Information Report Examples: Definition, Types, and Formats
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Information reports are a common way to organize and share information. There are many types of information reports, such as sales reports, school reports, social media reports, and marketing reports. Learning how to write a report can help you present the facts about a specific topic clearly and concisely. In this article, we define information reports, explore the importance of reviewing information report examples, discuss common information report types, review information report formats, and offer tips for writing an effective information report.
What are information reports?
An information report refers to a document or text that educates readers on the facts of a specific topic. The report can provide facts about a wide range of living and nonliving phenomena. Information reports can also provide facts about an individual or group of objects. For example, you can write an information report about an aircraft, a city like Athens, historical facts, or environmental facts. You can find information report examples in reference books, technical texts, encyclopedias, science books, social studies books, internet websites, and magazines.
An information report usually provides facts and evidence about a specific topic. Avoid giving an opinion when writing information reports. Any text that may include your opinion becomes a persuasive or expository text. Information reports are about a class of objects and usually highlight the similarities and differences between the objects.
Importance of reviewing information report examples
Examples of information reports can provide several benefits, especially if you're preparing to make one of your own. Taking time to assess a variety of examples can help you understand the type of content each report includes. They can help you understand proper information formatting and provide a model to follow. Using examples can also help you assess the strengths and challenges in your own reports and supply ideas for improvement. Some common examples include research reports, weekly reports, annual reports, and sales reports.
Types of information reports
There are different types of information reports you can write, including:
A weekly report can provide information about the progress of a project or goals every week. Information on weekly reports can include a summary of the tasks you completed and highlight your tasks in the upcoming week. The typical length of weekly reports is one page. Some companies request weekly reports with in-depth explanations and specific updates, making the report longer.
Annual reports may summarize performance and progress in a specific year. The contents of annual reports depend on the purpose of the report. For example, annual reports can let supervisors know the performance of the team members within the year. Sales profits and website analytics are other content examples that may feature on annual reports.
Project reports may provide updates on the status of an individual or group of projects. It can include a timeline that reports your progress and deadlines for various project milestones. Project reports usually update team members, supervisors, and clients about the progress of a project.
Sales and marketing reports
Sales or marketing reports update your team on the progress of your sales and or marketing strategies. They can provide an excellent opportunity to determine if your strategy is working and any necessary changes. Sales or marketing reports can summarize a product's increase in engagements, highlight graphs showing profit margins, or provide progress reports of the sales and marketing efforts.
Academic reports may summarize the academic progress of a class. They're common for undergraduate or graduate classes in many fields of study, including physics, biology, chemistry, sociology, and humanities, and political science. Academic reports can use a formal writing style and discuss topics relating to academic studies.
A research report is common for writing about a topic that requires in-depth research. Research reports use data and statistics to explain results from a study or scientific findings. It's essential to ensure that your research is relevant and accurate.
Information report format
The format of your information report can vary depending on the data and information you add. Here are the general components of an information report format:
You can design a title or cover page for your information report to highlight what the report covers. A good information report may show a clear hierarchy of the title and subtitles. You can make the title font size larger than other subtitles in the report. Use clear wording to write the title of the information report. The title or the cover page may have the following features:
Date of writing the report
Table of contents
The table of contents may come next in your format. You may not want to write it until your report is complete, as this can allow you to assign accurate page numbers and avoid making corrections. If you already have section and subsection titles, you may start a table of contents outline and assign page numbers later. A table of contents page can make it easy for readers to find relevant information. It's a crucial section because it improves the overall readability of your information report.
The summary or abstract uses one or two paragraphs to introduce an overview of the report. It highlights its purpose, process, and resolution. It may be easier to write this summary after writing the report, but some people prefer forming an initial summary to guide them as they write the rest of the report. If you write the summary first, revisit it and make updates and edits accordingly.
The introduction lets the reader know what the report is about and why you're writing it. You can discuss why your topic is essential, especially if you're writing a research report. The length of the introduction may depend on the length of the information report. A short information report may require an introduction to be about one paragraph. Long information reports can have a one-page introduction. For example, a social media report may have a one-paragraph introduction, while an annual report may requires a longer introduction.
The body is the longest section of the information report. It explains all the information about the report topic. You can divide the body content into sections and subsections. You can choose to use data visualization and bullet points to explain the contents better. The length of the body may depend on your report.
The conclusion summarizes the content of your report. Avoid adding new information in the conclusion section. Mention the resources available in the appendix and the recommendations section.
The recommendations section may suggest a set of actionable steps with SMART goals to find potential solutions to any challenges your report presents. It's irrelevant to add recommendation sections for book reports or school reports unless you have instructions to do so. The recommendation section can be useful in writing a business information report.
The appendix lists all sources of information in your report. You can use it to note your research sources, previous reports on the same topic or any links with information relevant to the report. References and notations within your report should correlate to the content in the appendix.
Tips for writing an effective information report
Here are some tips to help you write an effective information report:
Use the correct tense
You can use the present tense to write your information report. Using the present tense can make the knowledge in your report sound more relevant and current. When writing informal information reports like biographies and autobiographies, you can use the past tense.
Apply subject-specific vocabulary
Write an information report using vocabulary that's specific to the topic. For example, if you're writing an information report on animals, use words and phrases like species, habitat, lifespan, and offspring. You can find it helpful to research words and phrases on the topic before you write. Researching can allow you to cover all the relevant material and can be an excellent opportunity to organize your content before writing.
Use passive voice
It's common to use a passive voice in formal writing. Active voice focuses the reader's attention on the doer of the action. It's common in fictional narrative writing. Information reports also use the third-person perspective to maintain a formal and impersonal tone. For example, an active voice may phrase a sentence as, Every year motorists kill hundreds of deer on Canadian roads. Passively, you may say Every year hundreds of deer are killed by motorists on Canadian roads.
Add visual information
You can add visual presentations through the report to support the text. Examples of visuals you can use include photographs, diagrams, graphs, pictures, tables, or maps. Visual presentations are important because they help readers process more information quickly. Remember to label your visual representations appropriately.
Differentiate between facts and opinions
Information reports allow you to provide factual information about a specific topic. When writing an information report, it's essential to differentiate between fact and opinion. Accurate information can make your reports more reliable and actionable.
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