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  • 1. Persuasion, Coherence, Sentences, Design, Graphics, and Recommendation Reports ENG 3302 Business and Technical Report Writing© 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins
  • 2. Table of Contents Topic Slide Number/s Communicating Persuasively 3 to 15 Writing Coherent Documents 16 to 30 Writing Effective Sentences 31 to 46 Designing Documents 47 to 84 Creating Graphics 85 to 121 Recommendation Reports 122 to 139© 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins
  • 3. Communicating PersuasivelyChapter 8. Communicating Persuasively © 2012 byBedford/St. Martins
  • 4. Consider your audience’s four broader goals:• security• recognition• professional growth• connectedness Chapter 8. Communicating Persuasively © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 4
  • 5. Work within eight constraints:• ethical• legal• political• informational• personnel• financial• time• format and tone Chapter 8. Communicating Persuasively © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 5
  • 6. Follow six steps to craft a persuasive argument:• Identify the elements of a persuasive argument.• Use the right kinds of evidence.• Consider opposing viewpoints.• Appeal to emotions responsibly.• Decide where to present the claim.• Understand the role of culture in persuasion. Chapter 8. Communicating Persuasively © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 6
  • 7. Understand the three elements of a persuasive argument:• The claim—the idea you are communicating.• The evidence—the facts and judgments that support your claim.• The reasoning—the logic that you use to derive the claim from the evidence. Chapter 8. Communicating Persuasively © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 7
  • 8. Use the right kinds of evidence:• “commonsense” arguments• numerical data• examples• expert testimony Chapter 8. Communicating Persuasively © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 8
  • 9. Consider three ways of meeting possible objections to your argument:• Show that the opposing argument is based on illogical reasoning or on inaccurate or incomplete facts.• Show that the opposing argument is valid but less powerful than your own.• Show how the two arguments can be reconciled. Chapter 8. Communicating Persuasively © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 9
  • 10. Understand the role of culture in persuasion: • Know what each culture regards as a persuasive argument. • Know how each culture structures a persuasive argument. Chapter 8. Communicating Persuasively © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 10
  • 11. Avoid ten common logical fallacies:• ad hominem argument, or argument against the speaker• argument from ignorance• appeal to pity• argument from authority• circular argument, or begging the question Chapter 8. Communicating Persuasively © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 11
  • 12. Avoid ten common logical fallacies (cont.):• either-or argument• ad populum argument, or bandwagon argument• hasty generalization, or inadequate sampling• post hoc reasoning• oversimplifying Chapter 8. Communicating Persuasively © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 12
  • 13. Demonstrate four characteristics when creating a professional persona:• cooperativeness• moderation• fair-mindedness• modesty Chapter 8. Communicating Persuasively © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 13
  • 14. An example of using words and images to create a persuasive argumentCaption: “A young boy works 12-hour days packing mud bricks in Liberia.” Source: U.S. Department of State, 2009 <www.state.gov/documents/organization/123360.pdf>. Chapter 8. Communicating Persuasively © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 14
  • 15. An example of using an image to convey technical evidence Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 2008 <www.iihs.org/ratings/rating.aspx?id5867>.Chapter 8. Communicating Persuasively © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 15
  • 16. Writing Coherent Documents© 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins
  • 17. Consider seven questions whenrevising your document for coherence:• Have you left out anything in turning your outline into a draft?• Have you included all the elements your readers expect to see?• Have you organized the document logically?• Is the document persuasive? Chapter 9. Writing Coherent Documents © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 17
  • 18. Consider seven questions when revising your document for coherence (cont.):• Do you come across as reliable, honest, and helpful?• Have you presented all the elements consistently?• Is the emphasis appropriate throughout the document? Chapter 9. Writing Coherent Documents © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 18
  • 19. Follow four guidelines when revising headings:• Avoid long noun strings.• Be informative.• Use a grammatical form appropriate to your audience.• Avoid back-to-back headings. Chapter 9. Writing Coherent Documents © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 19
  • 20. Turning paragraphs into lists presents four advantages:• It forces you to look at the big picture.• It forces you to examine the sequence.• It forces you to create a helpful lead-in.• It forces you to tighten and clarify your prose. Chapter 9. Writing Coherent Documents © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 20
  • 21. Study documents from other cultures to answer four questions:• How does the writer make the information accessible?• How does the writer show the relationship among types of information?• How does the writer communicate the organization of the document as a whole?• How does the writer make transitions from one subject to another? Chapter 9. Writing Coherent Documents © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 21
  • 22. There are two kinds of paragraphs:• A body paragraph is a group of sentences (or sometimes a single sentence) that is complete and self-sufficient and that contributes to a larger discussion.• A transitional paragraph helps readers move from one major point to another. Chapter 9. Writing Coherent Documents © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 22
  • 23. Most paragraphs contain two elements:• The topic sentence summarizes or forecasts the main point of the paragraph.• The supporting information makes the topic sentence clear and convincing. Chapter 9. Writing Coherent Documents © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 23
  • 24. Avoid burying bad news in paragraphs:• The most emphatic location is the topic sentence.• The second most emphatic location is the end of the paragraph.• The least emphatic location is the middle of the paragraph. Chapter 9. Writing Coherent Documents © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 24
  • 25. Supporting information usually fulfills one of five roles:• It defines a key term or idea included in the topic sentence.• It provides examples or illustrations of the situation described in the topic sentence.• It identifies causes: factors that led to the situation.• It defines effects: implications of the situation.• It supports the claim made in the topic sentence. Chapter 9. Writing Coherent Documents © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 25
  • 26. Follow three guidelines when dividing long paragraphs:• Break the discussion at a logical place.• Make the topic sentence a separate paragraph and break up the supporting information.• Use a list. Chapter 9. Writing Coherent Documents © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 26
  • 27. Use three techniques to emphasize coherence:• Add transitional words and phrases.• Repeat key words.• Use demonstrative pronouns followed by nouns. Chapter 9. Writing Coherent Documents © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 27
  • 28. Use transitional words and phrases: Chapter 9. Writing Coherent Documents © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 28
  • 29. Use two techniques to create a coherent design:• Use headers and footers to enhance coherence.• Use typefaces to enhance coherence. Chapter 9. Writing Coherent Documents © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 29
  • 30. Headers and footers are coherence devices. Source: U.S. Department of State, 2007 <www.usaid.gov/policy/coordination/strat plan_fy07-12.pdf>.Chapter 9. Writing Coherent Documents © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 30
  • 31. Writing Effective Sentences© 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins
  • 32. Use these seven techniques for structuring effective sentences:• Use lists.• Emphasize new and important information.• Choose an appropriate sentence length.• Focus on the “real” subject.• Focus on the “real” verb.• Use parallel structure.• Use modifiers effectively. Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 32
  • 33. Use these five guidelines for creating effective lists:• Set off each listed item with a number, a letter, or a symbol (usually a bullet).• Break up long lists.• Present the items in a parallel structure.• Structure and punctuate the lead-in correctly.• Punctuate the list correctly. Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 33
  • 34. Use parallel structure:• Use the same grammatical form for coordinate elements in a sentence. – all clauses either active or passive – all verbs either indicative or imperative – all nouns preceded by the same article• Parallel structure creates a recognizable pattern and makes a sentence easier to follow. Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 34
  • 35. Use modifiers effectively:• Distinguish between restrictive and nonrestrictive modifiers.• Avoid misplaced modifiers.• Avoid dangling modifiers. Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 35
  • 36. Choose the right words and phrases:• Select an appropriate level of formality.• Be clear and specific.• Be concise.• Use inoffensive language. Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 36
  • 37. Select an appropriate level of formality:There are three levels of formality:• informal• moderately formal• highly formalUse a level and tone appropriate for your• audience• subject• purpose Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 37
  • 38. Informal writing can cause two problems:• It tends to be imprecise.• It can be embarrassing. Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 38
  • 39. Use these seven techniques for writing clearly and specifically:• Use the active and passive voice appropriately.• Be specific.• Avoid unnecessary jargon.• Use positive constructions.• Avoid long noun strings.• Avoid clichés.• Avoid euphemisms. Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 39
  • 40. Use the active and passive voice appropriately:Use the active voice unless• the agent is clear from the context• the agent is unknown• the agent is less important than the action• a reference to the agent is embarrassing, dangerous, or in some other way inappropriate Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 40
  • 41. Use these three techniques for writing specifically:• Use precise words.• Provide adequate detail.• Avoid ambiguity. Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 41
  • 42. Avoid unnecessary jargon for four reasons:• It can be imprecise.• It can be confusing.• It is often seen as condescending.• It is often intimidating. Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 42
  • 43. Be concise:• Avoid obvious statements.• Avoid filler.• Avoid unnecessary prepositional phrases.• Avoid wordy phrases.• Avoid fancy words. Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 43
  • 44. Follow these six guidelines for avoiding sexist language:• Replace the male-gender words with non-gender- specific words.• Switch to a different form of the verb.• Switch to the plural.• Switch to he or she, he/she, s/he, or his or her.• Address the reader directly.• Alternate he and she. Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 44
  • 45. Follow these five guidelines for using the people-first approach:• Refer to the person first, the disability second.• Don’t confuse handicap with disability.• Don’t refer to victimization.• Don’t refer to a person as “wheelchair bound” or “confined to a wheelchair.”• Don’t refer to people with disabilities as abnormal. Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 45
  • 46. Use these seven techniques in preparing text for translation:• Use short sentences.• Use the active voice.• Use simple words.• Include a glossary.• Use words that have only one meaning.• Use pronouns carefully.• Avoid jokes, puns, and culture-bound references. Chapter 10. Writing Effective Sentences © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 46
  • 47. Designing Documents© 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins
  • 48. Document and Web design has five goals:• to make a good impression on readers• to help readers understand the structure and hierarchy of the information• to help readers find the information they need• to help readers understand the information• to help readers remember the information Chapter 11. Designing Documents and Web Sites © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 48
  • 49. There are four principles of design:• proximity• alignment• repetition• contrast Chapter 11. Designing Documents and Web Sites © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 49
  • 50. Proximity organizes this image: Source: U.S. Department of State, 2011 <http://future.state.gov>.Chapter 11. Designing Documents and Web Sites © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 50
  • 51. Alignment organizes this image: Source: Carnegie Science Center, n.d.Chapter 11. Designing Documents and Web Sites © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 51
  • 52. Repetition organizes this image: Source: Myers, 2007, p. 362.Chapter 11. Designing Documents and Web Sites © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 52
  • 53. Contrast clarifies this image: Source: Lambert Coffin, 2010 <www.lambertcoffin.com/index.php?sid=2>.Chapter 11. Designing Documents and Web Sites © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 53
  • 54. To plan a design, take these two steps:• Analyze your audience and purpose.• Determine your resources. Chapter 11. Designing Documents and Web Sites © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 54
  • 55. For multicultural readers, consider four cultural preferences:• paper size• typeface preferences• color preferences• text direction Chapter 11. Designing Documents and Web Sites © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 55
  • 56. Determine your resources:• Time. What is your schedule?• Money. Can you afford professional designers, print shops, and Web developers?• Equipment. Do you have graphics software, desktop-publishing programs, and a printer? Chapter 11. Designing Documents and Web Sites © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 56
  • 57. Consider these four elements when designing documents:• size (page size and page count)• paper• bindings• accessing aids Chapter 11. Designing Documents and Web Sites © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 57
  • 58. Select one of four common types of binding:• loose-leaf binders• ring or spiral binders• saddle binding• perfect binding Chapter 11. Designing Documents and Web Sites © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 58
  • 59. Consider using six typical accessing aids:• icons• color• dividers and tabs• cross-reference tables• headers and footers• page numbering Chapter 11. Designing Documents and Web Sites © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 59
  • 60. Understand how learning theory relates to page design:• chunking• queuing• filtering Chapter 11. Designing Documents and Web Sites © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 60
  • 61. Use two elements to create your page layout:• page grids• white space Chapter 11. Designing Documents and Web Sites © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 61
  • 62. Margins have four purposes:• to limit the amount of information on the page, making the document easier to read and use• to provide space for binding and allow readers to hold the page without covering up the text• to provide a neat frame around the type• to provide space for marginal glosses Chapter 11. Designing Documents and Web Sites © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 62
  • 63. A document bound like a book has these margins:Chapter 11. Designing Documents and Web Sites © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 63
  • 64. A multicolumn design offers three advantages:• Text is easier to read because the lines are shorter.• Columns allow you to fit more information on the page.• Columns let you use the principle of repetition to create a visual pattern. Chapter 11. Designing Documents and Web Sites © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 64
  • 65. Typography includes seven topics:• typefaces• type families• case• type size• line length• line spacing• justification Chapter 11. Designing Documents and Web Sites © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 65
  • 66. Different typefaces make different impressions:This paragraph is typed in Monotype Corsiva typeface. You are unlikelyto see this style of font in a technical document because it is too ornateand too hard to read.This paragraph is Times Roman, an effective typeface for textin the body of technical documents.This paragraph is Tahoma, which has a modern, high-tech look. It is best suited for headings and titles intechnical documents. Chapter 11. Designing Documents and Web Sites © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 66
  • 67. Two main categories of typefaces are serif and sans serif: N N serif sans serifChapter 11. Designing Documents and Web Sites © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 67
  • 68. A type family includes many variations:Some of the members of the Helvetica family: Helvetica Helvetica Bold Helvetica Bold Italic Helvetica Narrow Helvetica Narrow Bold Helvetica Narrow Bold Italic Chapter 11. Designing Documents and Web Sites © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 68
  • 69. Case affects readability:Lowercase letters are easier to read: Individual variations are greater in lowercase words THAN THEY ARE IN UPPERCASE WORDS. Chapter 11. Designing Documents and Web Sites © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 69
  • 70. Different functions call for different type sizes:footnotes 8- or 9-point typebody text 10-, 11-, or 12-point typeheadings 2 to 4 points larger than body textindexes 2 points smaller than body texttitles 18 or 24 pointsslides 24- to 36-point type Chapter 11. Designing Documents and Web Sites © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 70
  • 71. Use line spacing carefully when designing headings:SummaryIn this example, the writer has skipped a line betweenthe heading and the text that follows it.SummaryIn this example, the writer has not skipped a line. Theheading stands out, but not as emphatically.Summary. This run-in style makes the heading standout the least. Chapter 11. Designing Documents and Web Sites © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 71
  • 72. Use other design features for clarity and emphasis:• rules• boxes• screens• marginal glosses• pull quotes Chapter 11. Designing Documents and Web Sites © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 72
  • 73. These six principles will help you design effective Web sites and pages:• Create informative headers and footers.• Help readers navigate the site.• Include extra features readers might need.• Help readers connect with others.• Design for readers with disabilities.• Design for multicultural readers. Chapter 11. Designing Documents and Web Sites © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 73
  • 74. Follow these five guidelines for making your site easy to navigate:• Include a site map or index.• Use a table of contents at the top of long pages.• Help readers get back to the top of long pages.• Include a link to the home page on every page.• Include textual navigational links at the bottom of the page. Chapter 11. Designing Documents and Web Sites © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 74
  • 75. This is a typical site map: Source: National Institutes of Health, 2010 <www.genome.gov/sitemap.cfm>.Chapter 11. Designing Documents and Web Sites © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 75
  • 76. This is a typical table of contents: Source: U.S. Copyright Office, 2010 <www.copyright.gov/help/faq>.Chapter 11. Designing Documents and Web Sites © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 76
  • 77. Include extra features your readers might need:• an FAQ• a search page or engine• resource links• a printable version of your site• a text-only version of your site Chapter 11. Designing Documents and Web Sites © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 77
  • 78. Consider these three types of disabilities:• vision impairment• hearing impairment• mobility impairment Chapter 11. Designing Documents and Web Sites © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 78
  • 79. Follow these three suggestionswhen designing for multicultural audiences: • Use common words and short sentences and paragraphs. • Avoid idioms, both verbal and visual, that might be confusing. • If a large percentage of your readers speak a language other than English, consider creating a version of your site in that language. Chapter 11. Designing Documents and Web Sites © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 79
  • 80. Follow these four guidelines for designing a simple site:• Use simple backgrounds.• Use conservative color combinations to increase text legibility.• Avoid decorative graphics.• Use thumbnail graphics. Chapter 11. Designing Documents and Web Sites © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 80
  • 81. Follow these three suggestions to make text easy to read:• Keep the text short.• Chunk information.• Make the text as simple as possible. Chapter 11. Designing Documents and Web Sites © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 81
  • 82. Follow these three suggestions to write clear, informative links:• Structure your sentences as if there were no links in your text.• Indicate what information the linked page contains.• Use standard colors for text links. Chapter 11. Designing Documents and Web Sites © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 82
  • 83. This is an effective page design: Source: Gorzalka, 2011 <http://clearideaz.com>.Chapter 11. Designing Documents and Web Sites © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 83
  • 84. This is an effective page design: Source: Tumblr, 2011 <www.tumblr.com/about>.Chapter 11. Designing Documents and Web Sites © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 84
  • 85. Creating GraphicsChapter 8. Communicating Persuasively © 2012 byBedford/St. Martins
  • 86. Graphics serve five functions:• They can catch readers’ attention and interest.• They can help writers communicate information that is difficult to communicate with words.• They can help writers clarify and emphasize information.• They can help nonnative speakers of English understand information.• They can help writers communicate information to multiple audiences with different interests, aptitudes, and reading habits. Chapter 12. Creating Graphics © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 86
  • 87. Graphics offer benefits that words alone cannot:• Graphics are indispensable in demonstrating logical and numerical relationships.• Graphics can communicate spatial information more effectively than words alone.• Graphics can communicate steps in a process more effectively than words alone.• Graphics can save space.• Graphics can reduce the cost of documents intended for international readers. Chapter 12. Creating Graphics © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 87
  • 88. An effective graphic has five characteristics: • It serves a purpose. • It is simple and uncluttered. • It presents a manageable amount of information. • It meets readers’ format expectations. • It is clearly labeled. Chapter 12. Creating Graphics © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 88
  • 89. Follow these six suggestions to create honest graphics:• Cite your source and obtain permission.• Include all relevant data.• Begin the axes in your graphs at zero—or mark them clearly.• Do not use a table to hide a data point that would be obvious in a graph.• Show items as they really are.• Do not use color or shading to misrepresent an item’s importance. Chapter 12. Creating Graphics © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 89
  • 90. Follow these five guidelines for integrating graphics and text:• Place the graphic in an appropriate location.• Introduce the graphic in the text.• Explain the graphic in the text.• Make the graphic clearly visible.• Make the graphic accessible. Chapter 12. Creating Graphics © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 90
  • 91. The process of creating graphics includes four steps:• planning• producing• revising• citing Chapter 12. Creating Graphics © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 91
  • 92. As you plan graphics, consider the following:• audience• purpose of the graphic and the document• kind of information you want to communicate• physical conditions in which readers will use the document• time• money• equipment• expertise Chapter 12. Creating Graphics © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 92
  • 93. When producing graphics, choose one of the following four approaches:• use existing graphics• modify existing graphics• create graphics on a computer• have someone else create the graphics Chapter 12. Creating Graphics © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 93
  • 94. Use color effectively:• Don’t overdo it.• Use color to emphasize particular items.• Use color to create patterns.• Use contrast effectively.• Take advantage of any symbolic meanings colors may already have.• Be aware that color can obscure or swallow up text. Chapter 12. Creating Graphics © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 94
  • 95. Use color to establish patterns: Source: Myers, 2010, p. 72. Chapter 12. Creating Graphics © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 95
  • 96. Use color to create effective contrast:The text is hard to read because of insufficientcontrast.Effective contrast makes the text easier to read. Chapter 12. Creating Graphics © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 96
  • 97. Choose the category of technical information you want to communicate:• numerical information• logical relationships• process descriptions and instructions• visual and spatial characteristics Chapter 12. Creating Graphics © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 97
  • 98. Five kinds of graphics help illustrate numerical information:• tables• bar graphs• pictographs• line graphs• pie charts Chapter 12. Creating Graphics © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 98
  • 99. Two kinds of graphics help illustrate logical relationships:• diagrams• organization charts Chapter 12. Creating Graphics © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 99
  • 100. Three kinds of graphics help illustrate process descriptions and instructions:• checklists• flowcharts• logic trees Chapter 12. Creating Graphics © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 100
  • 101. Four kinds of graphics help illustrate visual and spatial characteristics:• photographs• screen shots• line drawings• maps Chapter 12. Creating Graphics © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 101
  • 102. A typical table has these parts:Table numberTable titleColumn headColumn subheadsStubRowData cellSource statementFootnotes Chapter 12. Creating Graphics © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 102
  • 103. Follow these nine guidelines for creating effective tables:• Indicate the units of measure.• In the stub (the left-hand column), list the items being compared.• In the columns, arrange the data clearly and logically.• Do the math.• Use dot leaders if a column contains a “blank” spot: a place where there are no appropriate data. Chapter 12. Creating Graphics © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 103
  • 104. Follow these nine guidelines for creating effective tables (cont.):• Don’t make the table wider than it needs to be.• Minimize the use of rules.• Provide footnotes where necessary.• If you did not generate the information yourself, indicate your source. Chapter 12. Creating Graphics © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 104
  • 105. Horizontal and vertical bar graphs look like this:Chapter 12. Creating Graphics © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 105
  • 106. Follow these six guidelines for creating effective bar graphs:• Make the proportions fair.• If possible, begin the quantity scale at zero.• Use tick marks (marks along the axis) to signal the amounts.• Arrange the bars in a logical sequence.• Place the title below the figure.• Indicate the source of your information if you did not generate it yourself. Chapter 12. Creating Graphics © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 106
  • 107. This is an effective bar graph:Chapter 12. Creating Graphics © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 107
  • 108. The basic bar graph has five variations:• grouped bar graph• subdivided bar graph• 100-percent bar graph• deviation bar graph• stratum graph Chapter 12. Creating Graphics © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 108
  • 109. This is an effective pictograph: Chapter 12. Creating Graphics © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 109
  • 110. This pictograph is misleading:Chapter 12. Creating Graphics © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 110
  • 111. Follow these three guidelines for creating effective line graphs:• If possible, begin the quantity scale at zero.• Use reasonable proportions for the vertical and horizontal axes.• Use grid lines—horizontal, vertical, or both— rather than tick marks when your readers need to read the quantities precisely. Chapter 12. Creating Graphics © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 111
  • 112. This is an effective line graph: Chapter 12. Creating Graphics © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 112
  • 113. Follow these eight guidelines for creating effective pie charts:• Restrict the number of slices to six or seven.• Begin with the largest slice at the top and work clockwise in order of decreasing size.• Include a miscellaneous slice for very small quantities.• Label the slices (horizontally, not radially) inside the slice. Chapter 12. Creating Graphics © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 113
  • 114. Follow these eight guidelines for creating effective pie charts (cont.):• To emphasize one slice, use a bright, contrasting color or separate the slice from the pie.• Check to see that your software follows the appropriate guidelines for pie charts.• Don’t overdo fill patterns.• Check that your percentages add up to 100. Chapter 12. Creating Graphics © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 114
  • 115. How effective is this graphic? Source: Defense Intelligence Agency, 2003 <www.dia.mil/thisisdia/ DIA_Workforce_of_the_Future.pdf>.Chapter 12. Creating Graphics © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 115
  • 116. Use these four techniques to show motion: Chapter 12. Creating Graphics © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 116
  • 117. Follow these five guidelines for presenting photographs effectively:• Eliminate extraneous background clutter that can distract readers.• Do not electronically manipulate the photograph.• Help readers understand the perspective.• If appropriate, include a common object to give readers a sense of scale.• If appropriate, label components or important features. Chapter 12. Creating Graphics © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 117
  • 118. Line drawings offer three advantages over photographs:• Line drawings can focus readers’ attention on desired information better than a photograph can.• Line drawings can highlight information that might be obscured by bad lighting or a bad angle in a photograph• Line drawings are sometimes easier for readers to understand than photographs are. Chapter 12. Creating Graphics © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 118
  • 119. Line drawings offer a uniqueadvantage over other graphics: Chapter 12. Creating Graphics © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 119
  • 120. The basic line drawing has three variations: Chapter 12. Creating Graphics © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 120
  • 121. Follow these six guidelines for creatingeffective graphics for multicultural readers:• Be aware that reading patterns differ.• Be aware of varying cultural attitudes toward giving instruction.• Deemphasize trivial details.• Avoid culture-specific language, symbols, and references.• Portray people very carefully.• Be particularly careful in portraying hand gestures. Chapter 12. Creating Graphics © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 121
  • 122. Writing Recommendation Reports© 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins
  • 123. Recommendation reports address four kinds of questions:• What should we do about Problem X?• Should we do Function X?• Should we use Technology A or Technology B to do Function X?• We currently use Method A to do Function X. Should we be using Method B? Chapter 19. Writing Recommendation Reports © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 123
  • 124. Feasibility reports answer three kinds of questions:• questions of possibility• questions of economic wisdom• questions of perception Chapter 19. Writing Recommendation Reports © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 124
  • 125. Use a problem-solving methodwhen preparing a recommendation report: • Identify the problem or opportunity. • Establish criteria for responding to the problem or opportunity. • Determine the options. • Study each option according to the criteria. • Draw conclusions about each option. • Formulate recommendations based on the conclusions. Chapter 19. Writing Recommendation Reports © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 125
  • 126. Use logic boxes to plot a series of options: Chapter 19. Writing Recommendation Reports © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 126
  • 127. Use a matrix to compare and contrast options:Criteria and Weight Options Ricoh Xerox SharpCriterion Weight Rating Score(1) Rating Score(1) Rating Score(1)Pages/min. 1 9 9 6 6 3 3Duplex 3 1 3 3 9 10 30Color 4 10 40 1 4 10 40Total Score 52 19 73(1) Score = Weight x Rating Chapter 19. Writing Recommendation Reports © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 127
  • 128. Explain your decision matrix:• Explain why you chose each criterion—or didn’t choose a criterion readers might have expected.• Explain why you assigned a particular weight to each criterion.• Explain why you assigned a particular rating to each option. Chapter 19. Writing Recommendation Reports © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 6
  • 129. You can present your conclusions in one of three ways:• Rank all the options.• Classify all the options in two categories: acceptable and unacceptable.• Present a compound conclusion. Chapter 19. Writing Recommendation Reports © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 129
  • 130. Most recommendation reports have three major sections:• the body of the report• the front matter• the back matter Chapter 19. Writing Recommendation Reports © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 130
  • 131. A typical recommendation report has five body elements:• introduction• methods• results• conclusions• recommendations Chapter 19. Writing Recommendation Reports © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 131
  • 132. An introduction typically answers nine questions:• What is the subject of the report?• What is the purpose of the report?• What is the background of the report?• What are your sources of information?• What is the scope of the report? Chapter 19. Writing Recommendation Reports © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 132
  • 133. An introduction typically answers nine questions (cont.):• What are the most significant findings?• What are your recommendations?• What is the organization of the report?• What key terms are you using in the report? Chapter 19. Writing Recommendation Reports © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 133
  • 134. Address the following four questions when writing the body of your report:• Methods. What did you do?• Results. What did you see?• Conclusions. What does it mean?• Recommendations. What should we do? Chapter 19. Writing Recommendation Reports © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 134
  • 135. Consider these four factors when writing your recommendations:• content• tone• form• location Chapter 19. Writing Recommendation Reports © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 135
  • 136. A typical recommendation reportcontains seven elements in the front matter: • letter of transmittal • cover • title page • abstract • table of contents • list of illustrations • executive summary Chapter 19. Writing Recommendation Reports © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 136
  • 137. Understand the difference betweena descriptive and an informative abstract:• A descriptive abstract describes the kinds of information contained in the report.• An informative abstract presents the major findings. Chapter 19. Writing Recommendation Reports © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 137
  • 138. Follow these five guidelines when writing an executive summary:• Use specific evidence in describing the background.• Be specific in describing the research.• Describe the methods briefly.• Describe the findings according to your readers’ needs.• Ask an outside reader to review your draft. Chapter 19. Writing Recommendation Reports © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 138
  • 139. A typical recommendation reportincludes three elements in the back matter: • glossary and list of symbols • references • appendixes Chapter 19. Writing Recommendation Reports © 2012 by Bedford/St. Martins 139