How to Write a Report: A Guide

Matt Ellis

A report is a nonfiction account that presents and/or summarizes the facts about a particular event, topic, or issue. The idea is that people who are unfamiliar with the subject can find everything they need to know from a good report. 

Reports make it easy to catch someone up to speed on a subject, but actually writing a report is anything but easy. So to help you understand what to do, below we present a little report of our own, all about report writing. 

Communicate with confidence Grammarly helps you write the way you intend Write with Grammarly

What is a report? 

In technical terms, the definition of a report is pretty vague: any account, spoken or written, of the matters concerning a particular topic. This could refer to anything from a courtroom testimony to a grade schooler’s book report. 

Really, when people talk about “reports,” they’re usually referring to official documents outlining the facts of a topic, typically written by an expert on the subject or someone assigned to investigate it. There are different types of reports, explained in the next section, but they mostly fit this description. 

What kind of information is shared in reports? Although all facts are welcome, reports, in particular, tend to feature these types of content: 

Reports are closely related to essay writing , although there are some clear distinctions. While both rely on facts, essays add the personal opinions and arguments of the authors. Reports typically stick only to the facts, although they may include some of the author’s interpretation of these facts, most likely in the conclusion. 

Moreover, reports are heavily organized, commonly with tables of contents and copious headings and subheadings. This makes it easier for readers to scan reports for the information they’re looking for. Essays, on the other hand, are meant to be read start to finish, not browsed for specific insights. 

Types of reports

There are a few different types of reports, depending on the purpose and to whom you present your report. Here’s a quick list of the common types of reports:

Reports can be further divided into categories based on how they are written. For example, a report could be formal or informal, short or long, and internal or external. In business, a vertical report shares information with people on different levels of the hierarchy (i.e., people who work above you and below you), while a lateral report is for people on the author’s same level, but in different departments. 

There are as many types of reports as there are writing styles, but in this guide, we focus on academic reports, which tend to be formal and informational. 

>>Read More: What Is Academic Writing?

What is the structure of a report?

The structure of a report depends on the type of report and the requirements of the assignment. While reports can use their own unique structure, most follow this basic template:

If you’re familiar with how to write a research paper , you’ll notice that report writing follows the same introduction-body-conclusion structure, sometimes adding an executive summary. Reports usually have their own additional requirements as well, such as title pages and tables of content, which we explain in the next section. 

What should be included in a report?

There are no firm requirements for what’s included in a report. Every school, company, laboratory, task manager, and teacher can make their own format, depending on their unique needs. In general, though, be on the lookout for these particular requirements—they tend to crop up a lot: 

As always, refer to the assignment for the specific guidelines on each of these. The people who read the report should tell you which style guides or formatting they require. 

How to write a report in 7 steps

Now let’s get into the specifics of how to write a report. Follow the seven steps on report writing below to take you from an idea to a completed paper. 

1 Choose a topic based on the assignment

Before you start writing, you need to pick the topic of your report. Often, the topic is assigned for you, as with most business reports, or predetermined by the nature of your work, as with scientific reports. If that’s the case, you can ignore this step and move on. 

If you’re in charge of choosing your own topic, as with a lot of academic reports, then this is one of the most important steps in the whole writing process. Try to pick a topic that fits these two criteria: 

Of course, don’t forget the instructions of the assignment, including length, so keep those in the back of your head when deciding. 

2 Conduct research

With business and scientific reports, the research is usually your own or provided by the company—although there’s still plenty of digging for external sources in both. 

For academic papers, you’re largely on your own for research, unless you’re required to use class materials. That’s one of the reasons why choosing the right topic is so crucial; you won’t go far if the topic you picked doesn’t have enough available research. 

The key is to search only for reputable sources: official documents, other reports, research papers, case studies, books from respected authors, etc. Feel free to use research cited in other similar reports. You can often find a lot of information online through search engines, but a quick trip to the library can also help in a pinch. 

3 Write a thesis statement

Before you go any further, write a thesis statement to help you conceptualize the main theme of your report. Just like the topic sentence of a paragraph, the thesis statement summarizes the main point of your writing, in this case, the report. 

Once you’ve collected enough research, you should notice some trends and patterns in the information. If these patterns all infer or lead up to a bigger, overarching point, that’s your thesis statement. 

For example, if you were writing a report on the wages of fast-food employees, your thesis might be something like, “Although wages used to be commensurate with living expenses, after years of stagnation they are no longer adequate.” From there, the rest of your report will elaborate on that thesis, with ample evidence and supporting arguments. 

It’s good to include your thesis statement in both the executive summary and introduction of your report, but you still want to figure it out early so you know which direction to go when you work on your outline next. 

4 Prepare an outline

Writing an outline is recommended for all kinds of writing, but it’s especially useful for reports given their emphasis on organization. Because reports are often separated by headings and subheadings, a solid outline makes sure you stay on track while writing without missing anything. 

Really, you should start thinking about your outline during the research phase, when you start to notice patterns and trends. If you’re stuck, try making a list of all the key points, details, and evidence you want to mention. See if you can fit them into general and specific categories, which you can turn into headings and subheadings respectively. 

5 Write a rough draft

Actually writing the rough draft , or first draft, is usually the most time-consuming step. Here’s where you take all the information from your research and put it into words. To avoid getting overwhelmed, simply follow your outline step by step to make sure you don’t accidentally leave out anything. 

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes; that’s the number one rule for writing a rough draft. Expecting your first draft to be perfect adds a lot of pressure. Instead, write in a natural and relaxed way, and worry about the specific details like word choice and correcting mistakes later. That’s what the last two steps are for, anyway. 

6 Revise and edit your report

Once your rough draft is finished, it’s time to go back and start fixing the mistakes you ignored the first time around. (Before you dive right back in, though, it helps to sleep on it to start editing fresh, or at least take a small break to unwind from writing the rough draft.) 

We recommend first rereading your report for any major issues, such as cutting or moving around entire sentences and paragraphs. Sometimes you’ll find your data doesn’t line up, or that you misinterpreted a key piece of evidence. This is the right time to fix the “big picture” mistakes and rewrite any longer sections as needed. 

If you’re unfamiliar with what to look for when editing, you can read our previous guide with some more advanced self-editing tips . 

7 Proofread and check for mistakes

Last, it pays to go over your report one final time, just to optimize your wording and check for grammatical or spelling mistakes. In the previous step you checked for “big picture” mistakes, but here you’re looking for specific, even nitpicky problems. 

A writing assistant like Grammarly flags those issues for you. Grammarly’s free version points out any spelling and grammatical mistakes while you write, with suggestions to improve your writing that you can apply with just one click. The Premium version offers even more advanced features, such as tone adjustments and word choice recommendations for taking your writing to the next level. 

in a report a by line should consist of

Future student?

Current Students

For Otago Staff

About University of Otago

Research and Enterprise at Otago

Learning and teaching

Māori ki Ōtākou

International at Otago

Alumni and Friends

Contact Otago

Pacific at Otago

The key elements of a report

Solve a problem and present research findings

Make sure your report contains all the right elements. Every report should have the following sections:

Table of contents

Executive summary, introduction, recommendations.

This is optional depending on the length of the report—a 2 to 3 page report probably wouldn't have a table of contents but a 10 to 20 page report would.

An executive summary is a brief overview of a report that is designed to give the reader a quick preview of the report's contents. Its purpose is to present the key points of a report in one place. After reading the summary, your audience will understand the main points you are making and your evidence for those points without needing to read your full report. Remember that the purpose of an executive summary is to provide an overview or preview to an audience who may not have time to read the whole report carefully.

The introduction should:

This is the main body of the report and it has two key purposes:

Key points to remember when you are writing the discussion include the following:

The conclusion should:

Your recommendations point to the future and should be:

See the Library's website for information on citation and how to compile a reference list .

Include in the appendices any essential extra material, such as tables and graphs that support your research but don't relate directly to the discussion of your findings.


The first thing you need to do is identify your audience and what they need to know. Then think through what the report is about—what information needs to be in it, what information is best left out?

Also, remember that the key difference between an essay and a report is that an essay focuses on developing an argument or point of view, while a report centres on solving a problem and presenting research findings. You can also use headings (this is something you wouldn't do in an essay) to identify sections of the report (i.e., Discussion, Conclusion, etc.).

Get more advice and tips on how to write a great essay or report.

^ Top of Page

Translate this page

Translate this page Close

back to top

Logo for Kwantlen Polytechnic University

Want to create or adapt books like this? Learn more about how Pressbooks supports open publishing practices.

Writing Formal Reports

While you may write much shorter, more casual reports, it’s helpful to go into a bit of detail about formal reports. Formal reports are modular, which means that they have many pieces. Most audience members will not read every piece, so these pieces should stand on their own. That means that you will often repeat yourself. That’s okay. Your audience should be able to find exactly what they need in a particular section, even if that information has been repeated elsewhere.

While it’s fine to copy and paste between sections, you will likely need to edit your work to ensure that the tone, level of detail and organization meet the needs of that section. For example, the Executive Summary is aimed at managers. It’s a short, persuasive overview of everything in the report. The Introduction may contain very similar information, but it focuses on giving a short, technical overview of everything in the report. Its goal is to inform, not to persuade.

Let’s take a look at some of the parts of the report in greater detail.

The title page provides the audience with the:

The items on the title page should be equally spaced apart from each other.

A note on page numbers:

The title page should not include a page number, but this page is counted as page “i.” Use software features to create two sections for your report. You can then utilize two different types of numbering schemes. When numbering the pages (i.e., i, ii, iii, etc.) for a formal report, use lowercase roman numerals for all front matter components. Utilize arabic numbers for the other pages that follow. Additionally, if you intend to bind the report on the left, move the left margin and center 0.25 inches to the right.

Letter of Transmittal

A letter of transmittal announces the report topic to the recipient(s).

If applicable, the first paragraph should identify who authorized the report and why the report is significant. Provide the purpose of the report in the first paragraph as well. The next paragraph should briefly identify, categorize, and describe the primary and secondary research of the report. Use the concluding paragraph to offer to discuss the report; it is also customary to conclude by thanking the reader for their time and consideration.

The letter of transmittal should be formatted as a  business letter . Some report writers prefer to send a memo of transmittal instead.

When considering your audience for the letter or memo of transmittal, make sure that you use a level of formality appropriate for your relationship with the reader. While all letters should contain professional and respectful language, a letter to someone you do not know should pay closer attention to the formality of the word choice and tone.

Table of Contents

The table of contents page features the headings and secondary headings of the report and their page numbers, enabling audience members to quickly locate specific parts of the report. Leaders (i.e. spaced or unspaced dots) are used to guide the reader’s eye from the headings to their page numbers.

The words “TABLE OF CONTENTS” should appear at the top of the page in all uppercase and bolded letters. Type the titles of major report parts in all uppercase letters as well, double spacing between them. Secondary headings should be indented and single spaced, using a combination of upper- and lowercase letters.

Executive Summary

An executive summary presents an overview of the report that can be used as a time-saving device by recipients who do not have time to read the entire report.

The executive summary should include a:

To begin, type “EXECUTIVE SUMMARY” in all uppercase letters and centered. Follow this functional head with paragraphs that include the above information, but do not use first-level headings to separate each item. Each paragraph of information should be single-spaced with double spacing between paragraphs. Everything except for the title should be left-aligned.

An executive summary is usually ten percent of the length of the report. For example, a ten-page report should offer a one-page summary. A 100-page report should feature a summary that is approximately ten pages.

The executive summary is usually seen as the most important part of the report, and it should be written last. When you’re writing the executive summary, imagine that you’re sitting across from your most important audience member. If you only have a few minutes to talk to them, what do you want them to know? What would be most persuasive?


The body of a formal report begins with an introduction. The introduction sets the stage for the report, clarifies what need(s) motivated it, and helps the reader understand what structure the report will follow.

Most report introductions address the following elements: background information, problem or purpose, significance, scope, methods, organization, and sources. As you may have noticed, some parts of a formal report fulfill similar purposes. Information from the letter of transmittal and the executive summary may be repeated in the introduction. Reword the information in order to avoid sounding repetitive.

To begin this section, type “BACKGROUND” or “INTRODUCTION” in all uppercase letters. This functional head should be followed by the information specified above (i.e., background information, problem or purpose, etc.). You do not need to utilize any first-level headings in this section.Because this section includes background information, it would be the appropriate place to address the needs of audiences that may need additional knowledge about the topic. Provide definitions of technical terms and instruction about the overall project if necessary. If you are uncertain if your audience needs a particular piece of information, go ahead and include it; it’s better to give your reader a little bit too much background than not enough.

Discussion of Findings

The Discussion of Findings section presents the evidence for your conclusions.

This key section should be carefully organized to enhance readability.

Useful organizational patterns for report findings include but are not limited to:

Use a Best Case/Worst Case organizational pattern when you think that the audience may lack interest in the topic. When examining a topic with clear alternatives to your proposed solution, consider using a Compare/Contrast pattern. Geographical patterns work effectively for topics that are discussed by location.

When describing the organization of the report in the first paragraph, broadly identify how the material in the report is organized rather than state that the report uses a specific pattern (e.g. Chronology, Geography). For example, write, “The research findings address curriculum trends in three provinces: (a) British Columbia, (b) Alberta, and (c) Ontario,” not, “This report uses a geographical organizational pattern.”

Follow the first paragraph with a first-level heading. Use first-level headings for all other major parts of this section. First-level headings should appear in bold, uppercase letters. Center first-level headings, but align any second-level headings with the left margin. Type any second-level headings in bold, upper- and lowercase letters.

As you present, interpret, and analyze evidence, consider using both text and graphics. Take into account what will be easiest for your audience to understand.

Include citations for all quoted or paraphrased material from sources as well; check with your organization as to whether they prefer parenthetical citations or footnotes.

Integrating Graphics

Formal report authors use graphics to present data in different forms. Paragraphs of text and complex or numerical data tend to bog readers down, making graphics a beneficial enhancement. Graphics also make data easier to understand, so they sometimes make a stronger impact on the audience.

Knowing when—and how—to effectively employ graphics is the key to successfully integrating them. Keeping the audience in mind is also critical. You will learn more about creating charts and graphs in the chapter on Visual Communication Strategies .

Conclusions and Recommendations

The conclusions and recommendations section conveys the key results from the analysis in the discussion of findings section. Up to this point, readers have carefully reviewed the data in the report; they are now logically prepared to read the report’s conclusions and recommendations.

Type “CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS” in all uppercase letters. Follow this functional head with the conclusions of the report. The conclusions should answer any research questions that were posed earlier in the report. Present the conclusions in an enumerated or bulleted list to enhance readability.

Recommendations offer a course of action, and they should answer any problem or research questions as well.  Think back to the expectations of your audience.  Have all of their requirements been addressed?

Works Cited

All formal reports should include a works cited page; his page documents the sources cited within the report. The recipient(s) of the report can also refer to this page to locate sources for further research.

It is acceptable to follow MLA (Modern Language Association), CMS (Chicago Manual of Style), or APA (American Psychological Association) documentation style for entries on this page. Arrange all sources alphabetically. Refer to the latest edition of the appropriate style handbook for more information about how to format entries for print and electronic sources on the  Works Cited page

While some of the formatting rules may seem tedious at first, they are necessary in order for your audience to better understand the report. Using a regulated format allows for a more universal organization that everyone will understand. Being aware of your audience’s needs and expectations will allow for a strong report that will satisfy your employee and demonstrate your competence in your field.

Test Your Knowledge

Understanding the parts of the report can be challenging, so test your knowledge by dragging the part of the report to its definition.

Image Description

Figure 11.1 image description:  This is a diagram of a report title page. Leave 2 inches between the top and the title of the report (which should be in uppercase letters), then write in the middle of the page who the report was prepared for. 3/4 of the way down the page, say who the report was prepared for. Then write the date submitted. [Return to Figure 11.1]

Figure 11.2 image description:  A sample table of contents and List of Figures. Use uppercase letters for major parts and use leaders to guide the reader’s eye to the page numbers. The list of figures should be separate from the table of contents. [Return to Figure 11.2]

Figure 11.3 image description:  A sample body page of an introduction. This one is separated into ‘PROBLEM’ (all in uppercase letters, bold, and in the center) and BACKGROUND. Each paragraph is single spaced with double spacing between paragraphs. [Return to Figure 11.3]

Business Writing For Everyone by Arley Cruthers is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book

How to Write a Report

Last Updated: January 8, 2023 References Approved

This article was co-authored by Emily Listmann, MA and by wikiHow staff writer, Amy Bobinger . Emily Listmann is a private tutor in San Carlos, California. She has worked as a Social Studies Teacher, Curriculum Coordinator, and an SAT Prep Teacher. She received her MA in Education from the Stanford Graduate School of Education in 2014. There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article has 42 testimonials from our readers, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 8,464,008 times.

When you’re assigned to write a report, it can seem like an intimidating process. Fortunately, if you pay close attention to the report prompt, choose a subject you like, and give yourself plenty of time to research your topic, you might actually find that it’s not so bad. After you gather your research and organize it into an outline, all that’s left is to write out your paragraphs and proofread your paper before you hand it in!

Sample Reports

in a report a by line should consist of

Selecting Your Topic

Image titled Write a Report Step 1

Image titled Write a Report Step 2

Tip: Always get approval from your teacher or boss on the topic you choose before you start working on the report!

Image titled Write a Report Step 3

Researching the Report

Image titled Write a Report Step 4

Image titled Write a Report Step 5

Tip: Writing a report can take longer than you think! Don't put off your research until the last minute , or it will be obvious that you didn't put much effort into the assignment.

Image titled Write a Report Step 6

Image titled Write a Report Step 7

Image titled Write a Report Step 8

Image titled Write a Report Step 9

Image titled Write a Report Step 10

Tip: It can help to create your outline on a computer in case you change your mind as you’re moving information around.

Writing the First Draft

Image titled Write a Report Step 11

Image titled Write a Report Step 12

Image titled Write a Report Step 13

Tip: Assume that your reader knows little to nothing about the subject. Support your facts with plenty of details and include definitions if you use technical terms or jargon in the paper.

Image titled Write a Report Step 14

Image titled Write a Report Step 15

Image titled Write a Report Step 16

Revising Your Report

Image titled Write a Report Step 17

Tip: If you have time before the deadline, set the report aside for a few days . Then, come back and read it again. This can help you catch errors you might otherwise have missed.

Image titled Write a Report Step 18

Image titled Write a Report Step 19

Image titled Write a Report Step 20

Image titled Write a Report Step 21

Expert Q&A

Emily Listmann, MA

You Might Also Like

Write a Financial Report

About This Article

Emily Listmann, MA

It can seem really hard to write a report, but it will be easier if you choose an original topic that you're passionate about. Once you've got your topic, do some research on it at the library and online, using reputable sources like encyclopedias, scholarly journals, and government websites. Use your research write a thesis statement that sums up the focus of your paper, then organize your notes into an outline that supports that thesis statement. Finally, expand that outline into paragraph form. Read on for tips from our Education co-author on how to format your report! Did this summary help you? Yes No

Reader Success Stories

Bella McKinnon

Bella McKinnon

Mar 10, 2018

Did this article help you?

Bella McKinnon

Nov 27, 2018

Nazim Ullah

Nazim Ullah

Apr 16, 2017

Nittu Thankachan

Nittu Thankachan

Sep 17, 2017

Shofiyyah Muthmainnah Akbar

Shofiyyah Muthmainnah Akbar

Nov 14, 2016

Am I a Narcissist or an Empath Quiz

Featured Articles

Play FIFA 23 Career Mode

Trending Articles

Talk to a Girl in a Group

Watch Articles

Make Homemade Soup

Get all the best how-tos!

Sign up for wikiHow's weekly email newsletter

in a report a by line should consist of

Introduction to reports in Access

Reports offer a way to view, format, and summarize the information in your Microsoft Access database. For example, you can create a simple report of phone numbers for all your contacts, or a summary report on the total sales across different regions and time periods.

From this article, you’ll get an overview of reports in Access. You’ll also learn the basics of creating a report, and using options like sorting, grouping, and summarizing the data, and how to preview and print the report.

Note:  The information in this article is intended for use only with Access desktop databases. Access web apps don't support reports.

In this article

Overview of reports in access, create a report in access, add grouping, sorting, or totals, highlight data with conditional formatting, customizing color and fonts, add a logo or background image, preview and print a report, what can you do with a report.

A report is a database object that comes in handy when you want to present the information in your database for any of the following uses:

Display or distribute a summary of data.

Archive snapshots of the data.

Provide details about individual records.

Create labels.

Parts of a report

While it is possible to create “unbound” reports that do not display data, but for the purposes of this article, we’ll assume that a report is bound to a data source such as a table or query. The design of a report is divided into sections that you can view in the Design view. Understanding how each section works can helps you create better reports. For example, the section in which you choose to place a calculated control determines how Access calculates the results. The following list is a summary of the section types and their uses:

You’ll find that it’s much easier to create meaningful reports when your database has a well-designed table structure and relationships. For an introduction to planning and designing a database, see the article Database design basics .

Top of Page

You can create reports for you Access desktop database by following the steps below:

Step 1: Choose a record source

The record source of a report can be a table, a named query, or an embedded query. The record source must contain all of the rows and columns of data you want display on the report.

If the data is from an existing table or query, select the table or query in the Navigation Pane, and then continue to Step 2 .

If the record source does not yet exist, do one of the following:

Continue to Step 2 and use the Blank Report tool,

Create the table(s) or query that contains the required data. Select the query or table in the Navigation Pane, and then continue to Step 2.

Step 2: Choose a report tool

The report tools are located on the Create tab of the ribbon, in the Reports group. The following table describes the options:

Step 3: Create the report

Click the button for the tool you want to use. If a wizard appears, follow the steps in the wizard and click Finish on the last page. Access displays the report in Layout view.

Format the report to achieve the looks that you want:

Resize fields and labels by selecting them and then dragging the edges until they are the size you want.

Move a field by selecting it (and its label, if present), and then dragging it to the new location.

Right-click a field and use the commands on the shortcut menu to merge or split cells, delete or select fields, and perform other formatting tasks.

In addition, you can use the features described in the following sections to make your report more attractive and readable.

The fastest way to add grouping, sorting, or totals to a desktop database report is to right-click the field to which you want to apply the group, sort, or total, and then click the desired command on the shortcut menu.

You can also add grouping, sorting, or totals by using the Group, Sort, and Total pane while the report is open in Layout view or Design view:

If the Group, Sort, and Total pane is not already open, on the Design tab, in the Grouping and Totals group, click Group & Sort .

Click Add a group or Add a sort , and then select the field on which you want to group or sort.

Click More on a grouping or sorting line to set more options and to add totals.

For more detailed information about grouping, sorting, and totals, see the article Create a grouped or summary report .

Access includes tools for highlighting data on a report. You can add conditional formatting rules for each control or group of controls, and in client reports, you can also add data bars to compare data.

To add conditional formatting to controls:

Right-click the report in the Navigation Pane and click Layout View .

Select the required controls and on the Format tab, in the Control Formatting group, click Conditional Formatting .

Tip:  To select multiple controls, hold down the CTRL key and click the controls.

In the Conditional Formatting Rules Manager dialog box, click New Rule .

In the New Formatting Rule dialog box, select a value under Select a rule type :

To create a rule that is evaluated for each record individually, select Check values in the current record or use an expression .

To create a rule that compares records to each other by using data bars, click Compare to other records .

Under Edit the rule description , specify the rule for when the formatting would be applied as well as what formatting should be applied, and then click OK .

To create an additional rule for the same control or set of controls, repeat this procedure from step 4.

Try an App Theme options to customize the color and fonts.

Open a report in Layout view by right-clicking it in the Navigation Pane and then clicking Layout V iew .

From the Report Layout Tools options, on the Design tab, click Themes and point the cursor over the various themes in the gallery to preview the effects. Click on a theme to select it, and then save your report.

Use the Colors or Fonts galleries to set colors or fonts independently.

You can add a logo or background image to a report and If you update the image, the update is automatically made wherever the image is used in the database.

To add or remove an image:

In the Navigation Pane, right-click the report and click Layout View .

In the report, click the position where you want to add the image and on the Design tab, in the Header/Footer group, click Logo .

Navigate to the image, and click Open . Access adds the image to the report.

To remove the image, right-click the image and click Delete from the shortcut menu.

To add a background image:

On the Format tab, in the Background group, click Background Image .

Select an image from the Image Gallery list or click Browse , select an image, and then click OK .

Preview a report

Right-click the report in the Navigation Pane and click Print Preview . You can use the commands on the Print Preview tab to do any of the following:

Print the report

Adjust page size or layout

Zoom in or out, or view multiple pages at a time

Refresh the data on the report

Export the report to another file format.

Click Close Print Preview.

Print a report

To print a report without previewing it:

Right-click the report in the Navigation Pane and click Print . The report is sent to your default printer.

Note:  If you select the report in the Navigation Pane and select Print from the File tab, you can select additional printing options such as number of pages and copies and specify a printer.

To open a dialog box where you can select a printer, specify the number of copies, and so on, click Print .


Need more help?

Want more options.

Explore subscription benefits, browse training courses, learn how to secure your device, and more.

in a report a by line should consist of

Microsoft 365 subscription benefits

in a report a by line should consist of

Microsoft 365 training

in a report a by line should consist of

Microsoft security

in a report a by line should consist of

Accessibility center

Communities help you ask and answer questions, give feedback, and hear from experts with rich knowledge.

in a report a by line should consist of

Ask the Microsoft Community

in a report a by line should consist of

Microsoft Tech Community

in a report a by line should consist of

Windows Insiders

Microsoft 365 Insiders

Was this information helpful?

Thank you for your feedback.

in a report a by line should consist of

Three students attending NMU's annual Fall Fest

Northern offers its 7,600 students an abundance of opportunities to explore their interests in and out of the classroom. From our brand new residence halls to our groundbreaking academic programs, we invite you to start your story at a school that can offer you the world -- whatever you want that world to look like.

Student climbing on an indoor wall with a breathing apparatus attached

Northern students are deeply involved in real-world scientific and creative research, professional conferences and educational community service from the start. Present at a national conference, travel abroad, or earn a leadership role in a student organization. What will you do at NMU?

Mother and child with Wildcat Willy at a community event

Northern's campus is right in the heart of Marquette, MI and stretches all the way to the sandy shores of Lake Superior. Northern has a distinctive sense of place – some refer to it as the upper hand, but we refer to it as "home".

Two NMU students leading a campus visit

Northern Michigan University, located in Marquette, MI, is a dynamic four-year, public, comprehensive university. Explore our website and see all that NMU has to offer.

Parts of a Business Letter - NMU Writing Center

Writing Center

Parts of a Business Letter

A business letter is a formal letter. Unlike a résumé or cover letter, it can be more than one page, and is likely to contain six parts:

1. The Heading

The heading contains the return address with the date on the last line. Sometimes it is necessary to include a line before the date with a phone number, fax number, or e-mail address. Often there is a line skipped between the address and the date. It is not necessary to type a return address if you are using stationery with the return address already imprinted, but you should always use a date.  Make sure the heading is on the left margin.

Ms. Jane Doe 543 Washington St Marquette, MI 49855 Tel: Fax: Email: June 28, 2011

2. Recipient’s Address

This is the address you are sending your letter to. Be sure to make it as complete as possible so it gets to its destination. Always include title names (such as Dr.) if you know them. This is, like the other address, on the left margin. If a standard 8 ½” x 11” paper is folded in thirds to fit in a standard 9” business envelope, the inside address should appear through the window in the envelope (if there is one). Be sure to skip a line after the heading and before the recipient’s address, then skip another line after the inside address before the greeting. For an example, see the end of this sheet for a sample letter.

3. The Salutation

The salutation (or greeting) in a business letter is always formal. It often begins with “Dear {Person’s name}.” Once again, be sure to include the person’s title if you know it (such as Ms., Mrs., Mr., or Dr).  If you’re unsure about the person’s title or gender then just use their first name. For example, you would use only the person’s first name if the person you are writing to is “Jordan” and you do not know whether they identify as male, female, or non-binary. The salutation always ends with a colon.

4. The Body

The body is the meat of your letter. For block and modified block letter formats, single space and left justify each paragraph. Be sure to leave a blank line between each paragraph, however, no matter the format. Be sure to also skip a line between the salutation and the body, as well as the body and the close.

5. The Complimentary Close

The complimentary close is a short and polite remark that ends your letter. The close begins at the same justification as your date and one line after the last body paragraph. Capitalize the first word of your closing (Thank you) and leave four lines for a signature between the close and the sender’s name. A comma should follow the closing.

6. The Signature Line

Skip at least four lines after the close for your signature, and then type out the name to be signed. If you are printing this letter out and sending it by mail, you will sign your name in pen. This line will include your first and last name, and often includes a middle initial, although it is not required. You may put your title beforehand to show how you wish to be addressed (Ms., Mrs., Dr.). The signature should be in blue or black ink.

7. Enclosures

If you have any enclosed documents, such as a resume, you can indicate this by typing “Enclosures” one line below the listing. You also may include the name of each document.

Format and Font

Many organizations have their own style for writing a business letter, but here are some common examples.

The most common layout for a business letter is called a block format. In this format, the entire letter is justified to the left and single spaced except for a double space between paragraphs.

Modified Block

Modified block is another popular type of business letter. The body of the letter and the sender’s and recipient’s addresses are left justified and single spaced. However, in this format, the date and closing are tabbed to the center point.

The least used style is called a semi-block. In it each paragraph is indented instead of left justified.

The standard font for business letters is Times New Roman, size 12. However, fonts that are clear to read such as Arial may be used.

Sample Letter {NOTE: your name goes only at the bottom} Your Return Address (no abbreviations for Street, Avenue, etc.) Your City, YC [your two letter state abbreviation] zip Date (write out either like June 4, 2004 or 4 June 2004) First and Last Name of the Person to whom you are writing  Address  City, ST zip Dear Mr./Ms. Whomever: In the first paragraph, introduce what you are writing about and what you want from them. In the subsequent paragraphs, explain the nature of your problem and what they can do for you. Be non-combative and straight to the point. In the last paragraph, be sure to thank the recipient for their time and efforts on your behalf. Also, let them know that you will contact them or that they can contact you with any questions. Sincerely yours, {four spaces so that your signature may appear here} Jane Doe  

Share your story!

What Items Does an Annual Report Consist Of?

How to Create an Annual Report for Sales & Marketing

Simplified structure of an annual report, what is a company's annual report.

An annual report is an overview of the financial standing and performance of a business for one year. Publicly traded companies are legally required to provide detailed financial information to the public, media, potential investors, shareholders and government regulatory agencies.

You can often obtain a copy of a company’s annual report at its website. Understanding the annual report contents of publicly traded companies can help you decide what year-end information you want to compile and share with your stakeholders about your small business.

Annual Report Contents

Most annual reports contain the following categories of information:

General Corporate Information

The general corporate information section provides an overview of what the company makes and sells, where it does business, the number of employees, the number of locations, and other information that gives readers a big-picture idea of what the company does and where it operates.

Operating and Financial Review Statement

In the operating and financial review (OFR) statement, the company provides forward-looking statements about the potential financial performance of the business, based on the views of the company’s management. It discusses potential risks to and opportunities for the business. In addition to listing risks, the OFR should provide specific outcomes that might occur if these events happen.

Chairperson’s Statement

The chairperson’s statement is another general report that provides an overview of the company’s financial condition, according to IGI Global . The chairperson provides a review of what the board has worked on the past year, their views of the company’s current condition, and thoughts on the business’s possible future performance. Unlike the OFR statement, this report is signed by a company officer, who is responsible for the truth of the content.

Chief Executive Officer’s Report

The CEO’s report outlines bottom-line numbers about the company’s performance, but without all the detail that comes later in the financial statements, explains CEO Hangout . The CEO discusses any changes the company went through, whether they were new internal initiatives or external factors, such as changes in the labor market, economy or global supply chain. The report includes potential problems and threats and discusses how the company is planning for them. Like the chairman’s statement, the CEO’s report is signed.

Auditor's Report

To provide more reassurance to shareholders and potential investors, companies include the findings of an independent auditor or audit firm to confirm that the numbers supplied in the report are legitimate. The auditor or firm is identified.

Corporate Governance Information

Diligent Insight describes the corporate governance information section of an annual report as information about the key executives at the business and how they are empowered to run it. It often includes an explanation of the roles of the management staff and board of directors and the procedures for electing and removing officers. It might include key employees’ salaries and benefits, including how much stock they receive.

Key Financial Statements

Every annual report provides detailed financial numbers readers can get by looking at the company’s balance sheet (or statement of financial position), income statement (also known as a profit-and-loss statement), statement of changes in equity, and a cash flow statement. This section includes notes to explain or support the information.

Company Accounting Policies

The company accounting policies section explains how the company keeps its books and handles its reporting. If the company uses an external CPA firm, this part of the report identifies the company.

Steve Milano is a journalist and business executive/consultant. He has helped dozens of for-profit companies and nonprofits with their marketing and operations. Steve has written more than 8,000 articles during his career, focusing on small business, careers, personal finance and health and fitness. Steve also turned his tennis hobby into a career, coaching, writing, running nonprofits and conducting workshops around the globe.

Related Articles

Differences between an annual report & a 10k, how to present an annual report to shareholders, what is the purpose of company annual reports, what are the main topics in an annual business report, how to write a business report conclusion, what do business documents include, how to make out a financial report for a board meeting, elements of a business report, what is a shareholder proxy, most popular.


  1. reportline

    in a report a by line should consist of

  2. Generating column and line charts with Report Builder 3.0

    in a report a by line should consist of

  3. Report Script: Multi-line text line spacing (19)

    in a report a by line should consist of

  4. Report Line Icon. Column Graph, Pie Chart Sign. Vector Stock Vector

    in a report a by line should consist of

  5. SEN Report Line Chart

    in a report a by line should consist of

  6. The 3 Types of SEO Reports You Should Be Building in 2020

    in a report a by line should consist of



  2. Part 2: Layout of Report

  3. Generate Report Comments using A-E outcomes

  4. Elastica

  5. Hair Problems: Face Yoga for Hair Problems

  6. 220 Fishing Cones


  1. How to Write a Report: A Guide With Examples

    Before you start writing, you need to pick the topic of your report. Often, the topic is assigned for you, as with most business reports, or

  2. How To Write a Report in 7 Steps (Plus Tips)

    Interpreting data and formatting it in a way your readers will understand and follow is an important part of writing a report. For your report

  3. Byline

    The byline (or by-line in British English) on a newspaper or magazine article gives the name of the writer of the article. Bylines are commonly placed

  4. The key elements of a report

    Title page; Table of contents; Executive summary; Introduction; Discussion; Conclusion; Recommendations; References; Appendices. Title page. Table of contents.

  5. Writing Formal Reports

    Type “prepared by” on one line, followed by the name(s) of the author(s) and their organization, all on separate lines. Date of submission. This date may differ

  6. How to Write a Report (with Pictures)

    The guidelines will also typically tell you the requirements for the structure and format of your report. If you have any questions about the assignment, speak

  7. This report should consist of the following

    Question: This report should consist of the following parts: Executive Summary, Introduction, Objectives, Methodologies, Information Analysis, Findings

  8. Introduction to reports in Access

    The record source of a report can be a table, a named query, or an embedded query. The record source must contain all of the rows and columns of data you want

  9. Parts of a Business Letter

    If a standard 8 ½” x 11” paper is folded in thirds to fit in a standard 9” ... This line will include your first and last name, and often includes a middle

  10. What Items Does an Annual Report Consist Of?

    Annual report contents include documents such as a balance sheet, P&L statement, ... The CEO's report outlines bottom-line numbers about the company's