Purposes of Reports

Reports generally have one of three sometimes overlapping purposes:

  • to report information, including key aspects of daily activities, meetings, trips, and conferences; to report progress on projects


  • to analyze information, including data for decision making and data from laboratory studies or field studies


  • to persuade readers to consider the analysis and accept any recommendations

Regardless of the type of report you are preparing, always consider why it is needed: Someone needs information to stay informed, make a decision, or justify an action. The content, style, and format of your reports should simplify the readers' work.

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