A formal business report consists of three possible types: informational, analytical or recommendation reports. Regardless of the objective that you need to accomplish, the basic format of every formal business report is the same.
- Skill level:
Write out your front matter. The front matter of the report consists of the cover, title page, abstract, table of contents, list of illustrations and executive summary. The abstract is a short technical summary of the document that usually contains no more than 200 words. The executive summary presents the background of the report and major findings and implications to managers.
Write the introduction for your report. The introduction helps the audience understand the technical discussion that is going to follow.
Write the methods used for your report. The methods answer the question of what was done for the report. Supply enough information here so the audience understands what you did and why you did it this way.
Write the results section for your report. This is the data that you've discovered or compiled after finishing your methods. Present results objectively, without comment.
Write the conclusion. The conclusion section is the implication(s) of the results. The conclusions tell the audience what the methods and results all mean.
Write the recommendations section for your report. This section consists of suggestions of particular actions to take. It tells the readers what they should do after reading the conclusions.
Compose the back matter, which consists of any or all of the following items: glossary, list of symbols, references and appendices.
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