Skip to main content

Assignment Toolbox

Key Sections of a Business Report

Memorandum (memo) Or
Covering letter
Brief note stating the purpose of the report.  It is used when the report is intended for someone within the same organisation as the writer. Letter explaining the purpose of the report.  It is used when the report is intended for someone outside the writer’s organisation.
Title Page Front page containing a descriptive heading or name, the author’s name, position, company name and so on. For an assignment, also include the student ID number, due date for the assignment, name of the tutor or lecturer who requested the report, course number and name.
Executive summary Synopsis or summary of the main contents of the report.

It is usually half to one page in length.
Table of contents List of the main sections of the report, indicating the page on which each section begins.
Introduction Beginning section informing the reader of what the report is about – it clarifies the aim and purpose, significant issues, and any relevant background information.
Discussion Description of research and reasoning in detail, including basic facts supported by examples, evidence, figures, theory.  It provides an explanation for the conclusions(s) and justifies any recommendations. It may consist of components such as methods, results (or findings) and evaluations (or analysis); or may contain a series of headings and sub-headings naming pertinent issues.
Conclusion(s) Logical deductions drawn from findings in the previous section.  This section often includes an overall answer to the problem; or an overall statement synthesising the strands of information dealt with.  It may refer to any underlying theme or mention any questions or issues that remain unresolved.
Recommendation(s) Practicable suggestions or actions called for in response to the issue(s) or problem(s) dealt with.
References Practicable suggestions or actions called for in response to the issue(s) or problem(s) dealt with.
Appendices Additional information (e.g., raw data, calculations, graph) which would detract from the report itself.
Glossary Alphabetical list of key terms and/or abbreviations and their definitions
Index Alphabetical list of indicating page number(s) on which each topic can be found.

Reference: Manolo, E., Wong-Toi, G., and Trafford, J. (2002). The business of writing: Written communication skills for business students. Auckland: Pearson Education (p. 23)