Presentation on theme: "Types of Formal Reports Chapter 14. Definition Report is the term used for a group of documents that inform, analyze or recommend. We will categorize."— Presentation transcript:
Definition Report is the term used for a group of documents that inform, analyze or recommend. We will categorize formal reports into: Informational reports Analytical reports Recommendation reports
Informational Reports Informational reports present results so readers can understand a particular problem or situation. Example: Manager of a city’s website might prepare an informational report for the city council; the report would provide statistics on the number of people who pay their city water and sewage bills online etc. Informational reports might: A. Present information on the status of current research or of a project. B. Present an update of the operation in your division. C. Explain how your organization or division does something. D. Present the results of a questionnaire or research.
Analytical Reports This type goes a step beyond presenting results. Analytical reports present results, analyze those results, and draw conclusions based on those results. These reports attempt to describe why or how something happened and then to explain what it means. Like informational reports, analytical reports can be formal or informal. Explain what cause a problem or situation – Present the results of a traffic study showing accidents at an intersection – the report explains what it means. Explain the potential results of a particular course of action. Suggest which option, action, or procedure is best.
Recommendation Reports This type advocate a particular course of action. This usually present the results and conclusions that support the recommendations. This type is identical to analytical report. For example, your analytical report suggests using treatment X to be more efficient than treatments Y and Z. However, that does not mean that you will use treatment X as cost and other considerations might recommend treatment Y. What should we do about a problem? Should we or can we do something? Should we change the method or technology we use to do something?
Principle 1: Identify the Readers and Purpose of Your Reports Before you begin writing your report, you need to identify the readers and purpose of your report. If possible, begin by talking with the readers or with the person who asked you to write the report. What do you want readers to know, do or learn from the report? Do you only want to present results, not to draw conclusions or make recommendations? Do you want to draw conclusions? Do you want to make recommendations based on conclusions? Is the report routine?
Analyzing Readers What do readers know about the field or topic? Why are they reading your report? – to gather information, complete a task, take a decision etc? How much detail will readers need or expect? Do your readers expect an informal or formal report? Are the readers external or internal? What positions do your readers hold in the organization? Will more than one group read the report? What do your readers know about you or your organization?
The Plan for Preparing a Formal Report Identify the readers Determine your purpose Formulate specific questions Conduct research to answer the questions Draw valid conclusions (for analytical or recommendation reports) Decide on recommendations (for recommendations) Write the report
Formulate Questions and Research When Needed? Vague: Do electric and magnetic fields cause health problems? Specific: What are the health risks of exposure to low-strength, low frequency electric and magnetic fields produced by power lines and electric appliances?
Make Valid Conclusions and Recommendations Based on Sound Research When examining the results of your research, look for any cause-and-effect relationships. Look for any results that seem to point to the same conclusion. Watch for areas where you have used illogical or unsupported arguments.
Introduction in a Formal Report State clearly the subject of your report. State the purpose of your report. Identify how the report affects or relates to the readers (optional). Present the background information that the readers need to understand your report. Present an overview of the report.
Methods, Results, Conclusions & Recommendations Methods: Tell the readers how you did the research or conducted the study? Use clear, specific language Results: What did you find out and how are you reporting it? Conclusions: What do the results mean? Recommendations: Given the results and the conclusions, what should occur? Eliminate explanations of the recommendations.
Writing Feasibility Reports This is a type of recommendation report. Feasibility reports evaluate options based on appropriate criteria and recommend the most feasible or preferable option. Major Issues: Establish criteria for evaluating the options. Establish criteria for evaluating the options. Identify all available options, research carefully, avoid using lesser options for simplifying the study. Identify all available options, research carefully, avoid using lesser options for simplifying the study. Evaluate the options based on the criteria and draw conclusions about each option. Evaluate the options based on the criteria and draw conclusions about each option.
Read…. Starting 04/18, we will start working on a group feasibility report. You will work on this project exactly like what is shown in the text on Figure 14.13 (# 442 – 449). Your group might also choose to follow these examples too.