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What is a business report and how to write it?

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A report is a piece of academic writing that states the facts about some phenomenon or process. It requires thorough research, a lot of knowledge on a particular topic, great analytic skills, and search for different information. There are various types of professional and academic report assignments that people have to deal with if they are involved in academic writing. However, in this article, we will review the business report.

Business report definition

Business report is a piece of writing which presents companies’ new ideas, projects, plans, etc. You may also wonder what is the purpose of business reports. Well, the preparation of such work helps to do a review of the company’s market situation at a certain point in time or other metrics, cases, plans, and so on.

It is important to note that there are two types of reports on business: formal and informal ones. As a rule, informal ones exist in the form of a letter (or a memo) that is approximately 5 pages long, whereas formal ones are much longer since they need to be extremely detailed. Thus, before starting to write business reports, it crucial to identify whether you are to work on a formal or informal one.

Business report outline

Before you get to writing, it is important to understand a business report structure in order to outline yours properly:

  • Cover page.
  • Abstract/Executive summary.
  • Table of Contents. This is literally a plan of your report with all the sections and subsections with page references.
  • Terms of references. This section is optional, so if you don’t have time to work on it, simply disregard it.
  • Introduction. Here, you provide general information about the company and what you are going to review.
  • Body paragraphs. In this extensive part, you will have to make industry, market, and competitive analyses. It is also crucial to present marketing and financial plans. Be sure to create a subsection for each important part to make the necessary information easier to find.
  • Conclusion. It is important to synthesize all the information above in a few sentences. Also, restate why this report was created and what you expect from the recipients of this document.
  • Appendix with tables or graphs (optional).

Business report format

Here are the main formatting rules you should remember:

  • Include a cover sheet with the company name, address, and date.
  • Use appropriate subheadings for each part.
  • Graphs and charts have to be at the end of the paper.
  • If the report is longer than 10 pages, you need to create a table of contents.

If this is your first time making a report for this company, it’s best to use the ones done by other employees as examples. Also, you may ask around if there are some specifics you should know about, do’s and don’ts, as well as mandatory sections.

Best tips on business report writing

  • Define the purpose of your writing. It is much better to have a clear understanding of what you need to include and what points have to be avoided rather than later revising the paper several times.
  • Organize your ideas. In this case, the outline described above is of special importance. When you have a clear and well-organized plan, you will never forget about any important points.
  • Mind your language. As this is not a piece of creative writing, you do not need to use fancy words and various stylistic devices. As you definitely understand, no slang is acceptable as well. Your main task is to remain clear, concise, and of course, business-like.
  • Keep sentences short and understandable. Long run-on sentences will likely confuse the readers and your ideas might be overlooked.
  • Proofread your report at least two times. You definitely do not want to sound unprofessional with some unintentional typos and mistakes, do you? It is a good idea to get to editing a day after you finish writing. You will definitely see more errors with the fresh eye.
  • Do not be afraid to ask for help. You might have a friend or a colleague who is a professional in the sphere. Asking him or her to look through your text will be a great idea.

How to write a business report in a group?

Preparing standard research papers is hard enough, whereas writing business reports is actually harder since such task is much more specific. The process itself is very time-consuming since there is a need to collect all the necessary information, conduct a detailed analysis, and make logical conclusions.

In order to save as much time as possible, it is better to complete this kind of assignments while working in a small group of people. Obviously, getting your tasks done is a lot easier that way because each person has limited responsibilities and knows how to write a business research report part he or she is assigned to.

Here is what you need to know to work in a group productively:

  • Set time aside for meetings and discussions. Make sure the time is suitable for everyone involved or that they can at least join you on Skype or other service.
  • Create a group chat to have a clear channel for communication. This way, each member of your team will get the updates or important information timely.
  • Prepare an outline, intro, and conclusion together. This way you will be on the same page regarding the main idea of your report.
  • Decide early on who will be responsible for each specific part, share this information in your group chat, pin it, and set deadlines for writing.
  • If there is a person who is left with no part to write, make them your editor/proofreader as well as the admin of the team who will make sure that each section is completed on time.
  • Once every section is written and proofread, put them together. Do not forget to create transitions if needed.
  • Go over the work once again before the submission. Try reading it to your team aloud so that you can all check if you are satisfied with the flow and consistency of the information you have put down.

While these tips seem pretty basic, they are quite effective. Setting clear rules early on in the writing process will help you to create a report fast and make sure the submission is successful. We hope this article was useful!

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