What is it? An informal report communicates information about routine, everyday business. You might present an informal report in a paper memo, in an e-mail, or in an oral presentation. Informal does not mean that the report is insignificant.
Principle 1: Find out About the Readers What they know about the topic of the report? Why are they reading your report? What questions will they ask? Are readers internal or external? Positions readers hold in the organization. Will more than one group read the report? What readers know about you and the organization?
Prepare to Answer Questions What is the purpose of the report? Why are they receiving the report? How does the report affect them or their organization?
Principle 3: Format and Conventional Elements Memos: You will use this format for the most informal reports. Letters: These are more formal than memos. E-mail: It is effective because of its speed and convenience. Further, it can be sent to many parties at the same time and replies can be made confidentially and over a period of time. Preprinted forms and templates: This might just be a cover sheet for the report, or it can be a format for the entire report. Employees often use this template to create and achieve minutes.
Writing Progress Reports To describe progress on one or more projects so readers can monitor the work. To provide a written record of progress. To document problems with, and changes to, a project.
Elements of a Progress Report Introduction: 1. What project does the report cover? 2. What time period does the report cover? 3. What are the objectives of the project? Discussion of the progress: 1. What work have you accomplished since the beginning of the project or since last PR? 2. Is the project progressing as planned? What is planned next for the reminder of the project? 3. What are the results of the work? 4. What problems, if any, have you encountered? Conclusions: 1. What changes if any, do you recommend? 2. How will these changes affect the project? 3. What is the overall status of the project?
Study Study Figures 13.2, 13.3 and 13.4 Finally, study Figure 13.5 (# 397)
Writing Meeting Minutes (Fig. 13.8) Information about the meeting and attendees: (date, time, type, who attended, when was the meeting adjourned, who recorded the minutes etc) Old Business: Did you approve the minutes of the previous meeting, did you amend the minutes before approving them, did you act on business discussed on the previous meeting, what motions were introduced and who introduced and seconded them? Did the group pass, fail, or table the motion? New Business: What major topics did the group discuss, what motion, if any were introduced, who read reports, introduced action items etc.
Writing Field, Lab & Trip Reports You may write a field or lab report after you complete an experiment or after you inspect some machinery or other equipment. You may write trip reports after you return from business trips. Introduction: State the purpose of your report and the problem addressed in the report. Methods: Describe the methods you used. In field and trip reports, most writers deemphasize the methods. Results: State the results of your experiment, inspection, and so on. Conclusions: Tell the readers what you learned from the results. Recommendations: If your reader expects recommendations, include them in the report. After introduction, you will have a summary, discussion and recommendation for a trip report.