Basics of Report Writing
part 2
Session 11-12
Report Patterns
Report Patterns
 Direct pattern
 Saves Time
 Easier to understand
 Indirect pattern
 Helps overcome resistance
Audience Analysis and
Report Organization
Direct PatternDirect Pattern
ReportReport
-----Main IdeaMain Idea ----
---------...
Audience Analysis and
Report Organization
ReportReport
-----------------------
-----------------------
-------------------...
Typical Business Reports
Periodic operating reports. To monitor and control production, sales, shipping, service, etc.
Sit...
Determine the Report Purpose
 Conduct a preliminary investigation
 Gather facts to better understand the problem
 Consu...
State the problem in one of
three ways.
 Infinitive phrase:
"To measure the effect of radio spot advertising on X company...
Types of Factors
Determine the Factors
 Subtopics in informational and some analytical reports
 Hypotheses in problem-so...
State the Problem and Factors
Use the infinitive form with subtopics.Use the infinitive form with subtopics.
A consumer re...
State the Problem and Factors
Use the question form with subtopics.Use the question form with subtopics.
A national chain ...
State the Problem and Factors
Use the question form with subtopics.Use the question form with subtopics.
A daily newspaper...
State the Problem and Factors
Use the question form with hypotheses.Use the question form with hypotheses.
You’ve been ass...
State the Problem and Factors
Use the infinitive form with bases of comparison.Use the infinitive form with bases of compa...
Gather Information
 Primary
 Observation
 Experiments
 Surveys
 Telephone
 Mail/Email
 Web surveys
 Interviews (pe...
Attitudes and Practices Conducive
to Sound Interpreting
 Maintain a judicial attitude.
 Consult with others.
 Test the ...
Use of Statistical Tools in
Interpretation
 Statistical tools enable writers to simplify data.
 Most readers can underst...
An organizational plan
Organize the Information
 serves as a blueprint for the report
 insures order in the report
 pro...
5 Organizational
Methods
Of
Structuring
Data
Component
Time
Convention
CriteriaImportance
Organizational Methods Of
Structuring Data
1) Time:
 Establishing a chronology of events
 Easy
 Often mirrors the way d...
Organizational Methods Of
Structuring Data
2) Component:
 Organized by components such as
location, geography, division, ...
Organizational Methods Of
Structuring Data
3) Importance:
 Involves beginning with the most important item and proceeding...
Organizational Methods Of
Structuring Data
4)Criteria:
 Single judgment criteria
 Fair Evaluation
 Helps reader in maki...
Organizational Methods Of
Structuring Data
5) Convention:
 Operational & recurring reports are structured according
to co...
Steps in Organizing the Information
 Construct an outline for the report.
 Write it out to insure order in the report.
...
I. First-level heading
A. Second-level heading
B. Second-level heading
1. Third-level heading
2. Third-level heading
a. Fo...
1.0 First-level heading
1.1 Second-level heading
1.2. Second-level heading
1.2.1 Third-level heading
1.2.2 Third-level hea...
Procedure for Constructing an
Outline by Process of Division (1 of 3)
Step 1
Divide the whole into comparable
parts. This ...
Procedure for Constructing an
Outline by Process of Division (2 of 3)
Step 2
Divide each roman section. This
gives the A.,...
Step 3
Then divide each A, B, C heading.
this gives the 1, 2,3 headings
Continue dividing as long as it is
practical to do...
General Bases for Division
 Time
 Place
 Quantity
 Factor
Organization by time
Organization of a Report on the
History of Manufacturing in New York
I. Introduction
II. Before 1750
...
Organization of a Report on the
History of Manufacturing in New York
I. Introduction
II. Northern region
III. Eastern regi...
Organization by quantity
I. Introduction
II. More than 500 employees
III. 20-500 employees
IV. Less than 20 employees
V. C...
Organization of a Report on the
History of Manufacturing in New York
I. Introduction
II. Textiles
III. Foods
IV. Furniture...
Combination Division Forms
First division by time; second division by timeFirst division by time; second division by time
...
Combination Division Forms
First division by time; second division by placeFirst division by time; second division by plac...
Combination Division Forms
First division by time; second division by factor
I. Introduction
II. Before 1750
A. Food
B. Ch...
Topic or Talking Headings? (1 of 2)
Topic headings identify.
I. Population
A. Houston
B. Springfield
C. San Diego
II. Inco...
Topic or Talking Headings? (2 of 2)
Talking headings identify and indicate what is
said about that division.
I. Growing po...
Wording of Headings
 Parallel Construction
 Conciseness in Wording
 Variety of Expression
Parallelism in Construction of
Headings
 Noun Phrase
 “High Rate of Sales in District III
 Sentence
 “District II Sale...
Point out any violations of grammatical
parallelism in the following subheads of
major division of a report.
I. Sporting G...
Point out any violations of grammatical
parallelism in the following subheads of
major division of a report.
A. Predominan...
Conciseness in Wording
Not this:
Personal appearance enhancement is the most desirable
benefit of lasik surgery that patie...
Variety of Expression
Not this:
A. Illinois Computer Sales
B. New York Computer Sales
C. Washington Computer Sales
But thi...
Write the Report
 Be objective.
 Believability
 Impersonal vs. Personal Writing
 Maintain a consistent time viewpoint....
Write the Report
 Be objective.
 Believability
 Impersonal vs. Personal Writing
 Maintain a consistent time viewpoint....
Introduction
 Tells the purpose of the report
 Describes the significance of the topic
 Preview main points
 Order
Headings
 Highlight major ideas
 Give big picture
 Functional Headings
 Background, Administration, Quality Control et...
Headings
 Use appropriate heading levels
 Capitalize and underline carefully
 Include at least one heading per page
 K...
Transitions
 Transitional Expression like additionally, furthermore, on the
contrary etc
 Show relationship
 Reveal log...
Illustrating With Graphics
Why Graphics?
 Easy to understand
Easy to remember
Make numerical data meaningful
Simplify com...
Three important functions
of Graphics
Clarify data
Condense and simplify data
Emphasize data
A Dilemma
 Same data can be shown in many different forms, Like:
 A table
 A graph – Bar Chart, Pie Chart, Line Chart e...
Forms of Graphics
Table
 To show exact figures and values
Forms of Graphics
Bar Chart
 To compare one item with other
Forms of Graphics
Line Chart
 To Demonstrate changes over time
Forms of Graphics
Pie Chart
 To visualize a whole unit
and the proportions of its
components
Forms of Graphics
 Flow Chart
 To display a process or
procedure
Forms of Graphics
 Organization Chart
 To define a hierarchy of
elements
Forms of Graphics
Photograph & Map
 To create authenticity or to
spotlight a location
Incorporating Graphics in
Reports
Evaluate the Audience
 Nature of report internal or external
 Evaluate reader, conten...
Incorporating Graphics in
Reports
Be Accurate and Ethical
 Ensure accuracy of figures
 Graphs must not be misleading
 ...
Introduce Graphic meaningfully
 Place the graphic close to the discussion point
 Use proper reference to every graphics...
Conclusion
Conclusion of a Report
Most widely read portion of a report which summarizes & explains the findings in a report. Heart
of...
Conclusion of a Report -
Functions
 Interpret & summarize the findings
 Don’t manipulate the findings to achieve preconc...
Recommendation
Recommendation
 Conclusions explain what the problem is, while the recommendations tell how
to solve it.
 Readers prefer...
Recommendation
 Try to present the recommendation as a command
 Shows your command on the subject
 When possible, arran...
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Transcript of "Basics (Reports Writing 2)"

  1. 1. Basics of Report Writing part 2 Session 11-12
  2. 2. Report Patterns
  3. 3. Report Patterns  Direct pattern  Saves Time  Easier to understand  Indirect pattern  Helps overcome resistance
  4. 4. Audience Analysis and Report Organization Direct PatternDirect Pattern ReportReport -----Main IdeaMain Idea ---- ----------------------- ----------------------- ----------------------- ----------------------- ----------------------- ----------------------- ----------------------- If readersIf readers are informedare informed If readersIf readers are supportiveare supportive If readersIf readers are eager toare eager to have results firsthave results first
  5. 5. Audience Analysis and Report Organization ReportReport ----------------------- ----------------------- ----------------------- ----------------------- ----------------------- ----------------------- ----------------------- -----Main Idea ----Main Idea ---- Indirect PatternIndirect Pattern If readersIf readers need to beneed to be educatededucated If readersIf readers need to beneed to be persuadedpersuaded If readers mayIf readers may be hostile orbe hostile or disappointeddisappointed
  6. 6. Typical Business Reports Periodic operating reports. To monitor and control production, sales, shipping, service, etc. Situational reports. To describe one-time events, such as trips, conferences, and seminars. Investigative/informational reports. To examine problems and supply facts – with little analysis. Compliance reports. To respond to government agencies and laws, such as the Federal Employment Equity Act. Justification/recommendation reports. To make recommendations to management and become tools to solve problems and make decisions. Yardstick reports. To establish criteria and evaluate alternatives by measuring against the “yardstick” criteria. Feasibility reports. To analyze problems and predict whether alternatives will be practical or advisable. Proposals. To offer to solve problems, investigate ideas, or sell products and services.
  7. 7. Determine the Report Purpose  Conduct a preliminary investigation  Gather facts to better understand the problem  Consult many sources  State the problem in writing  To serve as a record  To allow others to review it  To force the writer to get the problem clearly in mind
  8. 8. State the problem in one of three ways.  Infinitive phrase: "To measure the effect of radio spot advertising on X company sales"  Question: "What are the effects on X company sales of radio spot advertising?"  Declarative statement: "Company X wants to know how a spot advertising campaign will affect its sales."
  9. 9. Types of Factors Determine the Factors  Subtopics in informational and some analytical reports  Hypotheses in problem-solving situations  Bases in comparison reports
  10. 10. State the Problem and Factors Use the infinitive form with subtopics.Use the infinitive form with subtopics. A consumer research organization plans to test three leading low-priced automobiles in an effort to determine which one is the best buy as a family car for the typical American consumer. Problem statement To determine which of three economy cars is the best buy for the American Consumer Factors Durability Original and trade-in costs Operating costs Repairs Comfort Safety
  11. 11. State the Problem and Factors Use the question form with subtopics.Use the question form with subtopics. A national chain of dress shops wants to learn what qualities to seek in hiring sales personnel. Problem statement What qualities determine the successful salespeople for X Dress Shop? Factors Education Cultural Background Experience Vital Statistics (age, height, weight, marital status, religion, etc.) Personal qualities (personality, character, etc.)
  12. 12. State the Problem and Factors Use the question form with subtopics.Use the question form with subtopics. A daily newspaper wants to know how well the various types of items in a typical issue are read. Problem statement What is the readership of the types of items in a typical issue of X newspaper? Factors Probably such a study would involve an item-by-item survey. The items would be classified by types, which would be the factors of the problem. World news Local news Society Editorials Sports Comics
  13. 13. State the Problem and Factors Use the question form with hypotheses.Use the question form with hypotheses. You’ve been assigned the problem of determining why sales at the Moline store have declined. Problem statement Why have sales declined at the Moline store? Factors Activities of the competition have cause the decline. Changes in the economy of the area have caused the decline. Merchandising deficiencies have caused the decline. Changes in the economic environment have caused the decline.
  14. 14. State the Problem and Factors Use the infinitive form with bases of comparison.Use the infinitive form with bases of comparison. A major soap manufacturer wishes to determine which of three cities would be best for a new factory. Problem statement To determine whether Y company’s new factory should be built in City A, City B, or City C. Factors Availability of labor Nearness to markets Abundance of raw material Power supply Tax structure Community attitude Transportation facilities
  15. 15. Gather Information  Primary  Observation  Experiments  Surveys  Telephone  Mail/Email  Web surveys  Interviews (personal, expert)  Company records (raw data)  Secondary  Library  Online  Company records (interpreted data)
  16. 16. Attitudes and Practices Conducive to Sound Interpreting  Maintain a judicial attitude.  Consult with others.  Test the interpretations. 1. Test of Experience “Is this conclusion logical in light of all I know?” 2. Negative Test  Examine the opposite interpretation--build a case for it.
  17. 17. Use of Statistical Tools in Interpretation  Statistical tools enable writers to simplify data.  Most readers can understand descriptive statistics.  Writers should explain explicitly statistical techniques used.
  18. 18. An organizational plan Organize the Information  serves as a blueprint for the report  insures order in the report  provides headings for use in the report
  19. 19. 5 Organizational Methods Of Structuring Data Component Time Convention CriteriaImportance
  20. 20. Organizational Methods Of Structuring Data 1) Time:  Establishing a chronology of events  Easy  Often mirrors the way data are collected Examples  Monthly trip report  Sales rep’s trip  Minutes of meetings
  21. 21. Organizational Methods Of Structuring Data 2) Component:  Organized by components such as location, geography, division, product or part  Works best when the classifications already exist Examples  Expansion plan in different departments on an organization  Comparing profits among departments
  22. 22. Organizational Methods Of Structuring Data 3) Importance:  Involves beginning with the most important item and proceeding to the least important or vice versa, keeping in mind the reader’s priorities & expectations  Involves a value judgment  Saves time of busy readers  Probability of retaining the information is high Examples  Reasons of declination in the monthly sale  Reasons of poor performance of the team
  23. 23. Organizational Methods Of Structuring Data 4)Criteria:  Single judgment criteria  Fair Evaluation  Helps reader in making comparison Examples  Comparing different alternatives of expansion plan
  24. 24. Organizational Methods Of Structuring Data 5) Convention:  Operational & recurring reports are structured according to convention and everybody understands that convention  Simplifies organizational task  Saves time & resources Examples  Weekly or monthly update report  Order booking reports
  25. 25. Steps in Organizing the Information  Construct an outline for the report.  Write it out to insure order in the report.  Incorporate topics in text of headings.  Use either the conventional or decimal division format.
  26. 26. I. First-level heading A. Second-level heading B. Second-level heading 1. Third-level heading 2. Third-level heading a. Fourth-level (1) Fifth-level (a) Sixth-level II. First-level heading A. Second-level heading B. Second-level heading Etc. Conventional System
  27. 27. 1.0 First-level heading 1.1 Second-level heading 1.2. Second-level heading 1.2.1 Third-level heading 1.2.2 Third-level heading 1.2.2.1Fourth-level 2.0 First-level heading 2.1 Second-level heading 2.2 Second-level heading Etc. Decimal System
  28. 28. Procedure for Constructing an Outline by Process of Division (1 of 3) Step 1 Divide the whole into comparable parts. This gives the Roman number parts of the outline. Usually an introduction begins the outline. Some combination of summary, conclusion, recommendation ends it. I. Introduction II. III. IV. V.
  29. 29. Procedure for Constructing an Outline by Process of Division (2 of 3) Step 2 Divide each roman section. This gives the A., B, C headings. . I. II. III. IV. V. A B A B C A B C A B A B
  30. 30. Step 3 Then divide each A, B, C heading. this gives the 1, 2,3 headings Continue dividing as long as it is practical to do so. Procedure for Constructing an Outline by Process of Division (3 of 3) I. II. III. IV. V. A B A B C A B C A B A B 1 2 1 2 3 1 2
  31. 31. General Bases for Division  Time  Place  Quantity  Factor
  32. 32. Organization by time Organization of a Report on the History of Manufacturing in New York I. Introduction II. Before 1750 III. 1750-1800 IV. 1801-1850 V. Etc. Main Heading PossibilitiesMain Heading Possibilities (1 of 4)(1 of 4)
  33. 33. Organization of a Report on the History of Manufacturing in New York I. Introduction II. Northern region III. Eastern region IV. Southern region V. Etc. Organization by place Main Heading PossibilitiesMain Heading Possibilities (2 of 4)(2 of 4)
  34. 34. Organization by quantity I. Introduction II. More than 500 employees III. 20-500 employees IV. Less than 20 employees V. Conclusion Organization of a Report on the History of Manufacturing in New York Main Heading PossibilitiesMain Heading Possibilities (3 of 4)(3 of 4)
  35. 35. Organization of a Report on the History of Manufacturing in New York I. Introduction II. Textiles III. Foods IV. Furniture V. Etc. Organization by factors Main Heading PossibilitiesMain Heading Possibilities (4 of 4)(4 of 4)
  36. 36. Combination Division Forms First division by time; second division by timeFirst division by time; second division by time I. Introduction II. Before 1750 A. 1630-1680 B. 1681-1710 C. 1711-1750 III. 1751-1800 A. 1751-1780 B. 1781-1800 IV. Etc.
  37. 37. Combination Division Forms First division by time; second division by placeFirst division by time; second division by place I. Introduction II. Before 1750 A. Northern region B. Eastern region C. Southern region D. Western region III. 1751-1800 A. Northern region B. Etc.
  38. 38. Combination Division Forms First division by time; second division by factor I. Introduction II. Before 1750 A. Food B. Chemicals C. Textiles D. Etc. III. 1751-1800 A. Food B. Chemicals C. Etc. IV. Etc.
  39. 39. Topic or Talking Headings? (1 of 2) Topic headings identify. I. Population A. Houston B. Springfield C. San Diego II. Income A. Houston B. Springfield C. San Diego
  40. 40. Topic or Talking Headings? (2 of 2) Talking headings identify and indicate what is said about that division. I. Growing population signals market growth A. Houston leads the nation B. Springfield has steadiest increase C. San Diego maintains status quo
  41. 41. Wording of Headings  Parallel Construction  Conciseness in Wording  Variety of Expression
  42. 42. Parallelism in Construction of Headings  Noun Phrase  “High Rate of Sales in District III  Sentence  “District II Sales Rank Second”  Decapitated Sentence  “District I at Bottom” Equal level headings should be in the same grammatical format whether noun phrase, sentence, or decapitated sentence.
  43. 43. Point out any violations of grammatical parallelism in the following subheads of major division of a report. I. Sporting Good Shows Market Increase II. Modest Increase in Hardware Volume III. Automotive Parts Remains Unchanged IV. Plumbing Supplies Records Slight Decline.
  44. 44. Point out any violations of grammatical parallelism in the following subheads of major division of a report. A. Predominance of Cotton Farming in Southern Region B. Livestock Paces Farm Income in the Western Region C. Wheat Crop Dominant in the Northern Region D. Truck Farming Leads in Central and Eastern Regions
  45. 45. Conciseness in Wording Not this: Personal appearance enhancement is the most desirable benefit of lasik surgery that patients report. But this: Personal appearance most desirable benefit. Headings should be the shortest possible word arrangement.
  46. 46. Variety of Expression Not this: A. Illinois Computer Sales B. New York Computer Sales C. Washington Computer Sales But this: A. Illinois Ranks First in Industry Sales B. New York Maintains Second Position C. Washington Posts Third Slot Replace monotonous repetitions of words in topic headings with a variety of words.
  47. 47. Write the Report  Be objective.  Believability  Impersonal vs. Personal Writing  Maintain a consistent time viewpoint.  Use smooth transitions.  Maintain interest.
  48. 48. Write the Report  Be objective.  Believability  Impersonal vs. Personal Writing  Maintain a consistent time viewpoint.  Use smooth transitions.  Maintain interest.
  49. 49. Introduction  Tells the purpose of the report  Describes the significance of the topic  Preview main points  Order
  50. 50. Headings  Highlight major ideas  Give big picture  Functional Headings  Background, Administration, Quality Control etc.  Talking Headings  Campus parking problem, Job assessment issues etc
  51. 51. Headings  Use appropriate heading levels  Capitalize and underline carefully  Include at least one heading per page  Keep heading short but clear  Do not repeat word or heading
  52. 52. Transitions  Transitional Expression like additionally, furthermore, on the contrary etc  Show relationship  Reveal logical flow  Requires appropriate usage
  53. 53. Illustrating With Graphics Why Graphics?  Easy to understand Easy to remember Make numerical data meaningful Simplify complex idea Provide summarized information Visual interest Protects audience from getting bored
  54. 54. Three important functions of Graphics Clarify data Condense and simplify data Emphasize data
  55. 55. A Dilemma  Same data can be shown in many different forms, Like:  A table  A graph – Bar Chart, Pie Chart, Line Chart etc.  A mach between appropriate graphic and your objective  Decide what data are significant and to be highlighted  Who is your audience?
  56. 56. Forms of Graphics Table  To show exact figures and values
  57. 57. Forms of Graphics Bar Chart  To compare one item with other
  58. 58. Forms of Graphics Line Chart  To Demonstrate changes over time
  59. 59. Forms of Graphics Pie Chart  To visualize a whole unit and the proportions of its components
  60. 60. Forms of Graphics  Flow Chart  To display a process or procedure
  61. 61. Forms of Graphics  Organization Chart  To define a hierarchy of elements
  62. 62. Forms of Graphics Photograph & Map  To create authenticity or to spotlight a location
  63. 63. Incorporating Graphics in Reports Evaluate the Audience  Nature of report internal or external  Evaluate reader, content and schedule  For internal report 5-6 graphs  For external report can be more
  64. 64. Incorporating Graphics in Reports Be Accurate and Ethical  Ensure accuracy of figures  Graphs must not be misleading  Use appropriate scaling  Use references in case of external visuals
  65. 65. Introduce Graphic meaningfully  Place the graphic close to the discussion point  Use proper reference to every graphics  Draw the concentration towards the conclusion you derived  Interpret them for readers Incorporating Graphics in Reports
  66. 66. Conclusion
  67. 67. Conclusion of a Report Most widely read portion of a report which summarizes & explains the findings in a report. Heart of a report which shows goals, background & frame of reference, all should support the conclusion you make. Audience of a report wants:  How the data in related to the problem being studied?  What do the findings mean in terms of solving the original report problem?
  68. 68. Conclusion of a Report - Functions  Interpret & summarize the findings  Don’t manipulate the findings to achieve preconceived purpose  Always try to be objective & bias free  Consistent evaluation criteria (same criteria for evaluation…)  Relate the conclusion to the report problem
  69. 69. Recommendation
  70. 70. Recommendation  Conclusions explain what the problem is, while the recommendations tell how to solve it.  Readers prefer specific & practical recommendations agreeable to them.  How a suggestion can be implemented  Authorization is required for specification  What are you required to do and what does the reader expect?  Avoid using conditional words such as maybe & perhaps………..
  71. 71. Recommendation  Try to present the recommendation as a command  Shows your command on the subject  When possible, arrange the recommendation in an announced order, such as important to least important  Can combine the recommendations & conclusions  May omit the conclusion in short reports
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