Different Types of Documents

"Documents create a reality we call proof." - Mason Cooley

Forms of Documents

Documents vary by type, function and size. Personal essays, legal documents, organizational or business documents, research or historical documents are examples of forms of documents. These types of documents are used by individuals, organizations, governments and corporations in areas like collating and presenting research, data, statistics, course objectives, policies, procedures and business plans.

Identification of Document Type

A document is any paper form that is used to communicate facts, observations or information. It can be "classified" meaning that it will provide confidential information to a restricted and authorized few. Within forms of documents, it can also be "public" which means it will provide non-sensitive materials for public consumption. In the case of a professional or business structure, a document is labelled as research indicating it will provide an account of a event. From different fields like real estate or legal, documents can assume any number of other classifications depending on their content including contractual, scientific or artifact.

Forms of Documents

There are many forms of documents as well. Empirical documents offering information can include documents of record like newspapers, magazines and oral histories. Historical documents like religious texts and personal essays are another document that informs the reader. Factual and verifiable documents include forms like text books, novels, recipe books and encyclopedias. Web documents include web pages, web blogs and wiki information pages.

Strong Document Features

The document definition is to effectively communicate a key set of objectives or provides information that answers a question. For example, a "how-to" document or instruction manual will answer a question or set of questions regarding how a task is performed or a goal is executed. To do this, the document must contain instruction that can be rendered or is serviceable. An example would be an instruction manual that allows a user to assemble a bike without needing additional resources beyond the instruction manual and the tools provided. To be effective, the instruction manual must document the process, outline the task and provide all related information. In the bike example, the instruction manual would have to answer the question, "How to Assemble Bike A Using Only Tools A and B." By contrast, an informative document is a document that informs you of something within the text.

Document Copyright Guidelines

Some documents hold a copyright to the contents communicated therein. Corporations, writers, scientists, lawyers and business owners request copyright protection to ensure ownership over sensitive content. The copyright document definition can include business summary reports, product descriptions and patent claims, employee evaluations and mission statements. Treatments and story ideas are additional business related documents. Motion documents filed in court, research and analysis claims and internal company review evaluations fall in the legal realm of documents.