6 Tips On Writing Professional Business Reports

Business reports serve as management tools, which help you get a good handle on essential elements and relationships that have been found in the raw data. As a result, these reports can help you make more effective decisions on any scenario that it indicates.

Business reports tend to follow a certain structure:

  • A chosen topic
  • Defining a clear purpose, AND
  • Speaking to a certain audience

With such a structure, these reports should be well-written, follow structure, and grab readers’ attention. So, whether you’re writing a report for work or for school, why not express the employer or teacher by following these 6 professional tips?

1. Define The Topic And Purpose

“It’s important to keep in mind that writing business reports isn’t the same as sending an email or composing a formal letter,” says Todd Lyon, a project manager at HuffPost. “Instead, a business report describes a present or past situation, while stating facts and shying away from opinion. In that case, your job is to report on something.”

It’s also imperative to know that you’re not writing an essay here. It’s all about presenting a situation in a clear and objective way. And, when writing the report, keep the following in mind:

  • The topic
    The purpose
    Your target readers
    The facts (i.e. statistics, data, etc.)

If you have to, map out your report with an outline, before you start writing. 

2. Make Report Readable

When formatting your business report, be sure to make it readable. Having said that, here are some tips that will make your report easier to read:


  • Standard Top Section
    • The standard section tells the reader the who and what of your report before they beginning reading its contents. This includes:
      • To: (The name of the addressee, or their position if you don’t know the name)
      • From: (You)
      • Date: (Only the month and day, with months capitalized in English.)
      • Subject: (A concise and helpful title that the reader can quickly understand.)

  • Headings
    • Headings tell the reader where to find specific information, rather than try to skim through the report. Headings are like subtitles, since they summarize the main ideas of a section. Some examples of headings to include in your report are:
      • Terms of reference (Why you’re writing the report.)
      • Procedure (Your process in finding out what happened.)
      • Findings (Your discovery.)
      • Conclusions (A brief summary of your report)
      • Recommendations (Your suggestions – or opinions – to the reader on what they should do.)

  • Bullet Points
    • Bullet points help you structure the information more clearly (similarly to how this very article is doing so in demonstrating report format). Just keep in mind to not overdo bullet points, or else you’ll litter the report with too many points, thus hindering their actual purpose.

3. Use Passive Voice

When writing the report, keep the tone neutral, or opt for a formal one. But as you pick a tone, be sure to use the passive voice, so that you can shift the focus from someone doing an action to the action itself. For instance, consider these two sentences:

  • When the voice is active, a sentence may sound like this: People need to make changes in how they write.
  • Whereas, the passive voice turns that sentence into this: Changes in how people write need to be made.

Thus, the passive voice serves as an impersonal and more formal tone, since it focuses on the action, instead of the people doing the action. 

4. Demonstrate Good Business Vocabulary And Grammar

Want to make a good impression on the reader? Then be sure to use good language in your business report.

One of the best ways to demonstrate your knowledge of business vocabulary and grammar is to familiarize yourself with the vocabulary and how they’re used in the right context. When you hear or see a new word or expression, write it down and create sentences with it. As for grammar, read up on using more complex grammatical structures like “if” clauses. Plus, make sure that both you and the reader can understand what’s being said in your report – that’s clarity.

When in doubt, ask for help, or consult books and or online resources prior to taking an exam or writing an actual business report. 

5. Avoid Typos

The last thing you want is to submit a business report that’s riddled with typos. And while spellcheck might be a saving grace when scanning your report for errors, these tools won’t spot all of the mistakes.

Here are a few solutions to avoiding typos:

  • Avoid using words that you’re not used to writing.
  • When in doubt, use a synonym to the word that you’re trying to articulate.
  • While dictionaries can be used at work, you CAN’T use them during a school exam. Therefore, know when to use a dictionary.

“When checking for typos, know what words to fix, or which ones to cut out if they sound confusing,” adds McKenzie. “The goal here is to show off your writing strengths, not weaknesses.”

6. Don’t Forget To Proofread!

Once you’re finished writing your report, don’t stop there. Don’t ever assume that your roguh draft is the finished product.

Set aside a few minutes to proofread, and then proofread it again. Why? The first run-through will be to spot any grammar and vocabulary mistakes, and the second time will be to check for typos.

Conclusion

While business reports are important to a company and or school that you associate with, it’s still important to write something good and effective, not something that’s been rushed out the door. Poorly-written and incoherent reports will not only jeopardize your credibility as a writer, but also have you perform poorly when it comes to your job or schooling. 

Therefore, keep these 6 tips in mind when writing a business report. And, as always, don’t be afraid to ask for help – or ask for tutoring if the report is part of examination. By learning how to spot mistakes and format your paper, you’ll prove to readers, colleagues, coworkers, etc. that you have what it takes to write a successful report.


Guest Article by Lauren Groff

Lauren Groff is a writer and editor at Academized Review and Best Essay Services. As an experienced writer and blogger, her goals involve producing quality content and ensuring reader satisfaction.

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