Being able to write a report is vital in business today. Reports can draw together a number of different threads, presenting them in a cogent way, so that managers can make decisions and move forward. In a way they are a bit like essays – they have an introduction, analysis, conclusion, and often recommendations as well.
Commisioned reports are often read by more people than you might expect and so they need to be clear and concise. But, for some reason, when people sit down to write a report they often lose all common sense and decide that bigger words are better and the longer the sentence the cleverer they will seem. I even came across someone once who said he used a thesaurus to find alternative, more obscure, words to use. He admitted he thought this would make him seem clever. I begged to differ. I think it made him seem a clever-dick, while at the same time belittling his readers and irritating them. And his reports probably lost value because they were too wordy and incomprehensible.
The key to a well written report is to do your research first, plan the structure, then once drafted, edit, edit, edit. Apart from proofreading you need to throw out any management speak and jargon, make sure your sentences make sense. And aim for ABC throughout – Accuracy, Brevity and Clarity.
There is skill involved in writing a good report and our new self study guide Report Writing Made Easy will help you write clearly, concisely and persuasively, using good English and grammar but without bamboozling your audience.
The more you practice the easier it gets so check out the guide here