Characteristics of Short Report
Short reports have the general characteristics of the report like specific event or problem, orderly presentation of factual information, objectivity, neutrality, etc. In addition to those general features, short reports possess some differentiating characteristics. Some of its distinct features are as follows:
- Little focus on preliminary parts:
Short reports give little attention to the preliminary or prefatory part and give more attention to the report body. The report is a systematic presentation of facts, figures, conclusions, and recommendations. Because these reports typically deal with day-to-day problems and are prepared for a few internal readers. However, for outside readers, some introductory information is included.
- Short introduction:
Short reports give a brief introduction to the report. The report is supported by facts and evidence. There is no scope for imagination in a report which is basically a factual document. Since the target audience knows the reported problem, short reports avoid a detailed introduction.
- Direct or deductive method:
There are two methods of presenting reports. One is a direct or deductive method and the other is indirect or inductive method. Short reports usually follow the direct or deductive order of presentation. That is, shop reports start with conclusions and recommendations. Business executives prefer this order of presentation because their main concern is to get the information needed to make a decision.
- Provides Information and Guidance:
The report is a valuable document that gives information and guidance to the management while framing future policies. It facilitates planning and decision making. Reports are also useful for solving problems faced by a business enterprise.
- Internal users:
A short report is usually sent to internal readers. It is an effective tool of communication between top executives and subordinate staff working in an organization. It helps internal members of the organization to solve problems or to perform their jobs better. It may be top-down or bottom-up. Similarly, these reports are also sent by company executives to lower levels of management. It provides feedback to employees and to executives for decision making. In addition, these reports are also sent to shareholders and others connected with the company.
- Personal writing style:
The short report tends to use more personal language than long reports. That is, short reports are likely to use personal pronouns I, we and you rather than using only the third person. They follow a personal writing style because the writer and the reader of such report know each other and informal relationship exists between them. Short Report is a comprehensive document and covers all aspects in summary of the subject matter of study. It is a self-explanatory and complete document by itself.
The format of short report is also somewhat different from the long report. Short reports are written in either of the two formats: letter format and memo format. When the report follows the letter format, it is called a letter report. On the other hand, when memo format is followed, it is termed as a memo report.
Report writing is a time consuming, lengthy and costly activity as it involves a collection of facts, drawing conclusion and making recommendations. Short Reports are beyond this process.