A report is a written or spoken description of a situation or event, giving people the information they need. Thus, when the material for a composition or essay must come from outside sources, rather than from our own knowledge or experience, the composition is a report.
The main purpose of a report is to gather information from a number sources and then to present the material clearly and accurately. Preparing a report involves the same stages of pre-writing, development, and revision as in other compositions.
Sometimes candidates may be asked to write a report on any of the following:
A report to the police on a case (accidents, theft, violence etc.); a report to the head of an institution about disturbances, demonstrations, a fight or low academic performances of students; reports on the activities of associations, clubs and societies.
In all these, the main purpose of a report is to furnish authorities with the needed information.
FEATURES OF REPORTS
The main features of a good report are accuracy of facts, figures(statistics), brevity(simplicity), clarity of diction(choice of words or language) and thoughts. Also, the expressions should be simple, precise and straight to the point.
Again, in the view that reports are to give accurate facts, they are quite formal in nature. This means that the use of slangs, contracted/shortened form of words, unacceptable abbreviations and acronyms and all forms of colloquialism should be avoided.
Also, for a report to be accurate and reliable, all kinds of emotionalism and exaggeration should be avoided.
FORMAT FOR WRITING REPORTS
- TITLE: This should be in block letters and neatly underlined. It should contain the subject of the report and the particular institution, society or club whose report is being written and the period that the report covers. Example: THE REPORT OF THE WRITERS AND DEBATERS’ CLUB OF OLA COLLEGE OF EDUCATION FOR THE 2021/2022 ACADEMIC YEAR
- INTRODUCTION: This should be a brief and straightforward statement of the purpose and the time frame or scope of the report.
- BODY: This is where the important points or issues are presented in a logical and orderly manner. In doing this, you should bear in mind all the features of a good report. It is more proper to write your report in the usual essay form, in paragraphs.
- CONCLUSION: This depends on the type of reports but generally, it is more prudent to leave your conclusion in a summary, recommendation(s) or expressions of optimism(hope) or encouragement that immediate steps shall be taken to address a problem.
- NAME THE WRITER, SIGNATURE, DESIGNATION (E.G GENERAL SECRETARY) AND OR ADDRESS/LOCATION.
NOTE: For reports from students to their heads, just write your full name, signature and either your class or position in school.