What makes a good report ?:
•Reports are essentially a management tool. Even the most
capable managers rely on other
people to collect information for them.
•You may be surprised that a variety of documents qualify as
•The word report covers everything from preprinted forms to
brief, informal letters and
memos to three-volume manuscripts.
•The goal of developing a report is to make information as
clear and convenient as possible.
•Good reports have three things in common
–The information is accurate.
–The content shows writer’s good judgment.
–The format, style, and organization respond to reader’s
•The first thing a a business report must learn to do is to
tell the truth.
•To ensure accuracy
–Check the facts
Describe facts and Events in concrete terms:
•It’s better to say
–Sales have increased from Rs. 400,000 to Rs. 450,000 in two
–Sales have sky rocketed.
Put the facts in perspective:
•If you tell your reader
–The value of stock has doubled in three weeks
•You are only giving a partial picture, they will have a
much better understanding if you say
–The value of stock has doubled in three weeks rising from
Rs. 2 to Rs. 4 per share on the
rumor of a potential merger.
Give plenty of evidence for your conclusions:
–We have to recognize the sales force or we are bound to
loose market share
•May or may not be true. Readers have no way of knowing
unless you provide sufficient
data to support your claim.
Present only objective evidence and verifiable conclusions:
•Try to avoid drawing conclusions from too less information.
•Also don’t assume that a preceding event is a cause of what
–If the sales decreased after a new advertising agency was
contracted, it doesn’t mean that
the agency is to blame. Other factors may have a role to
play in this as well.
Keep your personal biases in check:
•Even if you have a personal bias in the subject of the
report, try to keep your feelings from
influencing your choice of words.
•Such biases not only offend but also obscure the facts and
provoke emotional responses.
1.Getting the main idea at the beginning of the report.
2.Seeing the facts.
3.Receiving the whole story.
4.Reading language they can understand.
5.Learning something that will make their jobs easier.
Responsive format, style and organization:
•Before you write decide
–Whether to use a letter, memo, or manuscript format
–Whether to group your ideas one way or another
–Whether to employ or an informal style.
•When making decisions about the format, style, organization
of a report, consider its
What subject does the report cover ?:
•The subject of a business report affects its format and
–An audit report would contain a lot more numbers, often in
the forms of tables.
Why is the report being prepared ?
•Informational reports focus on facts.
•Analysis reports include
Planning Short Reports:
•When planning short reports be sure to follow the
report-writing customs your audience
•Following three elements influence length and format of
You may perceive the report in one of the following
–Basically for ‘fill-in-the-blanks’ reports, deal with
routine information, often mainly
–For reports of five or fewer pages that are directed to
outsiders. They follow the normal
–The most common format for short informal reports within an
organization. Memos have
four headings: To, From, Date and Subject.
–For a formal approach, manuscripts range from a few pages
to several hundred pages.
Establishing a Basic Structure:
•Choice of a structure involves three decisions
–What to say?
–Direct or indirect?
–Topical or logical organization?
Key points to cover:
•Your report should answer audience’s key questions.
–What ideas would you include ?
•When deciding the content of your report the first step is
to put yourself in the audience
–What major questions do you think your audience has about
the subject ?
•Your objective is answer all those questions in the order
that makes more sense.
Organizing Informational Memos and Reports:
•The purpose of informational report is to explain.
•When writing informational reports you do not have to worry
too much about reader
•Make clarity the main objective of informational report.
•Some informational reports are organized according to
instructions supplied by the person
requesting the information.
•Informational reports takes many forms forms. The examples
that follow will give you an
idea of typical organization and tone.
Interim Progress Reports:
•Interim progress reports give the customer an idea of the
work that has been completed to
•The style of such reports is more formal than internal
•When writing about interim reports be honest about the
problems as well as the
New Business Proposal to an Outside Client:
•Proposals to outside clients attempt to get products,
plans, or projects accepted by outside
businesses or government clients.
•A simple formula followed by many professionals is
–here’s my problem
–here’s the solution
–here’s what it will cost
Developing Structural Class:
•Four tools are particularly essential for giving readers an
overall structure of your document
and for keeping them on track when they read:
–headings and lists
•A good opening accomplishes at least three things:
–Introduces the subject of your report
–Indicates why the subject is important
–Gives the readers a preview of main ideas and the order in
which they will be covered.
•Such phrases so as
to continue the analysis,
on the other hand, and
additional concept are
another type of structural clue.
•Additional Details - moreover, furthermore, in addition,
•Casual Relationship - therefore, because, accordingly, thus, hence etc