3 Multi-Audience Reports

Montana Taylor; baljot tattla; and Logan Desage


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Chapter Objectives

  • Use persuasive language effectively in reports
  • Write clear, concise reports that provide evidence to make informed decisions
  • Understand the various levels of reporting required in Community and Justice Services



This chapter will examine the three types of multi-audience reports that may be used in your future. The three types of multi-audience reports are informal reports, semi-formal reports, and formal reports.  There will be three sections each going in depth on these three different types of reports. The chapter will also look to explain what each of these reports is, what they are used for, what the purpose of these reports are, when someone would use these reports,  what elements are included in these reports, the structure and also an example of each report.

Informal Reports

What is in an informal report?

Informal reports, otherwise known as informal memos are used for internal purposes and research.  They also can serve as the outline for a formal report that could be possibly written later. Informal reports do not have a set length but they should be as brief as possible. These reports must catch the attention of the reader and get the point across precisely & clearly. Informal reports can be delivered through email or memo format. Informal reports are written voluntarily and are often not asked to be done.

What are informal reports used for?

Informal reports are usually used for internal purposes. This could mean emails or notes to other employees, to your supervisor. This report should only be viewed by a few people and not the general public. The purpose of these reports is to quickly inform people of something important or something they need to know quickly.  People may need to use informal reports if: they need to pass on pertinent information to other co-workers, respond to someone, discuss things with superiors or co-workers.

Elements of informal reports: 

Informal reports include the following:

  • Subject: A brief description of the report. This is placed in the subject line of the email or memo.
  • Introduction: Short and to the point. Let’s readers know why they should read the report.
  • Facts:  Provides essential details about the subject and answers the questions.
  • Feedback: This section is not necessary. It includes feedback on things such as feelings, opinions, interpretations or recommendations made in previous memos or discussions.
  • Conclusion: Summarizes the entire report.

Example of an informal report

To: Joe Random

From: Jane Doe

Date: December 25th, 2018

Subject: Behavior of Inmate #1

In response to your previous communication regarding the behavior of inmate #1, I agree with you regarding going to our immediate supervisor to discuss further steps to help control their poor behavior.

I have outlined more than 150 incidents in the last 6 months regarding the poor behavior of this inmate. We also have a few more employees that would also provide us with witness testimonies to help us prove our point.

I recommend that we try to gather up as much information as possible and approach the supervisor as soon as possible. With the nature of working in an institution, if this is not reported on soon, it will be pushed under the rug and forgotten about. The behavior of this inmate is unacceptable and needs to be dealt with quickly and swiftly.


Lindberg, G. (2019, January 10). How to Write an Informal Report. Retrieved from https://www.theclassroom.com/write-informal-report-5157804.html
Williams, K. (2018, December 21). Professional Writing Services. Retrieved from http://professionalwritingservices.net/informalreports.html

Semi-Formal Reports

Semi-formal reports are often more detailed than informal reports. Semi-formal reports are often prepared when they are requested or expected. Although, they may also be volunteered to be written. They are written when the topic is important to policy or if they have legal implications. Semi-formal reports are longer in length due to the amount of detail that need is provided and they can be informational, analytical or persuasive. Informational means it will include lots of information that will make the reader understand the main ideas.  Analytical means it will include information and statistics in order to prove a point. Finally, persuasive means the report will try to motivate the reader to try to accomplish a task.

Elements that are included in a semi-formal report are:

  • Title page (optional)
  • Table of contents (optional)
  • Introduction
  • Details
  • Outcomes
  • Conclusions
  • References (optional)

Example of a semi-formal report

December 2017

The Supervision Committee


80 Ryan Street

Toronto, ON P3A3S4

Subject: The wrong use of drugs

Dear Minister,

In this letter, I want to open up the idea of inadequate use of drugs. I found the misuse of drugs that may infect the population. It is mandatory to have a restriction on this wrongdoing.  The drugs did not match the needs of forensic requirements. So it is necessary to inspect the drugs and serious action should be taken into account for saving the people and avoid serious diseases. I hope you will focus on this issue and help the society to be safe.

I shall be very thankful to you if you will support my idea and take any step.

Yours faithfully,


Member of Supervision Committee



Study Lib. (n.d.). Semi-formal Report. Retrieved from https://studylib.net/doc/5431330/semi-formal-report

Formal Reports

A formal report is a document typically used to solve a problem. It is the report that has the most amount of details to make best-informed decisions. There are 4 main parts of a formal report that is important to include; executive summary, introduction statement, analysis of findings, and finally conclusions. There are many types of formal reports The most common one used as a correctional officer is an incident report. It is something that is done pretty much daily. The best practice to follow when doing any type of report writing is to ask yourself the 5 w’s and. Who( ID),What( Violation or Offence),When( Date & Time),Where(Location)Why(Motive), How(Method of Operation) and Finally action taken. It is important to add in the action taken because it is good to note the outcome or end result of the incident.  Another important aspect of writing reports is to make sure they are as error-free as possible because one simple mistake can make the whole report invalid and unusable, so remember you to be clear, concise about what you are writing. Make sure your reports are complete and have every important correct detail. The last most important step to add to your report is to make sure that you sign it as well as the date the document. Types of formal reports: Incident reports, Inspection reports, Safety Reports, Compliance Report, Audit, Annual Report, Situation Report.

Example of a Formal Report

Reporting Institution: _____________________

Incident Report Number:__________________

Reporting Employee: _____________________

PREA Number: __________________________

Employee ID Number:____________________

Date of incident: __________________________

Person(s) Involved: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.

Time of incident:______________________________________________________________________________________


Control Room Log Entry Made: Yes No

Inmate Placed in Confinement: Yes No

Duty Warden Notified: Yes No  Time:

Disciplinary Report Initiated: Yes No

Work Order Initiated: Yes No

MINS Initiated: Yes No

EAC Notified: Yes No  Time:

Duty Officer Name:

Supporting Documents Attached



Reporting Employee’s Name (Print): ____________________________

Reporting Employee’s Signature:________________________________


Shift Supervisor/ Department Head: ________________________________________



Shift Supervisor’s/ Department Head’s Name (Print): _____________________________________

Shift Supervisor’s Signature: ________________________________

Date: __________________________



Correctional Officer Chief’s Name (Print) ____________________________________

Correctional Officer Chief’s Signature _________________________________________

Date: ___________________



Warden’s Name (Print):__________________________________

Warden’s Signature: __________________________

Date: _________________________



How to write a report like a corrections officer. (2014, July 08). Retrieved from https://www.correctionsone.com/corrections/articles/7357589-How-to-write-a-report-like-a-corrections-officer/
Kadian-Baumeyer, K. (n.d.). Formal Report: Format, Parts & Effectiveness. Retrieved from https://study.com/academy/lesson/formal-report-format-parts-effectiveness.html
Online Correctional Officer Training and Job Center. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.correctionalofficertraininghq.com/correctional-officer-report-writing/


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Writing in Community and Justice Services Copyright © 2019 by Montana Taylor; baljot tattla; and Logan Desage is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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