In this lecture you will learn to:
•Define the problem to be solved by studying and outlining
the issues to be analyzed.
•Identify and analyze the issues that have to be analyzed
during your study.
•Prepare a work plan for conducting your investigation,
planning the necessary steps,
estimating their timing, and deciding on the sources of
•Organize the research phase of the investigation, including
the identification of secondary
and primary sources of data.
•Draw sound conclusions and develop practical
•Develop a final outline and visual aid plan for the report.
Five steps in Planning a Report:
•You must gather those facts and arrange them in a
•Before putting a single word on the page, follow the
following series of steps that form the
foundations of any report:
–Define the outline and purpose
–Outline the issue for investigation
–Prepare a work plan
–Analyze and interpret data, draw conclusions and develop
Asking the right questions:
•Often the questions have been defined by the person who
authorizes the report.
•In such a case, ask questions such as
–What needs to be determined ?
–Why is this issue important ?
–Who is involved in the situation ?
–Where is the trouble actually located ?
–How did the situation originate ?
Developing the statement of Purpose:
•In this case you might phrase the statement of purpose by
– To summarize the extent of
substance abuse among plant employees.
•However for your analytical report, your statement of
purpose might be:
– To analyze the effects of
employee substance abuse on productivity and
product quality, and recommend ways to counteract these
•Studies that emphasize the discovery and reporting of facts
may be factored by sub-topic.
–In order of Importance
•Say you are reviewing five product lines. You might
organize your study in the increasing
order of the amount of revenue they generate.
•If you are studying a process, present your information
step by step - 1,2,3,…
•When investigating a chain of events, organize the study
according to what happened in
January, what happened in February and so on.
•If you are studying a physical object, study it left to
right, top to bottom, inside to outside.
•If the location is important, factor your study
•If you are asked to review several distinct aspects of a
subject, look at one category at a
time, for example sales, profit, or investment.
•Why are we having trouble hiring secretaries?
–Salaries are too low.
•What do we pay our secretaries?
•What do comparable secretaries pay their secretaries?
•How important is pay in influencing secretaries’ job
Why are we having trouble hiring secretaries?:
•Our location is poor.
•The supply of secretaries is diminishing
The Rules of Division:
•Divide the topic into at least two parts
•Choose a significant, useful basis or guiding principle for
•When dividing a whole into its parts, restrict yourself to
one basis at a time
•Make sure that each group is separate and distinct
•Be through when listing all the components of a whole
Preparing a preliminary Outline:
Preparing a Work Plan:
•In addition to the previous two the following are important
–Discussion of the sequence of tasks to be accomplished
(including the sources of
information, required experiments, restrictions of time etc)
–Description of the end result that will result from the
–Review the project assignments, schedules, and resources
Collecting Primary Data:
–Documentary evidence and historical records are sources of
–Observation applies your five senses and your judgment to
–Often the best way to obtain answers is to ask people who
have relevant experience and
–A formal survey is a way of finding out what a
cross-section of people think about
–A formal survey requires a number important decisions.