Report writing


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Soft skills training by Svetlana Belic Malinic

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Report writing

  1. 1. Report Writing Skills Presented by: Svetlana Belic Malinic
  2. 2. Report writing?
  3. 3. Training objectives: • To identify what constitutes a good piece of writing • To understand the writing process • To define your own writing strengths and weaknesses • To improve your writing skills through various strategies
  4. 4. Introduction Why writing?
  5. 5. Message
  6. 6. A note sent to teacher Dear Mrs. Jones, I wish to clarify that I am not an exotic dancer. I work at Home Depot and I told my daughter how hectic it was last week before the blizzard hit. I told her we sold out every single shovel we had, and that several people were fighting over the last one. Her picture is supposed to depict me, selling the last snow shovel we had.
  7. 7. Types of communication Non-verbal Oral Written Visual
  8. 8. Speech vs. writing (p.3) SPEECH WRITING Eye to eye contact No physical contact Voice, tone, pitch, intonation No sounds Body language No body language
  9. 9. Chapter 1 Good writing?
  10. 10. Survey What is the biggest obstacle to producing clear written communication at work?
  11. 11. Options • Low standards and expectations • Poor templates • Managers do not support clear writing • General writing skills • Bad models • Inadequate resources • Insufficient time for writing
  12. 12. General writing skills Bad models Managers do not support clear writing Insufficient time for writing Poor templates Low standards and expectations Inadequate resources What is the biggest obstacle to producing clear written communication at work?
  13. 13. Good writing: • Writing style • Audience • Format • Content • Structure • Grammar and punctuation • Syntax • Mood
  14. 14. Writing style A good style in report writing involves constructing sentences and paragraphs in such a way that the message you wish to convey is conveyed accurately and quickly to the reader. “ “
  15. 15. Report writing • clarity • conciseness • directness
  16. 16. Did you know?
  17. 17. Simply… • tell them what you are going to say • then say it • then tell them what you said
  19. 19. Audience •general •educated, but non-specialist •specialist, professional
  20. 20. Adapting styles (p. 6) Look at these examples of how the same information is delivered to different audiences. Then try to assign them to the types of audience above. What are the elements of the sentences that help you identify which audience it is aimed at?
  21. 21. Woman without her man is nothing. Punctuation Woman without her man is nothing.
  22. 22. Punctuation Woman without her man, is nothing. Woman: without her, man is nothing.
  23. 23. Spelling
  24. 24. Syntax • I am sorry to inform you that the implementation of this project has been postponed given that all the funds have been used. • The implementation of this project will be supported as soon as the funds are available.
  25. 25. How are you writing today?
  26. 26. Chapter 2 Writing process
  27. 27. Before… • set your objective • assess your readership • decide what information you will need • prepare your skeletal framework • test and revise your skeletal framework
  28. 28. After… • proofread for spelling and grammar mistakes (yourself or someone else) • discuss with your colleague or supervisor if the objective is met • obtain clearance for distribution • distribute
  29. 29. Writing process Pre-writing Drafting Revising Editing Publishing
  30. 30. 1 Pre-writing • Targeting: Remember your readers. • Outlining: Remember your purpose and objective(s). • Structuring: Refer to your skeletal framework. Change if not fitting.
  31. 31. 2 Drafting
  32. 32. 3 Revising • Assess whether the sub-structure of the main body is really the most suitable one to present your facts. • Examine the layout and general appearance. • Determine whether the tone and balance are correct. • Check the accuracy of figures and calculations. • Check the use of English, punctuation and spelling.
  33. 33. 4 Editing • Assimilate: What is the report trying to achieve? How has the writer attempted to achieve this? • Question: Are all the facts, arguments, conclusions and recommendations accurate, complete, convincing and justified? Be prepared to face some very detailed questioning. • Evaluate: How significant are the findings? • Check: Will the writer need to provide any further evidence?
  34. 34. 4 Editing • Amend: Will the report need to be re-structured? • Edit: What changes will need to be made to the content or presentation? Are the most important findings, conclusions and recommendations given due prominence? Are less important findings confined to the main body, an appendix, or perhaps omitted? • Finalise: Is the report now written to the standard the recipients require, or, in an organisation with many levels of management, to the standard other senior levels require?
  35. 35. 5 Publishing
  36. 36. Chapter 3 Improving
  37. 37. Which is better? A. There is a common misconception when it comes to writing that a person must write in a verbose manner to come across as intelligent. B. People often make a mistake in thinking that writing long-winded sentences with big words makes them appear smart. C. You don't need to write a lot or use big words to sound smart.
  38. 38. LESS IS MORE
  39. 39. Use plain English • The ready availability of project reports associated with delinquent cases has become prevalent since the development of Project Cycle Management.
  40. 40. Use plain English • Project reports associated with delinquent cases have become readily available since the development of Project Cycle Management.
  41. 41. Avoid overwriting • Project manager is not concerned with the follow-up of any of the items with the exception of delinquent cases. • Project manager follows up delinquent cases only.
  42. 42. Avoid redundant words • Past history suggests that our future prospects are bright. • History suggests that our prospects are bright.
  43. 43. Be politically correct • A good manager will gain the respect of his staff. • A good manager will gain the respect of staff. • A secretary should be loyal to her boss. • Secretaries should be loyal to their bosses.
  44. 44. Avoid foreign words • President has not returned to his alma mater since the day he graduated. • He is not a dishonest politician because his advice is bona fide. • His role vis-à-vis the recent negotiations was that of a peace-maker.
  45. 45. Negative to positive • We do not believe the feedback is adequate. • We believe the feedback is inadequate. • We must cancel this project. • Given the project outcomes, we believe that the project should be reassessed to meet the rationale.
  46. 46. Place emphasis • With a little clarification, the implementing partner would have solved the difficulties more readily. • With a little clarification, the implementing partner would more readily have solved the difficulties.
  47. 47. Passive into active • The report was prepared by the project team in order to promote its sustainability. • The project team prepared the report in order to promote its sustainability.
  48. 48. 7Cs 1. Clarity 2. Completeness 3. Conciseness 4. Correctness 5. Concreteness 6. Consideration 7. Courtesy
  49. 49. Case study 1 Teamwork
  50. 50. Case study 2 Individual
  51. 51. Thank you! Svetlana.Belic.Malinic