How to Write a Business Report Essay

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Pages: 75

Reports and proposals
After reading this chapter you should be able to: • Explain the differences and similarities between formats, types or sub-genres of reports • Explain the differences and similarities between reports and essays • Explain why documents need to contain an appropriate balance of information and persuasion • Demonstrate competence in writing a longer, analytical research report • Explain the differences between reports and submissions, proposals and tenders

So you’ve got to write a report . . .
The ability to write reports is one of the most useful writing skills you can acquire. To be a good report writer means you must be competent at describing and analysing situations and people. A report is a powerful
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a purchase, a new system and/or staffing) Gives account of year’s operation of organisation

• Can be internal or external • Decision-makers

Annual report

• Mainly external: shareholders and stakeholders • Staff

• May be elaborately designed, with high production values • Meets legal requirements for accountability • May not include any conclusions or recommendations

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Information and persuasion: getting the mix right
The purpose of some report types is purely to provide specific information to their audiences — just the facts, and nothing else. Others are intended to be persuasive: their object is to convince decision-makers, for example, to adopt a course of action or to buy a new piece of equipment. Figure 5.1 shows how different document types can be placed on a continuum, according to the information/persuasion mix. Does this mean that some documents are purely persuasive, while others are exclusively informative? Not necessarily. A persuasive document needs to contain proof as a basis for persuasion (see chapter 13), while even the most basic informative document — for example, a simple data report showing a graphic rendering of data from a spreadsheet —