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In writing, a report is a document characterized by information or other content reflective of inquiry or investigation, which is tailored to the context of a given situation and audience. The purpose of reports is usually to inform. However, reports may include persuasive elements, such as recommendations, suggestions, or other motivating conclusions that indicate possible future actions the report reader might take. Reports can be public or private, and often address questions posed by individuals in government, business, education, and science. Reports often take the structure of scientific investigation: Introduction, Methods, Results and Discussion (IMRAD). They may sometimes follow a problem-solution structure based on the audience's questions or concerns. As for format, reports range from a simpler format with headings to indicate topics, to more complex formats including charts, tables, figures, pictures, tables of contents, abstracts, summaries, appendices, footnotes, hyperlinks, and references.
The purpose of a report is to show information collected to the reader about certain topics, usually to set targets or to show a general view on the subject in hand. Another purpose is to discuss and analyze ideas and thoughts on any problems or improvements to be made and to inform the audience. They can either persuade, suggest or to motivate conclusions.
A report is an extended formal document with lots of pages that shows different types of information with details of the findings like e.g. Methodology, findings and added Appendices. The document structure is easily navigated by using a table of contents, so the audience can easily find specific information by clear headings and a set structure of text and images.
Types of reports include:
Many textbooks discuss reports in greater detail. See minority report, final report, majority report, environmental resources reports, error and other reports from software systems, etc.