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Format and Types of Reports | Class 11 English Grammar PDF Download

Introduction

A report is an official/semiofficial piece of writing which involves giving information about an occurrence, an event or an investigation. By its nature, a report has to be

  • Factual
  • Concise
  • Objective, and
  • Free from any bias

The writer of the report must state only the happenings and occurrences in sequential order. He/She does not have the freedom to express his/her opinions or conclusions. Similarly, elaborations, descriptions, and irrelevant matter cannot be included. A newspaper report must be comprehensive but brief; factual yet interesting. Hence factual reporting is an actual coverage of an event. It is a brief review of a situation or a process that includes only the relevant points and information. It is usually written in the third person and in indirect speech. The passive voice is used. The language used is neutral and figurative. Ornamental language is avoided. The content should include when, where, why and how of the topic to be written about.

A newspaper report has all the following qualities:

  • It has to have an appropriate language.
  • Since the events being reported are in the recent past, the past indefinite, past continuous, and past perfect tenses are used.
  • The language used is formal.
  • The passive voice is preferred.
  • ‘Journalese’ or journalistic vocabulary is used:
    • “according to sources”/according to a spokesman”;
    • Words like ‘murderer’, ‘smuggler’, etc. are preceded by “suspected/alleged’.
  • There should be a logical development of ideas, i.e., causes/reasons, effects, or consequences.
  • It should be comprehensive and reflect the opinions of people. It should contain views of all the sides involved.
  • Personal pronouns are to be avoided.

The report for a school magazine follows the same format as a newspaper report but the language is semi-formal. The writer’s name and class are mentioned just below the heading/title of the report.
Points to remember (for news report)

  • A news report should have a headline, date, and place of origin of the news.
  • It should carry the byline/name of the reporter.
  • It should contain only relevant information.

Points to remember (for first-person accounts)

  • Describe the incident objectively.
  • The description must be logical and in sequence.

Points to remember (for factual description)

  • Be objective.
  • The presentation should be logical and systematic.

Points to remember (for a factual description of the process)

  • Give a step–by–step account of the activity, experiment, and procedure. It is essential to provide a heading and promoting the reporter’s name is essential.

Headline

  • Every news article has a headline to attract the attention of the reader. The headline must state the topic of the news in a strong, short phrase or statement.

A headline must be:

  • catchy
  • brief – leave out articles, prepositions, etc. where possible and use abbreviations/shortened word – forms.

Byline

  • Since this is your report, you need to let the reader know who wrote it. The line with your name on it is called the “byline” because it tells by whom the article is written. Write the word “by” followed by your first and last name. On the next line, write the name of your school and city.

Lead paragraph

  • A lead paragraph usually answers the questions: Who, What, Where, When, Why.
  • Remember to write about these in your lead paragraph:
    • name or names of the person or thing this news is about
    • the place where this incident happened
    • the day, date, and time of the day when it happened.
    • details of the incident
    • reasons why the incident happened

Paragraph 2

  • Eyewitness accounts add to the authenticity of the news. Also, they may interest the reader. Include some quotes from the eyewitnesses’ comments. Also, describe what they felt about the incident.

Paragraph 3

  • Describe the future course of action is planned.
  • Note: Remember to use simple, clear but formal language.
  • Include the following details in your report:

Event/Function

  • Factual details:
    • name/nature of the event
    • occasion
    • organisers
    • date, time, venue
  • Sequence/details of the event
  • The detail is about Chief Guest/judges/participants
  • Highlights of the event:
    • Chief Guest’s message
    • vote of thanks
    • conclusion of the event
    • comment(s) on the quality of the program

Accidents

  • what happened
  • where, when, how
  • people/vehicles involved
  • loss of life and property
  • details of rescue and relief operations
  • the accident scene
  • details of casualties—dead, injured, hospitalised
  • inquiry ordered (if required)
  • grants to victims’ kin/injured (if required)
  • comment by a reporter on similar tragedies/accidents
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