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Improving the professional style of a full academic business report

In this step, we will look at a full business report that has not been written in a correct academic or professional style.

We will work together to improve the style of the report so that it is more appropriate and makes a better impression on the reader.

Read through the workplace report below, which reviews the performance of a logistics company.

Example report


In this report, I’m going to take a look at this company called XY Couriers, who have been doing our deliveries for the past year or so. I had a look at their times for delivery, then I talked to some of our biggest customers and had a chat with the people in the customer services department in the office next door.


Customer service

Quite a few customers have moaned about orders that have been left out in the rain when they didn’t know about it. Apparently, some orders haven’t even turned up at all! This is really bad. When I spoke to a few customers they also said that they’d like to get their deliveries very early in the morning, before they have got to get going to work.


Overall I think that XY Couriers are doing quite a good job, but I think we could get a bit more out of them. I think we should look around at some different companies just to get an idea. We should also try to get them to improve a few things if we are going to use them again.


Here’s what I think we should do now:

  1. Have a look at the other companies and compare a few things like costs, performance etc.
  2. Try to get a few more things out of XY Couriers based on these facts, like:

    • Getting them to get their ‘on time’ deliveries up to 93%
    • Sorting out their website so it shows delivery times
    • Doing early morning deliveries for the customers that want them
    • A clear policy on what they’ll do when the customer isn’t at home

(Adapted from Baade et al., 2009)

Your task

What problems can you identify with the style of writing in the report?

What advice would you provide to the student to help them improve their style of writing?

Share your thoughts and advice in the comments area.


Baade, K., Scrivener, J., Holloway, C., & Turner, R. (2009). Business result advanced. Oxford University Press.

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This article is from the free online course:

Report Writing at University and in the Workplace

Coventry University