Presentation on theme: "Copyright 2012 by Arthur Fricke Report Organization Engl 2311."— Presentation transcript:
Copyright 2012 by Arthur Fricke Report Organization Engl 2311
Copyright 2012 by Arthur Fricke Report Organization Look at EXAMPLES !!!! USE the textbook “Writing Formal Reports” advice contains GREAT ADVICE REMEMBER that the example report in this chapter is generic – it isn’t a template for your report, but it gives a starting point DO NOT simply mindlessly mimic the exact formatting, organization, wording, etc, of a generic report example! you will need to think about the advice and explanations in this chapter to make clear decisions about how to format, organize, and word YOUR report the example report in the textbook is simply meant to illustrate a generic report – it’s NOT A TEMPLATE!
Copyright 2012 by Arthur Fricke Report Organization Sections to CONSIDER including Letter of transmittal Title page Abstract or Executive Summary Table of Contents List of Illustrations Introduction Methods Results Analysis Conclusion or Recommendation Qualifications or Experience Glossary References Appendix
Copyright 2012 by Arthur Fricke Letter of Transmittal Fancy name for a cover letter Often included with “external reports”, especially “unsolicited reports” (reports that the audience isn’t expecting) Describes who YOU are, what the report CAN DO for the audience, and what the NEXT STEP is Helps the audience to decide whether they should read it Think of it as a job letter for the report Appeal to the audience Answer their questions (who is this, what is this, why should I read it?)
Copyright 2012 by Arthur Fricke Title Page Use a format that makes sense FOR THE AUDIENCE Answer basic questions like: Who are you (give more than just a list of names) What is the report about (use a descriptive title) When was it written Who was it written for
Copyright 2012 by Arthur Fricke Abstract / Executive Summary A very short (100-300 word) summary of the entire report Don’t try to cram in everything Just use a few sentences to describe: The problem or issue the report is about The solution or recommendation the report presents The audience (why they should read the rest of the report)
Copyright 2012 by Arthur Fricke Table of Contents, Illustrations, etc DO NOT make formatting typos in these sections DO use these sections to show the report organization Think about: Subsection levels (complicated or simple?) Descriptive headings (what makes sense for audience?) Clear and attractive fonts and layouts Is a TOC really necessary for a 12-14 page report, especially if you start each major section on a new page?
Copyright 2012 by Arthur Fricke Introduction This MIGHT include lots of different things: Background on the problem or issue Summaries of your research or recommendations Descriptions of what the report contains Explanations of who you are or how the report is organized Maybe ALL or JUST SOME of the above Maybe one short or long section, or maybe lots of subsections The bottom line? Provide only the information that your audience wants or needs, and give them this information in a format they can understand and use.
Copyright 2012 by Arthur Fricke Methods Sometimes it’s useful to describe how your group did things like: Research Investigation Thinking and Planning Organizing and Writing Sometimes it’s useful to describe how your group or THE AUDIENCE could do things like: Research or Investigate a solution or course of action Plan or Organize a solution or course of action
Copyright 2012 by Arthur Fricke Results and Analysis These types of sections are useful for a chronologically-organized report (Markel pp.163-178) What you did How you did it What you found (RESULTS) What this means (ANALYSIS)
Copyright 2012 by Arthur Fricke Conclusion or Recommendation What should the audience DO? Often the MOST IMPORTANT section of a proposal People are most likely to act on CLEAR, SPECIFIC, and PRACTICALLY DOABLE things Whether a recommendation is REALISTIC depends on how you define it Even wild ideas might be “realistic” if your clear and specific recommendation is “you should THINK ABOUT this option” Successful proposals emphasize BENEFITS FOR THE AUDIENCE !
Copyright 2012 by Arthur Fricke Qualifications or Experience A section like this is typically for a goods and services proposal Keep in mind that you can’t invent an identity for your group – you have to be who you are A “qualifications” or “experience” section is meant to get legitimacy with the audience to convince them to take you seriously There are OTHER ways you can do this, like with a “How We Researched This Solution” section
Copyright 2012 by Arthur Fricke Glossary A section like this can be very useful if your report contains a lot of specialized terminology that isn’t familiar to your audience Think of this as a mini-dictionary for your report
Copyright 2012 by Arthur Fricke References If you use “in-text” citations, then this is a necessary section (contains complete reference information) If you use “citation-sequence” citations (numbered footnotes or endnotes), then this is an optional section Your audience might still appreciate one page that summarizes all the sources you used, but it’s not necessary if your footnotes have complete citations
Copyright 2012 by Arthur Fricke Appendix This section can contain anything “extra” This might include: Information that is useful for the audience, but would interrupt the flow of the report Information that helps to establish your credibility (like show how much work you did) Examples or other things for the audience to use (sample letters, emails, presentation slides, survey examples, etc)
Copyright 2012 by Arthur Fricke other possible report elements Schedules Procedures Budgets Graphics, Tables, or other Visuals
Copyright 2012 by Arthur Fricke Report Organization Document-Level Elements of document-level organization Section Headings Grouping related paragraphs together Giving those related paragraphs a descriptive name Visual Hierarchy within sections Using a layout (margins, white space, etc) that matches audience Providing clear paragraph (¶) breaks Using bold, italic, or underlined sentences or sections to highlight important information Document-level organization helps readers to locate specific information quickly and easily.
Copyright 2012 by Arthur Fricke Organization ¶-Level Elements of paragraph organization Using clear topic sentences Summarize the main point in the first sentence Using relevant detail sentences All the sentences in an organized paragraph must connect directly to the topic sentence ¶-Level Organization helps readers to locate specific information easily, scan documents more quickly, and read documents without missing information.
Copyright 2012 by Arthur Fricke Example (poor organization) Section headings can help to make complicated memos and reports more organized. They contribute to overall document organization. In addition to section headings, clear topic sentences and well organized detail sentences also help memo and report organization. There are two types of sentences in a memo or a report. Topic sentences are the first sentence of a paragraph. They summarize the main point of the paragraph. Section headings help to show what main points go together. Detail sentences (the sentences in a paragraph that come after the topic sentence) contain additional information that relates to the main point of the paragraph. In conclusion, good paragraph-level organization is important. Good overall organization is also important. Paragraph-level organization helps readers to scan memos and reports more quickly. Overall organization helps readers to use memos and reports more effectively.
Copyright 2012 by Arthur Fricke Example (better organization) Overall Organization Section headings can help to make complicated memos and reports more organized. Section headings help to show what main points go together. They contribute to good overall organization. This is important. Overall organization helps readers to use memos and reports more effectively. Paragraph-Level Organization Clear topic sentences and well organized detail sentences also help memo and report organization. There are two types of sentences in a memo or a report. Topic sentences are the first sentence of a paragraph. They summarize the main point of the paragraph. Detail sentences are the sentences in a paragraph that come after the topic sentence. They contain additional information that relates to the main point of the paragraph. Good paragraph-level organization is important. Paragraph- level organization helps readers to scan memos and reports more quickly.