Creating progress reports and periodic activity reports


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  • Are routine documents inside all workplaces Often summarize memos, letters, and emails May function as a piece of a longer document Inform specific audiences and solve problems Take many forms to address different workplace and rhetorical situations
  • Draft the conclusion before the introduction Offer summaries of information Provide analytic predictions based on the information in the body Make recommendations to the reader about how to respond or act Issue a judgment about the information
  • Creating progress reports and periodic activity reports

    1. 1. Creating Progress Reports and Periodic Activity Reports Martha Schwer Madison Area Technical College Note: We will be doing both of these report types in this course. For the formal report, you will write 2 progress reports.
    2. 2. Definitions A Progress Report is an informational report that explains what has been, is being, and will be accomplished on a long-term project or goal. It provides information about the status of a project or objective prior to completion. A Periodic Activity Report is an informational report that explains everything you accomplished during a specific period of time OR everything you contributed to a specific project. It summarizes the activities of a person or team, most often at the completion of a period of time or project.
    3. 3. Purpose of Progress Reports Update audiences (supervisors or clients) on where a project is in relationship to the overall goals and objectives. Written at various stages of a project; each project may need multiple progress reports. Early on, can read like a list of deadlines. Later in the project, can read like a narrative explanation of problems encountered and overcome.
    4. 4. Purpose ofPeriodic Activity Reports Update audience (supervisors) on what you’ve been doing at the end of a specific period of time. Quantifies how much time you are spending doing what; data can be used in larger projects. Explains your contributions to multiple projects, which are unrelated to each other. Documents what you do, your workload, your ongoing training, or your overall productivity.
    5. 5. Ethical Issues Progress and Periodic Activity reports must disclose everything the audience needs to know about a project, experiment, situation, period of time, or problem. Ethical reports must accurately and comprehensively record and report results and correctly explain problems. Don’t exaggerate or underplay. Take credit for what you do AND credit what others do. Can be used if your company is ever sued to document what was and wasn’t said or done.
    6. 6. Overall Organization in Progressand Periodic Activity ReportsIntro: Purpose, Main Point, Forecasting Statement. (1-3 sentences)Body: Provides details organized into sub- sections with headings.Conclusion: Directive or Complementary (see next slide). Confirm correct contact info; summarize any broad concerns.
    7. 7. Complimentary vs.Directive ConclusionsConclusions in technical documents are needed to confirm that no further pages are missing and the document is complete. You have 2 choices: Complimentary conclusions just indicate “this is the end.” Directive conclusions tell the reader what they need to do next—they direct the reader’s action.
    8. 8. Organizing the Body Make your approach explicit in the forecasting statement. Use corresponding headings.  Organize consistently throughout the document. Present task-based information in sequence (first step to last) or chronologic order (oldest to newest). Most progress reports follow this pattern. Present role-based information in order of importance (most important to least important). Most periodic activity reports follow this pattern. Within sections, move from general to specific to provide background, scope, and context.  Develop body sections evenly.
    9. 9. Examples Progress Report: see p. 252-3, Figure 8- 4. Note “Work Completed, Work Planned.” Note the positive tone and content of conclusion. Periodic Activity Report: see p. 254, Figure 8-5. Note that it explains what Nancy did during a specified period of time. The conclusion explains problems encountered.