of particular people
    3. Work on the report format – learn how to start off a report and how to finalize it effectively
    4. Collect the data – add the facts, figures, and data to add credibility
    5. Structure the report – they look like an elongated memo
    6. Ensure good readability – make navigation easy by adding visuals, graphics, proper formatting with subtitles, and bullet points. Shorter paragraphs are better than long bulks of text
    7. Do the editing.

    Scan the report to make sure everything is included and makes sense. Read the report from beginning to end, trying to imagine that you’re a reader that has never heard this information before.

    A good question to ask yourself is, “If I were someone reading this report for the first time, would I feel like I understood the topic after I finished reading?

    Want An Example?

    Fake Progress Report on a Fake Company

    To: John Booger, Bell State Flank

    From: Sybil Priebe,\(^{137}\) Owner of T&P

    Date: July 29, 2015

    Subject: Progress Report regarding Clothing Line Expansion & Creation

    The following is the second progress report concerning the expansion and creation of our clothing line. Work has proceeded satisfactorily in July according to the plans we laid out and had approved in May.


    In my last report (June 1) we reported that we had successfully got bids with a fashion company in Minneapolis (JuneBug Inc.) to start designing a new line of jeans. The expansion part of the project was also taken care of by JuneBug Inc. as they have opened up their warehouse of designer t-shirts to our company. The bid we received from them for the new line of jeans included the expansion into designer t-shirts.

    To break it down, work completed from May 1 –July 1 included:

    • Sending out bids to various venders of t-shirts and jeans’ clothing lines
    • Preparing the current store merchandise by having a tremendously successful clearance sale
    • Conducting two employee meetings to make them aware of the creation and expansion
    • Received feedback from employees on how to sell new merchandise effectively
    • By June 25, we had received various shipments of the designer t-shirts from JuneBug. In total, we received 50 t-shirts in that shipment alone. We had underestimated their quick delivery of those items, so we had some employees spend overtime hours that weekend moving around our floor plan to make room for the new merchandise.
    • Tagging and steam-cleaning of designer t-shirts
    • Creation of posters in order to promote the new expansion of t-shirts
    • Hiring a temporary person for the moving of the floor plan in the coming months


    As mentioned above, we still have little space for the new merchandise, and the new jeans line has not even gotten here yet. We have already attempted to solve this glitch by contacting our floor planner rep, and she has ordered new organizers for our t-shirts and jeans that will most likely fit in the store without causing major readjusting to the floor plan. If the organizers she is sending do not work out with the store’s floor plan, I may have to contact you regarding an additional loan for expansion of the store to the attic. The attic itself is empty; the walls would simply need to be finished and painted.

    Other possible problems:

    As I mentioned in the June 1 report, we hope to have a huge sell out of the new jeans line, but if the merchandise is not as popular as we hope it to be, we may need to reconsider expansion of the store as well as using JuneBug Inc. as our distributor.


    Not only do we need to check on the idea of renovating the attic for space (as a backup for the space issue on the main floor), but we also need to receive the jeans order from JuneBug Inc. At the last conference call with them, they stated that once they received our exact number of each size and style they would process our designs. We’ve also ordered their own designs (JuneBug Bottoms), and that order is due within the next two months which is why the space issue is something we should address now.

    Other work remaining:

    • Advertise JuneBug Bottoms
    • Conduct employee meetings and fittings of both JuneBug Bottoms’ styles and our own designs
    • Paint the east wall of the store with sizes and their corresponding names of styles: Annie (0-2), Lela (4-6), Mandy (8-10), Carrie (12-14), Betty (16-18), Tori (20)


    By September 15, I hope to be able to send you another progress report. By that time, we should have received the organizers from our floor plan designer, and we’ll be able to inform you as to whether those organizers will work or whether we need to look into using the attic, etc. as mentioned previously. By September 15, we will have also had more contact with JuneBug Inc. and know exact dates for the shipment and delivery of both their jean designs and our jean designs. And, lastly, the store will have been painted then to make way for the store’s new expansion of a jeans line.

    Thank you again for your confidence in our company. Please contact me with any questions.

    \(^{135}\)Oooh, look at the overlap between genres here!

    \(^{136}\)Listmann, Emily (co-authored). “How to Write a Report.” Wikihow. 12 Sept 09. Licensed CC-BY-NC-SA.

    \(^{137}\)Example by Sybil Priebe; it is licensed CC-BY-NC-SA.

    This page titled 5.20: Report is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Sybil Priebe (Independent Published) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform.

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