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Mod-06 Lec-01 Report Writing Lecture-01

September 29, 2019

Good morning and welcome to NPTEL’s course
on communication skills. Today we will be discussing a very important aspect of communication
skills, and if you remember initially we talked about communication skills in terms of oral
skills as well as written skills. Today an important aspect of written skills that is
report writing will be discussed. Report writing is a very integral part of
communication skills. I will be telling why we are going to have this as a major component
in this. Now before we start what we are going to have in this module. So, this is module
number 6 and this is the first lecture; we will be having one more lecture on the same
module. Now, in this module first we will talk about the significance of reports, why
should you write reports? What is the need for it? What is the necessity for writing
reports? And in what way this can become a very integral aspect of communication skills?
Then followed by this we will be trying to discuss about the characteristics and definition
of report itself, what makes a report a report, and how it is different from the common reports
that we talk about in day-to-day life, and then the types of reports? Oral report, written
report and what kind of report that I am going to focus on considering the fact that most
of you are professionally aspiring for some jobs, most of you are students who are listening
to this. I am focusing particularly on the technical aspect of writing a report, or we
will be focusing more on technical report. And then while focusing on that I will also
talk to you about the structure of reports and then what points, how many elements of
these reports you should keep in mind when you are going to write a report. Now just to begin with why should you write
reports? What is the need for reports? Now once you get a job, once you land up any job,
once you enter into the professional arena, what happens is 70 to 80 percent of your time
is entirely spent either in reading or in writing or in interpreting reports or simply
preparing for reports. Now that is the way you are going to spend your time about 70
to 80 percent only in dealing with reports. You will not believe this unless I am going
to tell you what types of report that you are going to deal with, and once I tell this
you will understand. Simply speaking what do we mean by these reports?
What is that you will be dealing spending your 70 to 85 percent of time? Any kind of
factual accounts either oral or written, dealing objectively with certain aspects of business
or human relationships, dealing objectively with certain aspects of business or human
relationships also. Now any kind of this factual observation produced in an oral or in written
form is what I call as report But as I said why should you spend about 70
to 80 percent of time in this, and what is the general need, and what kind of profession
is that you will be spending so much time? Now you should understand that irrespective
of any profession that you go, so today’s job scenario is like that you will be asked
to write or read reports or as I said before not just it is reading but also it is interpreting
and commenting analyzing reports and more than that even preparing for the reports.
Either an engineer or a business executive as I said spends about 75 percent of his time
on reports and more than spending this much time. The important decisions which are being
made in most of the companies whether it is multinational corporation or a private sector
or a public sector whatever it is, the decisions which are made are all based by recommendations
made by committee reports. Sometimes reports are not written by a single
individual; committees are being formed for writing reports, and these committees actually
suggest further recommendations. Now many actions are taken based on these recommendations,
and you will be part of this integral committee making suggestions, recommendations, and that
is why you need to know how to write a good report. Now in this sense when you learn how
to write a report it trains you as a writer in a very planned and orderly manner to deal
with procedures and logical presentation of ideas and information. So, it trains the writer
in planned and orderly procedures and logical presentation of ideas and information.
Report writing develops the power of discrimination, organization, judgment and communication.
I repeat; it develops the power of discrimination, what does it mean? Your ability to understand
what factor is genuine, what is true, what is real, and what is not real, what is unreal,
what is media fabricated, what is corroborated by false facts? So, your ability to discriminate
the right from the wrong, and then to organize those discriminated ideas in proper coherent
manner, and then pass your judgment saying that this is the right thing and this is the
wrong thing, putting that judgment and using your communication skills to present those
judgmental ideas. Now as I said I am focusing more on technical
reports because most of you need technical reports. Now when we talk about technical
reports we need to know before in general what I mean by report, what are the characteristics,
and how do we define reports. Now when we say report if you go to the root meaning of
this word report, it comes from ‘reportare’ which means to carry back. So, in ancient
times and even now anybody who is just coming to you and giving you some kind of information
reporting rather in a slightly objective manner will amount to report. A report thus is a
description of an event carried back to someone who was not present on the scene. A colleague
of yours comes to you in the morning and tells that she met with an accident, and then you
ask how it happened, and then she starts describing the entire event.
Now this description of something that happened in which you were not present at that time
amounts to a report. In a very funny sense even gossips will amount to reports. Rumors
telling somebody have an affair with somebody or eloped with somebody; all these kind of
things are also report, because you were not actually present at that time and somebody
is telling you. But the only difference between a gossip and the kind of technical report
that I am trying to make you familiarize with is that gossip has no objective facts; it
is based entirely on rumor whereas technical report is based on objective facts, scientific
analysis and your own judgment based on that your own recommendations followed by that.
So, having understood this different from a simple gossip and then a seriously objective
kind of report, now go further on this report apart from the normal orally reported ones.
Generally when we talk about reports we also refer to many memorandums, shortly named as
memos, letters most of the letters written narrating some incidents which happened; most
of these letters are reports, even news items, analysis of exam results, analysis of election
results. So, these are actually reports either given to you in the form of oral presentation
through media or given to you sometimes in the form of published printed reports, annual
reports of companies, etcetera. Now our concern is quite scientific. So, we
are more or less concerned about the kind of reports that is highly formal which will
be used by business executives, administrators, and most of the times they are supposed to
use these reports as part of their day-to-day activities duties. Now this is the kind of
report that I am going to talk to you and then make you quite familiar with. Now let us take a quick look at the definition
of report. The definition also emanates from the characteristics of a report, and if you
look at that all these technical reports are result of careful investigation, sound thinking,
logical organization and clear and formal writing. So, in that sense if you ask what
is a report? A report is a formal communication written for a specific purpose; mind you its
formal communication written for a specific purpose. It includes a description of procedures
followed by collection and analysis of data, the significance, the conclusions drawn from
them and recommendations if required, conclusions drawn from them and recommendations if required. So, sometimes you will be asked to give recommendations, sometimes you may not be asked to give recommendations.In that sense you do not have to actually give recommendations, but you should also understand that it is not like poetry writing. It is not an outburst of powerful feelings.
Let us say you confronted with a fire accident that happened just before your eyes but as
the supervisor of that site you are asked to give an objective report. Now even though
your heart may be fuming figuratively that you are quite upset about the event that happened
you cannot let your emotions run right; as you could do in a poetry writing here you
are not supposed to let your emotions run loosely. You have to control the emotions,
and you have to present it in a very objective manner. You cannot use abusive language, you
cannot charge somebody just like that, but you have to use facts to prove even if somebody
was guilty. Let us say somebody threw a cigarette, and then this fell on something, and then
it caught fire, and then this fellow escaped. But you need to prove using the duty chart,
using some evidences, using some witnesses, that it was this person who was responsible
for this instead of using a kind of unparliamentarily language in report. So, report is not an outburst of powerful
feelings, and a report writer should examine and present objectively the data collected.
His conclusions and recommendations are strictly based on the facts included in the report.
So, if you do not have facts you cannot form conclusions which are emotionally conditioned.
You cannot say I intuitively feel that this fellow is the one who actually is the culprit;
you cannot say that in report. Your intuition if at all has to be again backed up by objective
facts, scientific analysis and if required certain observations based systematically
and continuously. Look at another interesting definition, description,
characteristic of report that comes from Shearing way back in 1965. He said that a report is
like a bathing suit or rather like this swimming suit, this bikini kind of dress, where he
says it covers everything that has to be covered but nothing more. So, what he means by this?
It does not distract attention from the content by unnecessary frills. So, it is just like
this lady wearing a bathing suit. So, no frills, no extra decoration, no diversions but as
he says it covers the exact point, what is required is covered. Now let us take a quick look at the types
of reports. When we talk about reports basically as I said at the beginning you have oral report
and written report. Now anything that is brought back to you orally is oral report, and anything
that is given to you in written form, printed form, typed form is written report. Now what
are the advantages and disadvantages? Why would one go for oral report? Why would one
go for written report? In terms of oral report it is face to face communication.
So, the advantage that you have in face to face communication is very much prominent
here also, like what? For example, when somebody is trying to tell a lie and looking at the
facial expressions you will be able to detect that this person is trying to tell a lie in
oral communication as well as this one. Something seen or observed is brought to you, but the
disadvantage in this case unless it is recorded, unless it is taken on a camera, unless it
is taken on a video, and it cannot be reproduced, then it loses its value, it becomes ephemeral.
So, in case of the receiver sometimes if he loses the time is lost, and then the receiver
is not able to reproduce it properly not with graphic details. So, this is the disadvantage.
In case of written which generally we recommend for technical reports, here there is permanency.
It is more accurate and permanent, and the reader can skim the abstract and can be referred
back time in again. Whenever the reader wants to read that again he can go back, and the
reader feels that, oh, I read these five years before but I forgot he can go back.
But in case of oral report unless it is recorded properly and stored properly you cannot retrieve
that information. So, that is the problem with oral report, and hence it is mandatory
in formal communication that it has to become written report in printed form, in typed form.
Now in written report again we have formal and informal aspect of written report. Now
under formal we have informational report that is fully dealing with passing information
or analytical and/or interpretive report where analysis is done and interpretations are given
to you. On the other side the informal one we do not have many, but in the formal side
we also have this routine reports. So, the day to day activities sometimes are reported
and they are considered under routine reports. Now let us look at these reports very briefly.
Informational reports generally contain only the data collected or the facts observed;
informational reports generally contain only the data collected or the facts observed.
Now what do they do? They present the situation as it is and not as it should be which means
they will just quantify the fact whatever is observed will be given to you, but they
will not say anything as how you should go ahead in future and all that will not be given
to you, because it is basically informational. So, it will not give you any conclusions or
any recommendations whereas in case of interpretive or analytical kind of report the facts are
given to you with evolution; in the sense they are evaluated, you can see the progress,
how it is being evaluated time and again, the data gets interpreted, analyzed and the
reporter’s conclusions and recommendations or given to you for future actions.
What should you do in future is given to you followed by the routine report where it is
formal, but it is written in prescribed form; more or less it is just like putting tick
marks or cross marks just like a check list. For example in the site the site engineer
is asked to give a report of the workers who came in time, not in time, what time they
broke, how much work was done? So, most of the things were just in tick form, cross form,
so routine one; even the confidential report or performance appraisal report of employees
where the manager or the supervisor or the higher authority is supposed to just put tick
mark, excellent, very good, good, poor. So, one has to just keep on putting the tick marks.
So, here there is no extra facts are added; whatever is there one has to choose, and it
is of routine nature, day to day nature; once in six months it is done, once in a year it
is done. For example, construction of a dam, construction of a road, again the site engineer
is supposed to give this routine report, every day report, weekly report to the concerned
higher authority. So, all these things will come under this. So, periodic and progress
reports, inspection reports; inspection reports for example, let us say between two companies,
one company sent ice creams on a truck, and then the other vendor who received it says
that the ice creams came in spoiled condition. Now you as the concerned supervisor of the
site or the inspector are asked to go and examine what happened.
Now you find out information that on the way the truck had a minor accident. So, it stopped
for quite some time; the cooling that was given inside the refrigerator did not work
properly, because of that the ice creams were spoiled. So, you get all the facts and produce
it. This is called as inspection report; something went wrong, you go and then identify whether
it went wrong, for what reason and then you produce it. Same thing happens suppose something
is installed in a site, new equipment, again you may ask to go, check whether it has been
installed properly or not, inspect it, and then send us the report. So, this is what
we call as inspection report. Now time to take a quick look at the structure
of reports. Now instead of just telling you report contains this that, what I have done
is I have tried to divide that into three broad categories, and then each category has
some elements. Now if you remember for example, that there are seventeen elements in a good
report in a standard report, and these elements can be classified into three major categories,
preliminary parts, main text and supplementary parts. Preliminary parts are the matter which
will come in the front. So, they begin; they are at the introductory part, that is why
we called them as front matter or preliminary part. The main text is the body which is the
fulcrum, and then this is followed by the supplementary parts what will come later.
Now let us look at the preliminary parts what are the elements, and then the remaining part
of the lecture we are going to look at each part very quickly with some suitable examples.
Look at the first one preliminary parts the cover, the cover page or the cover followed
by title page, and then third copyright notice, four acknowledgements, five authorization
letter, six table of contents, seven list of illustrations, eight synopsis or executive
summary, sometimes just called as abstract also. Now on the main text we have the ninth
item that is introduction followed by the tenth item which is the major body which deals
with discussion and description and the eleventh element is conclusions and twelfth one is
recommendations. This is followed by supplementary parts, the
third component of any good standard report. Now supplementary parts themselves contain
about five components; the thirteenth item here is appendixes, sometimes single one is
used then it is appendix followed by references and then bibliography and last two items in
this glossary and index. Now let us take a quick look at each one of these items and
it becomes familiar to you and then you know how to use them.
. Now talking about cover, most of the companies
if you are working in a company, most of the companies will tell you to use their standard
cover, and this cover will have logo, the company’s name, the company’s water mark
if possible, and they would have even prescribed the color and all that that should be used.
Now if it is prescribed one it is mandatory that you use this, but in case that you are
not representing any company and the company does not ask you to use a cover, then you
are free to choose your own cover. But even in this case since report is of a very highly
intellectual sensitive capable matter, generally flowery covers are not used, very highly ornamental
shiny covers are not used at all. Now here although you can use a heavy paper
or a slight cardboard kind of material the light colored ones are preferred, generally
light grey, light pink, light green, light cream, mostly it is the light color or generally
any neutral colored ones or white colored ones; these are the preferred ones. So, color
is just not diverting the attention and rather it is just highlighting what is there in the
form of title. Apart from doing this what is the purpose of cover; it is a common sense
purpose that it helps the manuscript from regular wear and tear; it helps it from any
kind of damage. What does it carry? What does it contain? One, the title itself followed
by the writer or the author’s name, and then the submission date in which it was submitted
followed by any classification. So, secret, top secret, for your eyes only, classified
information and so on, number sometimes each person will be assigned a project number.
So, if you are given that project number that number is also mentioned there. One important
thing that should be noted is that the inside of the front and back of this cover is generally
left blank, nothing is written here. Followed by this we have the title page and
in this title page this is placed in the first right hand page of a report. So, that means
when you open it this is the first right hand page of a report, you see the title page,
and it contains detailed information of whatever you have given in the front page rather additional
information could also be given here, how? It gives the full title. So, in the title
page sometimes they give a shortened title to make it quite attractive but inside the
full title the long heading including the subtitle is given here followed by name and
address of the authors, the complete address, the department, institution that ask them
to produce it. So, that address is given there, and the name
of the authority who sanctioned it could be the supervisor, it could be the managing director,
whomever it is, or it could be a government body like MHRD. So, whichever ask them to
produce this so that information is also given followed by the project number or the contract
number that has been assigned to this and the approvals if any? One line it is briefly
mentioned, approved by so and so followed by distribution list, what does it mean? To
whom does it belong to, to which group is it submitted? Who should read this and then
date? That is the date in which it is actually submitted. Now once you cross this, the next important
thing especially if you are going to publish it is the copyright notice. Now in today’s
world where Wikipedia is quite prominent and then people feel that you can just take anything
cut paste and then put it. So, copyright is misread as right to copy. So, it does not
mean right to copy something; as a matter of right I am copying, so it does not mean
that. It means that you have produced something originally, and you own that copy, and that
copy cannot be reproduced without your permission. And sometimes one has to pay royalty if you
have really produced a tremendous work or an original report, a path breaking report
and the recommendations are worthy. So, then they need to give you copyright,
and this is used especially, if you are going to publish this. It is marked by this sign
copyright sign, and then the year is mentioned, the name of the person who owns this copyright
is also mentioned and with the typical note which follows which you have seen in most
of the books when you open the title page on the back of this title page you see this
copyright note, All rights are reserved. No part of this report may be reproduced in any
form or by any means without permission in writing from the publisher. Followed by this you need to acknowledge.
So, we have acknowledgements. You need to acknowledge the people who helped you write
this report. So, here you make a list of the names of persons and organizations that helped
you in the production of the report, even libraries that you consulted, librarians who
helped you in giving you materials, even people who helped you in photocopying very valuable
sensitive information. So, these people you need to acknowledge.
So, you acknowledge them and indicate the permission taken for copyright material. So,
what does it mean? When you quote from somebody, when you take material from somebody, you
take prior permission before publishing that material, and then you say that you are thankful
to so and so for giving you the permission to do this. Followed by this we have the authorization
letter which means the written authorization either in the form of a letter or in the form
of a memo long for memorandum shortly called as memo, so requesting the preparation of
the report. So, your boss or some authority has authorized
you to do this. So, that letter copy is also produced, and this letter specifies the problem,
the scope, the duration, that is the time in which it should be finished, six months,
one year, two year, five year project, the budget restriction, how much can you use,
how much you are restricted. So, that will be mentioned and specific instructions, the
methodology that has to be followed, the statistical information that has to be collected followed
by the deadline, the time in which it should be submitted. Now after acknowledging, the next thing that
comes is the table of contents or shortly referred to or simply referred to as contents.
Here it outlines the coverage, the sequence and significance of information in the report.
So, it will be usually mentioned in the form of sometimes chapters, chapter one, chapter
two, chapter three, chapter four, chapter five, chapter six, beginning with preface,
acknowledgments, etcetera, etcetera, ending with the back matter that is conclusion, recommendations,
glossary, index, etcetera. You need to do it only if it is exceeding ten pages. If it
is a short one you can do away with this. Then what does it do? It gives a kind of birds
eye view a kind of quick overview for the reader.
The reader can decide from that page itself what he is really interested in, in a entire
book, lengthy book of long written report; he can directly decide let me read only the
fourth unit or the fourth chapter, and fifth point of this chapter. I am more interested
in this; you can go directly to that. So, that is the aim of this to make the reader
identify easily a specific topic that he or she might be interested in, followed by the
seventh element list of illustrations. Now list of illustrations will detail list
all the figures, figures here refer to all the visual aids, pictures, graphic designs,
photographs, all that you have drawn, photographed and kept reproduced, everything will come
under this figures and tables. In case the figures and tables are going to spread through
two three pages and will not come within a single page, what you should do is you should
make separate list for tables and separate list for figures. Keep in mind that you need
to do that if only they exceed a page; otherwise, it is not required. The next item is synopsis or executive summary
which comes under again preliminary parts. It is also shortly called as abstract. In
fact you actually give the abstract the condensed format of the report. It tells in concentrated
form what the report is about, the extent of coverage is also mentioned here, and in
summary it tries to give the substance of the report, it presents the report in a nutshell.
It tries to tell you without any illustrations and explanations, and it also talks about
the method of analysis, the significant findings, important conclusions and major recommendations. Now the next important part is the main text
and the main text starts with the introduction. Under introduction what is done is the main
body gets started. Here if you are the writer you offer a good starting point, and tell
your reader what the report is about, and you also inform about previous works and highlight
the new grounds covered in the present study. Introduction sets the scene and prepares the
reader to follow and comprehend the information. It includes the following. The historical
and technical survey, the historical and technical survey that is how it started, how it went
on both in a chronological sense and also in a technological sense, and it gives the
background that way. It offers the scope of study followed by discussing the specifying
the limitations of the study and its relevance also. It also deals with the methods of collecting
data and their sources and definition of special terms and symbols. Now under main text the next point that we
need to talk about is body, the body will deal with discussion or description. The major
component of the main text of report is the body which contains the discussion or description
part of the report. In terms of length this is the lengthiest part of a report whereas
front matter although I gave lot of elements in that we will just come to in some case
just 5, 6 pages, but in a lengthy report this can go even about 80 pages, 100 pages depending
on the length of the report. Now considering this what is happening here?
This contains the central ideas and arguments of the report with almost all the illustrations
and tables. The body presents the data in an organized form, discuses their significance
and analyses the results. If the data are too numerous, the data is not presented in
the main body, but it is given in the appendix. Why we will discuss when we go to appendix
but right now just sufficient to tell you this will interrupt the main flow of thought,
ideas; just to avoid it it is given in the appendix.
Then you can also use inside footnotes or parenthetical statements. Then generally the
backward order is used here, what does it mean? Now you started with one, you went to
the lab, you found something, after six months, one year of experiment analysis, you conducted
some state for two years and then you got it, but you do not go with what you did at
the beginning, but you may rather begin with what you found at the end and then you start
enumerating it. So, that is why it is mentioned as backward order. You start with the end
at the beginning with your findings and then go on enumerating and explaining why and how
you found it and what for you did that experiment or study, whatever it is. Now the main text ends with the concluding
remarks by you which is mentioned as conclusions which will actually summarize the main idea
and highlight the recommendations. So, there are recommendations which are written separately
when they are longer, but if they happened to be shorter they just come under conclusions,
and conclusions will generally serve the function of summarizing whatever went before. If the
writer has said something important, and the reader has missed it. So, this is one more
time where the writer can reiterate that important point and then summarize succinctly, so that
the readers mind it can be reiterated once again, it can be reverted very firmly.
Now the conclusion will also list the course of action for the reader to take. Now you
have narrated an incident, now you are telling what the reader should do after reading that.
So, you will also suggest further course of action, all conclusions must be supported
by what has gone before which means no new things will be written there in the conclusion.
Whatever is written in the conclusion are actually logical conclusions of what went
before in the form of discussion and description in the main body.
Now here you are actually trying to just support what happened before and reinforce all the
thought pattern that happened before. So, no new idea will come here if it is not mentioned
at all; nothing new should be added at this stage, and if the number is large they may
be itemized in the descending order of importance. So, if the number is becoming larger in terms
of recommendations then they may be itemized in the descending order of their importance. As I said if the recommendations are very
few then it goes in conclusions, but if they are larger, then they are written separately,
and recommendations by nature they suggest future course of action for the reader, and
sometimes only this part of the report is frequently referred to especially for taking
decisions. So, what you did, how you investigated, what results you brought out people are not
interested, but what you are recommending at the end of it, that is what most of the
readers are interested in, and they will directly go to that recommendations, the last few pages
of your report skipping whatever you have written before.
So, in that sense this is a very important part of your report and this is again listed
in the descending order of their importance; the most important one will be coming first
combined with conclusions if only few recommendations are there, otherwise it is given separately,
and recommendations are given only if expected to do so. If you remember I said at the beginning
also you recommend only if you are asked to; you do not pass your judgment if you are not
asked to. Then you just present only a kind of informational report. You do not interpret
and you give recommendations on the data that you have collected. If the nature of the report
also demands then also you can give recommendations, but otherwise you do not give it, you do not
volunteer recommendations on your own. The supplementary parts that is the back matter
of the report is equally important so that they give you the scientific evidence of the
fact that you really conducted an objective report, what do they conduct, what do they
have? The first important thing it contains is appendixes. What is an appendix? An appendix
contains materials related to the report but is too detailed or lengthy to be included
in the main text. This means the reader can safely omit reading it without any loss of
understanding of the contents or feel disconnected from the main thought flow. So, while reading
the report if you want to give too detailed information about some part of the report
use that in the form of an appendix, or if you think that it is getting diverted too
much then also you take it to the appendix to the concluding part where you can put it
safely, and if the reader is interested he will always go to that part.
Now to give an appendix or not is decided on two factors. What are the two factors?
One, whether it sustains the theme and forms an essential and integral part of the report;
does it stand by the theme and then is it actually forming an essential and integral
part of it? So, these aspects are taken care first, and secondly whether it would interrupt
the train of the reader’s thought if included in the main body; that is will it cut the
thought flow, the reader’s flow that he is getting. If it is going to disrupt then
you better keep at the end. Some quick points, all appendixes should be referred to in the
text, be it questionnaire or statistical data, etcetera, they should be always referred to
in the form of parenthesis or directly it should be referred to, then it must be labeled
also. For example, appendix a questionnaire, appendix b statistical data collected from
this, appendix c, etcetera, etcetera. So, you label them and then you mention them in
the text which is very important for appendix. This is followed by list of references. What
do we have in the list of references? It is actually to give credit and tell that you
have not plagiarized from any source. Now here you give credit to the works that you
referred to are quoted, and this is done by citing such works in the text and listing
them in alphabetical order at the end. If their number is small if it is just one or
two references then you can mention it in the form of footnotes. Footnotes just at the
bottom of the page in which they are cited by putting some asterisks or some star or
some kind of mark and then you can just mention that at the end; look at this; this is one
way of putting that as a footnote. So you put one and down here, but in a reference
see the way it is mentioned also Alan Warner, A Short Guide to English Style, the author’s
name, full form, title full form, then the details about the press, publication details,
Oxford University Press, London, ELBS edition, year of publication, page numbers that you
have referred to. Now this is a typical example of a reference where commas are used, and
then the author name is mentioned fully. When we look at bibliography you will see
the difference that it is separated not by commas but by full stop. Now bibliography
literally means the list of books that you have referred to, but it also by extension
refers to the articles or any kind of work that you have referred to. Now in this case
it is alphabetically arranged list of published/unpublished works consulted before or during the preparation of the report. You need to keep the following in mind. One, the order of writing the names and surnames of authors, the sequence of details, and the punctuation marks and the layout,
look at this example the same example I have used.
In this case the second name comes first or the surname comes first. If you remember in
reference you wrote Alan Warner, here it is Warner Alan, and according to this that is
W it will be arranged alphabetically. Then A Short Guide to English Style. Here there
is no change title of the book; the only difference is it is separated by full stops not comma.
Then the next detail is the edition comes before, the place of publication again separated
by a full stop, and here this becomes a separate unit. Place of publication London and then
name of the publisher Oxford University Press and comma year of publication 1964. Now last two items that is glossary which
is a list of technical words used in the report and their explanations. What happens sometimes
you use jargons, technical words which are not understood by everybody, then you take
them separately and offer them in the form of a small dictionary format, so that is glossary.
Now if the number is again small it can be explained in footnotes. The inclusion depends
on the reader; if the reader is not up to the level in which you have written the report
glossary is a must. Index is again intended to serve as a quick guide to the material
of the report. It enables the reader to locate easily any topic, sub-topic or important aspect
of the contents. So, it comes at the backside and key words
are entered again arranged in alphabetical order, and then they are cross referenced.
Now all page numbers on which information about an entry is available are mentioned
against it. For example reports, audience for 121, 156 to 57, so this is mentioned here.
Characteristics of report in this book it is mentioned in these two pages extensively
it is also mentioned in this page. So, this is how index will look like, and it will be
arranged again according to alphabetical order Now towards concluding I should tell you one
point that the citation method used in this report there is something called style sheet;
you cannot follow anything randomly. There are two style sheets which students are supposed
to follow. The first one is followed or given by Modern Language Association shortly called
MLA hand book, MLA style book. The second one again students are supposed to follow
especially students of psychology, social sciences is this American Psychological Associations
APA, APA style sheet. Now generally publishers will be using what is called as the Chicago
manual of style; publishers will ask you to follow this style. Now towards concluding I should just recapitulate
very quickly that in this lecture we tried to understand the definition of a report,
description of a report, characteristics of a report, and why report is necessary. And
towards explaining that I also tried to tell you that we need to understand that in terms
of the types of report and then we studied the various types of report, and we focused
more on technical report. Followed by that we tried to understand a technical report
in terms of the elements; about 18 elements are being discussed to you and then these
were bifurcated under three categories which could come under preliminary or front matter,
main body, main text followed by the back matter or the supplementary items.
Now once you master this, once you know how to write this, this comes out of repeated
practice. I should conclude by giving you one note of personal gain that you may have
which is generally used for any writing skills. You should know that once you start writing
reports, your logical thinking is enhanced. You try to be more and more objective, at
the same time you enhance your logical thinking skills followed by proving your intellectual
capacity to write good reports which will definitely impress your superiors, and today
you know that without improving your superiors you know that you cannot win that promotion,
you cannot really climb up in your career. Now writing skills by and large and specifically
report writing skills can help you advance in your career tremendously; although it is
laborious, although sometimes some of you may feel that it is quite dull and monotonous;
nevertheless mastering this skill and learning from this, learning to think logically, putting
your ideas coherently and adhering to the style format. These things will make you highly
dependable, highly reliable, highly sought for in any professional situation, and it
will give you that cutting edge in any career-oriented job where you are likely to be promoted, because
the boss needs you. You have become a favorite of the boss, because you know how to write
good reports, and he may use the reports that written by you, he may ask you to interpret
reports for him. So, these skills surely will take a long way. And with wishing you all the best for becoming
a good report writer and fetching that job I will just very quickly tell you that you
can go to some further references of some books which deal with this report writing
exclusively. There are two books; one by Lesikar Raymond which deals particularly on report
writing for business, and there is a simple book written by John Seely again on writing
reports. The other books which I have been frequently referring to you in communication
skills course by Bovee and Courtland on Business Communication Today, and then Andrea Rutherford’s
Basic Communication Skills as well as Krishna Mohan’s and Sharma’s book on Business
Correspondence and Report Writing. They all have exclusive chapters on report writing.
Now use these books for developing your skills further, and I thank you so much for your
patient listening and paying attention to me for this one hour lecture.
Thanks. We are meeting again in the next lecture where
we deal more about report writing. Thank you.

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  • Reply suman kapoor May 14, 2017 at 9:47 am

    thnku so mch sr

  • Reply Shradha Sharma September 16, 2017 at 11:30 am

    Here we providing you Easy Report Writing Example from here you can easily find out method to how to write well : –

  • Reply Shashank Rustagi December 2, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    Thank u so much sir

  • Reply Meghnath Prasad March 13, 2018 at 1:18 pm

    yo yo me report samagh Gaya yo yo yo yo …

  • Reply Meghnath Prasad March 13, 2018 at 1:18 pm


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