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Report writing

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Report writing

  2. 2. WHAT IS A REPORT?WHAT IS A REPORT?  “A report is a statement of the results of an investigation or of any matter on which definite information is required”. (Oxford English Dictionary)  Reports are a highly structured form of writing.
  3. 3. REPORT WRITING Report writing is an essential skill for Professionals in almost every field; accountants teachers, graphic designers, information scientists A report aims to inform, as clearly and succinctly as possible. It should be easy to read and professional in its presentation.
  4. 4. To present the findings and results. To keep records. To tell about failures and successes. To tell the progress of the project/research. WHY DO WE WRITE REPORTS?
  5. 5. TYPES OF REPORTS According to use: external internal According to period: routine special According to levels of management: Reports to Top Management Reports to Functional Management Reports to Junior Level Management Functional Reports
  6. 6. Corporate Reports: Statutory report Directors’ report Auditors’ report Non-statutory report Other Reports: Review Cost-Audit Interim Oral
  7. 7. A Report differs from an Essay in that A report: Present information, not an argument. Is meant to be scanned quickly by the reader. Uses numbered headings and sub- headings Uses graphics where possible (tables, graphs, illustrations) May nee and abstract (some times called an executive summary). Does not always need references and bibliography. Is often followed by recommendations and/ or appendices. A report is similar to An Essay in that both need: Formal style, introduction, body and conclusion Analytical thinking, careful proof-reading and neat presentation.
  8. 8. Meet the needs of the readers. Answers the questions. Is it at the right level for readers?. Clear logical structure. GOOD REPORT…
  9. 9. REPORT STRUCTURE: Letter of transmittal A Salutation The purpose of the letter The main finding of the report Any Important Considerations An Acknowledgement of any Significant help An Expression of pleasure or gratitude Title page title writer organization date person/group who commissioned the report
  10. 10. Table of content accurate, clear layout section numbering system and indentation complete page numbers list of illustrations if applicable List of abbreviations and/or glossary arranged alphabetically
  11. 11. Executive summary/abstract appropriate length complete summary of key information informative, not descriptive, in form impersonal tone connected prose Introduction relating topic to wider field necessary background information purpose of report scope of report explanation of arrangement of report sections
  12. 12. Body A Report of Primary Research would include Literature review Method Findings of results Discussion A report of secondary research Information organized under appropriate topics with sub heading Analysis / Discussion of the source of reporting.
  13. 13. Conclusions/summary Summarize what has been discovered Repeat the question Give the answer Outlines the findings of the research Do not introduce new information in the conclusion. Analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of various courses of action..
  14. 14. Recommendations based on the conclusions practical specific well organized, with the most important first Bibliography texts consulted but not referred to directly in the report Appendices placed at end of a report if included arranged in the order referred to in the report
  15. 15. REPORT WRITING PROCESSREPORT WRITING PROCESS Objective Planning Collecting Information Organization Information Audience Structure Finishing
  16. 16. THE OBJECTIVE..THE OBJECTIVE.. It defines the scope of your investigation. Identify the purpose… To inform? To convince?
  17. 17. PLANNING YOUR REPORTPLANNING YOUR REPORT How much time do you have to write the report?. How can your work be divided up into the various stages? Set yourself deadlines for the various stages.
  18. 18. COLLECTING INFORMATIONCOLLECTING INFORMATION What is the information you need ? Where do you find it ? Survey Organizations Online: Google Publications How much do you need ?
  19. 19. ORGANIZING INFORMATIONORGANIZING INFORMATION Discriminate between relevant and irrelevant information. Sort/organize information under main ideas/details. The computer program, Inspiration, can help in organizing .
  20. 20. THE AUDIENCETHE AUDIENCE Often 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.
  21. 21. WHAT TO DO?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!
  22. 22. FINISHING THE REPORTFINISHING THE REPORT Writing style 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
  23. 23. All reports should be written in the third person i.e., as an objective observer!. Avoid using terms such as ``I did this experiment and ..". Instead substitute terms, such as ``The experiment was performed ...''. Some friendly help… The view of an objective and completely fresh reader can be of great benefit. This person may also be able to pick up spelling or grammatical errors which you yourself are unaware of. WHO IS THE REPORTER?
  24. 24. FINISHING TOUCHESFINISHING TOUCHES Type ◦ Don’t use too many styles ◦ Avoid All Caps  Difficult to Read ◦ Double Space ◦ Number Placement  Bottom Center
  25. 25. Paper ◦ High Quality ◦ 20# Weight ◦ White/Off-White ◦ 8 ½ x 11 Margins ◦ Top & Sides - 1” ◦ Bottom - 1 ½” ◦ Left & Right 1.25”
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