Steps in Writing Business Report
Business report is an essential medium of communicating factual information within and outside the organization. In writing a good report, the writer has to follow some sequential steps. The steps are as follows:
Determination of purpose: The first step in writing a report is to determine the purpose for which the report is being written. Every report deals with specific problem. Therefore, the writer should exactly know the nature of report problem. This step includes the answer of what, why, and when to write the report.
Developing a working plan: After defining the problem and determining the purpose clearly, a working plan should be developed. The working plan is used as a basis for outlining and writing the report. Here the writer determines and lists down the scope of work to be done for writing the report.
Collecting information: In this step, the writer will select the possible sources of information. Information may be collected from primary and secondary sources. Primary information can be obtained through observation and enquiring. On the other hand, secondary information can be obtained from journals, newspapers, reports, books etc.
Organizing and analyzing the information: Here the collected information is organized according to its nature. In this step, a lot of data will have to be rejected while it may be needed to collect more additional data. In order to organize and analyze the information, the writer takes help of various statistical techniques.
Arriving at conclusions: Basing on the data analysis, the reporter arrives at a conclusion. The final pattern of report depends on this conclusion. If the writer fails to draw correct conclusion, the report will fail to serve as purpose. Therefore, arriving at conclusion is an important step in report writing.
Selecting the method of writing report: Once the writer has arrived at conclusions, the next step is to select the writing method. There are two methods of writing report: inductive method and deductive method.
- Inductive method: The inductive method arranges the report contents in the sequence of introduction of background information, discussion and analysis, recommendations and conclusions.
- Deductive method: The deductive method arranges the contents in the sequence of summary and recommendation, introduction, discussion and analysis.
These two methods are suitable for different situations. After selecting the appropriate method, the writer goes for actual writing.
Writing and submitting the report: The process of writing a report ends with writing and submitting the report. Before drafting the final report, the writer develops rough copy for checking, editing, and revision. In the rough copy, the writer checks the accuracy of information, formation of sentences, grammatical accuracy, style of presentation, sequence of the contents etc. After all these checking and corrections, the final draft is prepared and submitted to the concerned authority.