Home > Library > Essay Writing Guidelines > 5 Initial Elements of Report Writing

5 Initial Elements of Report Writing

Published by at November 19th, 2021 , Revised On October 9, 2023

Is it time to write your first report? Try not to dread too much on it. Think of the report writing process as a fun project and break it into stages. College students are asked to write a report for a particular audience; if not in college, you may be asked to write one at your job. Whatsoever the reason and premises, it is essential to learn the basics of report writing to draft an immaculate one.

Introduction to Report Writing: 

The report itself refers to giving an account of something you have seen, observed, or found out. In the academics and professional world, a report refers to any document that elaborates an event or a thesis that has been investigated through formal research methodologies. Moreover, research is a systematic study of an event, natural phenomenon, material, or condition to find out the facts and underlying reasons. Therefore, for academic research, thesis or dissertation, you have to write an elaborate report that is an integral part of a college degree.

According to the definition, a report is any formal document that explains a topic using facts, figures, charts, graphs, and other aids to support the arguments and findings.

Precisely, a report is any write-up that explains the findings of research in a set standard format. You need to get familiar with report writing skills and techniques to write a flawless paper and secure a good grade.

Types of Report: 

Some of the types of reports are:


The informational reports are the reports that are aimed to inform and instruct. The audience who reads such a report is informed about an occurrence, situation, and event. Since the report writers do not critically evaluate a problem in the informational report, there are no conclusions, limitations, or suggestions included.


The analytical reports critically analyze the information, and thus it includes conclusions and recommendations, etc. When writing this report, the report writers aim not only to inform the reader but provide the perspective of good or bad, right or wrong about the certain situation.


The persuasive reports are called an extension of the analytical reports as the report writers take a side based on the analysis of a situation that he has made. Moreover, the writer aims to convince the audience to believe and conform with his notion. The persuasive reports are usually written at businesses, as their purpose is to sell an idea, product, or service.

Difference between Report and Essay:

From the above-mentioned definition of report writing and its types, you might have become confused about how, if, reports differ from essay writing. Reports and essays are two different kinds of writings; here it is how.

  • Purpose: 

The purpose of the report is to elaborate and explain research or study that you can carry out yourself. On the other hand, writing an essay aims to describe ideas or research carried out by other people. Even if you have carried out a study yourself, you will write an essay about the arguments you have already made. Elaborately or precisely, an essay does not directly include any practical research.

  • Graphic aids: 

In the report writing, you can add charts, graphs, images, or other graphic aids to substantiate the arguments or findings of the research. In the essay, you cannot add any kind of graphic aid whatsoever the reason it could be.

  • Table of contents:

While it is required for the reports to have a table of contents, you do not need to add a table of content for essays.

  • Recommendations: 

Reports, except informational reports, include recommendations, but essays do not constitute any recommendations.

Stuck on a difficult report? We can help!

Our Report Writing Service Features:

  • Expert UK Writers
  • Plagiarism-free
  • Timely Delivery
  • Thorough Research
  • Rigorous Quality Control

Elements of Report Writing: 

1.     Executive Summary: 

The executive summary is a precise overview of the report that gives a quick preview of what the report is all about. It includes a glimpse of the outline, problem statement, methodology, findings, and limitations. Although abstract and executive summary are used interchangeably, there exists a fine difference between them both. Abstract and executive summary both constitute the same elements but differ in length: abstract is shorter than the executive summary. The executive summary is the comprehensive description or the overview of the paper. Moreover, abstracts are written for content that is to be published in a journal.

Anyways, the executive summary or abstract contains the following elements:

  • Background: 

The background includes an overview of the event or a more generalized description of a concept.

  • Problem statement:

You will write a sentence or two to define the problem that urged you to carry out the research. The problem can be any mere observation or literature gap that you have identified from the literature.

  • Method: 

The executive summary will also include the methodology employed to do the research. It will mention the type and approach of sampling and analysis, i.e., qualitative and quantitative.

  • Findings:

It will provide the main results, conclusions, and findings of the research.

One thing that you must remember in mind

2.    Introduction: 

The next element of the report writing is the introduction. It is a significant part of the report that introduces the reader to the broad value of the research. While the executive summary is a brief overview, the introduction part of the research is a detailed overview. In the introduction, you will describe the context and background and provide the significance of the report. In this section, you will also highlight the research objectives and aim that you want to achieve. Shed some light on the problem and the driving reason behind the research. You will also mention the method that you have used to carry out the investigation. Briefly mention the answer to the problem that you have dug out a thorough investigation in the research.

3.    Findings: 

The findings of the report will contain the main conclusions that you have extracted as a result of the research. You will mention your findings and can include graphical aids if they support them. To cut the story short, it is the place where you will pen down the details of the observations that you found out from the event, object, or situation.

4.    Discussion:

In the discussion session, you will discuss and analyze the finding of the research. The discussion tackles two areas. First, it elaborates the findings; second, it makes the recommendations.

In this section, you will make the comparisons, check the result along with different scales, and extend the discourse by making speculations based on facts and identifying the covert reasons for specific phenomena. In the discussion, it is imperative to put the explanations in a logical and systematic manner to avoid any inadequacies. Moreover, in the discussion section, when you are explaining your findings, they must be aided with sufficient facts.

5.    Conclusion:

Last but not least, you will end up your report with the conclusion that sums up the whole story of the research. In conclusion, it is important to maintain a hierarchy of ideas in order of importance of details. In a way, it is more like an essay conclusion that rephrases the introduction. It is the gist of the report that precisely describes the main conclusions, mentions major issues to the given situation and the report writer’s interpretation of that. When writing the conclusion, you must cut corners and focus on what is important and valuable to discuss.

Also Read: Things You Should Know About Report Writing

In a nutshell

While students/employees respond in many ways to write different assignments, report writing is something they usually find daunting. If you know what to do in report writing, you will find it exciting to craft a good report and get all the praise from your supervisor. The five pillars of report writing include an executive summary, introduction, findings, discussion, and conclusion. Keep them in your mind while writing your report, and you will be able to write a perfect one.

Good Luck with your report writing!

Frequently Asked Questions

Different types of report writing include research reports, business reports, technical reports, investigative reports, and academic reports, each serving specific purposes like analysis, documentation, or communication.

About Grace Graffin

Avatar for Grace GraffinGrace has a bachelor's and a master's degree from Loughborough University, so she's an expert at writing a flawless essay at ResearchProspect. She has worked as a professional writer and editor, helping students of at all academic levels to improve their academic writing skills.