Academic Writing Complete Guide
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How to Write an Informational Report
You cannot write an information report first without knowing what it is or what it entails. An informational report explains a topic using detailed facts when writing an informational report; you are not supposed to persuade your audience or argue a point. These reports should always be free of opinions. The main idea here is to provide necessary information to the audience. With an information report, one gets a chance to create a better understanding of a subject.
Information reports are based on anything ranging from cars, ocean animals, pollution, rainforests, computers and so on. Compared to analytical reports, informational reports are not that lengthy.
The differences between analytical reports and informational reports
These are the major differences between analytical reports and informational reports. At times there are people who might mistake one report for another, but this information will help you in knowing what to write where. The differences include:
- The informational report is a presentation of information that provides a better understanding of a subject. On the other hand, analytical reports are majorly premised on analyzed data
- Informational reports do not include recommendations, but the analytical reports utilize recommendation as a crucial part.
- The length of the informational report is shorter as opposed to analytical reports, which is much longer. This depends on the amount of data that has been analyzed.
- Informational reports do not take much time in preparation as opposed to analytical reports.
- Informational reports do not require any set of special knowledge. However, when writing analytical reports, one must have special knowledge and skills especially those that apply to the analytics of data.
- Information reports do not have a special format to follow when writing. When writing analytical reports, the writer must follow a specific format of data presentation.
- The costs involved in the preparation of informational, reports are far less costly than the ones involved in the preparation of t analytical reports.
The structure of an information report
Information report writers cause simple structure during the writing process. However, everything should start from the basic step of brainstorming as selecting a topic. Let us put this into perspective.
- Topic selection
The first thing that an information report writer ought to do is to select an appropriate topic. The goal here is to inform the audience. Writing an informational report on a controversial topic can be complex. For instance, you cannot afford to talk about global warming when you have inadequate details when you have a neutral subject like gardening. Settle on a topic that you can research and present facts objectively. Once you have the topic, it is crucial to narrow your focus especially if the topic seems to be broad. Avoiding broad topics is important because they are a recipe for long informational reports, which in most cases lose focus. You have to make it narrow but not too narrow to lose its effect. If possible, let it be narrow to the extent of providing several detailed paragraphs to the audience. For instance, if your gardening topic is too broad, you can try showing your audience how they can grow vegetables in a pot. This well-focused topic is easily manageable.
- Creating a thesis statement
A thesis statement is the premise of your informational report. It is supposed to be a single or two sentences that are clear. Thesis statements in most cases come at the end of the introduction. A good thesis statement makes the writing process more focused. It is easy to know what to include and what to discard.
- Researching on your topic
Your report must hinge on facts. There are many great sources that you can use to write your reports. The best way is to avoid some highly unreliable websites that are only interested in selling you something. These are mostly the .com websites. The best way to do research is to use more academic sources that include the peer-reviewed journals, reference books, as well as government reports. Ensure that the sources and authors of your information are credible enough. Cross-reference your facts amongst many sources to determine consistency. You can infer the truthfulness of a fact if it has been reported in more than three different sources.
- Writing your informational report
Once you have all the facts necessary, it is time for you to write your report. It is crucial that you start with a plan. For instance, if you are writing a three-paragraph information report, you must have an introduction, a body paragraph, and a conclusion. Use the introduction to establish the topic and present your thesis. The body paragraph will discuss the facts and details of the topic. Sum up your report and draw a good conclusion. Let us expand on this further.
This is the first paragraph of your report that introduces the topic that you are expounding on. The introduction, which is also known as the classification, should always serve the purpose of grabbing the interest of your audience. You should also make your introduction clear and simple to understand, your thesis statement should be the last sentence of your introduction to your information report. To hook your readers, you can use direct quotes especially if you are presenting a specific statistic or an expert opinion. However, do not make your introduction and the information report at large, a series of quotes.
The body paragraphs
This is where you present your facts and discuss your topic. When you are presenting these facts, you can summarize, paraphrase, or quote. When using direct quotes, you have to be meticulous not to make your work just a body of quotes. Compile the facts and use your own words to present them. When you condense and larger source into a shorter passage of your own words, you are summarizing. This is a great way to use sources in your report. Paraphrasing is almost similar to a summary, but it involves taking a short passage from a literature and writing it in your own words. To presents your facts in an informational report, you can combine the three techniques.
More so, you can break down your body paragraphs into headings and subheadings. This will help in organizing your information and making the information report have a sense of direction and information flow.
This is where you provide any final details in your reports. In other words, you have to tell everything that you have discussed in the report to your thesis statement. Use your own words to re-emphasize on the topic with regard to the evidence that you have provided in the body of your informational report. The rule of thumb to consider is that this conclusion does not allow you to introduce new information, facts, or evidence that you have not discussed in your informational report. Since you are presenting information to the audience, let your conclusion give them a sense of closure. This way, your informational report will have played its role effectively.
- Using visual elements in your informational report
When you are presenting your information report, you can use visual elements to enable the reader get a clear understanding of what you are talking about. Visual elements include graphs, tables, figures, maps, photographs, or drawings.
This happens at the end of the report and is a list of all the technical words that you have used in your information report with their definitions.
This is an enumeration of all the sources that you have used in the informational report. They can be books, magazines, websites peer-reviewed journals, etc.
After finishing the writing process of your report, you can read it severally to ensure the facts you have used are correct, they provide details and are free of personal opinion. Remember that informational reports have to be objective. Proofread to check for any grammatical mistakes, spelling and punctuation inconsistencies and if the sentence structure is perfect.
Since these reports are not opinionated, you are not supposed to spare any energy when you are researching. Make it in-depth since this will enable you to write a very effective report that is informational besides applying a neutral attitude when presenting your facts. With regard to the thesis statement, essentially, information reports do not require one, but they still need a clear and focused direction that comes in a single sentence. This is how your thesis statement becomes crucial.
When writing your report, have the target audience in your mind. You have to know who wants the report and the reasons behind this need. If you have not analyzed your audience, then it will be difficult to write your report. If it is a class assignment, as the instructor the motivation behind the assignment and how the topic ought to be addressed. Pay attention to the format to ensure you are on the safe side. For instance, a lab report is very different from a book report, but essentially, every informational report will use facts as the premise of its neutral discussion to make it effectively authoritative.