Reports have a notorious habit for disclosing the obscure and, often, uncomfortable truths that are left to thrive in the darkness. Since the day the US launched its War on Terror following the 9/11 attacks, service members who were deployed in both Iraq and Afghanistan came home scarred and beyond repair—psychologically. PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has been infecting soldiers and war veterans throughout the shadows of history. The Great War, however, brought the disorder into the world of medicine’s attention thanks to British Psychologist Charles Samuel Myers when he first reported and described the malady in his research paper, Shell Shock, in 1915. The condition continued to affect the lives of our wounded veterans up to this day. However, if it weren’t for people who reported this condition as a health issue, then measures wouldn’t have been formulated to address it and help the afflicted.
What is a Report?
A report is a compilation of information and data gathered from various sources on a certain subject or issue. The information and data presented in the report are then analyzed in order to draw decisions from and address any issues found in between its lines. The aim and objective of reporting are to hit two birds with one stone by shedding light on the minute details of a subject, at the same time, unmasking its effects on the bigger picture. Reports, in a nutshell, is the act of sifting the truth out from the dustbowl of facts.
Key Elements of a Report
The main objective of a report is to present facts and unmask the truth behind each of them. The main goal, however, is for the proper authorities to decide and act upon it. Acting upon the issues, especially if they’ve existed for a long amount of time, wouldn’t materialize if the fact of its existence wasn’t brought into the world’s attention in the first place. When the story of blood diamonds was first brought into the world’s attention in the ’90s, it resulted in the global community’s outrage and calls to address the issue. This prompted the UN to take action on the issue, in an effort to curb the loathsome trade—Peacekeeping operations, Economic Sanctions, and Blockades.
The reputation of reports on bringing changes to the world is utterly undeniable. The secret to achieving such lies not on the facts spattered on its pages, but on how the facts are presented for the world to swallow and digest easily. To write an informative and comprehensive report, here are the key elements to keep in mind.
Although most people find thrill in suspense and surprise. However, when subjects and issues get too serious, giving our audiences a hint on what the report is all about should be in order. That is what abstracts are all about. They are like trailers of our favorite films, giving us a sneak-peek of what the movie would be like without betraying the whole story in the process.
When establishing relationships with a total stranger, we first introduce ourselves, starting with our basic information— Name, Age, and Address—before we delve into the good stuff, which are the deeper aspects of our private lives. Introductions function the same way as written above. It serves as the kilometer zero for your audience’s journey towards the expanse of information detailed inside the report. It is a starting point which the audience can transition from.
The bare-it-all nature of gossips and rumors are entertaining yet, far-reaching from being an informative discussion. However, unlike those in a report, discussions are based on facts from which the truths are drawn from them. This part is where uncomfortable truths, open-secrets, and long-standing issues are shed-light upon for the world to be aware. This is also where the thick of the action happens, to the detail and to the letter, leaving no stone unturned or anything shied away from.
Humans are naturally inclined to make conclusions out of almost everything. But, one must practice a certain degree of restraint and discretion when writing a conclusion in their reports. Conclusions, in this sense, is where the analysis behind the facts presented should be made-known.
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1. Incident Report Form
2. Accident Investigation Report Form
3. General Incident Report Form
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7. Example Violent Incident Report Form
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16. Non Employee Incident Report Form
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22. Traffic Accident Report Form
23. Annual Accident Report Form
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How to Write a Report
Writing a report could be a daunting and ardious task for the unititiated. However, writing one could also be easy depending on where you learned it from. You can either take the long and time consuming path using the traditional way, or, take the easy and conventient route with the help of ready-made templates. To get you started with the process, here are the steps on how to write a report.
Step 1. Gather Facts from Credible Sources
The first step in the process is to start by gathering the facts that you’ll need in writing a report. With that being said, gathering your facts straight from credible sources is a must. And to do that, you can either conduct interviews, do site visits, consult documents, or all of the above. Doing these is an absolute necessity, especially if it has something to do with writing financial reports for a company.
Step 2. Define its Scope and Limitation
Drawing the boundaries on where your fact-finding endeavors should be confined is absolutely necessary. There are times where one gets carried away during the course of the fact-finding and eventually misled or veered away from its goals and objectives—which is more of a consequence rather than a coincidence. To avert such misfortune, one must prepare a clear set of goals and objectives to define the report’s scope and limitations properly. This phase doesn’t have to be put in writing, lest, make it like a sort of reminder of when to start, and when to stop.
Step 3. Make a Draft of the Report
Making an initial draft before writing a report in its final form lets you avoid the hassle of repeating the whole process due to errors. This step is where one can experiment on how the facts should be presented and how it should be delivered. You can do this process by making your draft on a piece of paper and can be repeated until the desired result is achieved.
Step 4. Write a Report using a Template
Taking the easiest route may not always be the best way of doing things. However, in this case, taking the easiest route is an absolute necessity when writing a report. Reports are more likely to demand urgency, especially when lives and property are at stake. By using templates, you can easily write reports using a ready-made platform in a short period. To be able to do that, choose a template from our wide selection, and edit the template right after downloading it.
Step 5. Submit the Report
Reporting is done for one goal and one goal only. That is to expose hidden, and long-standing issues left unaddressed for as long as time could remember it. To address those issues, submit the report immediately right after completion. This step will allow the senior management not only to resolve the issue but also draw decisions based on the facts that the report details.
Fact-Finding – The activity of gathering facts straight from the source itself. Sources that facts are drawn from include literature and living people.
Investigation – Is an activity that aims to flush out the truth from facts. Investigation can be done through a systematic study of a particular subject, by inquiry, or by a mixture of both.
Analysis – Is the act of a detailed examination of a subject matter. Analysis can be done through the use of logical instruments, such as deductive or inductive reasoning, to dissect its whole structure into digestible parts.
1. Should reports be unbiased?
Yes, it is a must. Educated opinions are necessary for presenting your analysis and conclusion in a report. However, overdoing it does not only responsible for the crime of self-indulgence but also of compromising the credibility of the report itself. To make your reports unbiased, you have to constantly remind yourself to remain as neutral as possible throughout the course of writing. Remember, reports exist to present facts and expose truths, not opinions.
2. Should facts be drawn from credible sources only?
Absolutely! Credibility is everything in reporting. With that being said, credibility must start during the fact-finding phase of the report. Drawing facts from credible sources not only gives authority to the report itself but also enables your audience to see the reality of the situation based on the facts that you presented. Also, it allows the decision-makers in an organization to accurately formulate plans to address any issues, fix problems, and even improve the organization as a whole.
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