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How to write a justification report

Updated November 22, 2017

Justification reports are written to defend changes in policy or procedure. They are often written without any request from the reader. The report focuses on answering the question "why should we?" Do this by providing supporting evidence and convincing arguments to back the changes your report proposes.

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  1. Use a basic memo heading (To/From/Date/Subject) and fill it in. Make it clear who should read the report, who wrote it, and what the content subject is.

  2. Write an opening paragraph that describes the problem or purpose of your report. Explain in a few sentences what your recommendations are, and explain the benefits they will bring.

  3. Write an introduction to your report that details the purpose and significance of your report in more detail. Include relevant background information that will help the reader understand the motives and reasoning behind your recommendations.

  4. Use the main body of your report to explain how you suggest implementing your recommendations. Provide specific details about the new procedures or solutions. Explain who will be involved, what they will do, what it will cost, and how long it will take to carry out. State the research or the methods you followed to arrive at your conclusions. Include the disadvantages and problems the new procedures might create. Be precise, organise your material logically, and be fair; this will add force to your arguments.

  5. Finish your justification report with a brief summary of your conclusions and recommendations. Do not introduce new information at this stage; instead review the main arguments in support of your recommendations. Write a brief closing paragraph for your memo.

  6. Tip

    Highlight the advantages of your recommendations, and explain how they outweigh any drawbacks. Keep your writing positive. Avoid words like maybe, perhaps and possibly. Provide balance to your report by discussing alternative solutions. Place the recommendation you feel is more promising last. Be clear about what steps you think should taken in your recommendations. Avoid generalities; be specific. Introduce each recommendation with an active verb to add strength to your suggestions.

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About the Author

Andrew Latham is a seasoned copywriter for both print and online publishers. He has a Bachelor of Science, majoring in English, a diploma in linguistics and a special interest in finance, science, languages and travel. He is the owner of LanguageVox.com, a company based in Charlottesville, Virginia, which provides writing, interpreting and translating services for English and Spanish audiences.

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