The ability to read and write reports is an essential skill in today’s world. Therefore we need to acquaint ourselves with the three main types of reports – Informational, Analytical, and Proposals. Informational reports mainly provide facts and figures while analytical reports go one step further and provide an analysis of the facts presented. Proposals are usually prior to writing a full-blown report and contain the methods on how a certain study is to be undertaken. No matter what our occupation is, one thing we will surely deal with is reports whether it be reading and evaluating them or writing them.
Therefore it is of importance for a person to be acquainted with three main types of reports – Informational Reports, Analytical Reports, and Proposals. The most basic report is the informational report. As its name implies, an informational report’s main purpose and goal is to provide information in the form of facts, figures, or observations on a certain subject so that the reader will have a better understanding of the subject matter. For informational reports, it is very important to have accurate and significant facts gained from credible sources.
An analytical report is similar to an informational report in that it also contains significant and informative facts gained from credible sources but it goes a step further because the author presents an analysis of the information cited in an effort to come up with ways of solving the issue. Usually the author will present facts and figures regarding the subject and then will provide a detailed analysis of these facts and figures in order to shed more light on the subject of the report. (Shurter et al. , 1965)
A proposal on the other hand is something that is usually written prior to making a report or a study and states the importance or significance of undertaking that study. (Brown 1955) A proposal is similar to an informational report in that it must include preliminary sources where facts can be gained from. It is similar to an analytical report in the sense that it usually tackles an issue and it proposes to use a certain methodology or framework in which to analyze the data and thereby draw conclusions from.
The main purpose for writing a proposal is if you want to undertake a certain study or report and wish to get a professionals’ opinion and advice on your idea for a report or to gain funding from different sponsors. Reference List: Brown, L. (1955). Effective Business Report Writing. Wisconsin: Prentice-Hall. Shurter, R. L. , & Williamson J. P. , & Broehl, W. G. (1965). Business Research and Report Writing. California: University of California.