Formal Report Writing A formal report is a comprehensive report officially written to a senior officer within an organization. It consists of a letter of transmittal, title page, table of contents, summary, findings, conclusion, recommendations, bibliography and glossary (Gerson & Gerson,2005). When writing a formal report, it is necessary for the writer to consider a lot of factors. Most importantly, the writer should consider the audience to which the report is addressed.
As an official communication, the formal report should contain background information and the findings of the research conducted. However, before presenting it to the audience, the author needs to consider the audience’s level of education, expertise, gender, culture, race, knowledge on the subject matter as well as the expectations on the report. Despite serving in the same organization, the writer, and recipient of the formal report are totally different people. So, since the report is targeted to the audience, all the necessary measures should be taken to ensure that the real purpose of the report is accomplished (Gerson & Gerson,2005).
Should there be any failure in complying with the expected standard; the report might not adequately serve its purpose. Any mistake to do with the use of gender, cultural, racial and ethnic insensitive language can distort the message. The same can happen if inadequate research is conducted or inappropriate terminologies and jargons are used in the report (Gerson & Gerson, 2005).
Therefore, it is incumbent upon the author to have enough understanding of the audience. Actions like the use of simple language and gender-neutral pronouns like ‘they’ ‘it’ and ‘them’ can help in ensuring that the audience is not offended. Last, but not least, the writer should not fail to equip the audience with adequate and up-to-date information on the subject matter.
Gerson, S. & Gerson, S. (2005). Technical Writing: Process and Product. Upper Saddle River: Prentice
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