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Business Communications - Module 22

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BUSI 1020U
William Thurber

Module 22: Writing Formal Reports Business Communication March 24 2012 How should I organize my Time? - Write pars as soon as you can. - Spent most of your time on sections that support your recommendations - Being by analyzing and identifying your purposes and audiences: PAIBOC will help you decide on the length, structure, organization, content and language of your report. - Use a timeline to plan work on the whole project; start with your report due dates; and work backwards, establishing realistic dates for each process and product. - Draft the important sections early. Report Body Introduction - Pulls the reader into the situation. - Contains a statement of purpose and scope. o Purpose: Identify the organizational problem the report addresses, the technical investigations it summarizes, the rhetorical purpose(s): to explain, to analyze, to evaluate, to solve and to recommend. o Scope: Identify the topics the report covers. When you define the scope, you contain the content of the report: If the report is to examine only advertising, then readers cannot fault the report for not considering other factors. o Limitations: Limitations usually arise because time or money constraints3 don’t permit full research, and such limitations make the recommendations less valid, or valid only under certain circumstances. o Assumptions: Assumptions are statements whose truth you assume and that you use to support your conclusions and recommendations. If they are wrong, the conclusion will be wrong too. o Methods: Here writers describe how they found the report data: what they observed, whom they chose to survey, interview, and how, when and where respondents were interviewed. Background and History - Although current audience for the report probably knows the situation, reports are filed and then consulted later. - The history section might cover many years or it could be much briefer, covering the immediate situation. Findings - Findings section of the report provides the proof of your position. - Here you present the facts, gathered through primary and secondary research to demonstrate that your conclusions are accurate and your recommendations inevitable. - Spend most of your time composing, rewriting and revising this section. - Pay particular attention to the organization: you want to frame the situation, and your solutions, to influence your readers to your point of view. How do I draft the Report? - start in the middle: write the body first, then draft the ending sections; then write the beginning parts of the formal report: the summary and transmittal. The report ending Conclusions and Recommendations - All communication is an act of creation: after all, when we make meaning, we create order out of chaos. - Because formal reports are so lengthy, they use a great deal of repetition for reinforcement. - Therefore, the ending sections do not introduce any new information; your conclusions and recommendations concisely and clearly summarize information covered in the body. - You may present your conclusions in paragraphs or single sentences, depending on how full an explanation you have offered in the body, and on your reader’s expectations. - If your readers will find your recommendations expensive, difficult or controversial, give a brief rationale paragraph after each recommendat
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