Report Writing We will be discussing: - What a Report is? Characteristics of a good formal Report. Activities involved. Purpose & Classification of Reports. Anatomy (structure, framework, composition) of Report, Parts & Contents. Writing References & Bibliography. Writing Style.
Report Word REPORT is derived from the Latin ‘REPORTARE’ : ‘to bring back’ An orderly, factual, objective & systematic account of a specific business or professional activity. Objective quality of report is its unbiased approach. Basic ingredient of report is factual information.
Characteristics Precision: Clearly reflect their purpose. Investigation, analysis & recommendations should be directed by this central purpose. Factual Details: Unbiased information. Relevance: Purpose should always be kept at the centre while writing other details. Reader Orientation: Necessary to keep in mind the person(s) who is (are) going to read it.
CharacteristicsContd…. Objectivity & the question of Impersonal Vs Personal writing: Objectivity is best attained by emphasizing facts rather than the people involved in it. In recent years some writers argue that Personal writing is more forceful. There is merit to both sides. Good advice is to use personal style for routine reports & impersonal style for more formal reports.
CharacteristicsContd…. Consistency in Time Viewpoint: There are two time viewpoints: Past & Present. Select one & do not change. Need for Transition: Transition means “bridging across”. It is used to connect the parts of the report. Use of topic sentences also helps improve thought flow. Simple & unambiguous language: Clear, brief & grammatically accurate.
CharacteristicsContd…. Maintaining interest: Interesting writing is necessary for good communication. Careful word choice, rhythm, concreteness – in fact all the good writing techniques. Homogeneity: One topic at a time.
Activities Involved Determining the purpose. Deriving the factors (putting in right order) Gathering the information needed. Interpreting the information. Organizing the material. Planning the writing of the report. Assigning parts to be written.
Activities Involved Contd…. Writing the assigned parts. Revising collaboratively (synchronization or assessment) Editing the final draft.
Purpose Presenting data. Describing problems & suggesting solutions. Discussing & analyzing data. Recording events & happenings. Analyzing a situation or a condition. Giving feedback, suggestions or recommendations.
Classification of Reports Informational : To convey important information. Analytical : Based on critical analysis. Routine : Half-yearly, Annual reports. Special : Special matters, occasion. Oral : Read out. Written : Letter type/ Formatted. Formal : Impersonal Informal : Flexible
Anatomy of a Report Title page. Preface. Letter of transmittal. Acknowledgements. Table of contents. List of illustrations. Abstract/Executive summary.
Anatomy of a Report Contd… Introduction. Methodology. Discussion/Finding/Analysis. Conclusion. Recommendation. Appendices. References & Bibliography.
Parts & Contents Title Page: Report Title, Name of the person/company/organization for whom report is prepared & Name of the person/company/organization by whom the report is prepared. Preface: A brief introduction (salient features and scope).WHY Letter of Transmittal: To let the other party know that a report is being sent to him, a brief idea-highlights- about the report & requirements.
Parts & Contents Contd… Acknowledgements: Page of gratitude to those who helped prepare the report. Table of contents: Reflection of report structure. Sections & sub-sections are titled & numbered for quick search. List of illustrations: List of figures, tables, illustrations numbered according to the chapters. Abstract/Executive summary: Generally a single page. Includes Purpose, Background, Source, Findings, Conclusions/Recommendations.
Parts & Contents Contd… Introduction: Brief but thorough discussion of the problem. Includes Purpose/Objective, Background information, Literature review, Scope, Methodology, Assumptions & Limitations, Plan/Framework. Methodology: Theories,Models, hypothesis (suggestions, propositions, possibilities) Materials & Methods, used to reach the Results. Discussion:/ Finding/Analysis: Detailed discussion regarding the subject matter & findings.
Parts & Contents Coned… Conclusion: Sum up the main points. Recommendation: Give Directions/Propositions on how a problem you have investigated can be solved. Appendices: Includes Date Tables, Background calculations, Specification lists, Details of experimental configuration, other information for completeness. Must each have a footer with numbered pages for that appendix.
Parts & Contents Contd… Work Cited/References/Bibliography: Use alphabetical order. Various styles – MLA, APA, Chicago, Harvard, Oxford , Turabian etc. APA: Berndt, T. J. (2002). Friendship quality and social development. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 11, 7-10. (Reference to a journal) Wilson, F.R.(1998). The hand: How it shapes the brain, language & human culture. New York: Pantheon. (Reference to a book)
References/Bibliography MLA: Wilson, Frank R. The hand: How it shapes the brain, language & human culture. New York: Pantheon, 1998. (Reference to a book) Assay, Ronald. “How the Americans made transcendentalism”, Journal of American History 23(1978) : 345-357.(Reference to a journal)
Writing style Brief writing style Omit needless words Combine sentences Rewrite UK English and US English International English and Indian English Denotation and Connotation
Writing style Contd… Let me know when you’re free next week for a meeting. Could you let me know what times you have free? Tone Terry is hung up on trivial details. Terry is meticulous and takes care of details that others sometimes ignore.