Chapter 10 Reports


A vital part of any business or organization, reports document specific information for specific audiences, goals, or functions. The type of report is often identified by its primary purpose or function, as in an accident report, a laboratory report, a sales report, or even a book report.

Reports are often analytical but sometimes just “report the facts” with no analysis at all. Other reports summarize past events, present current data, and forecast future trends. While a report may have conclusions, propositions, or even calls to action, presenting analysis is the primary function. A sales report, for example, is not designed to make an individual sale. It is, however, supposed to report sales to date and may forecast future sales based on previous trends.

Before delving into reports in detail, let’s review the advantages, disadvantages, and occasions for writing them .

Table 22.1 Excerpt: Report Pros, Cons, and Proper Use

Channel Advantages Disadvantages Expectations Appropriate Use
  • Allows presentation of a high volume of information presenting research and analysis
  • Can take various forms such as a document booklet or proposal for reading alone
  • Time-consuming to write with proper research documentation and visual content
  • Time-consuming for the busy professional to read or an audience to take in
  • Follow conventions for organizing information according to the size of the report, audience, and purpose
  • Visual aids should be covered in the text
  • For providing thorough business intelligence on topics important to an organization’s operation
  • For internal or external audiences
  • For persuading audiences with well-developed arguments (e.g., recommendation reports)

Report Writing Video[1]

  1. University of South Australia. (2017). Study Help: Report writing [Video file]. Retrieved from


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