Definition

Style of Report

The style of a report should be factual and objective. Just as the writing style you choose for a letter or memo depends upon the intended recipient(s), the same principle applies to an informal report: are the readers specialists, will they understand technical language? Keep in mind the reason you are writing: is it to inform or to persuade – or both? How formal should the language be? If the report is intended only for close business associates, the use of ‘I’ or ‘we’ is acceptable but you must still be careful to remain objective in your findings and recommendations. Whether a formal or informal report, your wording should be simple and direct. The language and tone of a formal report, however, must be impersonal and expressed in the third person. See the difference:

  • Informal – I recommend that the summer campaign concentrates on internet and television advertising…
  • Formal – It is recommended that the summer campaign concentrates on Internet and television advertising…

Or

  • Informal – After discussing the matter with our department managers, we arrived at the following conclusions…
  • Formal – The following report is based upon information provided by the managers of the Personnel, Finance and Marketing Departments…
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