Since a report is written to give a complete picture of a certain problem, it must be comprehensive and detailed, and should leave out no relevant information. If the executive, to whom it is submitted, has to re-inquire for some matter or ask for explanations, then there is something wanting in the description that the writer should have included in the first instance.
That the document should be comprehensive and detailed does not mean that it should be long and drawn-out. A good description should have all the characteristics of a good business letter and contain only relevant matter. The language it uses must be clear and concise; for, a report written in vague, confused or muddled phrases will defeat its own purpose.
The report must be written in a certain logical arrangement of ideas. The best arrangement is to proceed from the general to the particular. While writing on a particular industry, a general description of the geography and location must be given before giving details of the factory building and machinery. As in all logical arguments, the story must contain a definite conclusion also.
If such document is written in the form of a letter, the usual rules of commercial correspondence should apply. It should contain the salutation, the complimentary close, etc. the only difference being that it may contain sub-titles and its paragraphs may be numbered, if necessary.
There is no standard plan for organization of reports. However, such file may be composed of the following parts:
– Title page
– Contents page
– Letter of Transmittal
– Introduction of preface
– Table of contents
– Table of charts
– Body of the essay
Above outline is quite adequate for all type of business reports.