How to make a report
Here are the steps to make a report:
- Choose the topic of the report: select the event, fact or real event you want to investigate in your report. I know why you consider it of interest to society, or because you think it is important or current.
- Define what is going to be written in the report: define how you will do it. Once you choose the topic, you will need to focus on it. That is, define the relevant aspects that you are going to work on: what are you going to work on and why, look for background, events…
- Organize information: Select the sources you will select to collect the information. They can be verbal testimonies that express points of view on the subject, documents or texts that speak about the context or the environment, etc.
- Structure: You should consider that your report has an entry that captures the attention of the readers or the audience. A body where you develop the topic in order to expand, complement or deepen the information of a news item.
- Write and revise the draft: Write your first version of the report. If you have doubts about some terms, consult grammar, spelling and punctuation manuals. Consider what you want to communicate about the investigated topic, both for the title and for the key ideas that you want to express, analyze and order.
- Write the final version: Present your finished work and make recommendations to improve any part. If necessary, correct and rewrite the text or script for its final version and publication.
Report vs Documentary
There are many who tend to believe that the report is the same as the documentary. Although it is true that they have common characteristics, for example, they use the same scale of shots, both require research and preparation that usually leads to the interview and both seek a way to narrate or report a fact, using recreation and archival material.
There are also some differences that make us talk about two different genders.
The report is considered a journalistic genre. Its purpose is to report a fact or event in the most objective possible. This based on a news event that has the interest of the public.
Meanwhile, the documentary is a film genre by definition. That is why its ultimate goal is not only to inform, but also has a cognitive function: the documentary can educate.
The documentary can be totally subjective and use artistic resources, becoming fictional despite using elements, people and real events. Therefore, the documentary is more personal and intimate, both for the director and for the characters.
In addition, the report will always have in mind a current topic. This does not mean that you cannot talk about the past, but the reference to that event will always have some current or commemorative scope.
Refering to structure. The main function of the report is that the public understands what is shown. That is why its structure is much more classic than that of a documentary (normally it uses a dramatic structure: Approach – Development – Outcome) since it seeks to deliver the content in a didactic and attractive way, leaving the conclusions for the end of the program.