Writing a Business Report in English. Part 1: Smart Tips


Writing a Business Report in English. Part 1: Smart Tips

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If you are taking a course in Business Management or any other applied disciplines, it is definitely going to be one of your home assignments. Quite practical, isn’t it?

Nevertheless, that part of your consciousness which is responsible for providing you with reasonable on-the-spot decisions in most unfamiliar situations you face, has probably prompted you that there must be something special about writing reports in general and about writing business reports in particular.

Well, yes, there is, actually. And here we are going to discuss the most essential features of such papers, as well as the whole range of helpful tips on producing a really impressive, irresistible business report.

Why You Should Write It: A Few Remarks Before We Start

It is going to be an account of the issue you have observed or investigated. In real-life business environment such issues can vary from collecting the information requested by your customer to analyzing and evaluating the current situation at the global market.

A well-written business report allows to consider a certain issue in detail, providing the relevant findings and building recommendations for the further work on them. Thus, your reader, whoever he or she is, can see a clear picture of the matter discussed and enjoy the ready-made solutions for it.

All self-respecting business schools of the world’s best universities assign their students to write absolutely real business reports. Not an essay or something like that, but a real problem-based report, which could be submitted to a client or boss, but not to a university professor. But please do not think that I am diminishing business skills of educators here.

On the contrary, nowadays many of them are engaged in different businesses or even run their own ones. So, they can evaluate your paper from several points of view at a time: business, academia, and language.

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Now let’s move from theory to practice and make out what you should take into account when working on your business report.

5 Main Report Writing Features

Based on the hints from Oxford Dictionary blog and some humble personal experience, we have selected the most significant features of such papers. Let’s check them out below!

  • Brevity: it is important to present your findings and ideas in a few words, without extra theorizing. The latter may turn your report into a wordy essay, but that is not what you are expected to submit.
  • Accuracy: it is usually accompanied with adequacy, which means that you should provide only true rational information unless the question is how precipitation influences the height of skyscrapers. Of course, I’m kidding, but I hope you can see the point.
  • Factuality: give them facts and numbers, as many as you can find, but make sure they all are relevant to the issue you are discussing in the report. Refer to respected sources, quote prominent analysts, and your reader will have no choice but to believe you.
  • Informativeness: its connection with the two previous features is quite obvious. Still you should note that all those accurate facts you insert into your writing so skillfully must be relevant to what you are discussing.
  • Clarity: you should use simple human English language, without decorating your report with metaphors and comparisons which add nothing but wordcount to it. Your reader should get you mean, right?

The Language of Business Report Writing: Tips & Tricks

We have just pointed that it should be clear and rather formal, considering all those data and ideas you are going to present. Now let’s go more linguistic and pay attention to the word choice and grammar of your paper.

  • To Be or Not to Be That Academic?

    I know it does sound somewhat strange, but that is what you will have to deal: when writing a business report in college, you should use academic English, though in the workplace professional writing can easily go without it. So, you we do recommend you using abstract expressions and Passive Voice this time. But you’d better avoid them when preparing a report for your real client.

  • May Compound Nouns Rule!

    Of course, you should not let your linguistic imagination carry you far away, but it is still recommended that as a report writer you pay more attention to nouns when building sentences and even headings. So, your sentences will look better and more readable if you do like this:

    Clients’ satisfaction is our main priority.

    NOT: The satisfaction we strive to provide for our clients is our main priority.

    Now let’s consider headings in more detail.

  • Avoid Questioning in Headings

    They should briefly describe what the following paragraph is about, so you do not need to question anything in them. Just state the fact:

    The Main Reasons for Investing in Construction Companies

    NOT: Why Is It Good to Invest in Construction Companies?

    Oh, I completely forgot to mention that unlike essays, business report writing welcomes headings and subheadings. But we will talk about it later.

  • Remember the Simple Tenses

    In most cases you will need Present Simple to present and analyze facts.

  • Check Your Knowledge of Grammatical Constructions

    Again, you should not misuse them in the text. Otherwise, you will just overload it with all those if-s, although-s, and so on. Nevertheless, if used wisely, they are very welcome in such type of papers, especially for the presentation of conclusions and recommendations.

Follow our updates and read more about the structure of a good business report in Part 2!

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