Report writing –Procedure and examples
How to write a report?
If you are a person with some authority like a class monitor, a Tahsildar, a manager, or a senior government officer, occasions will arise when you will be asked to submit a report about some complaint, mishap, incident, accident or any such unpleasant thing. The question arises, how you will proceed. In most instances, you will need to follow the following steps.
Step 1 .. Collect evidence / information about the issue in hand.
Step 2 .. Evaluate the information collected.
Step 3 .. Present your findings in an objective and concise manner.
Step 4 .. Additionally, you may recommendations for discussion or future action.
How to structure the report?
For clarity, the report can be broken down in the following ways.
a. Title and contents .. You received a brief or an order before you started your work. The title of your report must have this at the top. As the author of the report, mention your name and the date on which you are submitting it.
b. Introduction/terms of reference.. When you were given the assignment, the order contained some terms of reference. Spell it out clearly. This explains why and under what conditions you are writing the report.
c. Procedure/method .. Unless proscribed or debarred, describe how you gathered the information.
d. Findings .. Collate and present the outcome of your mission in a concise, logical way. To impart some transparency to your findings, you can summarize the opinions of people you contacted, and include some figures that formed the basis of your conclusion. All these can be put under subheadings or annexure.
e. Conclusions … Summarize your assessment of the current situation, based on your investigation.
f. Recommendations … Recommend the action you feel should be taken.
g. Appendices .. Whenever needed, add any supporting data, questionnaires used, etc. in the appendices / annexure to your main report.
Practice exercises …
Assignment … 1. In a certain village having a long history of caste conflict, a major fire has gutted the houses of the entire scheduled class community. Allegations have been made that this is the work of the Brahmins who have been at odds with the affected people for generations. As the Tahsildar of the area, you have been asked to investigate the matter to ascertain the veracity of the claims and counter claims. Write the report.
Assignment 2. India has suffered two test match defeats due to the collective collapse of the front-ranking batsmen. You are a renowned cricketer of yesteryears. BCCI asks you to find the reasons behind the debacle, and suggest remedial steps. Write your report.
Assignment 3. A girl student has complained against the college librarian stating how and a few of her friends have been the targets of sexual harassment by the man. As the senior-most professor of the college, you have been asked by the Principal to investigate the matter. Write a report.
[Model answers will be posted by September 15th.]
[Journalistic report writing will be dealt with in a separate post.]