Whether you're an independent contractor providing a report as part of an assigned project or a company employee drafting an internal report for staff review, an attached cover letter will serve as a brief overview of the report's contents, and can help provide clarity about the report. Report cover letters summarize the details in the report, and provide an overview of why the report was requested, and what its contents are intended to do. Much like a cover letter you would draft to accompany a resume when applying for a job, a report cover letter in business serves a similar purpose: It provides a snapshot and states that details will follow. It should not be confused with an executive summary, which is the narrative usually found at the beginning of a report, which indicates key findings and recommendations. In other words, the cover letter tells you what's in the report, and the executive summary at the beginning of the report tells you why the information is important.
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MLA Format Cover Page | MLA Format
Often in business, we are required to include a cover letter that will accompany a larger report that might be sent by mail, special delivery or even email. A formal cover letter has a very specific purpose and should be written in such a way that it introduces and describes the contents, reiterate the salient theme of the report, as well as indicate next steps or actions to be taken. Even if using email stationary, treat it as a paper cover letter by including an image of the company logo on the email page. Use this opportunity to briefly summarize what the report is about. Try to sum up the purpose of the report as succinctly as possible — in one or two sentences maximum. Note the conclusion of the report here while not giving away the essence of the report findings. You want the reader to read the actual report and not just the cover letter.
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Last Updated: February 12, References Approved. This article was co-authored by Emily Listmann, MA. Emily Listmann is a private tutor in San Carlos, California. There are 23 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.
The cover letter you submit to your target journal is your chance to lobby on behalf of your manuscript. Here are some tips for getting it right, plus a free journal cover letter template. The cover letter accompanying your journal submission is your chance to lobby on behalf of your manuscript.