What is a Narrative Report?
A narrative report is a type of document accurate chronological description of events. The form and content of a narrative report can vary depending on the sphere of its usage. In legislation, a narrative report is used to give information on all the events that took place before the formulation of a law. In finance, on the other hand, a narrative report is used to document all the financial decisions that occurred in a particular financial year. At the same time, in the field of education, a narrative report is equated to a narrative essay, which involves narrating a story from the first person. An instance of the latter can be an essay on the topic “My first day of high school”.
Purposes of writing
The main purpose of a narrative report is to provide a detailed and factual account of events. In this respect, narrative reports come in handy in writing police or medical reports and filing complaints or evidence in the court among other scenarios. Consequently, narrative reports can be used as a basis for decision-making. For example, writing an excellent narrative report is important for pre-litigation settlement in a case associated with personal injury. A narrative report is also important when writing a college application where you give factual and detailed information about your life experience. In addition, it provides a chance for the author to reflect on his or her experience and share it with others.
Common Structure of a Narrative Report
A narrative report generally follows the common structure, which presupposes the introduction, the body, and the conclusion.
The introduction of a narration presents the topic. It should be one paragraph long, and it should contain a thesis statement, which contains the main points that will be discussed in the report. An example of a detailed thesis statement could be, “A report of the brutal murder of Marylyn that occurred on 27th October 2016, on China Street at 10 a.m.”
The main body
This is where the subject at hand is described in detail, and it is supposed to be written in the first person. The body of the report usually contains an explicit, sequential, and accurate description of the story itself. What is more, you should not give a personal opinion in the body. If it is a report concerned with a pre-litigation settlement, state only the costs incurred, or the personal injury. Do not include remarks such as “It was expensive” or “It still hurts.” Therefore, only facts ought to be presented in the main body.
This is where concise statements of the main points from the main body are presented. The conclusion has to be short, so to prevent redundancy, avoid rewriting the points as they are originally put. Just summarize the main ideas. It should remind the reader of the key events within the report and also provide insights. For example, in an on-the-job training narrative, the author can compile all accomplishments accrued from the daily work activities undertaken during the entire training period. For a narrative essay such as “My first day of high school”, apart from highlighting important events, you can restate what you learned from the day.
The Do’s and Don’ts When Writing a Narrative Report
What you should DO
- Always make sure you follow the structure with the introduction, body, and conclusion
Given that a narrative report is mostly used for formal purposes, it is important to follow the correct structure, which is an introduction, body, and conclusion. This format will make your work formal and organized.
- Always narrate your story from your own perspective
In this type of report, you give an account of events from your experience. If done otherwise, that is when a story is described from another person’s point of view, then it is not a narration.
- Always be factual
In a lawsuit, narrative reports can be used as the basis for evidence to solve a crime or to evaluate the worth of property. Any false information provided in the report will discredit the entire work.
- Describe everything vividly
All information is crucial to a narrative report even though some information may appear insignificant to you. Omitting information makes it hard for the reader to understand the narration. In a legal case, for example, any form of omission may affect the outcome.
- Be impartial
You should leave out your personal opinion from the narrative. That is why it is vital to write exactly what you witnessed without any biases or expressing your opinion.
What you should NOT DO
- Do not include false information
A narrative report is credited for offering authentic information. Thus, it should be free from exaggerations and false information. Providing false information can mislead others, or worse, it can lead to your whole work being discredited.
- Do not be vague
Avoid just mentioning things. Be specific when narrating the entire incidence you witnessed. For instance, state the place, time, measurements, and any relevant information in the report.
- Do not narrate from another person’s point of view
Narrate from personal experience. You are the only source of information in the report.
- Do not give an opinion or offer a solution
Provide a comprehensive and factual account that is free from your opinions or solutions.
- Do not be biased
You should not take sides. Always be neutral and write the story based only on facts.
Understanding the peculiarities of narrative report writing is important for writing good reports. For example, the knowledge of the rules of a narrative report is essential in workplaces such as in law enforcement, legislation, and medical practice. In education, narrative essays are obligatory given that they are part of the curriculum. Thus, students who are well versed with narrative report writing not only perform remarkably but are also confident. This is because writing unparalleled narrative reports depicts a good memory and excellent communication skills.