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Reading and writing reports
Non -chronological Reports Reading and writing reports
Purpose Why do we read and write reports?
Reports describe the way things are. Their purpose is to document, organise and store information. We read them to find out information. We write them to give information to others or keep it for future use.
How are reports organised?
They are mainly made up of paragraph text. They have an introduction which explains what they are about. They contain facts: most of the content of the report gives information They end with a summary of the key points.
How do we read reports? They are not chronological
they do not need to be read from beginning to end. Use the contents and index. They can be read by skimming. They can be read by scanning. Reading for detail takes place after you have used the other reading skills and have found the information you are interested in.
How do we write reports? Choose your topic Collect your information
Use a range of resources: books, CD-ROMs, Internet, interviews.
Organise your information
Most reports have a series of paragraphs on different aspects of the subject. Put related facts together. Make sure the first sentence in each paragraph gives the key idea Other sentences add detail Tables, pictures, diagrams and bulleted lists add more information in a variety of ways.
Make your meaning plain.
Use headings and sub-headings to outline the key idea of each paragraph Write clearly – don’t confuse the reader Keep to the facts: a report should be factual if you are including opinion make it plain to the reader that everyone may not agree with you.
Your Writing Style Reports are fairly formal
They are written in the third person and the present tense Be precise – check your facts Use technical vocabulary Make it suitable for your intended audience Take an angle – why are your readers interested in the subject? What information will they be most interested in?
Keep your reader interested
Use descriptive language you are giving detail. Make sure it’s not just a list of facts. Show contrast between your paragraphs bring out the similarities and differences of your subject. Add comments or questions relate the subject to the reader.
Check Your Writing Does it successfully put the information across?
Check that your headings and sub-headings are clear. Is it interesting? Does it go on too long about small details. Re-read your report as if you know nothing about your subject. Does it successfully put the information across?
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