Upwrite Press eTips - We make writing work for you
June 2006

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Writing Reports




Reports come in all sizes. Short reports are used frequently in business to share information in a timely, efficient manner. Some short reports examine accidents or production delays, accumulate and analyze weekly or monthly tracking information, or give brief project updates or the details of a trip or a phone conversation. Longer reports might discuss matters of a more serious concern to the company or present long-term goals. The report might take the form of an annual report or a trade paper.

Organize both your short and long reports in a three-part structure by using the following format.

Opening

  • Present vital information at the top of the page. Include the report’s title, your name, the date, a subject line, and any other necessary material that will clarify the topic for the reader.

  • Present the report’s topic, its purpose, and necessary background information.

  • If you wish to get to the point immediately, summarize your main points, including any recommendations.

Middle

  • Use a clear organizational pattern throughout.

  • Let your format assist you. Use headings, lists, tables, spreadsheets, and any other graphics to help make your point.

Ending

  • For an informational report, summarize your main points.

  • For an analytical report, supply conclusions.

  • For a persuasive report, make recommendations.

After you have written your report, go over it to check for ease of understanding. Your goal is to share information, so make sure your ideas speak clearly.

For more on writing reports, as well as to see some samples, see pages 73–84 in Write for Business: A Compact Guide to Writing & Communicating in the Workplace.

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Writers' Forum

Writers’ Forum Topic for June

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What type of writing task do you find most difficult? What is your best suggestion for coping with that task?

Email your response to writersforum@upwritepress.com, and you could see your reply in the eTips Mid-Month Mini!


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eTips is a publication of UpWrite Press, Inc., P.O. Box 460, Burlington, Wisconsin 53105. Copyright © 2006, UpWrite Press. All rights reserved. Visit www.upwritepress.com.