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BUSC-S2P: Business Report

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Business Report

Business Report

Synopsis: A report conveys the results of a project to interested stakeholders or a statement on a given concern (Markel, 2001) within a company or community.


Mid-range business document

Varies in length, structure, and scope

2-10 pp.

May contain more details specific to the company and department than a technical or white paper would.


Reports are a business’s way to communicate information to others, and they can list the actions of a meeting, discuss the results of a report, or recommend steps for the organization to take.


Is written for specific audiences.

Stakeholders within the organization receive it first, whether that is a supervisor, program director, or executive member.

Guidelines to Keep in Mind

The informal business report includes four different varieties (Markel, 2001): a directive, trip report, field or lab report, progress or status report, or meeting minutes. Informal reports come in a variety of forms, including a memo, email, company form, or web document.

The formal business report is structured specifically, and informal reports typically do not include formal components (table of contents, list of illustrations, list of symbols, etc.).

There are three typical business reports according to Markel (2001):

* Summarizes a project at a company (purpose is to inform the reader on a project).

* Analyzes the results of a project (purpose is to understand the project carried out).

* Makes recommendations for where the business should head with regard to small-to-medium-sized units (purpose is to recommend steps to the    reader in an organization).

Note: the report may also be structured as a proposal, but a proposal’s purpose is closely aligned to a report that makes recommendations.

Regarding structure, Markel (2001) lists the different parts of a formal report:

Front Matter

* Title page

* Abstract

* Table of contents

* List of illustrations

* Executive summary


* Introduction

* Methods

* Results

* Conclusion

* Recommendations (if any)

Back Matter

* Glossary

* List of symbols

* References

* Appendix (Appendices)


Organizes information into small chunks (bite-sized).

Makes use of frequent headings to organize information.

You-View and Positive Phrasing

You-view purposefully writes from the viewpoint of the reader, their needs, and how the included information will benefit them.

Uses inclusive language.

Includes solutions for any identified problems.

All business writing is confident and courteous in its tone to readers (Purdue OWL, 2020) and strives for concision.


University Business Report

Dishinger, C., Howard, N., Kiagler, B., Seabrooke, S., & Tucker, D. (n.d.). The effects of stress on business employees and programs offered by employers to manage employee stress.

Mock Business Report

See University of DeWeese Press Readers Report 2021


Markel, M. (2001). Technical communication (6th ed.). Bedford/St. Martin’s.

Purdue University. (1995-2020). Writing the basic business letter. The OWL at Purdue.

See also, for a detailed exploration of technical communication in its finest form:

Markel, M. (2018). Technical communication (12th ed.). Macmillan.