Top Tips for writing an excellent informational report

When you want to write an informational report, you first need to understand what it is. It is a report that explains a topic using detailed facts without recommendations or analysis. When writing this kind of report, you should not include your thoughts or opinion.

 informational report

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Informational reports main idea is to provide facts and necessary information to the reader. You aim at creating better understanding to the reader. You can write on any topic from living things to non-living things. They are not lengthy as compared to analytical reports.

Informational reports include important information that helps in making business decisions. They are classified into four types of informational text. They include the following;

Periodic reports

This is a follow up of daily, weekly, monthly or yearly business activities written to judge the position of a firm. It relies on numerical data to provide an overview of a specific period.

Situational reports

They are written like memos and follow an informal tone. This report keeps organizations informed on new laws and procedures.

Investigative reports

These reports examine a problem or a situation and presents it in a direct structure. The report deals on non-recurring factors unlike the periodic reports.

Progress reports

Progress reports help to explain future activities, continuing projects, and dates that projects will be completed. It also describes the status of a project and give customers the progress of projects.

What is an analytical report? This is a business report that uses both qualitative and quantitative data to evaluate and analyze a business strategy. It focuses on providing the pros and cons of a specific action whether investing on a product, a company or purchasing a competitor. Types of analytical reports include;

  1. Justification or recommendation report
  2. Feasibility reports
  3. Research reports

When writing these reports, you should be careful not to mistakenly write another report instead of the other. So, how do informational reports and analytical reports differ? Here are the differences;

  • The major difference between these reports is recommendation. Analytical reports use recommendations as the most important part while in informational reports, you do not include recommendations.
  • Informational report presents information to give a better understanding of a subject, but an analytical report presents analyzed data.
  • Writing informational report does not require any particular set of skills or knowledge. On the other hand, writing analytical report requires skills or knowledge on the subject. You should also know how to analyze data
  • Book’s references and index are not used in informational report writing. They are used in analytical report
  • It is cheaper to prepare an informational report compared to preparing an analytical business report
  • There is no specific or special format that you follow when writing an informational report. When writing an analytical report, however, you have to follow a format when presenting your data
  • In informational report your opinion on the topic or subject is not needed. On the other hand, your opinion is relevant in analytical report
  • Informational reports are written for internal audiences, that is, people within a firm while analytical report is written for external audiences
  • Informational reports are usually shorter since they entail only factual information. In contrast the length of analytical reports depends on the amount of data that you want to analyze.
  • The target audience of informational reports are stockholders, board of directors and officers. Analytical business reports are read by the top management and therefore the strict adherence to format and structure.

Informational report structure

The key to a good informational report is its organizational structure. Organizing your facts logically makes it easier for your audience to understand and navigate through the report. Here is the general structure:

 

Introduction

Like other writings, informational text must have a hook that can grab your audience’s attention. A hook can be a question, an interesting fact or an anecdote. Make your introduction simple to understand.

It is important to ensure that the introduction should relate with the topic or subject. Assume that your audiences are not familiar with what you are writing about and clearly define the topic or subject.

The body

This is where you discuss your topic and present facts. Organize your information to make it easier for the reader to understand. You can use headings and sub headings. This makes your report neat and have a sense of information flow.

When you are presenting your facts ensure you paraphrase, summarize or use quotes. Use your own words to compile the facts or condense large information. Do not over quote your sources in the report. It makes your work hard to read.

Conclusion

This is where you give a summary of the topic. Use your own words to stress on the topic using the facts you presented in the body. Be careful not to include new information that you did not present in the body. The conclusion should give the reader a sense that the report is coming to an end. According to informational report definition given earlier in this article, you should not give your own recommendations or try to argue.

Tips for writing an excellent informational report

Top Tips for writing an excellent informational report

Now that you have an idea of what informational report is and its structure, the following are tips on how to write an excellent informational report:

  • Assume that your readers are not knowledgeable on the topic like you are. Treat them like students and explain every fact that you are presenting. Also, ensure you introduce the topic briefly before going to the body
  • Introduce each new aspect of your informational text on a new paragraph. It makes it easier to understand and create a flow of information in your report
  • Follow the structure or plan of the report. Have an introduction, present your ideas in the body and conclude your report by summarizing
  • Use correct scientific terms in your report. You can confirm from your sources to ascertain that what you have written is correct
  • Use visual elements where possible. Any kind of visual element make it easy for the audience to understand. These elements include figures, maps, photographs, graphs, drawings, or tables
  • Make sure to give facts exhaust fully. Leaving out facts can cause confusion and distort the information you wanted to give
  • Write informational reports using present tense and from a third person perspective. This because facts and information are drawn from other materials and sources
  • When writing the conclusion, offer a comment or a question around your findings. The rest of report should be purely constructed on facts
  • Get your facts from reliable sources when writing your report. Websites that end with .org or .edu and .gov are more reliable compared to the .net and .com commercial sites. Use academic sources like books, government reports or reviewed journals
  • Keep in mind your target audience when writing this report. Knowing your audience will help you know how you will right to suit them
  • You are allowed to paraphrase or use your own words. Get information from your source and use your own words but be careful not include your own thoughts.
  • After writing your report, ensure to read it to check if the facts and evidences provided are correct. Check for any spelling and grammatical mistakes and also if the structure of your sentences is correct

Conclusion

 excellent informational report

When writing informational report, ensure that you only include facts and evidence. Constantly refer to your sources to be sure that what you are writing is correct. Your sources should be reliable. You can obtain them from educational sites like .edu or .gov and .org. You do not want to mislead your audience with false information provided by unreliable sources.

Refrain from giving recommendations and your personal thoughts on the subject. Organize your report to help your readers understand your work and easily navigate through it. Use headers and subtitles to achieve this. Remember informational texts are short since facts are only needed.

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