Components of a report

During the course of your work you may be required to prepare and submit both technical and non-technical reports. Examples of such reports include annual report, audit report, project proposals, tender documents and journals. This article focuses and briefly examines the common features and conventions used by technical writers to prepare these reports.

Components of a report

Depending on the purpose of the report be it technical or non-technical the report may include the following components.

  1. Title page
  2. Disclaimer
  3. Abstract (optional)
  4. Acknowledgment
  5. Table of contents
  6. Table of figures and tables
  7. Introduction
  8. Main content section and relevant sub-sections
  9. Conclusions
  10. Recommendations
  11. References
  12. Glossary
  13. Appendices

Let’s take a brief look at each of the points mentioned above.

1. Title page

The title page is the foremost and important part of any report as it gives the report a professional look. This page may vary depending on style of writing or the type of report being prepared. At a minimum, any title page would contain:

  1. Name of the company/school/university/institute
  2. Name of the subject/project
  3. Title of the report
  4. Name of the author/authors
  5. Date of creation/submission

1. Disclaimer

This section of the document is mandatory. It is advised that you always, I mean always add a disclaimer section to your document especially when it involves legal matters.

You can find disclaimers in every document. Disclaimers vary based on the type of report you are preparing. Disclaimers are also applicable to books, websites and many more…

2. Acknowledgement

An acknowledgment is a statement acknowledging something or someone. In the case of a report, it might be a reviewer, a proof reader or someone who has contributed towards the report.

3. Table of contents

This is self explanatory; it contains a table or a list of content available within the report. This gives the reader a view of what the report consists of and what can be expected.

4. Table of figures and tables

This is similar to table of contents; only that this section lists all the figures or images and tables used within the document. This makes document navigation easier and is also a good way to sort sections within a report.

5. Introduction

Provide an introduction on the report; why the report is prepared, what the goal is and what you are trying to project in the report. Give the reader insights into the report and the benefits the report provides.

6. Main content section and relevant sub-sections

This section covers the various sections of your report including tables, figures, cost and all other important data that you will be projecting in your report.

7. Conclusion

Every document requires a conclusion and so does a report. Conclude your report once all the information has been provided. Always make sure that you give your report a strong finish or conclusion that would bring confidence in the reader.

8. Recommendations

It is a good choice to provide the reader with some good recommendations or suggestions. Provide your reader with recommendations to books, online reference material or even individuals to get additional information related to the report to give them a better understanding.

9. References

If you have used some sort of reference to prepare the report or sections of the report, it is best that you include the references here. References can be from any source such as the internet, people and books.

10. Glossary

This section is applicable mainly if you are preparing a technical report. Have a non-technical individual review your document and have them note down all the words used in the document that they do not understand. You can use as many individuals as possible to review the report, in-fact the more the better. Brainstorm and sort out the words and prepare the glossary accordingly.

11. Appendices

Finally we come to the last section of the report, the appendices. An appendix is supplementary material at the end of a book, article, document, report or other text, usually of an explanatory, statistical, or bibliographic nature.

This brings us to the end of the article; I hope that you liked it. Subscribe to this site for more interesting articles.

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Keep reading, keep writing.

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