To write a good investigation document, you need to understand how to present information efficiently and clearly. Below, you will find a detailed description of the types and formats of investigation reports, as well as writing tips and useful samples.
According to a generally accepted investigation report definition, it is a well-structured text that includes the findings and evidence of a specific formal complaint or allegation. An investigator writes this report to inform a concerned party about a particular incident that has happened and possible steps that can be taken. Investigation reports are usually submitted after the receipt of a formal complaint and serve to define whether there is solid ground for inquiring into the allegation mentioned.
An investigation report can be prepared by an authorized person from the company where an incident has happened or detectives (private or from the police). Such papers are stored in archives. They can be retrieved if any information on the case is required. The size and scope of an investigation report vary depending on the kind of allegation or the complexity of the case studied. However, there are some must-have elements that you have to include in your document.
If you want to find out how to write an investigation report, you are welcome to watch this video guide. The expert on the video dwells on how to write a high-quality report even if you are going to do it for the first time. You will learn about common mistakes that may arise in the process of preparing the text, techniques for arranging collected data, as well as some spelling and punctuation guides.
When you get down to investigative report writing, you should first figure out what elements your text will consist of. Though there are no strict rules concerning the structure, because the number of components depends on the size and type of a report, most documents include some of the elements mentioned below.
If you still have a vague idea of what your summary should look like, you can write it step by step by answering such questions:
In general, three types of investigation reports can be differentiated.
As the name implies, an investigator presents the information verbally. You can also come across other terms denoting the same concept, namely, "verbal report" and "oral debrief." The biggest advantage of an oral report is that you need to spend less time preparing it. However, this doesn’t mean that you should not make notes or compile an evidence list. Of course, any serious case study involves managing documents, but for an oral report, the number of final papers is less extensive.
Oral debriefs also offer more flexibility for establishing a dialogue between an investigator and people listening to the report. For example, they may ask questions when the report is delivered in order to prevent misunderstandings and misinterpretations.
This type of investigational report is the most customizable. It can include the findings and the methodology used in the process or be expanded with detailed analysis, recommendations, and other sections. In other words, an investigator has total freedom to decide what information an executive summary will consist of. People frequently choose it for simple cases in order to save time.
Another reason to choose this type of investigation report is that all witness statements are kept secret, even if a document will be made public for additional investigation. Such an advantage is crucial because incidents usually raise sensitive issues, and revealing all details of the case can negatively impact a whole working environment, and witnesses in particular.
However, please keep in mind that an executive summary, similar to a verbal report, lacks a complete account of evidence and an in-depth analysis of the situation, so an investigator may fail to recall all the nuances of the process in the future if needed.
Investigation report is an all-inclusive document that contains the data required to understand the essence of a formal complaint or allegation. Writing it, you need to describe the nature of the incident, the investigation scope, methodology, the whole list of evidence collected, the role of an investigator, and the findings.
Of course, it takes longer to prepare such a report. Besides, the procedure may entail higher expenses, especially if an investigator uses premium tools and methods for collecting information. However, with such a document, you may not worry that something important will be missing.
When you write an investigation report, be clear and concise. To reach this goal, you need to:
When you are done with writing, put your report aside and return to it after some time. Read it attentively and fix mistakes, if any. There can be something wrong with grammar or syntax, and it is paramount to submit a completely correct document.
If you write such a paper for the first time, it is a good idea to use an investigation report template. Thus, you only need to fill out the data according to the provided layout. Also, you are welcome to check this professional investigation report sample and structure your information in a similar way.
If you worry that your investigation report doesn’t comply with established standards, feel free to get in touch with our experts. They will write a detailed, clear, and well-structured report in the shortest time possible. We have vast experience in writing investigation reports for different cases.
If you wish to check more samples of investigation reports, see the list below:
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