Skills of Workplace Communication: A Handbook for TandD Specialists and Their Organizations

By Richard P. Picardi | Go to book overview

17
Report Purposes,
Formats, and Categories
Business and agency reports seem to have an unlimited variety of forms and purposes that defy categorization. There are short and long reports; informal and formal reports; memo and letter reports; periodic and situational reports; feasibility reports and proposals. However, it is possible to bring some order to the topic by classifying reports according to their purpose, their format, and their content.
The Three Major Purposes of Reports
Like all business writing, reports serve to inform, persuade, get results or change, and achieve good will or public relations. However, each report will have its own balance or percentage of these elements.
1. To inform. Information is the lifeblood of business and government. Without it no organization can function successfully. Whether short or long, informal or formal all reports communicate factual information geared to a specific end or purpose. Often, the information or facts are all that is requested.
2. To analyze. Sometimes reports, whether long or short, go beyond a mere statement of facts. When they go beyond the purely objective and offer an interpretation of those facts or an opinion about the significance of those facts, they become analytical in nature. Such reports tend to have a greater element of persuasion than primarily informational reports.

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