how understandable it is. With too much data in a case report, you might struggle in organizing the whole details, streamlining the content, or structuring the overall format. So if you want to explain something in the most straightforward, shortest, or most succinct way possible, especially for smaller-scale research reports, you should master a brief report instead.

What Is a Brief Report?

From the word “brief” itself, you already have a sense of what a brief report is—a short report of any event, project, case, or research. Although brief reports have similar rules and formats to basic or longer research reports, the major difference is that brief reports are often used for smaller-scale projects. Nonetheless, the report’s intent is still to inform readers but with more limited data. And these short reports can be made in print or orally.

According to Medical Student Research Journal (MSRJ), standard brief reports have around eight sections—title, abstract, introduction, method, result, discussion, reference, and illustration.

Why Are Brief Reports Important?

A brief report is essential when you want to inform people about a particular event or subject in the shortest way possible. Considering that many people are busy every day, not everyone would want to spend a long time reading and understanding a lengthy project report if it could have been made in an easier and shorter way. And even if a brief report is short, it is also concise so there is no need to insert flowery and unnecessary words in the document, which would have only made things more complicated and time-consuming.

Another reason why brief reports are important is how you could report about anyone or anything briefly. Whether you want to talk about a client, a business, an incident, or any other matter, there is room to report shortly with brief reports. Just make sure you know what to talk about and report it succinctly until you ace your brief report. Also, the records and findings documented in the report will be used as evidence to prove claims, as a guide to provide strategic plans and solutions, or even as a tool for making constructive feedback. Hence, its importance also goes according to your purpose in making it.

The Standard Sections of a Brief Report

Based on a report by MSRJ, did you know that there are eight standard sections of a brief report? These are the title, abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussions, references, and illustrations. But what exactly are they? In this section, you will be introduced to each fundamental section of a brief report.

Title: The title is pretty self-explanatory that it should state what the brief report is wholly about. For example, you label your document’s title as a small business report, restaurant grand opening report, or even a construction budget report. And the more specific your title is, the better it is since readers can get the gist automatically as to what your brief report’s subject is.Abstract: An abstract highlights a short description of the background or context of the report. Hence, this is more detailed than the title earlier. Your statement of purpose, important facets of the study, and other reflections relevant to the subject to be reported are all laid out here.Introduction: A brief report should have its introductory statement. It is where you state the nature of the problem or why there is a need to report it in the first place. The same goes for the research objectives and other intriguing questions to be answered later on. But, do not mention the crucial data and conclusions here just yet since this is merely a teaser of what to expect from the research.Methods: The methods segment is where you enumerate every procedure or method involved in your research or study. What to tackle here often includes the step-by-step process, the timeline involved, as well as the materials used in the process. But, brief reports should be short, meaning a summary per method will do.Results: Probably the heart of most data reports is the results section. This part is where the most crucial findings and observations are discussed. To keep it brief, only the important findings must be stated.Discussions: Highlight the essential aspects and new discoveries about the research in the discussions segment. Ensure to organize and summarize your discussions here because it could get longer and would ruin the point of a brief report. Besides findings, you may discuss the limitations of the study, how the participants or subjects were selected, report statistics, and other technical details.References: Just like a reference page, the references section is where you insert your sources in conducting the report. You could write down the links of certain references or insert some relevant attachments that support the study.Illustrations: A creative way to keep your reports short is when you don’t need to write long paragraphs but rather present some helpful illustrations instead. It could be photos behind the study, organizational charts of the findings, and other key illustrations.

Brief Reports vs. Long Reports

Whether you go for brief reports or long reports, these two examples actually have their own pros and cons. But if you need a standard guide to determine their major differences, here is a list for your reference:

Polarizing Length

The most conspicuous difference between brief and long reports would be their polarizing length. This refers to the number of words and pages of the report. Clearly, brief reports have lesser words and pages compared to long reports.

Disparity in Scope

Any research project has its scope statement to clearly define the scope of work. And the difference between the two reports is that brief reports work in small-scale studies while long reports are for big researches. Hence, a brief report does not automatically represent the short version of a large research project because it is already beyond its scope.

Informal vs. Formal Reports

A brief report is also associated with an informal report while a long report is considered a formal report. So there is a leeway or casual way to make brief reports compared to formal reports which are more methodical and stringent. Similar to the disparity between informal and formal letters, the same goes for the format where a more rigid policy in format is expected for long reports compared to informal ones.

Preliminary vs. Final Studies

Probably the most crucial polarity is that brief reports are widely used for preliminary researches while long reports are appropriate for final studies. Thus, long reports are basically more detailed because they cover the whole research from start to finish. Meanwhile, brief reports cover the research proposal or the initial part of the research only.

How to Make a Brief Report

Now that you have been fully introduced to a brief report’s definition, caliber, sections, and more, it is time for the meat of the article. Are you ready to create your brief report? Not to worry because you won’t go empty-handed. Here are the five basic steps that will get you covered to make a top-notch brief report pronto:

Step 1: Gather Enough Background about Your Subject

First things first, what are you reporting for? You should be clear with your subject and purpose right from the start because you might not know what to talk about later on. It would be smart to have a draft ahead about your report’s executive summary, background statement, purpose, procedure, results, and conclusion because they are your guide regarding what to write in the brief report. And with a full understanding of your topic, writing and reporting will be made easier.

Step 2: Use a Sample Brief Report Template

Who says you need to make a brief report from scratch? That won’t be necessary because sample brief reports are ready to accommodate you anytime. The sample templates listed in this article are your options to concoct brief reports quickly. You can even decide however you want the report should turn out. You can download, print, edit, and explore each template so you need not stick to standard examples. Personalize and work on your sample brief report until its result finally pays off.

Step 3: Denote the Brief Report’s Important Sections

From the title down to the illustrations section, you already know the basic parts of a brief report. So be sure each section is added to your brief report to complete the document. Be sure to put the right labels and categories for the sections so readers can easily navigate the parts in the document, just like how you can navigate easily with the table of contents. Also, you can add more sections that you think are still relevant to the report. Just keep it concise no matter what.

Step 4: Be Direct to the Point

The best advice for writing brief reports is to be direct at all times. Let go of long, complicated, and flowery words because simple and straightforward words are much welcome. In fact, they are a lot easier to understand. You can write brief reports like you are writing business letters wherein you are formal with your words but you are making it easy for your audience to understand the content shortly. Be sure to reread your sentences if it needs to be shorter or more straightforward.

Step 5: Observe an Easy-to-Follow Format and Structure

The proper way to design your brief report is by making it easy to follow at all costs. This goes from the format and structure of the report. Generally, the whole document must have limited words (excluding the abstract, reference, and illustration.) But you can add more if you can’t trim down the details or go for lesser words, which would be much better. Also, consider the font style, font size, and spacing as they matter too. The same goes for fact-checking the data, which is the most important consideration to evaluate. And finalize if the document should be printed or perhaps, saved as a soft copy only. Publish it once you are confident with the result.


How long should a brief report be?

Expect a brief report to be short that it should not be longer than 2,500 words and it must not exceed 10 pages.

What is the simplest format of a brief report?

A brief or short report can be made simple with only the overview, background information, goal statement, results, and conclusion for its format.

What are the types of reports?

There are many types of reports. And the most common types are the following:

  • Long and brief reports
  • Formal and informal reports
  • Vertical and lateral reports
  • Proposal reports
  • Functional reports
  • Periodic reports
  • Informational and analytical reports

Indeed, you can simply say that brief reports are easier and quicker to make compared to longer detailed reports because of their length difference. However, summarizing contents and ensuring that you narrowed down every significant detail in a direct yet concise manner is also a challenge. There are short reports that fail to discuss the key points or that they are short but hard to follow. So you should take the process of making brief reports carefully and earnestly to inform in the most effective way possible. And you can do that with sample brief report templates as your trusted guide. Download now!