7 junio, 2024

Report: what it is, characteristics, structure, types, examples

We explain what a report is, its characteristics, its structure, the types that exist and we give several examples.

What is a report?

A report It is a document, a written or oral communication, that exposes different aspects of a treated subject, characteristics, context, recommendations, etc., in an orderly, objective and analytical way.

The objective of the report is to convey information on a particular topic, whether it is the results of an investigation (of any kind) or to communicate specific and ordered facts to recommend a course of action.

In this way, a report will contain an informative and expository account on a subject in order to expose the facts, publicize the investigation processes and present, on occasions, recommendations of the author (although they are not always included).

Characteristics of a report

plain language

Clear language avoids convoluted expressions, so the employee in a report is direct and simple to achieve public understanding.

structured document

It is written following a specific order, a narrative sequence that should be respected: introduction, development and conclusion.

objective character

The report is based on verifiable events, verifiable information. It does not include the opinions of the author.


The reports usually have a specific periodicity: monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, annual, precisely to be able to notice the advances or setbacks of a given investigation. The periodicity is dictated by the topic and the institution to whom the report is to be submitted.

Specific topic

A report is always referred to a particular topic and is focused on the resolution or analysis of some aspect of the investigation in question.

Parts: structure of a report

When you already have the data, you have to organize it according to a specific structure:

Front page

The cover includes the author’s data, the title of the report, the name of the institution that commissioned it (these data are not strictly necessary for the preparation of the report, they can be added at the end of the writing process).


It is a brief and concise explanation of the topic to be discussed, as well as the general and specific objectives of the report.

Report body

Explain in detail the information advanced in the introduction. This part, if necessary, will include subheadings and other elements that help the author to present the information in an organized way.

It also explains the steps that were followed to carry out the investigation, as well as the background, its argumentation and the methodology that was used.


It highlights the most relevant research results, and if necessary, includes recommendations.


They do not always exist, but in this section there are tables, infographics, photographs, plans, additional information that broadens the understanding of the subject.


The bibliography contains the sources on which the author relied to write the report, arranged alphabetically.

Report Types

Depending on the content or topic

disclosure report: presents the facts in an understandable language, which can be understood by people of average culture.
scientific report: Topics are scientific, use rigorous language, and are based on verifiable and reproducible research. These types of reports help analyze results.
Technical report: It has to do with research in the social field, such as anthropology, social psychology, sociology, etc. While rigorous in research, the language is more accessible to the public.
mixed report: is the report that is intended for both the general public and institutions, with adapted language.

Saccording to its structure

exhibition report: is the one that contains a description of the topic, exposes it clearly and objectively. Conclusions are not necessary.
analytical report: is the one that includes a study on the causes of a phenomenon and justifies the possible decisions that are taken, if the indicated recommendations are followed. Also called project or proposal.
persuasive report: is one whose objective is to convince the reader (the addressee) to make a decision. It usually includes an action plan, and they are the most common in consulting.

How to make a report step by step

Step 1. Define the theme

Here you have to establish the objective of your report and why you do it, if what you want is to present accumulated data or offer a solution to a certain problem.

Step 2. Define the audience and choose the type of report

Depending on who your recipients are, the report will be expository, analytical or persuasive. It is not the same to present a report to a physics teacher than to the digital marketing director of a sports brand.

In this sense, you should know if you include recommendations or an action plan.

Step 3. Gather information and read all that apply

This means starting to define the available bibliography on the subject, and if necessary consulting qualified people (scientists, researchers, etc.).

Step 4. Define the structure

Only having all the information and ordering it will be possible to know how you are going to distribute it in the report.

Step 5. Lean on other materials

You can use images, graphs or photographs to clarify concepts or figures.

Step 6. Write

When you already have all the information available and processed, what remains is to empty it into the structure: introduction, body and conclusion. It is important that you do not lose sight of the objective of the report, so that you will know which information is more relevant than others.

Organize the information in sections and by themes, it will be easier for you to tackle the writing. And above all, the result will be as expected: clarity and simplicity, so that the report is understood even by those who know nothing about the subject.

Report Examples

damage report

A damage report complies with the objective of reporting to the department, section or corresponding person defects or damages that the machinery and tools present in order to avoid accidents and money losses. Let’s see an example:

«Mr. Supervisor


This report is to communicate that on March 27, 2021, there were failures in the cardboard box folding machinery, which means that the process slows down, since the boxes have to be folded manually.

The fault is that the machine does not press the cardboard correctly and it slips, also causing the supply line to get stuck. The assigned technician was contacted and he noticed that some small hooks inside the machine were loose.

This may be due to a factory defect, since the machine in question has only been installed for a few days, so it would be necessary to carry out a more exhaustive review and contact the head office in order to solve this problem, changing the machine or repairing it.

In Mexico City, on April 3, 2021.

Ing. María Luisa Colmenares”.

labor report

Labor reports give an account of a specific situation that occurs at work and that must be explained or justified by presenting the facts objectively. Let’s see an example:

“Executive Committee of Editorial Deltas

Taking into account that in 2020 we had an increase in the receipt of original manuscripts to be edited in 2021, and that this increase was around 15%, we have seen the need to hire freelance staff in order to speed up the processes. reading of the aforementioned manuscripts.

We hired three external readers, after studying the capacity of our Editorial Management department to analyze those manuscripts that are in tune with our line of publications.

The calculation showed that these three external readers would be enough to maintain the level of response that has characterized us up to now (about a month it takes us to provide a small literary analysis of ten works that justifies their acceptance or rejection).

This is the reason for the request that our manager presented to the Committee in recent days, requesting the release of additional resources to meet these new expenses.


Alfonso Reveron

Editorial director attached to the Management.

In CDMX, on March 14, 2021”.

Financial report

The financial report is made with the objective of keeping economic control of a company or company, so that managers understand what resources have been spent on and what is necessary to invest in. Let’s see an example:

“Financial report of Grupo La Cosecha, a social NGO to promote development in vulnerable communities”.


This report wants to facilitate the understanding of the 2020 financial statements presented on January 31, 2021.


Analyze the income obtained by the company due to the contributions made by international organizations in order to contribute to the development of indigenous and rural areas of southern Venezuela.
Recommend actions to improve the financial situation of the company.


According to the figures obtained from the economic balance sheets of the company, the expenses have been greater than the contributions. Mainly due to the situation presented by the Covid-19, since more resources had to be used to reach remote communities.

On the other hand, the number of beneficiary families increased, which on the one hand is a success for the NGO, but on the other means a greater outlay to be able to include them. Certainly the company’s objective (to contribute to the development of vulnerable communities) has been fully met, and proof of this are the small commercial enterprises in the affected areas, which according to balance sheets have remained balanced.

Conclusions and recommendations

It is recommended to adjust the expenses arising from non-essential items and direct them to transportation. Also, justify the costs of the whole process so that international organizations understand where the money is being spent. This would help the amounts of the contributions to be higher”.

Themes of interest

Investigation report

scientific report

Technical report

experiment report

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