Effective Report Writing

Effective Report Presentation using Powerpoint
jay leandro alajor borela. college of computer studies 2008

Part 1

Presentation Outline

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Importance of report writing Keys to effective report writing Structure Format & Mechanics Style Editing Resources

Need for communication
Reports Articles Proposals

Meetings Lectures Conferences

specific technical audience general technical audience non-technical audience

How well you communicate Will affect your career!

Why reports are so important     Major channel for communicating information Part of a Student work Part of any Professional Work Tool for Decision Making → Writing is an essential skill for a successful Professional .

. which effectively conveys what the outcome of the project is or what the writer wants to say.What is a “good” report? A good report should be one.

Keys to effective report writing  Understand your subject matter  Analyze constraints:  Audience  Purpose  Occasion .

Know your audience     Who they are What they know Why they will read How they will read .

Identify the purpose  To Inform?  To Convince? .

Recognize the occasion     Format Formality Politics and ethics Process and deadline .

Report writing process      Analyze constraints Organize information Write first draft Edit and revise Finalize .

How are reports assessed by reader?  Structure  How information is organized  Form  Format: layout. spelling  Style  The way you communicate . typography  Mechanics: grammar. punctuation.

Structure  Front matter  Presents preliminary information for the report  Main body  Explains report's content to primary audience  Discusses results and presents conclusions  Back matter  Provides secondary information to all readers as well as primary information to secondary readers .

Front Matter      Title page Summary Table of contents Preface. lists of tables and figures. acknowledgements. notation → Pages numbered with roman numerals (except front one) .

Front matter – title page     Orients reader to content of document Title Author Date .

Front matter – summary      Entire information in its essence Precise Non-technical language Most important part of the report Reader will decide whether to read further or not) .

Front matter – table of contents  Lists various sections used in the report with their starting page number .

Main Body  Introduction  Discussion  Conclusion → Pages numbered with Arabic numerals .

Main Body – introduction      Topic Importance Background Scope and limitations Leads the writer to the main body .

Main Body – discussion  Discusses your work in depth  Choose logical flow of information: ideas follow each other naturally  Chronological  Spatial  Parallel parts  Flow  Section headings descriptive & parallel .

Main Body – conclusion     Matter-of-fact kind of a section Do not introduce new information Recommendations Future work .

Back Matter  References  Appendices → Continue page numbering with Arabic numerals following conclusion .

nrc-cnrc.References  Complete and accurate list of all the literature sources you have consulted  Make sure a source listed is cited in the text  Several standard bibliographic formats ASCE: http://www.Back matter .html#ref CJCE: http://pubs.pdf .asce.pubs.ca/rp/rppdf/cjce_instruct_e.gc.org/authors/index.

appendices  Supply additional information for secondary audiences  Supply secondary or tangential information to primary audience  Separate appendices for different types of information .Back matter .

Structure of report         Title page Summary Table of contents Introduction Discussion Conclusions Recommendations References and Appendices .

and occasions  Follow the format that is expected or required for specific situation  Make the reading process efficient .Format  The way a document is arranged  No universal format  Different formats to serve particular audiences. purposes.

Illustrations  Tables  Figures .

Illustration .tables  Used to display significant data or key findings  Each column of the data tabulated should be described by a heading  Variables should be clearly identified by a symbol or name  Units should always be clearly noted .

tables  Numerical data should be reported to relevant accuracy  Tables are identified by their captions  must be referenced in the text  should appear after they have been cited .Illustration .

Sample of a table .

and label it with the quantity it represents and the units of measurement in brackets  Use different symbols for various data sets plotted on the same graph. include a legend or label identifying them  Figures are identified by their captions  must be referenced in the text  should appear after they have been cited . flow diagrams. or pictures  Graphs should be as clear as possible  Determine a suitable scale for each axis. drawings.figures  Any graphs.Illustration .

Sample of graph .

Mechanics Avoid common errors of  Grammar  Punctuation  Usage  Spelling .

avoid being vague .Style     Short paragraphs and sentences One idea per paragraph Smooth and logical flow of ideas Be precise.

Language Remember that reports will be judged on:  technical content  clarity & ease of understanding of written text  choice of wording  grammatical correctedness .

Report writing process      Analyze constraints Organize information Write first draft Edit and revise Finalize .

appropriate & complete?  Delete unnecessary words  Rewrite unclear sentences  Clean up grammatical errors  Look out for misspelled words .Editing Allow time to edit and proofread before submission  Content correct.

avoid being vague .Style     Short paragraphs and sentences One idea per paragraph Smooth and logical flow of ideas Be precise.

Beware of Plagiarism .

Effective Report Writing Effective Report Presentation using Powerpoint jay leandro alajor borela. college of computer studies 2008 Part 1 .