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Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Mary Ellen Guffey Copyright © 2008 Chapter 11 Business Report Basics.

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Presentation on theme: "Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Mary Ellen Guffey Copyright © 2008 Chapter 11 Business Report Basics."— Presentation transcript:

1 Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Mary Ellen Guffey Copyright © 2008 Chapter 11 Business Report Basics

2 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 11, Slide 2 Business Report Basics Report Writing Process Structure and Organization Report DataResearch Characteristics of Reports

3 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 11, Slide 3 Preparing to Write Business Reports What are business reports? © Photodisc / Getty Images Business reports are systematic attempts to answer questions and solve problems.

4 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 11, Slide 4 Preparing to Write Business Reports Report functions  Informational reports  Analytical reports  Direct pattern  Indirect pattern Writing style  Formal  Informal Report patterns

5 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 11, Slide 5 Report formats  Printed forms  Digital  Letter  Memo  Manuscript © TRBfoto / Photodisc / Getty Images Preparing to Write Business Reports

6 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 11, Slide 6 Everyone writes reports. Most reports flow upward. Most business reports are informal. Ten Truths You Should Know About Reports

7 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 11, Slide 7 Memo format Letter format Manuscript format Three formats are most popular: Ten Truths You Should Know About Reports

8 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 11, Slide 8 Reports differ from memos and letters. Today’s reports take advantage of computer technologies. Many reports are collaborative efforts. Ten Truths You Should Know About Reports

9 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 11, Slide 9 Ethical report writers interpret facts fairly. Organization is imposed on data. The writer is the reader’s servant. Ten Truths You Should Know About Reports

10 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 11, Slide 10 Audience Analysis and Report Organization The Direct Pattern If readers are informed If readers are supportive If readers are eager to have results first Direct Pattern

11 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 11, Slide 11 Informational Report Introduction/Background __________________________________ Facts/Findings _________________ __________________________________ Summary ______________________ __________________________________ Direct Pattern Analytical Report Introduction/Problem __________________________________ CONCLUSIONS/ RECOMMENDATIONS __________________________________ Facts/Findings __________________________________ Discussion/Analysis ____________ __________________________________

12 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 11, Slide 12 Audience Analysis and Report Organization The Indirect Pattern If readers need to be educated If readers need to be persuaded If readers may be disappointed or hostile Indirect Pattern

13 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 11, Slide 13 Indirect Pattern Analytical Report Introduction/Problem __________________________________ Facts/Findings _________________ __________________________________ Discussion/Analysis __________________________________ CONCLUSIONS/ RECOMMENDATIONS ____________ __________________________________

14 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 11, Slide 14 Informational Report—Letter Format Center for Consumers of Legal Services P.O. Box 260 (804) Richmond, VA www. cclegalservices.com September 7, 2007 Ms. Lisa Burgess, Secretary Lake Austin Homeowners 3902 Oak Hill Drive Austin, TX Dear Ms. Burgess: As executive director of the Center for Consumers of Legal Services, I'm pleased to send you this information describing how your homeowners’ association can sponsor a legal services plan for its members. After an introduction with background data, this report will discuss three steps necessary for your group to start its plan. Introduction A legal services plan promotes preventative law by letting members talk to attorneys whenever problems arise. Prompt legal advice often avoids or prevents expensive litigation. Because groups can supply a flow of business to the plan's attorneys, groups can negotiate free consultation, follow-up, and discounts. Center for Consumers of Legal Services P.O. Box 260 (804) Richmond, VA www. cclegalservices.com September 7, 2007 Ms. Lisa Burgess, Secretary Lake Austin Homeowners 3902 Oak Hill Drive Austin, TX Dear Ms. Burgess: As executive director of the Center for Consumers of Legal Services, I'm pleased to send you this information describing how your homeowners’ association can sponsor a legal services plan for its members. After an introduction with background data, this report will discuss three steps necessary for your group to start its plan. Introduction A legal services plan promotes preventative law by letting members talk to attorneys whenever problems arise. Prompt legal advice often avoids or prevents expensive litigation. Because groups can supply a flow of business to the plan's attorneys, groups can negotiate free consultation, follow-up, and discounts.

15 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 11, Slide 15 Informational Report—Letter (Continued) Two kinds of plans are commonly available. The first, a free plan, offers free legal consultation along with discounts for services when the participating groups are sufficiently large to generate business for the plan's attorneys. These plans actually act as a substitute for advertising for attorneys. The second common type is the prepaid plan. Prepaid plans provide more benefits, but members must pay annual fees, usually $200 or more a year. Over 30 million people are covered by legal services plans today, and a majority belong to free plans. Since you inquired about a free plan for your homeowners' association, the following information describes how to set up such a program. Determine the Benefits Your Group Needs The first step in establishing a free legal service is to meet with the members of your group to decide what benefits they want. Typical benefits include the following: Free consultation. Members may consult a participating attorney--by phone or in the attorney's office--to discuss any matter. The number of consultations is unlimited, provided each is about a separate matter. Consultations are generally limited to 30 minutes, but they include substantive analysis and advice. Free document review. Important papers--such as leases, insurance policies, and installment sales contracts--may be reviewed with legal counsel. Members may ask questions and receive an explanation of terms. Two kinds of plans are commonly available. The first, a free plan, offers free legal consultation along with discounts for services when the participating groups are sufficiently large to generate business for the plan's attorneys. These plans actually act as a substitute for advertising for attorneys. The second common type is the prepaid plan. Prepaid plans provide more benefits, but members must pay annual fees, usually $200 or more a year. Over 30 million people are covered by legal services plans today, and a majority belong to free plans. Since you inquired about a free plan for your homeowners' association, the following information describes how to set up such a program. Determine the Benefits Your Group Needs The first step in establishing a free legal service is to meet with the members of your group to decide what benefits they want. Typical benefits include the following: Free consultation. Members may consult a participating attorney--by phone or in the attorney's office--to discuss any matter. The number of consultations is unlimited, provided each is about a separate matter. Consultations are generally limited to 30 minutes, but they include substantive analysis and advice. Free document review. Important papers--such as leases, insurance policies, and installment sales contracts--may be reviewed with legal counsel. Members may ask questions and receive an explanation of terms.

16 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 11, Slide 16 Analytical Report—Memo Format Atlantic Environmental, Inc. Interoffice Memo DATE:March 7, 2008 TO:Kermit Fox, President FROM: Cynthia M. Rashid, Environmental Engineer SUBJECT:Investigation of Mountain Park Commercial Site For Allegheny Realty, Inc., I've completed a preliminary investigation of its Mountain Park property listing. The following recommendations are based on my physical inspection of the site, official records, and interviews with officials and persons knowledgeable about the site. Recommendations To reduce its potential environmental liability, Allegheny Realty should take the following steps in regard to its Mountain Park listing: Conduct an immediate asbestos survey at the site, including inspection of ceiling insulation material, floor tiles, and insulation around a gas-fired heater vent pipe at 2539 Mountain View Drive. Atlantic Environmental, Inc. Interoffice Memo DATE:March 7, 2008 TO:Kermit Fox, President FROM: Cynthia M. Rashid, Environmental Engineer SUBJECT:Investigation of Mountain Park Commercial Site For Allegheny Realty, Inc., I've completed a preliminary investigation of its Mountain Park property listing. The following recommendations are based on my physical inspection of the site, official records, and interviews with officials and persons knowledgeable about the site. Recommendations To reduce its potential environmental liability, Allegheny Realty should take the following steps in regard to its Mountain Park listing: Conduct an immediate asbestos survey at the site, including inspection of ceiling insulation material, floor tiles, and insulation around a gas-fired heater vent pipe at 2539 Mountain View Drive.

17 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 11, Slide 17 Analytical Report—Memo (Continued) Prepare an environmental audit of the generators of hazardous waste currently operating at the site, including Mountain Technology. Obtain lids for the dumpsters situated in the parking areas and ensure that the lids are kept closed. Findings and Analyses My preliminary assessment of the site and its immediate vicinity revealed rooms with damaged floor tiles on the first and second floors of 2539 Mountain View Drive. Apparently, in recent remodeling efforts, these tiles had been cracked and broken. Examination of the ceiling and attic revealed further possible contamination from asbestos. The insulation for the hot-water tank was in poor condition. Located on the property is Mountain Technology, a possible hazardous waste generator. Although I could not examine its interior, this company has the potential for producing hazardous material contamination. In the parking area large dumpsters collect trash and debris from several businesses. These dumpsters were uncovered, thus posing a risk to the general public. Prepare an environmental audit of the generators of hazardous waste currently operating at the site, including Mountain Technology. Obtain lids for the dumpsters situated in the parking areas and ensure that the lids are kept closed. Findings and Analyses My preliminary assessment of the site and its immediate vicinity revealed rooms with damaged floor tiles on the first and second floors of 2539 Mountain View Drive. Apparently, in recent remodeling efforts, these tiles had been cracked and broken. Examination of the ceiling and attic revealed further possible contamination from asbestos. The insulation for the hot-water tank was in poor condition. Located on the property is Mountain Technology, a possible hazardous waste generator. Although I could not examine its interior, this company has the potential for producing hazardous material contamination. In the parking area large dumpsters collect trash and debris from several businesses. These dumpsters were uncovered, thus posing a risk to the general public.

18 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 11, Slide 18 Analytical Report—Manuscript Format REDUCING VEHICLE EMISSIONS AND SMOG IN THE LOS ANGELES BASIN INTRODUCTION Pacific Enterprises, Inc., is pleased to submit this report to the Air Resources Board of Los Angeles County in response to its request of April 18. This report examines the problem of vehicle emissions in the Los Angeles Basin. Moreover, it reviews proposed solutions and recommends a course of action that will lead to a significant reduction in the hydrocarbon and nitrogen oxide emissions of older vehicles. Background and Discussion of Problem The County of Los Angeles has battled dirty air for five decades. The largest stationary polluters (manufacturers, petroleum refineries, and electric power plants, for example) are no longer considered a major source of pollution. Today, the biggest smog producers are older automobiles, trucks, and buses. Newer vehicles, as a result of improved technology and government regulation, have sharply reduced their emissions. However, nearly 400,000 pre-1980 vehicles continue to operate on Southern California's streets and freeways. A recent state-funded study (Rutman 37) estimated that 50 percent of the smog generated in Southern California comes from these older vehicles. REDUCING VEHICLE EMISSIONS AND SMOG IN THE LOS ANGELES BASIN INTRODUCTION Pacific Enterprises, Inc., is pleased to submit this report to the Air Resources Board of Los Angeles County in response to its request of April 18. This report examines the problem of vehicle emissions in the Los Angeles Basin. Moreover, it reviews proposed solutions and recommends a course of action that will lead to a significant reduction in the hydrocarbon and nitrogen oxide emissions of older vehicles. Background and Discussion of Problem The County of Los Angeles has battled dirty air for five decades. The largest stationary polluters (manufacturers, petroleum refineries, and electric power plants, for example) are no longer considered a major source of pollution. Today, the biggest smog producers are older automobiles, trucks, and buses. Newer vehicles, as a result of improved technology and government regulation, have sharply reduced their emissions. However, nearly 400,000 pre-1980 vehicles continue to operate on Southern California's streets and freeways. A recent state-funded study (Rutman 37) estimated that 50 percent of the smog generated in Southern California comes from these older vehicles.

19 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 11, Slide 19 Analytical Report—Manuscript (Continued) However, many of these vehicles are either undetected or exempted from meeting the clean-air standards. Little has been done to solve this problem because retrofitting these old cars with modern pollution control systems would cost more than many of them are worth. Two innovative solutions were recently proposed. Reducing Smog by Eliminating Older Cars Two large organizations, Unocal and Ford Motor Company, suggested a buy-out program to eliminate older cars. To demonstrate its effectiveness, the two firms bought more than RECOMMENDATIONS Based on our findings and the conclusions discussed earlier, we submit the following recommendations to you: 1. Study the progress of Germany's attempt to reduce smog by retrofitting older vehicles with computer-controlled fuel management systems. 2. Encourage Ford Motor Company and Unocal to continue their buy-out programs in exchange for temporary smog credits. 3. Invite Neutronics Enterprises in Carlsbad, California, to test its Lambda emission- control system at your El Monte test center. However, many of these vehicles are either undetected or exempted from meeting the clean-air standards. Little has been done to solve this problem because retrofitting these old cars with modern pollution control systems would cost more than many of them are worth. Two innovative solutions were recently proposed. Reducing Smog by Eliminating Older Cars Two large organizations, Unocal and Ford Motor Company, suggested a buy-out program to eliminate older cars. To demonstrate its effectiveness, the two firms bought more than RECOMMENDATIONS Based on our findings and the conclusions discussed earlier, we submit the following recommendations to you: 1. Study the progress of Germany's attempt to reduce smog by retrofitting older vehicles with computer-controlled fuel management systems. 2. Encourage Ford Motor Company and Unocal to continue their buy-out programs in exchange for temporary smog credits. 3. Invite Neutronics Enterprises in Carlsbad, California, to test its Lambda emission- control system at your El Monte test center.

20 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 11, Slide 20 Applying the Writing Process to Reports Analyze the problem and purpose. Anticipate the audience and issues. Prepare a work plan. Implement your research strategy.

21 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 11, Slide 21 Applying the Writing Process to Reports Organize, analyze, interpret, and illustrate the data. Compose the first draft. Revise, proofread, and evaluate.

22 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 11, Slide 22 Work Plan for a Formal Report  Statement of problem  Statement of purpose  Sources and methods of data collection  Tentative outline  Work schedule

23 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 11, Slide 23 Researching Report Data Secondary Print Data  Books – card catalog, online catalog  Periodicals – print indexes, electronic indexes

24 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 11, Slide 24 Researching Report Data Secondary Electronic Data  Electronic databases ABI/INFORM LexisNexis Academic Factiva EBSCO  Web search tools Google Yahoo Search MSN Search AOL

25 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 11, Slide 25 Evaluating Web sources How current is the information? How credible is the author or source? What is the purpose of the site? Do the facts seem reliable? Researching Report Data Secondary Electronic Data

26 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 11, Slide 26 Tips for Searching the Web  Use two or three search tools.  Know your search tool.  Understand case sensitivity.  Use nouns as search terms and up to eight words in a query.  Combine keywords into phrases.  Omit articles and prepositions.

27 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 11, Slide 27 Tips for Searching the Web  Use wild cards.  Learn basic Boolean search strategies.  Bookmark the best sources.  Repeat your search a week later.  Keep trying.  Evaluate your Web sources for currency, authority, content, and accuracy.

28 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 11, Slide 28 Surveys Researching Primary Data Interviews Observation Experimentation

29 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 11, Slide 29 Documenting Data Reasons for crediting sources  Strengthens your argument  Protects you from charges of plagiarism  Instructs readers

30 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 11, Slide 30 Documenting Data Two documentation formats  Modern Language Association  American Psychological Association Author’s name and page (Smith 100) placed in text; complete references in "Works Cited." Author’s name, date of publication, and page number placed near the text reference (Jones, 2006, p. 99). Complete references listed at the end of the report in "References.”

31 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 11, Slide 31 Documenting Data  Another person's ideas, opinions, examples, or theory  Any facts, statistics, graphs, and drawings that are not common knowledge  Quotations of another person's actual spoken or written words  Paraphrases of another person's spoken or written words Learn what to document

32 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 11, Slide 32 Documenting Data Learn to paraphrase  Read the original material carefully so that you can comprehend its full meaning.  Write your own version without looking at the original.  Do not repeat the grammatical structure of the original, and do not merely replace words of the original with synonyms.  Reread the original to be sure you covered the main points but did not borrow specific language.

33 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 11, Slide 33 Illustrating Report Data Functions of graphics  To clarify data  To create visual interest  To condense and simplify data  To make numerical data meaningful

34 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 11, Slide 34 Illustrating Report Data  Table  Bar chart To show exact figures and values To compare one item with others Forms and Objectives

35 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 11, Slide 35 Illustrating Report Data Forms and Objectives  Pie Chart To visualize a whole unit and the proportion of its components  Line Chart To demonstrate changes in quantitative data over time

36 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 11, Slide 36 Illustrating Report Data  Flow Chart  Organization Chart To display a process or procedure To define a hierarchy of elements Forms and Objectives

37 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 11, Slide 37 Illustrating Report Data  Photograph, map, illustration Forms and Objectives To create authenticity, to spotlight a location, and to show an item in use

38 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 11, Slide 38 Vertical Bar Chart

39 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 11, Slide 39 Vertical Bar Chart  Use bar charts to make visual comparisons. Compare related items, illustrate changes in data over time, or show segments as parts of wholes.  Make bar charts in vertical, horizontal, grouped, or segmented forms. Avoid shoeing too much information, thus producing clutter and confusion.  Make the length of each bar and segment proportional.  Start dollar or percentage amounts at zero.

40 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 11, Slide 40 Pie Chart

41 Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 11, Slide 41 Pie Chart  Use pie charts to show a whole and the proportion of its components.  Generally begin at the 12 o’clock position, drawing the largest wedge first.  Include, if possible, the actual percentage or absolute value for each wedge.  Use four to eight segments for best results; if necessary, group small portions into one wedge called “Other.”  Distinguish wedges with color, shading, or crosshatching.  Keep all labels horizontal.

42 End Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 6e Ch. 11, Slide 42


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