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How to Write a Short Report?

Report writing


A short report is a type of paper aimed at presenting only the main information on a certain topic without going into many details. If you want to write short reports, you should organize your text in such a way that it takes up no more than a few pages depending on your field. Preparing such report articles may be challenging, especially if you are doing it for the first time. Below, you will find some helpful tips on proper short report format and ways to present your thoughts without making your text too wordy. We have also included a video guide and short report samples for your reference.

What Is a Short Report?

The short report is a brief formal document used for informing a specific group of people about something of interest to them. The topic in focus may relate to mass media, publishing, eCommerce, medical industry, and many other spheres. Companies and individuals engaged in business, journalism, and science frequently use brief reports to share information about their products, services, and developments among the masses.

A short report is a written communication on a particular topic. It may be created:

  • In the form of a memo (written within a company or department)
  • As a letter (if you need to reach out to people outside your organization).

In most cases, a one-page report is enough to spread information among people as efficiently as possible. While writing such a paper, it is important to adhere to a clear and concise outline, so that readers can grasp the essence of the message conveyed. To make a report short, you need to present factual information and support it with poll results, research data, graphs, tablets, etc., without giving your ideas or opinions on the topic. Such an approach works perfectly if you need to shed light on scientific inventions, business offers, new products, etc.

Video Guide on How to Write a Short Report

Undoubtedly, short report writing requires constant practice in collecting information, excluding needless details, dividing a text into logical paragraphs, selecting supporting materials, proofreading the report, and presenting it to the audience. You are welcome to watch this video guide on how to write a brief report to avoid possible mistakes at any stage of the writing process.

Short Report Format

The main thing to remember about a brief report format is that there are no stringent rules to stick to. Just keep in mind that:

  • A paper is supposed to be concise and focused.
  • The structure of a short report may vary slightly depending on the subject and information to be presented.
  • You need to consider your goal and topic when writing a short report.
  • There is no standard outline, which means it is necessary to organize every report individually.

You can use the outline described below as a guideline and customize it based on the details you would like to share with the audience.

Summary of the Short Report

A short report should start with a brief summary, where you list the core points of the study or business offers you are going to describe. If you are writing a technical, meeting, progress, or tech report, you should also include the names of participants and mention where the event took place. If you aren’t sure whether your summary is proper, you should read it several times and define whether it can evoke interest in the target audience. Don’t make this part longer than a few sentences.

Background of the Short Report

The next section is called the background. It should be more extensive and include more details about the subject than your summary. Besides, you need to explain to readers why your study is worth paying attention to and whether your research is over or still in progress. It is also advisable to mention how your research differs from the former works on the same subject.

Goal of the Short Report

Undoubtedly, you believe that your business work, scientific study, or technological method are important, and you must do everything possible for your audience to understand why. List several reasons why your research can be groundbreaking and how people can use it to their advantage. If you find convincing words to turn readers into advocates of your idea, you will have higher chances of getting financial and promotional support from partners and donors. However, don’t get carried away when describing your goals. The information your share must be complemented by facts. Moreover, try to formulate your goals in 3-4 lines.

Conclusion and Results

As the name implies, here, you need to summarize the information about the analyzed data and the things you’ve found out in the process. Though it is necessary to keep the text short, you shouldn’t omit your innovative ideas and any data you deem necessary for the audience to know. In conclusion, you can accentuate the importance of your report once again.   

Please note that the paper structure may vary based on the report type. Below, we have described the most common ones. These recommendations may come in handy while writing a professional report.

How to Write a Short Book Report

To create a good book report, you need to collect information about the author, the ideas they wanted to express, the genre, the main topics discussed, and even literary critics’ opinions, if available. You can start your search with reading book descriptions on the sources like LibraryThing or Goodreads. Besides, pay attention to interesting quotes and analyze descriptions of characters. As for the structure, there are some general rules to follow:

  • Begin with an introduction with the title of the book, author’s name, main idea, genre, publication date, number of pages, and publisher info.
  • Next, write a short summary, indicating the setting, plot, main characters, time when the events took place, the strong and weak points of the book, etc. Make sure to highlight major conflicts, their evolution, and the characters’ transformation.
  • In the “Conclusion” section, you can summarize the results of your research and provide your overall opinion about the book.

How to Write a Short Technical Report

Technical reports are required in different fields of study. For example, a research team representative can write a report describing the progress or outcomes of technical research. If you need to write a short technical report, we recommend taking 3 preparatory steps:

  • First of all, you should understand the purpose of this paper and what data you will include in it.
  • Next, it is obligatory to define your audience. If a tech report is meant for your colleagues, it is okay to include technical terms and field-related jargon. However, avoid job-specific words if you want to share some materials with people outside your business circle.
  • The third stage is to draft an outline. The standard elements of a technical report are a title page, an introduction (the part where you describe your purpose and the flow of a report), a summary with results, body (the largest section with subheadings), and conclusion. You may also need to include a bibliography and appendices to underpin the data you presented in the body.

How to Write a Short Meeting Report

If you want to summarize the topics discussed and the decisions made at the meeting, you need to write a meeting report. This is a great way to share data with other employees and stakeholders who didn't manage to participate in the event.

When writing a meeting report, you have to:

  • Specify all participants' full names, positions, and relation to the organization (an employee, a guest, a contractor, etc.).
  • Indicate where the gathering took place and add an address for off-site spots.
  • Mention the names of companies for attendees from external organizations.
  • Write the day, month, and year, as well as the time of the beginning and the end of the meeting.
  • Write down the meeting minutes, which include the name of a meeting facilitator, roll call, and acceptance or amendments made to the previous meeting’s minutes.

How to Write a Short Progress Report

Compiling a progress report is an obligatory step when working on a project. It helps you figure out whether you are moving in the right direction and when you can deliver a finished product to a client. To prepare a progress report, you may write down major questions and answer them one by one as you’re writing the paper. Stick to the PPP strategy (Progress, Plans, Problems) when choosing questions:

  • As for the “Progress” part, you can dwell on milestones, goals achieved, and completed tasks.
  • Talking about “Plans”, you should think about short- and long-term objectives and things that directly impact project completion.
  • “Problems” are hindrances you must deal with along the way.

A short progress report consists of an introduction that describes the scope of your current activity, a PPP section, and a conclusion. Every segment of your paper must be clear and straight to the point. The usage of professional jargon and technical language is justified only if you write a progress report related to a narrow-focused field.

How to Write a Short Lab Report

Those participating in scientific experiments know that writing a short lab report is no less important than conducting practical tests. With the help of such a paper, you can share your findings with colleagues and people without a solid scientific background.

A typical outline of a short laboratory report includes:

  • A title page (must include the title of the experiment, your name, lab partners’ and instructor’s names, the date you worked in the lab, and the date you submitted the report),
  • Introduction with objectives (1 paragraph).
  • Materials used.
  • Methods (explained in simple words).
  • Data gathered.
  • Results.
  • Discussion.
  • Conclusion (1 paragraph that sums up whether your hypothesis was correct or not).
  • Figures & graphs.
  • References (if you cited somebody). 

Short Report Example

If you are unsure if you’ll manage to write any type of report from scratch, you can download a short report template and use it for practice. If you plan to use a pre-made template and fill it out to save time, you have to double-check that it aligns with your topic and goal. In most cases, all ready-to-use templates require customization.

In case you are pressed for time, order professional short report writing services from our experts. Our team consists of skillful and talented writers ready to help you with any writing task. They have deep knowledge in different spheres, so your report will be interesting to read. We work very quickly so you can get a finished paper in several days or even hours. Besides, our pricing policy is fair and client-oriented.



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