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Chapter 7

Chapter 7 ENG1131

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David Sacks

Chapter 7 Formal Reports and Proposals The Four R’s of Planning The first step in planning any writing is to think about the reason for writing and about the receiver. Assessing the Reason for Writing and the Receiver  Formal reports are usually less personal than informal ones.  Omitting the personal I or we. o Business writers are increasingly using these pronouns in formal reports to produce clearer and more forceful writing. Determining Restrictions Limitations: 1. Finances 2. Personnel 3. Time Deciding on Research Some ways to start your research: 1. Brainstorming  By yourself or with a colleague.  Jot down all the questions you can think of. 2. Tree diagramming  Assume the subject is the trunk and add as many large and small branches. 3. The five Ws approach  Who, What, Where, When, Why? 4. The three Cs approach  Components – how can the subject be divided?  Change – what are the changed or changing elements of the subject?  Context – what is the larger issue or field into which this subject fits? Teamwork and Collaborative Communication Principles you need to observe to enhance teamwork: 1. Build an effective team  If possible, limit the size of the team to three or four members.  Assign and assume responsibilities so that leadership and group interactions are clearly defined and understood. 2. Create schedules and meet deadlines  Make sure all team members are aware of the final date, and stay on schedule. 1 3. Develop strategies for conflict management  Feedback and evaluation are essential  Determine members’ strengths and weaknesses and work off them. 4. Observe gender and cultural differences  Different perspectives and approaches. 5. Explore online collaboration  Ability to all work together from different locations. Finding Information 1. Access information online 2. Ask your librarian 3. Use the library catalogue 4. Search library databases 5. Consult internal sources 6. Check the reliability of information Arranging Information 1. Use file cards 2. Create an outline Organizing Formal Reports Main Section  For readers who will be interested or pleased, use the direct approach. Summary  Introduction  Recommendation  Discussion of Findings  For readers who will be displeased or skeptical the indirect approach will lean them gradually toward the conclusion or recommendations: Summary  Introduction  Discussion of Findings  Conclusions/Recommendations Summary  Usually a condensation of the most important points.  Write after you have completed the body of the report.  In direct approach, the summary focuses on the conclusions or recommendations.  In indirect approach, the summary should focus on the statement of purpose.  Generally should follow the order of the report.  Use lists where possible.  Omit examples, quotations, and other supporting details.  Stick to the facts. Introduction Can include several or all of the following:  Purpose  Scope  Background  Method 2 TYPE THE DOCUMENT TITLE Discussion of findings  Largest section in most formal reports.  Discusses the details of your investigation.
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