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Section 2.4

Reports

Reports are standard documents in all organizations. A report isa stand-alone document that relays the results of a factual inquiry to other parties who have aprofessional interest in the results, expert opinions, laboratory tests, policy issues, trips, andadministrative details--anything of importance to the professional organization. Because a reporttypically circulates as an independent document, it will typically follow a standard format that begins with a front mattersection that orients the reader to the main purpose andcontent of the report. This section is followed by a report body, whichcontains the factual content of the report, and the body is followed by a section of end matter, which contains various references and secondary material.

Reports may be internal or external, informal or formal. The informal report circulates within thelocal environment and is generally not written about externally funded research. The material of aninternal report often takes the form of a memorandum, which is astripped-down version of the internal report, using a standard header. Informal reports are oftenshort and concern administrative and policy issues or perform the function of keeping othersinformed about your work. Formal reports are generally tightly structured and extensively reviewedbefore they are released. Report structure may vary according to the intended audience. For example, the same material may be organized for peer specialists or for a managerialaudience.

See the following sections for discussions and examples of reports:

Laboratory reports

Research reports

Research articles

Design and feasibility reports

Progress reports

Consulting reports

Trip reports

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