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Purpose and Reader

Materials and structure

Style and presentation

Defining the purpose The reason why you are writing the report at all. This will determine what kind of report you write: a) Factual report b) Instructional report c) Leading report

Selecting our material

Simplify, and be ruthless about it. Justify your conclusions with facts

Style Clear up any clichs and obvious ambiguities, Substitute short, simple words where appropriate Choose words familiar to your reader

Planning the structure

First, divide it into major sections. Next, mark the least important ones, points your reader would find irrelevant. These you will probably reject. Lastly, arrange the points in a final, logical sequence, so as to meet your objective.

Identifying the reader We must always try to discover how much the reader knows already. The truth has many faces, and it is only sensible to feature the one most likely to appeal to them. What does the reader really want? Setting the objective Matching the purpose to the reader, we are now ready to set our objective. To persuade the managing director to authorize a proposed system of flexible working hours.


Rules and guidelines

Rules: a) Title page b) Summary c) Contents list d) Introduction e) Body of the report f) Conclusions g) Recommendations h) Appendices i) Bibliography and/or References j) Glossary or Nomenclature

You may need to use tables, graphs, bar charts, or other diagrams. Remember the old journalistic principle: solid blocks of type weary the eye.