Please refer students to the notes of report writing – planning
The answer is obviously “Why does everyone look so tired today?” – Ask the students to explain why that is a “problem” that can be tackled in a report and not the other two.
If a report has too broad a purpose e.g. ”to find out what girls like to buy”, the writer would have to write about girls of every age, nationality, taste etc as opposed to “to find out what sort of clothes girls aged between 15 and 20 like to buy in Singapore”. The narrower the report the more specific the research questions to be answered , but the caveat is it cannot be too specific or it may not answer the bottom line – will the recommendations be profitable? The report writers may decide on the purpose but sometimes the report is commissioned so there is an implied purpose or embedded purpose that should be brought out in the report. All the four report writing prompts are in a sense commissioned so the purpose is there to be teased out.
PPQ must be congruent so the report is coherent and cohesive and the content is always relevant and focussed.
Refer students to the notes on report writing – organizing and outlining
Answer – ten minutes or less unless they find it so interesting they go back for a slower read.
Refer students to the notes on report writing - drafting
See also how to write the executive summary in the course notes.
Answer – chronologically see the next slide
Last column maybe tongue in cheek but has some truth. Explain that even if the average reader does not read certain parts as carefully all parts have to be carefully written as only then can the report seem credible and the recommendations sound. Remember if the recommendations bomb, the writer’s neck is on the block.
Report Lecture Wrap Up • Understanding the role of reports in business communication • Persuasive content • Professional format and layout • Polished language • Putting everything togetherCentre for English Language Communication
Why write reports? 1. Because someone is going to read them? 2. Because an executive who can write will be noticed? 3. Because a manager needs to make decisions? 4. Because a board of directors need direction? 5. Because of all of the above?Centre for English Language Communication
Crossing the classroom into the board room successfully requires good report writing skills • It is a life skill. • It gets you noticed. • It generates a reasoned argument or gives support for managers to make business decisions. • It can persuade a company to change direction or make further inroads on a specific business path.Centre for English Language Communication
Report Writing Learning Objectives Write reports that are: 1. Persuasive ->content 2. Professional->organisation and format 3. Polished->languageCentre for English Language Communication
How to write persuasive reports • Plan your content What is the single most important point of a business report? (a)To waste time and paper (b)To keep business executives busy (c)To increase profits (d)To enable CEOs to have bigger bonusesCentre for English Language Communication
To be persuasive prove profits will increase James Abela, a UK based business report writing coach asserts that almost all business reports are written to increase profits. http://www.jamesabela.co.uk/bus/reportwriting.htmlCentre for English Language Communication
How to persuade • Identify a pertinent problem – P • Decide on the most plausible purpose – P • Ask the right questions so you can find the right answers - QCentre for English Language Communication
PPQ – a template for planning P – problem • Not necessarily negative just something to solve • Must be pertinent Quah Kum Hoong, Director of Training of a global medical outsourcing company based in Singapore, enters a training hall where many of the company’s employees are waiting for him to start a workshop on team building. As he enters the room, he sees exhausted and unsmiling faces. Which question below is a potential problem that can be addressed by a report? 1. “How is everyone today?” 2. “Why does everyone look so tired today?” 3. “Have you had some snacks before coming here?”Centre for English Language Communication
PPQ – a template for planning P - Purpose • Parameters of your solution to the problem • Purpose may be broad or narrow • The broader the purpose the longer the report, the narrower the purpose the shorter the report – T/F • The narrower the purpose, the more specific the areas of analyses are – T/F? • The writer decides on the purpose of the report – T/FCentre for English Language Communication
PPQ – a template for planning Q – Questions • Questions that are asked to start you on the right research path • Questions break down the main body aka findings of a report into component parts which are easier to find answers to. Each small answer-> the bigger picture. • Questions, Purpose and Problem must follow on from each other - why?Centre for English Language Communication
Organization • Micro-organizing • Where and how to get data • Which and what the most relevant data is • Where to slot in the relevant data • Macro-organizing • Format of a business report (PTO)Centre for English Language Communication
Organization • Macro-organizing • Format of a business report in order of appearance • Executive Summary • Introduction • Findings • Conclusions • Recommendations • Overall Conclusion • References • AppendicesCentre for English Language Communication
Polish • Well written reports are a quick read. How long does the average business person give to reading a business report? a) As long as you took to write it b) Depends on their reading speed c) 150 words a minute d) Ten minutes or lessCentre for English Language Communication
Polish How to write so your manager will read • Write reports that are: • Clear –useful checklist: www.alexcommunications.com/style_guide.htm#check • Concise • Complete • Correct • Polite • Professional • PersonalCentre for English Language Communication
Polish Tip – ask a friend to read through your report, there may be things that are clear to you, but not to them. Their comments can guide your revision and editing.Centre for English Language Communication
Don’t forget The Executive Summary • This is the bait that reels in your reader to read your report more carefully. • It’s like the blurb on a book. • It’s the ad for your product.Centre for English Language Communication
The Executive Summary How to write an executive summary • Write the executive summary AFTER the report is completed. • Aim to have a summary that is 10% of the original. • List the main points in the SAME order as in the report. • Write short sentences. • Include main ideas and only add details if essential. • Proof read –it’s that important first impression. • Ask a lay person to read it. Source: http://www.ehow.com/how_16566_write-executive-summary.htmlCentre for English Language Communication
Putting it all together So now you have everything for a persuasive content, professional organization and polished prose. How do you write your report? a) Sequentially -from beginning to end of the format b) Inspirationally –which ever part seems most ready to write c) Chronologically – as and when the substance of the report is known d) Intuitively – according to the parts the reader will find most importantCentre for English Language Communication
Keep sections discrete Which section should this be in? The University should therefore have strict guidelines in place Findings to ensure that all donations are freely given with no expectation of returns. Whist students seem to be willing to donate to the University Discussion Endowment Fund, there seems to be a possibly dangerous correlation between their generosity and their grades. 55% of the NUS sample say they would be prepared to Conclusions donate at least $50 to the University Endowment Fund. Of that percentage, 70% said they would be willing to donate up to $800 if they graduated with good grades.Centre for English Language Communication
Recap Order in Report Suggested order of Executive reads writing Executive Summary 6 Always Contents 7 N/A Introduction 1 Sometimes Findings (Main Body) 3 If interested in research Conclusions 4 If surprised… Recommendations 5 Nearly always Bibliography / sources 2 Write as you research If report shows area that needs further investigation Appendices Anytime you find extra info. RarelyCentre for English Language Communication
In conclusion Thank you! Questions and AnswersCentre for English Language Communication