Features of Report Writing

Features of Report Writing :

Read this newspaper article about a young boy being kidnapped.

Kidnapped Boy Escapes Captor
Arrives Home Safely

Jiva Gujeriwal

Midnapur : Eight-year-old Anant returned home on Friday evening, miraculously unhurt, after having given the slip to his captor. Anant had been reported missing since Tuesday - 4th December. He had gone to his school, Midnapur High School, as usual in the morning but had not returned home. His friends had no clue as to his whereabouts.

His distraught parents had filed a missing person’s complaint at the Midnapur police station. The police swung into action combing the district for any signs of the boy, but did not come up with any answers.

On Friday evening, when Anant’s parents returned home after another day spent at the police station, they found to their surprise, their son Anant sitting near the door of their apartment. He appeared exhausted and starving, but otherwise unharmed.

On being asked about what had happened to him, Anant said that as he was leaving the school on Tuesday, a man had approached him saying that his father had met with an accident and he had come to take him to the hospital. Anant accompanied the man without any further questions, only to find that he had been kidnapped.

The man turned out to be a former employee of the firm that his father was working in. He had been dismissed by Anant’s father for embezzling accounts and had wanted to extort money from him to take revenge for his dismissal.

However, brave little Anant waited for an opportunity and escaped from the room where he had been confined as soon as he got the chance. He then found his way home by asking for directions to his locality from passers-by.

'It was fortunate that Anant was not harmed in any way,’ said Inspector Jadhav who had been leading the investigation in the case, ‘but children should be told not to talk to or go with any person, even though they may seem to be familiar, unless their parents specifically instruct them to do so.’ Search is on now for Kathvale, the person who had abducted Anant.

‘I am just glad that my son has returned home safely,’ said the relieved father. Meanwhile schools in the locality have increased the security around their premises to prevent any such event occurring again.

This is a report in a newspaper. We read such reports quite often in the newspapers. Writing for a newspaper is quite different from any other kind of writing.

Since the newspaper is read by people who are in a hurry to go to their schools, colleges or offices. The report in a newspaper is written in such a way that all the details are given in the first paragraph itself.

Features of Report Writing

Headline : It captures the essence of the story. It should be short, precise and catchy.

Dateline : The place where the report is written from though it is known as the dateline, it deals with the place of the event.

Byline : In many cases, the name of the author is given at the top, in line with the dateline.

In the first paragraph of the report, all the details are given as precisely as possible. Generally details such as what happened, when it happened, where it happened, how or why it happened and to whom it happened are covered within the first paragraph.

Let us now examine the first paragraph of the above report.

Headline : Kidnapped Boy Escapes Captor, Arrives Home Safely

Dateline : Midnapur

Byline : Jaya Gujeriwal

Who : an eight-year-old boy - Anant

What happened : returned after mysteriously disappearing

Where : from his school, Midnapur High School

When : on Friday

How it happened : gave the slip to his captor

The next few paragraphs give further details of the event and finally we have a quote from the inspector in charge and from the boy’s father. The report ends with the measures being adopted to prevent any further such occurrences.

1. Read a few reports from the newspapers you get at home. Select any one and fill in the following details.

Headline :
Dateline :
Byline :
Who :
What happened :
Where :
When :
How it happened :

2. Write your own report for the following headline.

Handicapped Girl Tops University in Final Year Science

Remember to provide the dateline and byline to the report and to include all the necessary details in the first paragraph itself.

3. Write your own report using the following details.

Who : an eighty-year-old
What : foiled a bank robbery attempt
When : on Saturday morning
How : using his cane

Remember to provide the headline, dateline and byline to the report and to use all the details given in the first paragraph itself.

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