Lesikar report writing basics


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  • 10-1 Use this slide to introduce the chapter. The photo of report covers could be used to discuss the importance of choosing one that communicates an appropriate message as well as one that is in line with its expected use. Or it could be used to discuss why report writing is important for business or why studying it is important.
  • 10-2 This overview slide shows the topics to be covered in this chapter.
  • 10-3 This slide gives the definition of reports. Show the definition first, then click to underline and discuss the key words. Encourage students to participate in the discussion if class size permits.
  • 10-4 This slide emphasizes getting the problem in mind, conducting an informal investigation, and stating the problem in writing.
  • 10-5 This slide illustrates the three ways to state a report problem—in the infinitive phrase, the question form, and the declarative statement. After showing them, you may want to select a report case from the text, have students read the problem, and have them state the problem in each of the three ways. It is always best to have the student write the problem statement.
  • 10-6 This slide introduces the student to different ways to determine the factors of reports based on the nature of the report itself.
  • 10-7 These slides take the student through the process of determining a problem. First comes a brief description of a problem. From this description, the student should develop a problem statement—then determine the factors involved. The form for the problem statement is not absolute. Any of the three forms can be used. The slides are designed so that you can move through the three parts in sequence.
  • 10-8 By covering the slide in successive parts (situation, problem statement, factor determination), you can take the student through the thinking process involved in determining a report problem.
  • 10-9
  • 10-10
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  • 10-12 You can use this slide both to show the ways to gather facts for a report and to explain the difference between primary and secondary research.
  • 10-13 This slide reviews advice for avoiding human error in interpreting.
  • 10-14 This slide presents procedures a writer can use to view interpretations of findings from a variety of perspectives. This attention to careful interpretation helps ensure that the interpretations are valid.
  • 10-15 This slide reminds the reader of the usefulness of statistics in interpreting data and presenting the interpretations clearly to a reader.
  • 10-16 You may use the series of problems on these next few slides to illustrate specific cases of interpretation errors in reports. Show the question first and have the students write their answers. Discuss them and then show the answer provided.
  • 10-17
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  • 10-20 This slide identifies the purposes that organizing the report serves.
  • 10-21 This slide illustrates the conventional (Roman Numeral) format for a report outline. (As the chapter says, however, the writer’s outline will usually not need to be this formally prepared. The time to polish up the outline’s format is when turning it into the report’s table of contents—and even then, an elaborate numbering and lettering scheme such as this one will be regarded by many readers as distracting.)
  • 10-22 This slide illustrates the decimal format for a report outline. You may want to run a brief demo of how to use the outline feature of the word processor to create these outlines easily.
  • 10-23 These next three slides summarize organization of data as a process of division.
  • 10-24
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  • 10-26 This overview slide presents various ways a writer might divide up a report based on the primary relationship among the data. Examples of each of these strategies follow.
  • 10-27 This illustration takes the student through the process of organizing a problem. The problem is a simple one—a report on the history of manufacturing in a certain state or province. As the slides show, the division could be made by time, place, quantity, factor, or a combination.
  • 10-28 Readers interested in specific geographic areas (such as members of local chambers of commerce) would prefer a place division.
  • 10-29 Readers interested in the size of manufacturing companies (such as those looking for effectiveness of various management practices by company size) would prefer a quantity division.
  • 10-30 Each would make a logical organization plan. Which one to use would depend on the reader’s needs. An historian probably would prefer a time arrangement. Members of manufacturing groups would prefer a factor arrangement.
  • 10-31 In these illustrations, possibilities for second-level heading are shown (also time, place, factor). Additional levels of subdivision (at third, fourth levels, etc.) would involve similar possibilities. All conventional relationships of data become possibilities when another division is considered. The conventional relationship to use in each case would be a matter of determining what is best given the problem statement and specific readers involved.
  • 10-32
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  • 10-34 You can use these illustrations to explain the differences between topic and talking headings.
  • 10-35
  • 10-36 Here is an overview slide that identifies a few of the basic guidelines for wording headings. Examples of each of these guidelines follow.
  • 10-37 You can use this slide to demonstrate three different grammatical forms for making equal-level headings parallel.
  • 10-38 You can use these next two slides to show students how to make headings parallel. Here I, III, and IV are sentences, while II is a noun phrase. Changing II to a sentence—”Hardware Volume Increases Modestly”— would make them parallel. Notice that all sentences are consistent in verb tense (present).
  • 10-39 Here headings B and D are sentences while A is a noun phrase and C is a truncated sentence. The simplest way to make them all parallel is to change A and C to sentences—”Cotton Farming Predominates in Southern Region”; “Wheat Crop Prevails in Northern Region.”
  • 10-40 You can use this slide to demonstrate a way to write concise headings.
  • 10-41 You can use this slide to demonstrate how variety of expression not only prevents monotony but also helps build the reader’s interest.
  • 10-42 This overview slide points out a few of the major strategies a report writer should employ when writing a report. Examples of some of these strategies follow.
  • 10-43 There is more on beginnings and endings in the next two chapters, but you can use this slide to discuss generally what these two important report parts need to accomplish.
  • 10-44 These next two slides show examples of impersonal and personal styles.
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  • 10-46 Examples of logic (and illogic) and consistency (and inconsistency) in handling time viewpoints are shown. The idea is to be consistent in time viewpoint. Here the first sentence uses a past tense and the second uses present. Both are from the same data set. Hence, this writing is confusing and illogical.
  • 10-47 Report writers can report events in the past tense if that is when the events occurred.
  • 10-48 Or they can use the present tense if that is when the events are happening.
  • 10-49 They can use several tenses as long as the facts are placed logically in time. Here you see the present, past, and future tenses used correctly.
  • 10-50 You can use this slide to illustrate the meaning of transition—a bridging of ideas, the connecting tissue in writing. Before you have transitions, you must have ideas and a logical arrangement of them. Put differently, you must organize first.
  • 10-51 The next three slides contain excerpts from reports showing how transition words can tie information together. This slide shows the key words (transition words italicized) of successive paragraphs. Note how these words add structure and relate the information presented.
  • 10-52 The examples in this slide and the next show how a transitional phrase and word repetition combine to connect the succeeding items of information.
  • 10-53
  • 10-54 Summarized here are points for maintaining interest in reports.
  • 10-55 This final slide presents the basic steps that writers working in groups and teams use to produce a final report in one voice.
  • 10-56 This ending quote on perseverance shows students that this quality is often needed when one is writing a successful report, whether for class or in business.
  • Lesikar report writing basics

    1. 1. chapter ten Basics of Report WritingSlides By Rana Usman SattarStudent Of BBA(Hons)PMAS Arid Agriculture University RawalpindiGmail: ranaa.usman@gmailFacebook: usman.shan86@yahoo.com
    2. 2. Overview Define report writing. Identify and state the problem. Determine the factors. Gather information. Interpret the data. Organize the findings. Create topic and talking headings. Write the report. Collaborate effectively.
    3. 3. What is a report?An orderly and objective communication offactual information that serves a businesspurpose.
    4. 4. Determine the Report Purpose Conduct a preliminary investigation – Gather facts to better understand the problem – Consult many sources State the problem in writing – To serve as a record – To allow others to review it – To force yourself to get the problem clearly in mind
    5. 5. State the Problem in One of Three Ways Infinitive phrase: "To measure the effect of radio spot advertising on X company sales" Question: "What are the effects on X company sales of radio spot advertising?" Declarative statement: "Company X wants to know how a spot advertising campaign will affect its sales."
    6. 6. Determine the FactorsTypes of Factors Subtopics in informational and some analytical reports Hypotheses in problem-solving situations Bases of comparison in evaluative reports
    7. 7. State the Problem and Factors Using the Infinitive Form with SubtopicsA consumer research organization plans to test three leadinglow-priced automobiles in an effort to determine which one isthe best buy as a family car for the typical American consumer.Problem statementTo determine which of three economy cars is the best buy forthe American ConsumerFactorsDurability Original and trade-in costsOperating costs RepairsComfort Safety
    8. 8. State the Problem and Factors Using the Question Form with SubtopicsA national chain of dress shops wants to learn what qualities toseek in hiring sales personnel.Problem statementWhat qualities determine the successful salespeople for X DressShop?FactorsEducationCultural backgroundExperienceVital statistics (age, height, weight, marital status, religion, etc.)Personal qualities (personality, character, etc.)
    9. 9. State the Problem and Factors Using the Question Form with SubtopicsA daily newspaper wants to know how well the various types ofitems in a typical issue are read.Problem statementWhat is the readership of the types of items in a typical issue ofX newspaper?FactorsProbably such a study would involve an item-by-item survey.The items would be classified by types, which would be thefactors of the problem.World news Local news SocietyEditorials Sports Comics
    10. 10. State the Problem and Factors Using the Question Form with HypothesesYou’ve been assigned the problem of determining why sales atthe Moline store have declined.Problem statementWhy have sales declined at the Moline store?FactorsActivities of the competition may have caused the decline.Changes in the economy of the area may have caused thedecline.Merchandising deficiencies may have caused the decline.Changes in the economic environment may have caused thedecline.
    11. 11. State the Problem and Factors Using the Infinitive Form with Bases of ComparisonA major soap manufacturer wishes to determine which of threecities would be best for a new factory.Problem statementTo determine whether Y company’s new factory should be builtin City A, City B, or City C.Factors Availability of labor Nearness to markets Abundance of raw material Power supply Tax structure Community attitude Transportation facilities
    12. 12. Gather Information Primary  Secondary – Observation – Library – Experiments – Online – Surveys – Company records • Telephone (interpreted data) • Mail/Email • Web surveys • Interviews (personal, expert) – Company records (raw data)
    13. 13. Interpret the Data Advice for Avoiding Human Error Report the facts as they are. Draw conclusions only when appropriate. Do not interpret lack of evidence as proof to the contrary. Be sure your data are comparable. Be sure you draw only logical conclusions. Be sure the data are reliable and representative. Give attention to all important facts. Tailor your claims to your data.
    14. 14. Attitudes and Practices Conducive to Sound Interpreting Maintain a judicial attitude. Consult with others. Test the interpretations. – 1. Test of Experience “Is this conclusion logical in light of all I know?” – 2. Negative Test Examine the opposite interpretation--build a case for it.
    15. 15. Use of Statistical Tools in Interpretation Statistical tools enable writers to simplify data. Most readers can understand descriptive statistics. Writers should explicitly explain more sophisticated statistical techniques.
    16. 16. A Logical Conclusion?Q. A study produced data that showed United States college students to be far behind their comparable groups in European countries. The conclusion was made that the educational systems in these European countries are superior to that in the United States.A. The education systems are not comparable. The United States is committed to a system of educating the masses. Many of the other countries maintain a system of highly selective education.
    17. 17. A Logical Conclusion?Q. The editor of a leading magazine for businesspeople reported that unsolicited email she had received from her readers justified a conclusion that the public favored stronger government controls over unions.A. Does the editor receive mail from readers representative of the public? More than likely the group writing her consists of limited segments of the total population.
    18. 18. A Logical Conclusion?Q. A campus survey at a Midwestern university showed that 92 percent of the students of the Christian faiths favored a certain issue, but only 33 percent of Hindu students favored the matter. The conclusion reached was that Christians and Hindus were far apart on this matter.A. The statistics for Hindu students were based on unreliable data. Since few Hindu students attend our universities, most likely the sample was small.
    19. 19. A Logical Conclusion?Q. A report writer found data showing that sales of soft drinks were correlated with vacation travel. She concluded that soft drink sales were heavily affected by vacations.A. Probably both are related to seasonal factors. They have no cause-effect relationship.
    20. 20. Organize the InformationAn organization plan serves as a blueprint for the report ensures order in the report provides headings for use in the report enables you to share your plan with others can be changed as your report develops
    21. 21. One Option: Conventional Outline FormI. First-level heading A. Second-level heading B. Second-level heading 1. Third-level heading 2. Third-level heading a. Fourth-level (1) Fifth-level (a) Sixth-levelII. First-level heading A. Second-level heading B. Second-level heading Etc.
    22. 22. Another Option: The Decimal System1.0 First-level heading 1.1 Second-level heading 1.2. Second-level heading 1.2.1 Third-level heading 1.2.2 Third-level heading Fourth-level2.0 First-level heading 2.1 Second-level heading 2.2 Second-level heading Etc.
    23. 23. Procedure for Constructing an Outline by Process of Division (1 of 3) I. Step 1 Introduction Divide the whole into II. comparable parts. This gives the Roman number parts of III. the outline. Usually an introduction begins the IV. outline. Some combination of summary, conclusion, recommendation ends it. V.
    24. 24. Procedure for Constructing an Outline by Process of Division (2 of 3) I. A B Step 2 C II. A Divide each roman section. B This gives the A., B, C III. A headings. B C IV. A . B V. A B
    25. 25. Procedure for Constructing an Outline by Process of Division (3 of 3) I. A Step 3 B C Then divide each A, B, C II. A 1 2 heading. This gives the 1, B 2,3 headings. III. A B C Continue dividing as long IV. A as it is practical to do so. 1 B 2 3 V. A 1 B 2
    26. 26. General Bases for Division  Time  Place  Quantity  Factor
    27. 27. Organization of a Report on theHistory of Manufacturing in New York Main Heading Possibilities (1 of 4) Organization by time I. Introduction II. Before 1750 III. 1750-1800 IV. 1801-1850 V. Etc.
    28. 28. Organization of a Report on theHistory of Manufacturing in New York Main Heading Possibilities (2 of 4) Organization by place I. Introduction II. Northern region III. Eastern region IV. Southern region V. Etc.
    29. 29. Organization of a Report on theHistory of Manufacturing in New York Main Heading Possibilities (3 of 4) Organization by quantity I. Introduction II. More than 500 employees III. 20-500 employees IV. Less than 20 employee V. Conclusion
    30. 30. Organization of a Report on theHistory of Manufacturing in New York Main Heading Possibilities (4 of 4) Organization by factors I. Introduction II. Textiles III. Foods IV. Furniture V. Etc.
    31. 31. Combination Division FormsFirst division by time; second division by time I.Introduction II.Before 1750 A. 1630-1680 B. 1681-1710 C. 1711-1750 III.1751-1800 A. 1751-1780 B. 1781-1800 IV.Etc.
    32. 32. Combination Division FormsFirst division by time; second division by place I.Introduction II.Before 1750 A. Northern region B. Eastern region C. Southern region D. Western region III.1751-1800 A. Northern region B. Etc.
    33. 33. Combination Division FormsFirst division by time; second division by factor  I.Introduction  II.Before 1750 A. Food B. Chemicals C. Textiles D. Etc.  III.1751-1800 A. Food B. Chemicals C. Etc.  IV.Etc.
    34. 34. Topic or Talking Headings? (1 of 2)Topic headings only identify the topics. I. Population A.Houston B.Springfield C.San Diego II. Income A.Houston B.Springfield C.San Diego
    35. 35. Topic or Talking Headings? (2 of 2)Talking headings identify the topic and saysomething about it.I. Growing population signals market growth A.Houston leads the nation B.Springfield has steadiest increase C.San Diego maintains status quo
    36. 36. Wording of Headings Parallel Construction Conciseness in Wording Variety of Expression
    37. 37. Parallelism in Construction of HeadingsEqual level headings should be in the samegrammatical format—for example, all noun phrases, allsentences, or all truncated (headline-style) sentences. Noun Phrase – “High Rate of Sales in District III” Sentence – “District II Sales Rank Second” Truncated Sentence – “District I at Bottom”
    38. 38. Point out any violations of grammatical parallelism in the following subheads of major division of a report. I.Sporting Goods Show Large Increase II.Modest Increase in Hardware Volume III.Automotive Parts Remain Unchanged IV.Plumbing Supplies Decline Slightly.
    39. 39. Point out any violations of grammatical parallelism in the following subheads of major division of a report. A. Predominance of Cotton Farming in Southern Region B. Livestock Paces Farm Income in the Western Region C. Wheat Crop Dominant in the Northern Region D. Truck Farming Leads in Central and Eastern Regions
    40. 40. Conciseness in WordingHeadings should be as short as possiblewhile still conveying clear meaning. Not this: Personal appearance enhancement is the most desirable benefit of lasik surgery that patients report. But this: Personal appearance most desirable benefit
    41. 41. Variety of ExpressionReplace monotonous repetitions of words in topicheadings with a variety of words.Not this: – Illinois Computer Sales – New York Computer Sales – Washington Computer SalesBut this: – Illinois Ranks First in Industry Sales – New York Maintains Second Position – Washington Posts Third Slot
    42. 42. Write the Report Put the report in context with your beginning and ending. Be objective. – Believability – Impersonal vs. personal writing Maintain a consistent time viewpoint. Use smooth transitions. Maintain interest.
    43. 43. Beginnings and Endings A good beginning . . . – states the subject of the report – reveals what kind of data it is based upon – indicates its likely significance to the reader A good ending . . . – may summarize; or summarize and interpret; or summarize, interpret, and recommend— depending on the reader – must make the informational “gist” clear – must make the contents’ significance clear
    44. 44. Impersonal vs. Personal Styles (1 of 2)Impersonal With the Jones project completed, work now is continuing on the next annual report, with a special focus on the new high-temperature technique.Personal During the first week of the period, I was completing the Jones project. I now am writing a description of the new high-temperature technique for the next annual report.
    45. 45. Impersonal vs. Personal Styles (2 of 2)Impersonal The current period has been devoted to training on the use of the new equipment.Personal I have spent the current period getting trained on using the new equipment.
    46. 46. Maintain Logic and Consistency in Time Viewpoint (1 of 4)Avoid Illogical Time Shifts Almost 37 percent of the merchants interviewed favored the Wilson plan. Only 14 percent of them prefer the Borden plan.
    47. 47. Maintain Logic and Consistency in Time Viewpoint (2 of 4)Consistent Past Since Dixie Cola was produced and distributed in the South, there was little difficulty in establishing its identity in that region. Strong markets were designated as those that required little or no logical adaptation of commercials. Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama fell in that category.
    48. 48. Maintain Logic and Consistency in Time Viewpoint (3 of 4)Consistent Present Since Dixie Cola is produced and distributed in the south, there is little difficulty in establishing its identity in that region. Strong markets are designated as those that require little or no local adaptation of commercials. Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama fall in that category.
    49. 49. Maintain Logic and Consistency in Time Viewpoint (4 of 4)Logical Shifts Are Appropriate Of the merchants interviewed, 54 percent feel that such legislation is needed. Only 33 percent held this position a scant three years ago. Current indications are that the number favoring the bill will be much greater within another three years.
    50. 50. Transitions are Bridges for Moving the Reader Through Your Report Transition Transition Idea Idea Idea Etc.
    51. 51. Use of Transition Words to Relate Paragraphs End of paragraph . . . which makes these visuals among the simplest to construct.Beginning of next Even though the line graphs are simple, three errors commonly are paragraph made in constructing them. One is the common violation of zero origin. The Y scale (vertical axis) must . . .Beginning of next Second is the error of representing both X and Y scales on the grid paragraph by unequal distances. Any deviation from . . .Beginning of next A third error concerns the determination of proportions of the . . . paragraph End of paragraph . . . clearly is the most economical to operate.Beginning of next In spite of its economy, the Xerox copier presents a major paragraph disadvantage. It has the highest breakdown record of the machines tested. In fact, over the past seven months. . .
    52. 52. Transition Though Word Connection (1 of 2)  Wormy oranges dumped from a passing ship floated ashore in Texas. Consequently, another battle had to be waged against the Mediterranean fruit fly.  Transitional elements are essential to understanding. They are the mortar that hold bricks of thought together.  Before buying plants, be sure you know which varieties are adapted to your area. Adapted varieties usually are sold by local nurseries.
    53. 53. Transition Though Word Connection (2 of 2)  A knowledge of your subject, a familiarity with words, and a compassion for your reader--all are essential to clear exposition.  In early spring, prepare the soil. After the soil warms, drill the seed at a rate of ten pounds per acre.
    54. 54. Maintain Interest Select words carefully. Watch the rhythm of expression. Stress content over techniques. Be complete without using more words than necessary.
    55. 55. Sequence of Activities Involved in Collaborative Writing Projects 1. Determine Purpose 2. Identify Factors 3. Gather Facts 4. Interpret Facts 5. Organize Facts 6. Plan the Writing 7. Write Assigned Parts 8. Revise Collaboratively 9. Edit Final Draft
    56. 56. “Tenacity and perseverance are essential qualities for success in business.” --Mary Kay Ash