Difference Between Formal and Informal Reports

An informal report and a formal report are two major forms of report classification based on the length and formality of the report. There are certain major difference between formal and informal reports. If you are well acquainted with these differences, you can quickly adapt your knowledge of report writing to the wide variety of reports. Significant difference between formal and informal reports stand out as follows:

Difference between formal and informal reports


Short Report

Long Report

Length As the name implies, a short report is very short in length. Short report writing is usually completed in a page or two. A long report is never possible to be completed in a page or two. A long report usually includes some special pages (e.g. prefatory page) that do not appear in short reports.
Nature A short report deals with the routine matters. Subjects of the long report are not routine type. It deals with major complex problems.
Reader A short report is usually written for someone within’ the organization. It is used when the reader’s time is very limited and the full detail of the subject is not needed. A long report is written for someone within the organization or outside the organization.
Format Many short reports are written in memorandum and letter formats. A long report is always written in a manuscript (narrative style) format.
Formality Short reports being informal do not require extended planning and contain varieties of formats. A long report being formal needs a careful planning before it is written because planning focuses on your reader(s).
Use of Supplement A short report does not include prefatory parts\nor appended once because it presents only day-to-day events. A long report includes these special parts. As long report deals with major complex problems and it is kept on the file for posterity, inclusion of the supplements will increase the reliability and validity of the report.
Writing Short reports follow deductive writing styles. A short report highlights facts and specific recommendations. It avoids analysis and inclusion of supporting information. A long report on the other hand, after analyzing and interpreting the draws conclusion and makes recommendations.
Style Personal writing styles (using first or second person style) are used in writing a short report. A formal long report is written using impersonal (using third person style) styles.
Coherence With the lessening of the length of the report, the need for coherence aid is lessened. In the extremely short report like memorandums and letter, reports, the information is presented in a so brief and simple way that extra coherence aids are not needed. The formal (long) report displays summaries,  introductory, forward-looking sentences, and paragraphs in key places. These are needed to relate the different parts of complex long reports.

 If any one understand this difference between formal and informal reports he will get idea about both formal reports and informal reports.

Difference between Formal and Informal Reports

Formal and Informal Reports

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5 comments for “Difference Between Formal and Informal Reports

  1. Tarana Lynn
    July 6, 2013 at 10:50 pm

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    August 4, 2013 at 6:22 pm

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  4. David
    February 25, 2017 at 6:21 pm

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  5. zeeshan
    April 7, 2019 at 1:07 pm

    very clear work nice

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