Presentation on theme: "How to prepare better reports"— Presentation transcript:
1 How to prepare better reports Taken from Essential Study Skills,Burns & Sinfield pp197/208
2 What is a report? A document designed to deal with the real world A practical document that describes, details or analyses a situation in the real worldThe reader should be able to make decisions or take action at the end of it
3 The “Why” questionWhy am I writing this report? – what am I trying to achieveWhy am I writing this report – what do I want my reader to think and do after reading my report?
4 Think about the reader Who is my reader? What can I expect my reader to already know about this topic?How can I deal with this in my report?What can I expect my reader to believe about my topic?What language, tone, style will my reader respond to?TIP: When drafting reports, think of the language, evidence and examples that will influence real reader
5 10 steps to success Prepare to research Follow the action plan – systematic and targeted researchReview your notesPlan the bodyWrite the first draftLeave itReview, revise, editProof readCopy/type and hand inGetting it backTip: You will need to allow time for your seminar tutor to give you feedback on your report – or it will be difficult to reflect on how to improve your work!Tip: when getting work back always make a note of three things you do well, and three ways you could improve and develop your practice
6 Typical report structure: Title PageContentsIntroductionMethodologyFindings:- with strap headlinesConclusionRecommendationsBibliographyAppendicesGlossary
7 What makes a report? Title page Abstract Title and sub-title – usually divided by a colon :Date – places report in real timeAuthors name and position – when you write a report, you are often asked to write as though you are a particular person in an organisationDistribution listAbstractA synopsis or summary is the gist of what your report is aboutIt could include: overall aims, specific objectives, the task, procedures or methodology, key findings, key recommendationsTip: as it refers to the whole report – write it last!
8 Contents pageContents - lists clearly all the major sections of the report, including subsections and appendices – with page numbersTip: Check out the contents pages of books – how do they help you as a reader?
9 Introductions and Bodies……….. Introduction – Should help the reader understand the what, why and how of your report. It needs:Background – why you are interested in the topic or why the report was necessaryterms of reference – aim or purpose of your researchthe methodology – research methods you used to put the report together – literature review, or something more practical: interviews, visitsBody – small word, most work! Main part of your report
10 Conclusions and recommendations (nearly finished by now!) Each part of the body should have a conclusion that points out the implications of your findings,Each conclusion should lead to a recommendation – recommendations tell the reader what to do about something…
11 And finally: Appendices Bibliography do not count within the word count!Use sparingly – they should not be longer than your main work!To show your reader some of things you have used to compile your reportBibliographyUse Harvard systemGlossary – a list of unusual words
12 Further assistance: The learning development unit www/londonmet.ac.uk/lduHas tutors that will work with you one to oneYou can collect a handout on how to write reports, essays etc etcWrite2learn online guide to academic writing available 24 hours on webCT