6.1 What are reports for?
Reports are written for a number of reasons:
- To record information, such as on a road accident.
- To influence people who are making decisions, such as to report on an investigation into plans to build a large estate of houses in a rural area.
- To start action, such as to suggest that a stretch of road should have speed cameras installed.
- To persuade people, such as a local government report persuading people to recycle.
- To help people reflect on how successful something has been, for example on how funding has been spent and the impact it has had.
As reports are aimed at different audiences, they vary in length, style and layout.
Activity 24 Reports you have read
Start by thinking about the different kinds of reports you have read.
1. Make a list of some of the reports you have read over the past few years. Look again at the types of report listed above to jog your memory.
2. Which report do you remember most clearly?
3. Why do you think the report you remember has stayed in your memory?
Here is an example of a response:
Some of the reports I remember reading are reports on meetings at work, a government report on schools, a report of a court case and children’s school reports.
The report I remember most clearly is one on teachers’ pay!
I remember that one because it was most relevant to what I needed. These reports are usually well laid out and signposted so that it is easy to find and remember the key points.