This slideshowpage is to help you write the conclusion section of a business report.
On this page: Explanation,
This section of the report has two parts:
- It reviews the main findings and results, and expresses them in general terms.
- It draws a main conclusion and links to the recommendations by showing a need for action.
It reviews the main findings and results, and expresses them in general
This part is also for busy readers who don't have time to read all of your
findings, and for readers who want to read an overview of the findings
before deciding whether to read the findings in detail.
Example from a report on developing tourism in Hong Kong:
The findings indicate that tourists are now looking for more than just a
shopping trip; they are seeking a complete experience with plenty of
attractions to visit, good service and a pleasant environment. Our market
research has shown, however, that Hong Kong simply does not have enough
attractions. The average visitor to Hong Kong stays here for just 3.5 days
and a shopping trip to Stanley market and a visit to Ocean Park are still
the main attractions for them.
Although findings are usually discussed in the Findings section, or in a
Discussion section after the findings, in some reports the conclusion also contains some discussion of the main
findings, in which the writer discusses possible reasons for them.
This may be because Hong Kong is seen as a small place,
that people can see in only a few days. Also, tourists may only be
interested in a few of the attractions offered in brochures. In
addition Hong Kong is expensive compared to other south-east Asian
destinations, and so is not suitable for an extended holiday.
It draws a main conclusion and links to the recommendations by showing a
need for action.
It can be concluded that to encourage visitors to stay longer (and hence
spend more money) and to get greater numbers to come here, Hong Kong must
develop a new and less polluted tourist-friendly infrastructure with new and
It is important not to give detailed recommendations in the conclusion
section. In the above example, the sentence 'Hong Kong must develop a new
and less polluted tourist-friendly infrastructure with new and exciting
attractions' is a general recommendation that leads into more detailed ones
which will be written in the Recommendations section.
- The Conclusion should give the main cause(s) of the problem or opportunity
that is the topic of the report.
- The section should summarise the main findings and link to the
- It should not include findings that are not related to the
- The Conclusion section comes after the Findings and any Discussion
- It comes before the Recommendations.
- Generally uses past tense to summarise the Findings, but you can use
present tense or the present perfect if you think that the Findings are still true now.
- The first part should be objective, in that pronouns such as ' I '
should not be used.
To do this you can:
change the subject of the sentences; e.g. 'I
found that...' changes to ' The findings indicate that...'; or
voice; e.g. 'I conclude that...' becomes ' It can be concluded that...'
- In the second part, the lead-in to the recommendations, it is acceptable
to refer to your organisation as 'We', or by its name; e.g. ' The PolyU
should address these issues.'
- Matching Nouns and Verbs for Reports
- an exercise in choosing the right vocabulary for reports.
- Business reports are often about staff. More information about how to use
the word staff
correctly is available.
Style and Tone
- This section should be formal.
- Like most formal business writing, it should be clear, concise, and
- The conclusion is usually shorter than the Findings and the
- The conclusions of business reports tend to be less tentative than those
of academic reports.
The fire was caused by an electrical fault in the 30-year-old wiring of the building, which was installed by an unregistered
contractor and had not been maintained or inspected for 5 years. The
incident was made worse by the lack of safety training for the building
occupants, the blocked fire exits and the non-functioning fire-fighting
In order to prevent future fires, ensure safety, reduce insurance
premiums, and avoid legal liability, the building management company must
improve facilities and training.
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hits since 2 April 2008.