How To Write Short Reports and Letters

How To Write Short Reports and Letters

Short reports are meant to be brief but still with adequate information about the area of interest. In most cases, short reports may be in the form of a memo or letter, depending on the preference of the writer or the instructor. If you have been asked to write a short report, it is your mandate to ensure that all the necessary elements have been accounted for. Most importantly, you must learn how to be economical with words, considering the report has to be brief in nature. Here are the major components of short reports and letters:


This comes as the first section of a short report or letter. The main idea is to provide an overview of what is to be covered in the subsequent sections of the report. At this point, you will be required to specify the topic, along with any study participants. You will also have to indicate the location in which the research was conducted. It is notable that the core elements of the summary section resonate with what the introduction covers. It is more like overview information that is required to familiarize the reader with the contents of the report. In the interest of keeping the report brief, you should use just a few sentences.


This section capitalizes on providing more details about the topic, and most specifically, what interests the reader most. A clear background provides a clear foundation on how you will articulate your points based on the past and current research. Most importantly, you need to provide information on why the study is important. It is at this juncture that you should fully resonate with the reader by ensuring that prime facts and points of interest are brought out clearly. One of the most complementing elements under the background section is statistics. A description of the topic and background using figures and subsequent interpretation works ideally in ensuring that the readers clearly grasp your point of view.


The next section provides the readers with a clearly-defined goal with reference to the report topic and background. In other words, this section allows you to resonate with your readers on why they should be interested in the report you are handling. In order to receive support from the general public, you must state a clear purpose and goal. Make sure that you maintain full context of your arguments to avoid losing touch with your readers.

Conclusion and Results

This section provides clearly-defined results and findings. This should be purely based on the analysis of data that you performed. It is important to bear in mind that the conclusion of your report must remain brief. Therefore, there is no need to introduce new details, unless you are reporting the key findings. Having explained the results and findings, you can conclude your report by providing a standpoint. It is necessary that you structure your conclusion based on the other sections of the report.

Cite Sources

It is always necessary to acknowledge any source that may have been used in complementing your report. For instance, the background section may have some statistics to describe the background. In such an instance, you will have to come up with well-cited content since some research was conducted. All sources should be referenced in accordance with the acceptable standards of academics.