How to Write a Short Detailed Report

Writing reports can become easier once you master some of the skills.

After you’ve been assigned to write a report, you may feel a little worried about the limitations you’ve been given. Although a minimum word count seems easier than having a maximum word count in place, you may realize that creating a short, detailed report can be tricky when you have a lot of information but only a small amount of room to discuss the information at hand. But with the right training, writing a detailed report can become a simple task for you to undertake.

Come up with an angle concerning your topic that will present your subject without all the fluff. If you’re writing a report on a current event, focus on one aspect of the event that you can cover with a sufficient amount of information. For example, if your subject concerns President Obama, focus on one of the many aspects of his presidency or on one of the bills he tries to pass.

Research the aspect of the topic you've decided on. Remember that just because your report will be comparatively smaller than other reports covering the same topic, you still have to provide a cohesive understanding of the subject. While you research, think about the bigger picture surrounding your topic and highlight or outline any information that must be included in your report to provide at least a basic understanding of the subject for your reader.

Create an outline that will help you better organize and edit your piece as you write. Come up with a few headings that encompass the entirety of the topic you’re covering. For example, with an idea like Obama’s health care reform bill, headings can include “Opposition,” “Support” and “Bill Completion and Passing.” Within each heading, you will want to include relevant facts and information that provides further details.

Write your report with an introduction that gives an overview of the topic you’re writing about. Move on to the body paragraphs that correspond to the headings you created in your outline. Present the information without opinion, stating only verifiable facts and opinions of those who qualify as relevant authorities on the subject. Remember that you want to include details that help to provide a well-rounded view on the topic, excluding any irrelevant information. End your report with a short synopsis of the topic covered in the body paragraphs in a few sentences. Be brief and stay pertinent.

Edit your report for any words that do not add anything applicable to the topic. You’ll want to cut out any adjectives or adverbs that bring up your word count without contributing anything to the comprehension of your readers once they read your report.

Gerri Blanc began her professional writing career in 2007 and has collaborated in the research and writing of the book "The Fairy Shrimp Chronicles," published in 2009. Blanc holds a Bachelor of Arts in literature and culture from the University of California, Merced.