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Report Writing
Structure of the reportWriting Business Reports
 

Body of the report

The body section expands and develops the material in a logical and coherent manner, reflecting the structure outlined in the Introduction. It contains a description of the findings and a discussion of them. It should also relate the findings to any theory of relevance. The following questions are examples of some of the types of questions the body of your report should seek to answer:

key-bullet What were the most significant findings or factors involved in the topic/ problem?

key-bullet Did the findings support the theory?

key-bullet Have you found some disagreement with the theory?

key-bullet Did you uncover any unexpected or new issues that need to be considered?

This section is usually the longest part of the report. The material must be presented logically. The type of headings you use to organise the information in the body of your report will depend on the purpose of the report you are preparing. Make sure the headings and sub-headings you choose are informative. The following general structures are just examples of ways it may be appropriate to structure your report.

Type 1:   Findings/ Discussion
              • Sub-heading 1
                 • Statement of issue 1
                 • findings
                 • discussion of whether it supports or contrasts with theory
                 • discussion of significance to theory/ practice

              • Sub-heading 2
                 • Statement of issue 2
                 • findings
                 • discussion of whether it supports or contrasts with theory
                 • discussion of significance to theory/ practice


Type 2:   Findings
              • Sub-heading 1
                 • Statement of issue 1
                 • findings

              • Sub-heading 2
                 • statement of issue 2
                 • findings

Discussion
              • Issue 1
                 • discussion of whether it supports or contrasts with theory
                 • discussion of significance to theory/ practice

              • Issue 2
                 • discussion of whether it supports or contrasts with theory
                 • discussion of significance to theory/ practice


If your report requires any collection or analysis of data, it would generally contain a method section in the body of the report briefly describing how the data was collected: literature search, web pages, interviews (details of the questions and the subject pool), financial and other business reports, etc. Details of types of calculations or analysis undertaken would also be detailed.

The body of a report will also probably contain supporting evidence such as tables, graphs or figures. Only include those that are essential for reader understanding, the rest can be placed in an appendix that is referred to in the text; for example,

key-bullet Appendix C contains the YoY predicted growth in shareholder accounts for the company.

Follow this link for more information on using figures in the text.
Follow this link for more information on appendices.

 



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