Essential Tips for Writing Report Introductions

Reports are descriptive pieces of writing that are expected to give the reader a comprehensive overview of a specific topic. It should provide a better understanding to your readers. And as with any piece of writing, introductions are significant. If you’re unsure how to write a report introduction, you’ve found the perfect article to help you.

Carefully crafted introductions should be concise, clear, and honest. The initial section of your introduction should give your reader a quick overview of the report. In this article, we’ll talk about how you can do exactly just that.

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Photo by Dan Dimmock on Unsplash

What is a Report?

A report is a document that presents an overview of the information gathered by an individual or group for a specific purpose. It also states the methods done to collect that information. Reports are closely similar to a business paper or a case study.

Schools, universities, and organizations often use reports to provide an overview of different programs or explain new organizational structures’ pros and cons. They generally present data more professionally and visually appealingly. It can make use of charts or graphs to help organize data.

Different Types of Reports

Reports can be categorized into different types based on their purpose, objectives, or target audience. Here are some of the most common types of reports:

Academic Reports

Academic reports present the research results and provide a scholarly summary of the findings. They should be concise, properly cited, and documented. These can also measure the learning progress made by students.

  • Book reports
  • Critique papers
  • Movie analysis
  • Research papers

Scientific Reports

In contrast to academic reports, a scientific report is more in-depth and professional. It is a more cumulative report, which includes data measured with comprehensive analysis.

This report focuses on the technical aspects of the subject. It is essential to define the problem and research method for a scientific report.

  • Case studies
  • Technical notes
  • Editorials

Business Reports

Several businesses base their strategies on business reports. They can be written by management or specific departments and divided into categories. A business report can contain the following:

  • Introduction
  • Detailed information on the company
  • Key company statistics and trends
  • Diagrams and charts depicting each section

How to Write a Report Introduction

Introductions for each type of report should be structured differently and follow different patterns. The steps listed below are general strategies for how to write a good introduction for a report.

1. Limit it to a few lines

Report introductions are generally 500-100 words long. This is longer than how you would typically write introductions to essays. The length of the introduction will depend mainly on the overall length of your report.

2. Make it interesting.

Start with a sentence starter that draws the reader’s attention and makes them want to learn more about your report. You can start stating the problem you’re trying to solve. Or you can state essential and trivial information that your report has gathered.

3. State your main points

Your introduction should describe what your report will cover. Consider the main themes you have studied or researched and how they relate to the overall findings in the report.

Think about what the report aims to accomplish and what knowledge was already widely accepted about the subject matter. An excellent report should build on existing information.

4. End with a thesis statement

Conclude your introduction with a strong thesis statement that expresses the report’s main point and summarizes all findings. This should be written as the last sentence of the opening.

What Should a Report Include?

Different institutions may require various report formats. Here are some general sections that a report usually includes.

1. Title page

Reports often use a title page to keep things organized. The title page can include the authors’ names and the report submission date. It may also include additional information, such as a grant or project number.

2. Table of contents

The table of contents helps readers in navigating the page directly to the section they’re interested in, allowing faster navigation.

3. Page numbering

Page numbering is necessary if you are writing a longer report. By placing page numbers, you can ensure they are in order if there are errors or misprints.

4. Headings and subheadings

Reports are usually divided into sections, separated by headings and subheadings, so viewers can browse and scan quickly.

5. Citations

The report guidelines can tell you what format is best if you are citing information from a different source. A typical citation format for reports is the American Psychological Association format.

6. Works cited page

At the end of the report, you should include a bibliography with credits and legal information for other sources where you obtained information.

To Wrap Up

The purpose of a report is to inform an audience about a particular issue or study. It can provide an opportunity for public engagement and feedback or discussion on new or existing information.

Your introduction is an essential part of any report. It contains a brief glimpse into the main points your report will be discussing. Remember to limit it to a few lines and state your main points clearly. Now you know how to write a report introduction, you’re ready to try writing one yourself!

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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