Class Notes (807,242)
Canada (492,664)
English (373)
ENGL 210F (43)

Module 7: Informal Reports

11 Pages
Unlock Document

University of Waterloo
Judah Oudshoorn

Module 07: Informal Reports - June 14, 2012 Objectives: By the end of this module, you should be able to:  describe the characteristics of an effective business report  identify standard report formats  identify different types of reports according to their purpose  provide a rationale for, and effectively use graphics in business reports  write a report using direct and indirect writing styles Readings: Chapter 10 Part I: Informal Reports Report Writing  Reports allow managers and co-workers to stay informed, review opinions, plan, and make decisions. o Considered to be legal documents. o Must be accurate, complete, objective, selective, and structured. Successful Reports  Content: o Select and include the information necessary for actions to be taken or decisions to be made. o Consider the reader’s needs and background knowledge. o Organize the material logically for the reader.  Clarity: o Use correct grammar and spelling. o Include overviews, transitions, and topic sentences. o Cite your sources. o Use visual aids. o Outline the criteria for options and conclusions.  Skimmability: o Use an easy to read font and font size. o Use clearly distinguishable headings and sub-headings to organize data. o Use white space and avoid a cluttered format. Informal vs. Formal Reports  Informal Reports o Are 1-10 pages in length. o Follow a letter or memo format. o Use personal pronouns and contractions. o Include some visual aids. o Are routine and internal.  Formal reports: o Are 10-100 pages. o Don’t use personal pronouns or contractions. o Include a title page, cover letter, table of contents, and abstract. o Are based on extensive research or study. o Include many visual aids. o Are distributed to external or internal superiors. Short Reports  Purpose: o Information o Information and analysis o Information, analysis, and recommendation  Frequency of submission: o Periodic o One time (specific issue or project)  Common categories of short reports: o Periodic o Incident o Investigate o Compliance o Situational (trips, progress, and activity)  Formats and distributions o Memo report o Prepared form reports o Letter report o Formal report Direct or indirect Approach  Are you persuading or just informing? o The direct approach is: Used for informational and analytical reports. Used for routine, non-sensitive information for recurring or one time events. Informational format:  Purpose/introduction/background  Facts and findings  Summary Analytical format:  Purpose/introduction/background  Conclusions or recommendations  Facts and findings  Discussion and analysis o The Indirect Approach: Expects resistance from the reader Requires persuasion or education of the reader. Format:  Purpose/introduction/background  Facts and findings  Discussion and analysis  Conclusions or recommendations Report Style  Depends on audience and organization.  Is written for primary and secondary readers.  Uses clear references (pronouns and proper names) and unbiased language. Headings and Subheadings  Two main types of headings and subheadings: o Functional For example: Introduction, Findings, Summary o Descriptive Example: NewPolicy on E-mail o Headings and subheadings must be: Short and clear Parallel Ranked Logically and clearly laid out Include at least two subheadings per section Avoid typographic widows and orphans Not in quotation marks (“New Policy on E-mail”) The Writing Process:  Plan: o What do you need? o How long will it take? o Who will complete each task?  Research: o Brainstorm. o Think about the “big picture.” o Ensure that your data is current, valid, reliable and accurate.  Compose and revise: o Create an outline. o Save copies of your work. o Ensure that it answers questions the reader would ask. o Proofread. Introduction (Background/Purpose):  Detail the purpose of the report or reason for the report.  Preview the key points.  Outline the data collection methods. Facts/Findings/Results:  Organize the data by subheadings. Summary/Conclusions/Recommendations:  List in order of importance (most to least).  This section is often most interesting to the reader. Part II: Visual Aids and Graphics  Visual aids serve two main purposes: o To make numerical information easier to understand. o To clarify and simplify data. Are your visual aids:  Clearly titled and labelled?  Uncluttered and easy to understand?  Accurate?  Serving a purpose?  Integrated at the correct place?  Supported by an explanation? Types of Visual Aids and Graphics  Table  Matrix  Pie chart  Bar Chart  Picture Graphics Simple Table Complex Chart Matrix Pie Chart Bar Chart Picture Graph Gantt Graph Flow Charts Organizational Charts Conclusion  Visual aids and graphics allow you to: o Clarify information presented in a report. o Present complex data in a reader-friendly way. Additional Readings Formats for "Bad News" Correspondence Contributed by Deane Gradous, Twin Cities consultant Two Formats, Two Results "Bad news" memos and letters are easier to write when you remember the two formulas for organizing the content of such correspondence. Although the formulas appear to be only slightly different, the reader is likely to respond to each format in a different way. Indirect format, or "You are a valued person." 1. Thanks
More Less

Related notes for ENGL 210F

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.