Hi my friend..
usually iam writing report for my boss or other collegues...
so today i want teach u all how to write a good and clear report..
hope this will help u all my friend...
What is a Report
A report is a document which defines a subject or problem, and gathers relevant information and facts in order to present them as completely and accurately as possible. A report may include analysis, judgement, conclusions and recommendations.
A report therefore needs to be:
Aimed at the reader
Particularly useful for informing, explaining and persuading.
Before Writing the Report
It is important to consider WHO you are writing the report for, and why.
Key questions to ask yourself:
Who wants the report?
Why do they want it?
What are they going to do with it?
What do they want it to cover?
What will the report not cover? i.e. disclaimer.
What will happen as a result of the report?
A report should have a clear objective, i.e. what you are trying to achieve.
A clear objective = a clear focus = easier to write.
It is important to start off by brainstorming what you have been asked to do.
Who wants the report?
Write down the purpose of the report in the middle of a piece of A4 paper.
Write down the key ideas/phrases that link to the purpose of the report.
Group pieces of information under the key ideas connecting them by links.
Review the plan, adding or deleting points where necessary.
Check that you have done what the task requires.
Look for a simple structure, and order the key ideas. These will each make up a chapter of your report.
Check existing knowledge, i.e. what you know already, and what you need to find out.
Record the research methods used.
Record the sources used.
Make notes from the sources, and make sure you reference sources as you go along, as this saves time and difficulties later on.
Order your notes and group together points based on your original plan.
Check that you have done what the task requires.
Writing the Report – Structure
Title page – Highlights the central theme of the report, and includes the title, author’s name, date, and name of the person or organisation who commissioned the report (if necessary).
Acknowledgements (optional) – Conveys thanks to those who have helped the author in the preparation of the report.
Contents – Essential if the report exceeds three pages. Lists the main sections and sub-sections of the report in sequence. The headings should be identical to those used in the report, together with the page number. A list of illustrations and appendices should be detailed. It is better to complete this section after writing the report. e.g.
1.1 Aims and objectives
1.2 Review of literature
List of Illustrations
Graph showing age of person
Appendix A Title
Appendix B (sometimes numbered with Roman numerals instead) etc
Summary (optional, and sometimes called an Executive Summary) – This is useful if the report is long, and provides the reader with a brief outline of the report. This can act as an introduction to the subject of the full report, a guide as to whether the report is of interest, and as a time saver to a busy reader. The summary should be no more than a page in length.
Paragraph one should define the report's purpose, paragraph two should outline what was done and how, paragraph three should report on the main findings, paragraph four should identify the main conclusion, and the final paragraph should outline the main recommendations.
To write a quick summary:
Read the report.
Isolate and summarize the central theme.
Read each section, isolate and summarize the main statement in each section.
Get rid of lists, repetition, detailed description.
Replace with general statements.
Combine into a continuous written piece as briefly as possible.
Introduction – This sets the scene, and should include the following:
Why the report was written/background?
Terms of reference – determines the scope or parameters of the report, and what you are trying to do. (objective, purpose, and use)
Method of investigation.
Structure of report.
Main text – This is the main substance of the report detailing key findings. It consists of data you have found, and what you have found out from it. It should not include opinions, conclusions or recommendations. This is the longest section of the report, and may include the most sub-sections.
Conclusion – This should link the terms of reference (what you were trying to do) with the findings to assess the facts. Draws together the main points of the report, presents an overview, and looks at future consequences. NO NEW data should arise here. A conclusion may include recommendations if these arise from the conclusion.
Recommendations – These should follow logically on from the conclusion, and be specific, measurable and achievable. They should propose how the situation/problem could be improved by stating the action to be taken. Ideally recommendations should be numbered.
Appendices – Consists of supplementary information not required for the main body of the report.
Basic checklist for location of materials you are not sure about:
Will the reader need to know this?
Do they need to know it to follow the argument? Don’t include in report
Put it in the main body Is it referred to several times?
Put in main body Put in appendix
References – These should list bibliographic details of all the materials mentioned in the text, or extracts quoted. You will need to use the British Standard or Harvard method of referencing.
See ‘Cite them Right’ for more information. (Shields,G.,Walton,G.Cite Them Right.3rd ed.UNN.1995.)
Bibliography – Includes bibliographic details of all material mentioned in the references, plus other material used but not referred to in the main body of the report. This is not always necessary, particularly if using the Harvard referencing system.
Glossary – Useful if the report uses a lot of technical vocabulary to give definitions or acronyms.
Index – Not always included.
Style and Structuree
Match the style to the reader. The key is to keep the report concise and simple.
Avoid jargon and use Plain English.
Sentences – Keep them short, no longer than 25 words. Big idea = short sentences.
Paragraph – Concentrates on one theme, the first sentence should summarize the topic of the paragraph, paragraphs should be connected with link words so that they carry the reader along.
Tense – Reports are normally written in the past tense and in the third person. i.e. It is recommended that … However use ‘I’ if appropriate.
Notation – Identify the main components of the report for reference and indexing purposes.
1. Number pages
2. Number sections and paragraphs if appropriate
3.2 Avoid complicating numbering further with 3.2.1 etc.
(This does not apply to the contents page, or summary – instead these pages should be given Roman numerals, i.e. i, ii, iii, iv. The appendices should be given a letter/roman numeral, i.e. Appendix A, or Appendix I etc.)
Illustrations – Only include these in the main body of the report if fundamental to the text, or referred to several times. Otherwise place them in the appendix (give caption, figure number and acknowledge the source).
Summarize each section of the report with one or two sentences to form a short conclusion.
Writing order – Main body, conclusion, recommendations, introduction, then (appendices, glossary, references, bibliography, contents/index – in no particular order), summary and title page.
Check the report for:
Numbering of sections.
Check the report follows your plan, and answers the question asked.
i know after this u all clear how to make a report...best for you all...cheers