Report Writing: Introductions

This slideshowpage is to help you understand the content and grammar of report introductions.

On this page: Explanation, Example, Exercise


The Introduction contains 2 types of information:

1. information about the report

2. an introduction to the content of the report.

It is also aimed at two types of readers:

1. the manager who wants solutions to a problem or suggestions for future action

2. readers in the future who want to know what they can learn from the organisation's past experience, such as why a decision was made.

1. Information about the report (called the 'Terms of Reference').

1.1 Who asked for the report (Past tense, passive voice)
Most reports are requested by a manager, but some are commissioned by people or organisation outside the company, and some are written by staff to suggest something.

1.1.1 Their name

1.1.2 Their job title or post
This changes over time as they are promoted.

1.1.3 Their department
This may change over time as they are promoted.

1.2 The date that the report was asked for. (Past tense)

e.g. This report was requested by Ms Amy Chan, Operations Manager in the Production Department, on

2. An introduction to the content of the report.

2.1 The background of the report (Past tense or present perfect)
The situation or problem that the report discusses

2.2 The aim of the report (Present tense, as the aim is true all the time)
The report might make suggestions to solve a problem, or to take advantage of a situation

2.2 An overview of the organisation of the report (Present tense, as this is the organisation all the time)
Reports can have a wide variety of organisational structures, so it helps the reader to inform them of the structure of this one.

Figure 1: Example organisational structures.

  1. Introduction
  2. Background
  3. Method
  4. Findings
  5. Conclusion
  6. Recommendations
1. Introduction
2. Method
3. Findings and Discussion
4. Conclusion
5. Recommendations
1. Introduction
2. Method
3. Findings
4. Discussion
5. Conclusion
6. Recommendations
1. Introduction
2. Method
3. Findings and Discussion
4. Conclusion and Recommendations
  1. Introduction
  2. Method
  3. Findings and Discussion
  4. Conclusion and Recommendations

e.g.   In the past two months our output of products has increased, but a larger number have failed quality control. The aim of this report is to analyse this situation and recommend appropriate action. Firstly the method of investigation is described, followed by the findings. Then conclusions are drawn and a number of recommendations are made.  

Grammar note:
In order to show that you are being objective, which means not letting your personal opinions and interests affect the report, you should avoid using personal pronouns such as I and We. You can do this by using the report as the subject of the sentence (e.g. This report shows...) or by using a passive voice (e.g. Conclusions are drawn...).

Example Introduction

1. Introduction
This report was requested by Mr. P Y Fung, Managing Director of Everbright Ltd. on The report concerns the recently observed declining morale of our staff. The main aims of the report are to identify the causes of the decline in staff morale and recommend ways to boost it.

In the report the findings describe the decline in staff morale, which can be traced back to the period following the reduction of the company budget. Following these findings, conclusions are drawn and a number of recommendations are made as to how staff morale might be increased.


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Last updated on: Monday, March 26, 2012