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1 What is a report? In its simples form, a report is a piece of information from a person who has the information for someone who needs it. Reports vary greatly in length and degree of formalness in the presentation. The spectrum could range from a single word a telephonic message as sent or delivered to the bulky 300 page companys annual report or a PhD dissertation
2 Types of report Report Formal Informal
3 formal oral written
4 Written Reports Informational report ( newspaper reporting) Routine report (progress report, Audit reports and Sales report) Decision ( feasibility report) Research( PhD dissertation, project reports) The ultimate purpose of any report is to provide the foundation for decisions to be made and action taken.
5 Some reports consist of no more than a simple statement recording an event, a visit or some circumstances with a note of action taken. Other reports include detailed explanations of facts, conclusions, and perhaps recommendations for future action. More detailed reports demand research which may involve interviews, visits, questionnaires, investigations. The information may be presented in tabular or graphic form and the writer would need to produce clear conclusions and recommendations.
6 Whatever their purpose and length, all reports require the following special writing skills: The ability to record facts clearly and objectively The ability to interpret information and make conclusions The ability to present suggestions on ways in which a situation may be improved.
7 FORMAL REPORT Formal reports are usually written by a committee or group of people after fairly detailed investigation or research. They are often presented under the following prescribed series of headings:
8 Headings There should be two headings to a report: the name of the company; the report heading (Report on... ). Terms of reference This section should state exactly why the report is being written. Why are you writing the report? What was requested? Who requested it? When were you asked to do it? A useful pattern for this section is: To report on... (subject)... as requested by... (name and title) on... (date)...
9 Procedure Give a brief description of the methods used to collect the information. Perhaps interviews were held, visits made, questionnaires issued? Use numbered points if appropriate. Findings This will be the longest section of the report. Go through the procedure point by point and use numbers and sub-headings for this section. Under each heading state what information was gathered at each stage.
10 Conclusions No new facts must be introduced in this section. You must look at the findings and state the logical implications of them. What can you infer or conclude from the findings? Recommendations (if requested) Again no new facts must be introduced here. On the basis of information presented in Findings and Conclusions, make some suggestions for action. Remember that the writer of a report cannot make decisions – he or she can only suggest what actions should be taken.
11 Closing section A report should be signed and there should be a name and title shown at the foot, plus the date the report was written.
12 LANGLAND MANUFACTURING plc REPORT ON POSSIBLE SUPPORT FOR STAFF FOOTBALL TEAM TERMS OF REFERENCE To report on the possibility of the company supporting the staff football team to play in a local league, as requested by Mr Rashid Hassan, Office Manager, on 8 August 200– PROCEDURE 25 members of staff and 10 keen football players were interviewed to ask for their opinion POSITIVE FEEDBACK 1 There is a lot of general staff support for the football team 2 The players would like the company to supply the football strips for the team. This would not be expensive as it was felt that a good rate could be obtained from a supplier. The company name and logo would appear on the shirts. This would be good advertising. 3 The team would not expect the company to be involved in running the football team. A committee would be appointed to select the team and organize the football games. This could achieve good publicity if successful. PROBLEMS 4 Problems could be encountered if other sports fans asked for similar support. 5 Some female staff felt that supporting a men-only team is unfair to women. 6 The company must consider the consequences of footballers being injured and unable to work. CONCLUSIONS Although supporting the football team could cause some problems, the company would receive good publicity. RECOMMENDATIONS It is recommended that support be given to a company-sponsored football team for one year, at the end of which it should be reviewed. SHARON TAN (Miss) Administration Officer RH/ST 25 August 200–
13 Example of a formal report KING GAMESS LANGUAGE SCHOOL A report on students satisfaction Introduction The aim of this report is to assess students satisfaction with the classes and facilities at KING GAMESS LANGUAGE SCHOOL and to make suggestions for improvement.
14 TESTING AND REGISTRATION OF NEW STUDENTS Most students were satisfied with the testing process for new students. However, they complained about the long queues at registration. We believe it would be preferable either to have more staff available to deal with registrations, or to give students a specific day and time to register.
15 THE CLASS In general student rated the teachers very highly. Their main criticisms were of class sizes and length of classes. As regard class sizes, most students think there should be no more than 12 students in class. As for the duration of classes, they officially last an hour, but in practice they are usually only 45 minutes because of latecomers. We propose that all students who arrive more than five minutes late should have to wait until the break for admittance.
16 THE SELF-STUDY CENTRE It is generally thought that the self-study centre, while useful, has two major drawbacks. There were not enough computers and at peak times they are always occupied. Also the centre closes at 7 pm, so students who come to the later classes can not use the centre at all. We suggest purchasing more computers and extending the opening times until 9 pm.
17 THE CAFÉTERIA The cafeteria was replaced last year by vending machines for drinks and snacks. Although it is true that people often had to wait to be served, most students vastly preferred the cafeteria and would like it to be re-opened. CONCLUSION Overall, the majority of the students are extremely positive about the school, and feel that if the suggested changes are implemented, it will be an even better to study.
18 Other formats for formal reports It is sometimes felt that the format discussed above is suitable only for lengthy reports which stretch to many pages. Many writers are often uncomfortable with writing reports using this five-part structured format. The decision on how to present a report very often depends on the purpose of the report and the nature of the information it contains, also the preference of the writer. Look at these examples:
19 1-You are asked to discuss the arguments for and against a certain matter and make some recommendations: Introduction Advantages Disadvantages Conclusions Recommendations
20 2 -You are asked to analyze some comment forms received from clients at a large hotel and make some recommendations Introduction Standard of service Facilities Eating places Conclusions Recommendations
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