Business wiriting


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Types of Reports
What makes a good report?
How to Write Reports
Clarity and Structure
Figures and Tables (floats)
Technical Issues
Sales Proposals
Computer Reports
Anatomy of a Report
Future of Reports
Further reading

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Business wiriting

  1. 1. Business WritingGihan Aboueleish
  2. 2. Outlines Types of Reports What makes a good report? How to Write Reports Clarity and Structure Figures and Tables (floats) Technical Issues Sales Proposals Computer Reports Memos Activities & Practices. Anatomy of a Report Future of Reports Further reading Conclusions Business Writing - Gihan Aboueleish
  3. 3. Before we startDiscussion : what you find most difficult inwriting a report…
  4. 4. The Purpose.... The report exists to provide the reader with useful information  Should this drug be licensed?  How do we fit non-linear regressions? It succeeds if it effectively communicates the information to the intended audience It fails otherwise!! Business Writing - Gihan Aboueleish
  5. 5. Which Reports? Sales Reports Inspection Reports Annual Reports Audit Reports Feasibility Reports Progress Reports White PapersBusiness Writing - Gihan Aboueleish
  6. 6. How We Communicate3• CVs, Resumes• Email, Web site, FAQs• Letters, Newsletters, Brochures, Articles, Catalogs• Advertisements, Notice Board, Pamphlets, Signs, Press Release• Presentations, multimedia, talks• Reports, Manuals, Proposals, Books
  7. 7. Classification of Reports Formal Reports and Informal Reports Information Reports Analytical Reports Recommendation Reports
  8. 8. Getting Started First and foremost… DON’T PANIC!
  9. 9. ClearClarify what it is you intend before writing
  10. 10. ClearClearly state your intent in the lead
  11. 11. ClearOne topic per communication
  12. 12. ClearProvide supporting detail
  13. 13. Edit!If everything else is cut, will your message still be clear?
  14. 14. Make points brieflyDon’t get hung on an issue
  15. 15. CorrectCheck the facts
  16. 16. CorrectDo not rely on spell check
  17. 17. CorrectDo not rush
  18. 18. CorrectDictionaries and thesauruses are the writer’s friends
  19. 19. Conclusions Writing is a skill to learn Need practice Large set of rules, do’s and don’ts But it is very personal Use all the feedback (from lab reports, vacation essays, dissertations,…)
  20. 20. Idea Collect Focus Order Draft20 Revise
  21. 21. Idea Others Personal21
  22. 22.  Talk back to your internal critic. Train yourself to recognize and write down critical thoughts as they go through your mind. Learn why these thoughts are untrue and practice talking and writing back to them. -Robert J. Mckain
  23. 23. Collect yourself others23
  24. 24. Focus24 Business Writing - Gihan Aboueleish
  25. 25. illust ion rat Order narration comparison/ contrast process analysis persuasion cause/ f ef ect25
  26. 26. Draft Answering your Ideas on questions paper Making sense of what you know26
  27. 27. Revision audience clarity27
  28. 28.  Hard writing makes easy reading. Easy writing makes hard reading. William Zinsser
  29. 29. Editing Grammar Words Punctuation29
  30. 30. Getting StartedHabits That Will Result in a Poor Habits That Will Result Paper in a Successful Paper Procrastinating  Prewriting One-draft writing  Developing Massive self-criticism  Revising Thesaurus abuse  Tweaking  Writing Center Marriage to first draft Habits That Guarantee Failure  Conferencing  No Process  No Paper  Plagiarism
  31. 31. Understand Your Assignment(Then Forget About It For Awhile)  Thoroughly read your assignment prompt.  What, specifically, is your topic?  Who is your audience?  How long should your essay be?  Are there special requirements?  Ask questions if you don’t understand.
  32. 32. Getting Ideas After figuring out your assignment - you need to generate ideas before you begin drafting. Forget about the end product for a bit and just get creative. Try listing, mapping, free-writing, journalist questions, cubing, or any other method that works for you.
  33. 33. Listing; Listing is a good  Topic: Essay About An way to quickly Important Place gather many ideas  List: on paper.  Bed, my comfy chair, the Simply make a list mountains, the ocean, my office, the garden, of as many ideas anywhere with a book, as come to you as Starbucks, home, the quickly as shower, the right state of possible. mind…
  34. 34. Mapping; Mapping is a form of free association that Aesthetics creates a visual image Energy of ideas and their connections. Using Comfort Tastes Smell mapping can give you Favorite Place not only ideas for an Starbucks essay - but connecting Hanging out with friends ideas that may turn Books into paragraphs. Writing Studying
  35. 35. Free writing; Starbucks Write, write, write and don’t stop. Free-writing means taking an Coffee calls from shelves and idea and running with it wherever walls. I can’t not stop in. Who it leads. Don’t think about it - just will be waiting for me today? keep writing. When you free Chatting till I have to run to yourself and just allow the ideas class, my latte sloshing with to come, you might end up with a each step. I don’t even mind great essay topic /or a marvelous when it splashes on my idea (Product – plan - ….) that fingers: my sugar-free, non-fat you wouldn’t have thought of liquid gold. Keeping me sane. otherwise. The barista knows my name. Here I sip the taste of home.
  36. 36. Journalist Questions; Use the standard questions every journalist must answer. The Taste of Home Who What Who: Either alone or with friends. When What: Coffee, coffee, coffee! Where When: Day, night, when studying, when Why socializing, when thinking, when chilling… How Where: Starbucks, Coffee Haus, my office, home, pretty much anywhere Thinking of different ways to Why: Energy, inspiration, comfort, mental answer those questions might lead and emotional health to a fresh perspective on your How: With all the senses engaged. topic. Business Writing - Gihan Aboueleish
  37. 37. Cubing; Similar to Journalist Questions, Describe it: Engage the senses - how does it cubing involves considering your look and taste and feel - what do you hear and topic from six different angles. smell? Describe it (colors, shapes, sizes, Compare it: Like finding my muse. etc.) Associate it: A luxurious bubble bath; slipping into silk pajamas. Compare it (What is it similar to?) Analyze it: It gives me a moment to breathe in Associate it (What does it make my surroundings, to organize my thoughts. you think of?) When drinking a cup of coffee with friends, I am sharing my real self. Analyze it (Tell how its made) Apply it: Coffee can be an effective and Apply it (What can you do with it? relatively safe energizer. It can help get through massive amounts of graduate school readings. How can it be used?) Argue for or against it: Strangely, I think of Argue for or against it home and comfort when I drink a cup of coffee during the day, despite the fact that no one in my home is terribly fond of coffee. When I make coffee at home, it never seems to be as comforting as coffee I share with friends at work.Business Writing - Gihan Aboueleish
  38. 38. The VRD (Very Rough Draft) The VRD is rough - very rough. Take your idea and start writing about it. Don’t worry too much about spelling, punctuation, organization or grammar. Just make sure it’s marginally readable. It’s like free-writing - but attempts to stick to the topic and gets typed. It CAN be nutty, horrible, abysmal, disorganized, slangy and even silly. The idea is to just get started.Business Writing - Gihan Aboueleish
  39. 39. Anne Lamott’s Three Draft Essay After gathering ideas, you can think of your essay writing process in three drafts: The Down Draft: Just get it all down ( the VRD). The Up Draft: Then fix it up (revision and organization). The Dental Draft: Check every ‘tooth’ carefully - work on word choice and sentencing to make it sound better (tweaking).Business Writing - Gihan Aboueleish
  40. 40. Read IT Out Loud  During the revision phase - read your paper slowly, out loud to yourself.  Better yet, read it out loud to a friend or tutor.  Even better - have someone read it out loud to you!  You will be amazed what paper issues you can ‘hear’ that you missed when reading.  If parts are awkward, confusing, choppy or repetitive, you’ll notice.  You might feel a little silly - but it may mean the difference in your paper grade.Business Writing - Gihan Aboueleish
  41. 41. Formatting And Requirements; If you haven’t already - it’s time to revisit your assignment sheet. Notice the requirements for paper length, font, margins, etc. Does it need a cover sheet? A creative title? What should be included in your folder with the final draft? After all your hard work - don’t loose points by neglecting the requirements.
  42. 42. Finish It! At this point - if you’ve gone through the process - you should be proud of your essay. If you’ve also gone to the Writing Center and conference with me - you should be proud and confident. Give it one last check for those sneaky, ‘dum’ errors (like writing ‘to’ instead of ‘too’ or ‘your’ instead of ‘you are’) And all that’s left to do is… Staple it - put it in a folder with the process and celebrate!Business Writing - Gihan Aboueleish
  43. 43. How We Communicate • CVs, Resumes • Email, Web site, FAQs • Letters, Newsletters, Brochures, Articles, Catalogues • Advertisements, Notice Board, Pamphlets, Signs, Press Release • Presentations, multimedia, talks • Reports, Manuals, Proposals, Books
  44. 44. Which Reports? Sales Reports Inspection Reports Annual Reports Audit Reports Feasibility Reports Progress Reports White Papers
  45. 45. Classification Of Reports Formal Reports and Informal Reports Information Reports Analytical Reports Recommendation Reports
  46. 46. 5 Steps to Report Writing1. Define the problem2. Gather the necessary information3. Analyze the information4. Organize the information5. Write the report
  47. 47. Organizing Reports Comparison/contrast Problem-solution Elimination of alternatives General to particular Geographic or spatial Functional Chronological
  48. 48. Words, Words, Words UK English and US English  International English and Indian English Denotation and Connotation  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.
  49. 49. Writing Style Brief writing style  Omit needless words  Combine sentences  Rewrite  Campus Jewelers’; main objective is to increase sales. Specifically, the objective is to double sales in the next five years by becoming a more successful business.  Campus Jewelers’; objective is to double sales in the next five years.
  50. 50. Anatomy Of A Report Cover Page Title Page Letter of Transmittal Table of Contents List of Illustrations Executive Summary Report Body
  51. 51. Report Body Introduction  Purpose and Scope;Limitations, Assumptions, and Methods Background/History of the Problem Body  Presents and interprets data Conclusions and Recommendations References or Works Cited Appendixes  Interview transcripts, questionnaires, question tallies, printouts, and previous reports
  52. 52. Letter Of Transmittal Background Summarize conclusions and recommendations Minor problems. Thank those who helped. Additional research necessary Thank the reader. Offer to answer questions.
  53. 53. Sales Proposal Budget Objectives Strategy and Tactics Schedule Results Closing
  54. 54. Document Design Use no more than 5 fonts. Use no more than 5 colors. Use glossy paper. Use white space. Use templates. Use parallelism. Avoid double emphasis.
  55. 55. Future ReportsProposals 250-page reports 90-minute oral presentation 50-page summary Reports Multi-media Web
  56. 56. Technical Report
  57. 57. Introduction Will present how to write a technical report Covers the following standard technical report sections  Summary  Introduction  Theory  Method  Results  Discussion of Results  Conclusions Is itself structured in this way!
  58. 58. Introduction (Content) Defines the generic features of a technical report. Gives the specific requirements for lab reports, design documents and dissertations. Presents a methodology for writing a report. Describes signposting, captioning, quoting, citing, and referencing. Provides references that can be used for further reading.
  59. 59. Theory ; Technical reports have a standard structure Technical reports may not be read “cover to cover” Standard sections have evolved to same information to be extracted from document in different levels of detail! (some) Repetition and signposting is good. Section labelling, figure and table captioning, equations, references and citations.
  60. 60. The Standard Structure Summary of the report  Purpose, approach, main findings in brief (½ – 1 page) Introduction  To the presentation rather than the subject.  Purpose of study  Methodology  Results  Main findings & conclusions  Introduction to the presentation itself
  61. 61. The Standard Structure Conclusions  Purpose of study  Methodology  Results  Main findings & conclusions  Further work References  All the sources used and cited in the body of the report. Appendices  Supplementary or more detailed information that supports or expands the report (possibly for reference).
  62. 62. Front and End Matter Give further structure and information to the report Front matter  Table of Contents  Table of Figures  Table of Tables  Abbreviations End matter  Glossary  Index Should be automatically generated whenever possible
  63. 63. Variations on a Theme Different reports will have different structures E.g.  Lab report  Dissertation  Software design Document Refer to references for general guidelines Follow your publisher’s or institution’s guidelines for specific cases
  64. 64. Memo
  65. 65. Memos are written messages sent among people working in the same company. Memos can be written for a number of reasons : Inform staff about decisions/actions/events. Request information / action /events. Remind staff of action needed/procedures/changes in policy. Provide information on work related65 topics.
  66. 66. CONTENT; Memos generally deal with only one subject. For two unrelated subjects, write two different memos.
  67. 67. Constructing Memos What is the Reason for Writing? Who is your Audience? Can be low-tech, high-tech or multiple Better to provide a parenthetical definition with terms. What response do you expect from your Audience?
  68. 68. Language; The language you use in your memo will mainly depend on  your position,  the position of the reader  the subject matter. The general rule is to “keep it short and simple”.
  69. 69. STYLE & TONE controlled by the audience within your company;  Casual tone  When writing to a co-worker whom you know well  Formal tone  When writing to a managerRemember; that your employer and co-workersdeserve the same clear and concise writing thatyour customers do
  70. 70. WRITING DATES IN MEMOS  Date – In officialmemos ,write full date while in unofficial memo, it is acceptable to use short formse. g. Official : 7 March 2009 Unofficial : 7-3-2009
  71. 71. Organizational Markers; Heading  HeadingsBulleted  Organize your work and make List information easy for readers to follow  Numbered or bulleted lists  Help readers see comparisons and contrasts readily Underlining  Underlining or boldfacing  Emphasizes key points. Do not overuse this technique; draw attention only to main points and those that contain summaries or draw conclusions
  72. 72. Memo Format; Some companies use a standard form while others have their memo printed on their letterheads The memo may be on a half sheet or a full sheet Basically, the memo consists of two parts  The identifying information at the top  The message itself
  73. 73. Memo Format; If your memo is going to more thanTO: one reader, make sure you list them in the order of their status in your company Write your name (and job title, if necessary forFROM: the reader.) You may write your initials after your typed name to verify the memo comes from you Give the full calendar dateDATE: This serves as the title line of your memo. Summarize your message/purpose preciselySUBJECT:
  74. 74. Memo Wizards & Templates MS word provides three different templates ;  Elegant  Professional  Contemporary
  75. 75. FIVE PARTS OF A MEMO To: From: Date: Sub:75
  76. 76. Part One : To To: Mrs. Sharon Jones, Supervisor From: Date: Re:76
  77. 77. Part Two: From To: From: Dianna Moreno, Bookkeeper DM Date: Re:77
  78. 78. Part Three: Date To: From: Date: March 2, 2007 Re:78
  79. 79. Part Four: Subject To: From: Date: Sub.: Acceptance of Retirement Party Invitation Subject= Focus + Topic79
  80. 80. Part Five: Intro + Discussion To: Mrs. Jones, Supervisor From: Dianna Moreno, Bookkeeper DM Date: March 2, 2007 Re: Acceptance of Retirement Party Invitation My husband and I will be able to attend Mr. Tran’s retirement party on April 21. We will bring potato salad.80
  81. 81. Part Six: Conclusion To: Mrs. Jones, Supervisor From: Dianna Moreno, Bookkeeper DM Date: March 2, 2007 Re: Retirement Party My husband and I will be able to attend Mr. Tran’s retirement party on April 21. We will bring potato salad. Call me if you have questions: (714) 555-7355.81
  82. 82. Lab Report /Dissertation
  83. 83. Lab Report Structure As standard +  Theory  Method or Experimental Procedure  Results  Discussion of Results It is acceptable to use “mini reports” if separation of Theory/Method/Results and Discussion would otherwise make structure awkward.
  84. 84. Theory in a Lab Report Background is what is known or assumed Sets context for specifying what results there will be and context for their discussion. States what is expected from the experiment or study May (should?) include properly cited evidence of wider reading than contents of lecture notes, lab script. You can cite the script where the script provides sufficient detail. You must include development of formulae that are not given in the script that you will later rely on in the discussion!
  85. 85. Dissertation As Standard +  Background and/or Literature Review  Method  Results  Discussion Detailed Front and End Matter  E.g. Table of contents  Table of figures  Appendices
  86. 86. Background KnowledgePurpose is to define what was known aboutthe subject covered in the report before thework was done4“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” [Newton, 1675]
  87. 87. Background for a Dissertation Assumptions Basic “textbook” knowledge of the field State of the art prior to the work Detailed discussion of any of the available technical literature  text books  journal articles  conference proceedings  web sites that added to your knowledge of the field.
  88. 88. Background for a Software DesignDocument  Review of existing solutions  Review of related software systems  Justification for choice of programming languages and frameworks  Design methodologies  Non functional specifications
  89. 89. Theory (Review) Why write? Theory Standard structure Variations on a theme Background knowledge
  90. 90. Introduction (Contents) Theory Method Results Discussion of Results Conclusions References
  91. 91. Method Method of writing a report Repetition is good!  How to repeat yourself  Signposting Numbering Citations and References Writing a method
  92. 92. How to write a report Start in the middle  You have done the work so you know what your approach was.  You have the results so you just have to write them up!  Ensure that you understand the background, write it up and use it to evaluate the results.  Gather your references and ensure that they are cited in the background sections and other sections as appropriate.  Write the conclusions and the introduction (in that order)  Write the summary
  93. 93. Repetition is Good! Form of technical report has developed to allow different classes of readers to make use of the materials in different ways:  Only summary may be read by a researcher looking for information or a manager seeking an “executive summary”.  Only conclusions or introduction may be read by someone interested in the subject but only wanting to adopt the main findings.  The whole document may be read by someone wishing to follow-up on the work published. It is important that each part tells the same story at the appropriate level of detail. Repetition and signposts help the reader who is not reading the document sequentially.
  94. 94. How to Repeat Yourself Say what you will say (in brief) in the Summary Say what you will say (in more detail) in the introduction Say what you have to say (in full in the body) with signposting Say what you have said (in the conclusions) Emphasise the good bits in an extended abstract or executive summary
  95. 95. How to Signpost Open each section with a statement of context:  In the [last section] we ….  In [this section] we now … Close each section with a statement of context:  In this [section] we ….  In the [next section] we will … Provide cross references  As we saw in [a previous section] …  As we will show in [a later section] … Business Writing - Gihan Aboueleish
  96. 96. TitleShould be informative, “punchy”, can include puns, humor.Good  The perfidious polynomial (punchy, alliterative)  Diagnosing diabetes mellitus: how to test, who to test, when to test (dramatic, informative)Bad  Some bounds on the distribution of certain quadratic forms in normal random variables (boring, vague)  Performing round off analyses of statistical algorithms (boring, vague)
  97. 97. Table Of Contents Shows the structure of the document and lets the reader navigate through the sections Include for documents more than a few pages long.
  98. 98. Abstract/Executive SummaryDescribes the problem and the solutionin a few sentences. It will be all the bigboss reads!Remember the 2 rules  Keep it short  State problem and solution
  99. 99. The Introduction State the question, background the problem Describe similar work Outline the approach Describe the contents of the rest of the paper  in Section 2 we ...  in Section 3 we ...
  100. 100. Further Sections Describe  Data  Methods  Analyses  Findings Don’t include too much technical detail Divide up into sections, subsections
  101. 101. Conclusions/Summary Summarize what has been discovered Repeat the question Give the answer
  102. 102. Appendix This is where the technical details go Be as technical as you like Document your analysis so it can be reproduced by others Include the data set if feasible
  103. 103. References Always cite (i.e. give a reference) to other related work or facts/opinions that you quote Never pass off the work of others as your own – this is plagiarism and is a very big academic crime!!
  104. 104. How to cite In the text Seber and Wild (1989) state that….. In the references Seber, G.A.F and C.J. Wild. (1989).Nonlinear Regression. New York: Wiley.
  105. 105. Writing clearly Structure alone is not enough for clarity – you must also write clear sentences. Rules:  Write complete short sentences  Avoid jargon and cliché, strive for simplicity  One theme per paragraph  If a sentence contains maths, it still must make sense!
  106. 106. Figures and Tables (Floats)Golden rules for Figures and Tables: Describe float in text (integration), make sure it matches description Place after the first mention in the text Make sure float conveys the desired message clearly: keep it simple! Provide informative captions
  107. 107. Figures Always label and give a caption under the figure Be aware of good graphics principles: avoid  chart junk  low data/ink ratio  unlabelled axes  broken axes  Misleading scales See Cleveland, “The Elements of Graphing Data”, “Visualising Data” Using a good graphics package (R!) helps enforce good practice
  108. 108. African elephant Asian elephant 8 Human Giraffe Horse Chimpanzee Cow Donkey Gorilla 6 Sheep Pig Rhesus monkey Jaguar log(Animals$brain) Brachiosaurus Bad! Grey wolf Potar monkey Goat Triceratops Kangaroo Dipliodocus 4 Cat Rabbit Mountain beaver 2 Guinea pig Mole Rat Golden hamster 0 Mouse 0 5 10 log(Animals$body)108 Business Writing - Gihan Aboueleish
  109. 109. African elephant Asian elephant 8 Human Giraffe Horse Donkey Chimpanzee Cow 6 Sheep Gorilla Log Brain weight (gm) Rhesus monkey Pig Jaguar Brachiosaurus Potar monkey Grey wolf Goat Triceratops Kangaroo Better! Dipliodocus 4 Cat Rabbit Mountain beaver 2 Guinea pig Mole Rat Golden hamster 0 Mouse 0 5 10 Log Body weight (kg) Figure 1. Plot of log Brain weights (gm) versus log body weights (kg) for 28 species109
  110. 110. Tables Always label and give a caption over the table Be aware of rules for good tables:  avoid vertical lines  don’t have too many decimal places  compare columns not rows
  111. 111. Multiple Prefix Symbol 1012 tera T 109 giga G Too busy 106 mega M 103 kilo K 10-1 deci d Multiple Prefix Symbol 1012 tera T Better 109 giga G 106 mega M 103 kilo K 10-1 deci d111 Business Writing - Gihan Aboueleish
  112. 112. Multiple 101 109 106 103 10-1 Horizontal 2 hard to read Prefix tera giga mega kilo deci Symbol T G M K d Multiple Prefix Symbol 1012 tera T Vertical 109 giga G easier to 106 mega M read 103 kilo K 10-1 deci d11 Business Writing - Gihan Aboueleish2
  113. 113. Number of Processors Time (secs) Busy – too 1 28.35221 many DP’s 4 7.218812 8 3.634951 16 1.929347 Number of Time (secs) Processors Better 1 28.35 4 7.21 8 3.63 16 1.92113 Business Writing - Gihan Aboueleish
  114. 114. Technical Issues Sectioning Table of Contents Spelling and Grammar Choice of word processor
  115. 115. Sectioning Proper division of your work into sections and subsections makes the structure clear and the document easy to follow Use styles in word/ sectioning commands in Latex begin{section}….end{section}
  116. 116. Table of contents Provides “navigation aid” Make sure TOC agrees with main body of text If you use styles (Word) and sectioning commands (Latex) this will happen automatically
  117. 117. Spelling and Grammar Use a style manual/dictionary if in doubt Spell check!!!! Proofread!!!! He meant…  This technique can also be applied to the analysis of golf balls He typed….  This technique cam also by applies to the analysis or gold bills
  118. 118. Choice of word processor Word or Latex? My spin…..  Use Word for a short document with few figures and tables and little mathematics  Use Latex for a longer document with many figures and tables and lots of complicated maths.
  119. 119. Conclusions Structure is vital Write clearly Good clear simple illustrations Spell-check and proofread Reference all material used or quoted
  120. 120. Elements of style: Report Structure There are no “set in stone” rules for the structure of your report but most reports will include some or all of the following***  Title Page  Abstract  Introduction  Experimental Method  Theory  Experimental Results  Discussion and Conclusion  References  Appendices of raw data and calculations where appropriate.***some sections have to be in a report Business Writing - Gihan Aboueleish
  121. 121. Elements of style: some key Dos and Don’ts DO: DON’T:  include an abstract that concisely summarises the outcome of  just list instructions on how to the experiment-including perform the experiment numbers!  give detailed arithmetic or  use the appropriate tense-you are reporting on an algebraic calculations experiment that has been  use jargon or undefined carried out in the past abbreviations  ensure all figures have  make excessive use of appropriate numbered personal style of “I” or “we” captions (but we often use  ensure you reference all source impersonal “we”!) material appropriately (see  give long lists of experimental later) results in the main text of  consider when words should the report-use appendices if begin with a capital letter really necessary  re-read and review your report critically before handing in for marking
  122. 122. Elements of style: use our template for report writing Title first word starts with a capital Jack A Surname1 and (if joint) Jill Surname2 School of Physics and Astronomy The University of Manchester First Year Laboratory Report Nov 2003 This experiment was performed in collaboration with T Partnername. Abstract
  123. 123. Conclusions Structure is vital Write clearly Good clear simple illustrations Spellcheck and proofread Reference all material used or quoted
  124. 124. Assessment of reports: criteria All reports are assessed according to standard criteria relating to:  Presentation and Organisation  Use of English (spelling, grammar etc.)  Use of Figures, Tables and References  Clarity and Conciseness  Physics Content Each of these five areas is scored out of a maximum mark of 10, with a resulting total mark out of 50. Feedback should be provided from marker. Feedback is crucial in learning the art of writing reports. If you are unsure about something, ASK!! Business Writing - Gihan Aboueleish
  125. 125. Assessment of reports: criteria
  126. 126. Assessment: examples of real reports Activity:  You have been provided with two anonymous (but real!) reports, and are requested to grade each of them using the criteria in the previous slide. NO CONFERRING!!!  You will then submit your total mark using the ‘clickers’.  We will look at the distribution of marks.
  127. 127. Numbering Numbering important parts of the report helps with signposting  Figure 2 shows ….  Better than the figure on page 3 shows Things that should usually be numbered  Parts, Chapters and Sections  Figures and Tables  Equations Things that can be numbered  Citations
  128. 128. Number Sections It is easier to use signposting if you label your sections and subsections. Dissertation or larger document  Part I  Chapter 1.  Section 1.1  Sub section 1.1.1 Report or shorter document  Section 1  Subsection 1.1  Sub-subsection 1.1.1 Word processors can make section labelling automatic and cross- referencing semi-automatic. Learn to use those features. Local rules often override general guidelines
  129. 129. Citations and References Why cite at all? A rich reference list is considered evidence of wider reading. Critical appraisal of the references with citations in the body of the report is evidence of your understanding of the materials and how your work builds on from them. Your cited sources provide a frame of reference against which you can evaluate your report’s contribution to human knowledge
  130. 130. Citations Two main styles: Numeric  According to Shakespeare [1] winter’s discontent is now made glorious by “this son of York”.  “Now is our winter of discontent made glorious summer by this son of York” [1]. Symbolic  According to Shakespeare [1597] winter’s discontent is now made glorious by “this son of York”.  “Now is our winter of discontent made glorious summer by this son of York” [Shakespeare, 1597].
  131. 131. Referencing Numeric Style [1] William Shakespeare, Richard III (Act I, Scene I), Quarto 1, 1597. + Easy to use if references do not have to be sorted − Difficult to maintain if references need to be presented as a sorted list. Symbolic (Harvard) Style Shakespeare, William 1597. Richard III (Act I, Scene I), Quarto 1. + Easy to maintain a sorted list of references. – More verbose when citing.
  132. 132. Referencing Technical Report  References at end of document  Poor support for “End notes” in some word processors Different publications often have different styles Consider use of a bibliographic database and citing tool to automate citing and formatting of references.
  133. 133. Quoting Never quote documents without citing sources. Copy-and-paste of large amounts of text, even with quotation marks and full attribution is considered plagiarism. If you like what someone had to say on a subject, rewrite it in your own words!
  134. 134. URLs With more of the world’s knowledge accessible via the Internet it is unrealistic to ban URLs from reference lists. Do not rely solely on hyperlinks to present URLs  A paper report will not be read on a browser!  Cite them like any other resource Cite them as you would a book or article. Use as much detail as possible:[1] William Shakespeare, Richard III. Online at URL: (ProjectGutenberg., 2002) Business Writing - Gihan Aboueleish
  135. 135. Writing a Method You are reporting what you did so use past tense! Do not quote from the lab script:  Wrong: “take measurements of x and record results in your lab book”  Right: “we took measurements of x and recorded the results in our lab book”
  136. 136. Don’t rewrite the instructions!  It is acceptable to refer to the instructions if you did not divert from the suggested method.  But cite the original source  We performed x as suggested on Section y (page 2) of the lab handout [2].
  137. 137. Assessing the Audience Any piece of written material is aimed at a specific audience:  Who are your readers? Professors, managers, engineers, scientists, or technicians? What terms will you have to define? What background information will you have to include?  Why is audience reading the document? Is the document supposed to inform or to convince?  How will they read your document? Will they read it straight through like a story or will they turn to specific sections?Based on
  138. 138. The audienceOften 3 different audiences  The casual reader/big boss who wants the main message as painlessly as possible  The interested reader who wants more detail but doesn’t want to grapple with all the gory technical details  The guru who wants the whole story
  139. 139. What To Do? To address all 3 audiences effectively,  Include an abstract for the big boss  A main body for the interested non-specialist  A technical appendix for the guru Thus, a structure emerges!Business Writing - Gihan Aboueleish
  140. 140. To Succeed...The report must be  Clear  Well structured, clear, concise, suitable for the intended audience  Professional  statistically correct, correctly spelled, produced with a decent word processor  Well illustrated  illustrations that aid understanding, integrated with text
  141. 141. Thank You