objective• make sure you are clear about what you are going to write and why you are writing it.
Audience• Determine who you are writing for. WHYhelps you choose the right language and level of detail.
Outline• the fastest way to write is to start with outline.• the topics in the outline extend into what will become the main points of paragraphs. Advantages• Establish a logical procession in a document.• It is much easier to re-organize a document at the outline stage.
REFRENCES• This allows you to put references into the text as you type your document. WHY• This may sound silly, but it will save you time as you will eliminate the extra step of reading the paper once or twice to insert and correct references.
Non-text components• I review the outline and determine the figures, tables, and other non-text mediums that can or should be used to convey information.• Then make these and insert them into the appropriate spots in the outline. A picture is worth a thousand words
The body.... Just do it• Do not start with the title page! It is best to save this for last as it is often difficult to develop a proper title.• Start with the first or second chapter.• Once you start to write, keep going! Do not stop.
Proofing• have someone else proof your work.• By having someone else (preferable someone in or close to your target audience) read the document, mistakes and sections requiring clarification can be identified.
The Mechanics of Report Writing• Pick a length for the entire report .• Prepare the equipment and instrumentation line diagram, and collect any photographs to be used.• Plot the data in its final form.• Arrange in descending order of importance most important first.• Prepare any tabular summaries required.• Write the Introduction section: What was this done?• Write the Objectives section: What were you after?• Write the Results portion, and a tentative draft of the Conclusions: What happened, and so what?• Write the discussion, centered on the figures
The Mechanics of Report Writing (cont.) Many reports written without an eye on a desired page count, fall into one of the following two traps:• The report is too long, technical material too dilute, too many trivial details.• The report is of "proper" length, but is grossly padded, in spots, to bring it up to size.
Quantitative Writing• Be specific, use numbers where you can and precisely defined terms where you cannot use numbers.• Avoid generalities and generic names.