A report is an example of a document with flexible length, unlike the tri-fold brochure which has a fixed size. A report can be elaborate and formal, like a 100-page annual report on the financial state of a company, filled with charts and numbers. Or, it can be simple and short, like a one-page school report on the life of Napoleon.
A formal report may include a table of contents or outline and uses references, also called citations, to let the reader know where the information came from. There are many types of sources for the facts you might include in a report. Each idea, fact, or quote must be marked in a way that lets the reader find the original source. To do this you must use either footnotes, endnotes, or parenthetical references.
A footnote is at the bottom of the page that the referenced text is on. The text is marked with a superscript number. That's a raised number like this: 3
The footnote text at the bottom starts with the reference number and then gives the source information.
All the sources are listed alphabetically in the Bibliography at the end of the document. A bibliography can contain sources that don't show up in footnotes, but which were used for general background preparation.
Footnotes can also be used for explanatory material, which explains something mentioned in the text itself. A symbol like an asterisk * or a dagger † can be used instead of a number if the explanatory note is on the same page and there is only one footnote for the page.
Parenthetical references use parentheses within the text for basic source information, like (Smith 10) where Smith is the author and 10 is the page number in the source. Sources are listed alphabetically by author on a Works Cited page at the end of the document. If there is more than one Smith, the first name would be included, like (Jan Smith 10). If Smith wrote more than one of the sources listed, a title would be included in the parentheses, too, like (Smith Computer Lit 101,10) .
Footnotes are used for only for explanations or side comments on the text in this system.
Endnotes can also be used for both source information and explanations. Superscripts are used to mark the text being referenced. Instead of appearing at the bottom of the page like footnotes, the reference information and explanations are listed together in numerical order at the end of the chapter or at the end of the whole document. A Bibliography is used to neatly list all the sources alphabetically.
Several organizations have published guidelines which are used around the world for writing formal papers. The guidelines include rules for proper grammar, capitalization, page numbering, punctuation, paragraph indentions, references, etc. The top three for American publishing are listed below. None are available to read online. Naturally, they want you to buy a copy.
Be sure you know what style the teacher or publisher wants you to use. Those who grade or pay usually have specific ideas as to what they want to see!