Following are the possible elements of introduction:
1. Authorization names the person who requested the report.
2. Problem, also called issue, proposed, matter, etc.
3. Purpose, also called objective goal, mission, aim, etc.
4. Scope determines the extent of investigation or coverage and the boundary of the report.
5. Methodology indicates the methods of data collection, e.g. reading, interviewing, observing, or experimenting.
6. Sources – primary (unpublished sources) and secondary (Published sources).
7. Background of the situation being investigated.
8. Definition of terms that have several possible interpretations.
9. Limitations refer to restrictions such as time, money, available data, etc.
10. Brief statement of results suggests the decision to be taken on the recommendations in a few words.
11. Plan of presentation states the divisions and sub-divisions of the report and the order of the topics.
12. Introduction of the company for whom the report is prepared, includes nature, age and size of the business.
The introduction of report needs not include all the elements listed above, but only the desirable and appropriate ones. For example, a voluntary report cannot include authorization, or a periodic report may omit all or many of the elements of introduction. In short reports, the few needed elements may be grouped in a single paragraph without the heading of “Introduction”. Long reports may have introduction of many pages with headings and sub-headings. These elements may be arranged separately and many of them may be stated in parts other than “Introduction” – even outside the body of the report.
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