Many situations require the writing of a report. Whether it is an internship report in training or the report of an accident, writing such a text should be learned. So it is not done with a simple text production. It is not enough to string together different sentences, even with the same sentence beginnings or a jumble of different tenses. No, a report represents a complex text form all its own. For this reason, it is necessary to answer the question of what makes a report, how it is structured and, of course, how to write it correctly. In the following we will answer these questions.
Reports and their features
Texts can be divided into types based on their characteristics. We distinguish between texts of a fictional nature, such as literary texts, and those that are characterized by facts. Here one speaks of factual texts. Reports also belong to this group. They have both text-internal and text-external characteristics. First, a look at the external elements of a report should be taken.
Elements external to the text can be its function as well as its external form. Reports are characterized by objectivity, which explains why they belong to the group of non-fiction texts. Influencing elements, such as one’s own opinion or irrelevant information are avoided. The medium in which a text is published also says something about its nature. This is how reports are often found in the form of field reports in magazines.
Text-internal criteria, on the other hand, refer to the structure, composition, and nature of a report. When writing a report, it is important to be as accurate as possible. Thus a choice of words is to be used, which serves the thing, thus factually and informatively the reader a certain topic more near brings. Linguistically, care must be taken to use the correct tense. Since a report always deals with a topic that has already happened, the text must make the lack of reference to the present clear. Reports are thus always written in the past tense.
But what is the information that should be written in a report? This is of course only a rhetorical question. In order to answer it, the external structural framework must be addressed.
The structure of a report
A report always consists of an introduction, a main part and a conclusion. As the name suggests, in the Introduction the subject to be discussed is mentioned. The important thing here is not to do this in just one sentence, but to inform the reader as precisely as possible about the topic being discussed. This also includes a chronological classification of the event. Furthermore, the introduction should inform about the place where the event took place and who was involved in this event. To summarize, the introduction of a report must answer the questions "What??", "When?", "where?" and the "Who?" answered in factual form.
The Main part is the most important part of a report. This finally goes into the actual topic. The main part is divided into three subsections. The first third states the most important information about the topic to be covered. As an author, the question of why what happened and how can be of help here, because that is what it is all about: "why" "what" "how" happened?
The second third of the main section once again summarizes the entire report in brief, and then the third third goes into precise details about the topic, thus further fleshing out the topic.
The Conclusion of a report finally deals with the consequences resulting from the topic. A short summary serves the reader once again as an orientation and helps to sort out what has been read and to keep it in mind.
Tips for writing a report
If you want to write a report, you have to be clear about the exact topic. Before starting the writing, key points should be noted down and sorted into the categories "introduction", "main part" and "conclusion". The following questions can provide guidance:
Introduction: "who" has done "what" "when" "where?
Main body: "What" is "how" "why" happened?
ConclusionWhat were the consequences of what happened??
Within each category, the key points should be organized in a meaningful way. Finally, when writing, be sure to use neutral, factual, and informative language. A writing style in the past tense must be adhered to. Colloquial expressions always reflect a piece of one’s own attitude towards the subject and therefore make an unprofessional impression. Therefore, they should also be avoided at all costs.