Report writing - Essay Example

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In this age of information, a skill indispensable to man’s organizational life – academic and work life, worth developing is writing reports, as these not only testify to one’s work, but also concretely contribute. Written report – made up of facts, arguments, findings,…
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How to Write a Report? In this age of information, a skill indispensable to man’s organizational life – academic and work life, worth developing is writing reports, as these not only testify to one’s work, but also concretely contribute. Written report – made up of facts, arguments, findings, conclusion and recommendations presented in an orderly manner (Hafren n.d: 1) – is “directed to interested readers in response to some specific purpose, aim or request” (Sharif 2009: 2). Written reports are vital to organizational efficiency: tool for decision-making, mode for accurate transmission of information, permanent record for future reference, basis for evaluation, etc. Hence, writing report is a serious responsibility that should be done correctly in form and essence – “accurate, concise, clear, well structured” (Sikazwe 2003: 2). To achieve this is both hard and time consuming (‘Project Proposal Reports’ 2007: 1).
Writing reports generally goes through three stages: preparation/planning, actual writing stage, and finalizing. The preparation/planning stage goes through three steps: prepare by identifying and defining the problem and analyzing target reader; research by determining the methodology and collecting the information of the report; and analyze by organizing and evaluating gathered information, draw conclusions and make recommendations (‘Business Communication’ n.d: 8). Remember to gather as much information available because it is easier to discard useless information than recreate or recall data that are not gathered (Gaffney 2001: 1).
When everything needed is prepared, actual writing can commence. Writing usually undergoes drafting, revising, and editing (‘Business Communication’ n.d: 8). In writing report, always remember to: use credible sources only and cite sources accurately following the required style; use good standard English attending to its peculiarities -- spelling, meaning, prepositions, linking words, punctuations (Airola, et al. 2000: 4); focus on fulfilling the purpose of the report; be concise, coherent, direct, logical, and objective; use headings and sub-headings for easier reading; and follow a standard format required by the writing style used – one of the most defining characteristics of written reports, be they long or short (Airola, et al. 2000: 3). To avoid confusion in referencing right after citing a source, list down its reference immediately. Before finalizing the report, review it by considering the following: “context, organization, presentation, content, style, conclusions and recommendations” (BNET Editorial 2007: 4). Also, the abstract or for some reports the executive summary are the last written as they summarize the whole report.
Satisfying everything sets the final stage – all parts of the report – generally composed of three major parts – preliminary pages, main text, and end matters (‘Report Development and Writing’ 2008: 8-11) – are legibly printed on standard white bond papers neatly compiled in a folder arranged as follows in separate sheets: the title page – contains the report title, author, to whom to submit the report, submission date, and organization; the abstract or executive summary for some; table of contents and list of figures – these three specific parts compose the preliminary pages; the main body of the report, which parts are the introduction (page one starts here), methodology, analysis and findings, conclusion and recommendation, and the reference list in separate sheet; and at the last part of the report are all appendices relevant to the report (Airola, et al. 2000: 6 and ‘Report Development and Writing’ 2008: 8-11). To submit, put it in an addressed envelope.
Reference List
Airola, A., Hawkins, J., Huotilainen, S., and Stenroos, A., 2000, How to write a report, North Karelia Polytehcnic. [Online]. Available: [20 August 2009]
Business Communication: Introduction to Report Writing, National University of Singapore, [Online]. Available: [21 August 2009]
BNET Editorial, 2007, Writing good reports, BNET. [Online]. Available: [19 August 2009]
Gaffney, G., 2001, Writing usability reports, Information & Design. [Online]. Available: [19 August 2009]
Hafren, CG, n.d., A guide to business report writing, Learning Center. [Online]. Available: [20 August 2009]
‘Project Proposal Reports’, 2007. [Online]. Available: [19 August 2009]
‘Report Development and Writing’, 2008.[Online]. Available: [19 August 2009]
Sharif, M., Report writing, UNAMA Training Unit, United Nations.
[Online]. Available: [20 August 2009]
Sikazwe, H. C., 2003, Basic principles and components in academic report, Brief Notes on Business Report Writing, Newcastle University. [Online]. Available: [20 August 2009] Read More
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