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 Report Writing



1.1 What is a Report?

  • A report is an oral or written presentation that communicates information to a specific reader in a completely unbiased manner and in the form most usable by the reader for the purpose of solving a specific problem

  • A report is a type of document written by someone or a group of people. It is generally an account of an event, although some reports are simply published findings.

1.2 Who is involved?

  • A report may be the concern of two or more people:

  • The author: The first reader

  • The Reader(s)

  • Those who will make use of the report

  • Those who will be affected by the report

1.3 Where are Reports used?

  • Government Agencies

  • Management in all businesses

  • Engineering, Medicine, Law and all branches of science

1.4 When are Reports used?

  • Preliminary:   Involves such problems as:

    • Shall the project go ahead?

    • How much money must be budgeted?

    • Does the idea warrant further investigation?

  • Interim:    Deals with progress and  involves such problems as:

    • Is the Project on the schedule?

    • Must more money be allotted or additional personnel assigned?

    • Can men or equipment be reallocated?

  • Periodic:   A progress or status report that is prepared in a fixed time sequence

    • It is routine in nature

    • Frequently requires only filling out of blank spaces

  • Final: A brief written report on:

    • The activities and work accomplished 

    • Conclusions & Recommendations

    • Some final reports must include financial tables.

2. Types of Reports

Information Reports

  • News Letter- Flyers

  • Fact Sheet

  • Brochures

  • Institutional Reports

  • Capabilities Statement

Study Reports

  • Investigation Report

  • Proposal Type Report

  • Feasibility Studies

  • Business Plan

  • Project Overview

Follow-up and Evaluation Reports

  • Performance Appraisal Report

  • Performance Indices Report

  • Feed back Report

  • Follow-up Report

  • Evaluation Report

  • Achievements Report

Projects Reports

  • Project Overview

  • Project Progress Report

  • Project Final Report

Managerial Reports

  • Financial Reports

  • Marketing Reports

  • Organization Structure

  • Human Resources

  • Systems & Procedures

  • Activities Reports

3. Report Structure (The AIMRAD format)


  • As concise (but informative) as possible. One or two sentences should be sufficient.


  • Depends on the practical. Could be a few lines or a few pages, you will be told at each practical what is expected. Remember to quote your sources (you should include a bibliography of your references after the conclusions section).


  • As concise as possible but giving sufficient information so that someone else could repeat your work.


  • Tabulate numerical data when possible. In a good table the columns read down. Make sure you divide the measurement by the units so that the table contains numbers only.


  • Any calculations or interpretation of results go into this section. Remember to layout your calculations clearly, showing each step. You may wish to examine sources (and magnitudes) of error, especially if you are drawing a graph.


  • How relevant are your results ? What errors are there ? Did something go wrong ?


  • The conclusion should echo the aims and be as short as possible. Any sources (text book, papers etc.) should now be cited.

4. Report Writing Skills

  • Technical Skills

  • Conceptual Skills

  • Human Skills

  • Verbal Skills

5. Report Writing Steps


  • Establishing your Objective;

  • Identifying your Readers;

  • Determining your Scope of Coverage

Research & Gathering the data

  • Note taking;

  • Government documents & other institutional reports;

  • Library Research;

  • Interviewing & Questionnaires;

  • Search the Internet.


  • Listing;

  • Brainstorming;

  • Treeing;

  • Flow chart;

  • Method of Development;

  • Outlining;

  • Illustrations & Format.

Writing the Rough Draft

  • Choosing point of View;

  • Developing topic sentences;

  • Writing Paragraphs;

  • Quotation and paraphrasing;

  • Introduction; Opening and conclusion;

  • Choosing a title.

Revising the Rough Draft

  • General requirements must be met to produce good reports;

  • Sentence Construction;

  • Report Tone & Grammar;  Abbreviations, Indentation, Dates, Numbers and Symbols;

  • Documented Sources and Bibliography.

Writing Style

  • Writing Naturally;

  • Guiding the Reader;

  • Getting to the Point;

  • Emphasizing Major Ideas;

  • Separating Fact from Opinion.

Methods of Development

  • Cause-and-Effect Method;

  • Chronological Method;

  • Decreasing Order of Importance Method;

  • Definition Method;

  • Division and Classification Method;

  • General to Specific Method;

  • Increasing Order of Importance Method;

  • Sequential Method;

  • Spatial Method;

  • Specific to General Method;

Data Analysis and Presentation

  • Simple Statistical Tools;

  • Tables: Simple tables and multivariable tables;

  • Figures: graphs, drawings, flowcharts, graphs, maps…;

  • Organizational Charts, Schematic Diagrams and photographs;

  • Computer Applications and Data Processing