How to Write an Information Report
No matter the task you are handling in an information report, you need to know the characteristics and structure of the paper. Information reports are based on different topics like pollution, computers, and so on, where you are required to provide the audience with information about the topic. Thus, you must know what the report entails before writing it.
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What is an Informational Report?
An informational report is a formal report that provides facts, data, or details about an area of study, subject matter, or incident. Its primary objective is to enlighten a certain audience in a clear and straightforward way. Informational reports are frequently used to guide decision-making, summarize research findings, or give updates on certain topics in various disciplines, including research, business, government organizations, and academia. An informational report focuses on giving factual, impartial facts free of interpretations or personal viewpoints.
The report clearly outlines the facts, information, or statistics so readers can easily understand the main points. An informational report’s material is logically organized into sections such as an introduction, an executive summary, the body of the report, and the conclusion. It may also incorporate illustrative materials like tables, charts, or graphs to aid understanding. An informational report is useful for informing and educating the intended audience by efficiently presenting the information.
Information Reports Categories
When writing an information report, you have to understand which category you are dealing with to ease your work.
- Reports on social studies. These are information reports where you are required to describe culture and economy, history, people, and society.
- Scientific reports. These reports major on describing the behavior and appearance of the subject of your information report.
- Technological reports. They focus on information related to the uses and components of technology.
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Difference Between Informational and Analytical Reports
Their primary focus is the first obvious distinction between informational and analytical reports. The main goal of an informational report is to offer facts, figures, or other information about a topic. Its goal is to give readers precise information free of interpretation or analysis. The report serves as a comprehensive assessment of data and findings, providing a thorough grasp of the subject.
An analytical report, however, goes beyond merely presenting the data. It includes interpreting and analyzing data to reach conclusions, spot patterns, or offer wise advice. The analytical report aims to offer analyses, interpretations, and assessments of the data acquired. It could include statistical analysis, trend predictions, or comparative research, providing a more thorough grasp of the issue.
The objectives of an analytical report and its influence on the decision-making process differ from those of an informational report. Informational reports are written to educate and inform readers about a specific subject. Its purpose is to inform and clarify without trying to sway any particular actions or views. The report is an informative summary and a useful resource for future reference.
In contrast, the influence of an analytical report on the decision-making process is greater. Its purpose is to help decision-makers by providing them with information and analysis. The report does more than show the facts; it analyzes them, draws conclusions, and suggests next steps. Strategic decisions, policy formulation, and future direction development frequently rely on analytical reports’ findings.
How to Write an Informational Report
To effectively convey information to your audience in a written report, you must prepare ahead, conduct thorough research, and organize your findings. Mastering the art of writing an effective informational report is essential whether you are a student, working professional or aspiring researcher. If you want your report to be well organized and helpful, follow the guidelines below:
- Define the scope of the topic
It is crucial to determine the subject’s scope before beginning the report. Choose the precise methods you want to use and the elements or boundaries you want to include.
- Evaluate important keywords and phrases
Choose and consider relevant words and phrases for your theme. These are crucial for carrying out fruitful research and making sure that your report is accurate and relevant. Look for information from credible sources using these keywords. Using keywords will help you know the words/vocabulary to use in your report.
- Present facts objectively
A fact-based report should be objective and free of personal biases or prejudices. Keep your information accurate and backed up by reliable sources. Be careful not to speak emotionally or subjectively. In this case, any other party can then examine the same data and draw their own interpretations of the facts.
- Evaluate sources
It is critical to assess the reliability and credibility of your sources when performing research for your informational report. Think about the author’s credentials, the source’s reputation (publication or website), and the accuracy of the data. Use reliable resources, such as scholarly publications, official reports, and recognized specialists in the field.
- Develop note-taking skills
It is crucial to have strong note-taking abilities to organize and synthesize material during the research process. Take thorough notes, underlining important ideas, arguments, and applicable references. This will make later structuring and writing your report simpler and less time-consuming.
Structure of Informational Report
When creating a report, the report’s goal should always come first. An informational report often has the following format.
- Table of contents
The table of contents is mostly included for long information reports to assist the audience in locating specific information in the text. For long information reports, ensure that each section corresponds to a page number on the table of contents for easier navigation through your report. For shorter information reports, number the sections instead of page numbers. Page numbers are entered in the table of contents after the written information report. A table of contents for a paper on climate change, for instance, would have headings like “Introduction,” “Causes of Climate Change,” “Effects of Climate Change,” and “Conclusion.” The table of contents aids readers in quickly locating specific material by giving a summary of the report’s organizational structure.
The introduction establishes the context for your report by summarizing the subject and its importance. It should draw the reader in and make the report’s goal evident. In this section, you can also briefly describe the methods used and the study’s overall scope. Finally, at the end of your introduction is the thesis statement of your information report, which should be a clear short sentence. If you are having troubles coming up with a clear and concise thesis statement, feel free to use our free thesis generator tool.
For instance, an introduction that highlights the worldwide energy situation introduces the idea of renewable energy and outlines the study’s goals for instance, can be included in an informational report on renewable energy sources.
After introducing your report, the next step is to provide subheadings. Subheadings divide the report’s main body into several sections, making it simpler for readers to find a particular piece of information. The subheadings should be organized and descriptive. Arrange the subheadings chronologically, thematically, or according to any other pertinent factors, depending on the content. Using the renewable energy example once more, viable subheadings are “Solar Energy,” “Wind Energy,” and “Hydropower.” Include detailed information regarding each subheading.
This is where you summarize the data in the body paragraphs to remind the audience of what you have discussed in the information report. It is unlike a classic conclusion where one presents their opinion on the topic at the end. The conclusion could also include rhetorical questions and links to materials that will assist the audience in understanding more about the topic of discussion. You can also provide your thoughts, recommendations, or ideas for additional research. For example, in the case of our climate change study, the conclusion might highlight how urgent it is to address the issue, underlining the necessity for sustainable policies, and motivate readers to take action.
A glossary is especially helpful if your report uses jargon, acronyms, or technical phrases. To ensure that readers fully understand the text, the glossary defines and explains each of these terms. It aids in improving clarity and prevents confusion. For instance, the glossary might describe terminology like “UN,” in full, which is United Nations.
In this section, you outline all the resources you have used in completing your information report. These could be websites, peer-reviewed journals, books, magazines, and other sources.
General Language Features of an Informational Report
When creating an informational report, language is essential to deliver the intended information to the audience properly. These general features include:
- Present tense
Informational reports frequently use the present tense to portray a sense of urgency and to make the material seem current and relevant. You can give the facts you are presenting a timeless quality and draw readers in by employing present-tense verbs. For example, the research was conducted among young children.
- Subject-specific vocabulary
When writing an informational report, it is crucial to use subject-specific vocabulary to show your knowledge and accuracy. This entails using specialized vocabulary, technical jargon, or terminology associated with the subject under discussion. However, using general terms and expressions can take time for your reader to follow you. For instance, say the girl was 8 years old instead of the girl was between the ages of 8 to 10 years.
- General nouns
A neutral, objective tone is maintained in an informational report by using generic nouns rather than specific names or proper nouns. It could be a specific person, location, item, or concept.
- Passive voice
Writing an informational report requires a passive voice. When someone speaks in a passive voice, the focus is returned to the object rather than the speaker.
The exact purpose of the passive voice in informational reports also justifies using the third person. When writing in the third person, you establish an impersonal tone while maintaining the genre-appropriate formality.
For example, according to the research, the student’s performance is high.
- Facts vs opinion
It is crucial to distinguish between what counts as facts and what might be viewed as an opinion in a report because informational reports do not consider your perspective but instead focus on providing facts about the subject.
- Visual information
It is crucial to have visuals to support the text. Graphs, diagrams, tables, charts, and tables are a few examples of visuals. They facilitate faster information retention for the reader. Always label the captions when employing visuals so that they describe what they depict. Concise illustrations support the ideas made in the text. Each image used here should have a caption to explain what it contains, and images must be presented in a properly structured infographic format.
Information Report Writing Tips
- Always write your information reports in the present tense and in the third person point of view.
- Include some labeled diagrams in your information report where possible.
- Employ the correct technical and scientific terms in your report.
- Always assume that your readers are not informed about the topic you are discussing, which implies that you need to explain your topic before getting into the body.
- Make effective use of paragraphs and ensure that every new idea in your information report begins in a new paragraph.
- Comments or questions on your findings should only be included in the conclusion. Ensure that the rest of your information report is based on evidence and facts.
After writing the information report, the only remaining task is proofreading and editing. Take a break from the writing and read through the report a day after with a fresh mind. Reading through will help you identify any grammatical errors, inconsistencies and correct any structural errors. Also ensure that your final report is plagiarism free; you can use our free plagiarism checker tool to confirm if your work is 100% original.
The breadth of the issue must be clearly defined, the appropriate phrases and keywords must be assessed, facts must be presented, credible sources must be assessed, and excellent note-taking abilities must be developed to write a successful informational report. An informative report’s language should include the present tense, subject-specific vocabulary, common nouns, and passive voice and delineate between facts and opinions. Visual aids like charts, diagrams, and tables can improve comprehension and should be supported by clear captions.
An informational report’s structure often includes a glossary, introduction, table of contents, and subheadings. While the introduction establishes the report’s context and purpose, the table of contents aids readers in navigating the document. For easy comprehension, the main body is divided into sections by subheadings. The primary conclusions, which may offer advice or ideas, are outlined in the conclusion.