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SO YOU HAVE TO WRITE A REPORT 10 Steps to a Better Report Grade.

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Presentation on theme: "SO YOU HAVE TO WRITE A REPORT 10 Steps to a Better Report Grade."— Presentation transcript:

1 SO YOU HAVE TO WRITE A REPORT 10 Steps to a Better Report Grade

2 Getting Started  Step 1: Budget Your Time. There’s a basic formula:  Allow 1/3 of the time for research.  Allow 1/3 of the time for organizing data into a basic written product and editing and/or reorganizing data.  Allow 1/3 of the time for polishing the writing, formatting and proofreading.

3 Research Phase  Step 2: Understand the Assignment  What’s the goal of the report?  What’s the scope of the report? How many sources are required? Think breadth.  What level of detail is expected? How advanced? Think depth here.  What format is expected for the report and for citing your sources?

4 Research Phase  Step 3: Choose Appropriate Sources  GO TO THE LIBRARY early. The Librarians are amazing and helpful.  Wikipedia and Internet searches = introductory, OK for definitions, a start.  Field-specific databases, professional journals, academic sources = more appropriate for post-secondary research.

5 Research Phase Did I mention that you should GO to the LIBRARY ? … seriously, they’re really helpful there.

6 Research Phase  Step 4: Save Time by Recording Sources  Collect good data, including visuals (tables, graphs, etc.)  Even if you’re not sure you’ll use it, print it out or photocopy it & note the source right on the printed page.  Note all information required by the citation format you must use.

7 Research Phase  Recording sources as you go saves time because:  You can easily find the article again if you want more information or want to check your facts.  You pre-build your bibliography/list of works cited, avoiding annoying searches for details later.  DID YOU KNOW? The new version of Word has a fantastic References feature.

8 Organization & Writing Phase  Step 5: Organize Your Data  What information seems to belong together naturally?  If you group your data differently, does a different organization seem to appear?  Pick the organization that works best for your project requirements & reader.

9 Organization & Writing Phase  Step 6: Turn groups of data into report sections  Organize data in a group into a sensible order (chrono, etc.).  Turn each piece of data into a sentence. Turn the group of sentences into a paragraph.  Introduce and conclude the paragraph.  Start thinking about intros, conclusions and recommendations.

10 Organization and Writing Phase  Step 7: Meaningful Headings = Easy Marks  The organization you chose determines your headings. Be consistent with the appearance of headings at each level. Major grouping = HEADING Sub-grouping = Subheading Sub-sub-grouping = Sub-subheading

11 Organization and Writing Phase  Step 8: Edit  OK. You’ve got a basic document.  THIS IS NOT ENOUGH. Take a hard look. In what ways is it lacking? Too much about A, not enough about B. Balance the data. Biased – all positive reviews for A. Dig deeper. Lame sources for Z. Get better ones. It’s hard to understand/visualize X. Find/create a diagram/chart.

12 Revising/Polishing Phase  Step 9: Revise/Reorganize/Rewrite  Check for the overall flow of logic in this phase.  Add, change or delete, according to what you noticed in the editing phase.  Finalize your intro, conclusions and recommendations. Do they reflect your content?  Finally, have another person read your report. Does it make sense to him or her?

13 Polishing Phase  Step 10: Unify the Formatting  Ensure all headings look the same. And all sub- headings. And all sub-sub… you get it.  Ensure you have used the same font, spacing, margins, and paper throughout.  Number the pages.  Add covering material.

14 Polishing Phase  Step 11: Proofread  OK, OK, there are actually 11 steps, not 10, but 11 doesn’t sound as good.  Proofreading means checking your grammar, punctuation, and spelling.  Use Spellcheck. Use grammar check.  THEN CHECK IT YOURSELF. Read it out loud (you heard me). You’ll catch a lot of errors that way.  Don’t forget to visit a Communications Centre near you!!

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