Short reports can be drafted in two different forms. These are letter form or letter report and memorandum form or memo report.
A letter report is a report written in letter form. That is this report is drafted by following the format of a letter and includes date, inside address, subject line, salutation, body, complimentary close, signature, and reference. Letter reports are used primarily to present information to the persons outside the organization. For example, a company’s credit rating evaluation may well be presented in letter form and mailed it to the outsides who request.
However, outsiders may also write letter report to the organization. For example, an outside consultant may investigate a problem with the company and write a report combining analyses and recommendations in letter form.
Features of letter report
letter report has the following features.
- Nature of problem: Letter reports usually present short problems
- Length: Typically the length of letter report is short. Its length may take three or four pages or less. However, no hard and fast rule exists in this regard.
- Writing style: As a general rule, letter reports are written in personal style. That is this report is written using personal pronouns like I, you and we.
- Order of presentation: This form of the report follows both direct and indirect order of presentation. The direct order is followed when the report is presented to the internal readers. On the other hand, an indirect order of presentation is used for external readers. Because external readers require some introductory information for understanding the problem and analysis.
As the name implies, memorandum report is a report written in memo form. Memorandum report is the most widely used report in business. When employees periodically report to their superiors, they usually write memo reports. Chiefs of various departments frequently submit memo reports to the president of the company for policy formulation and execution.
Features of memorandum report
Features of memorandum reports are as follows.
- Nature of problem: Memorandum reports usually deal with routine, day to day problems.
- Potential readers: memorandum reports contain an internal message for internal readers. This is these reports are written by one person to another within the organization.
- Degree of formality: Memo report is the most informal form of the report. However, this report may take a formal shape when it is presented to higher level authority in the organization.
- Order of presentation: It usually follows the direct order of presentation. Memo report generally solves problems. Therefore, there is hardly any need for introductory information.