Report Writing Vince

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1 Welcome to your Effective Report Writing Workshop Please switch off mobile phones

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2 By the end of today you will have knowledge and understanding of: The Decision Making Process Format of Reports Purpose of Reports Essentials of a good report Structure of Reports Gathering Information Writing Reports in Simple English Presenting your findings

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3 What is a Report? A Report is a communication of information or advice, from a person who has collected and studied the facts, to a person who has asked for the report because they need it for a specific purpose. Often the ultimate function of a report is to provide a basis for decision and action.

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4 Before you start to write your report do you know: Who the report is for What the purpose of the report is What precisely is to be included/excluded Who will read the report Will everyone who reads it read all of it What are the levels of expertise of the readers What the readers will do with the report What should happen as a result of the report

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5 What is a Report? A Report is a communication of information or advice, from a person who has collected and studied the facts, to a person who has asked for the report because they need it for a specific purpose. Often the ultimate function of a report is to provide a basis for decision and action.

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6 Essentials of a Good Report Unified – only about one subject; nothing the reader doesn’t need or off subject Complete – excluding nothing the reader does need Accuracy – facts must be checked and reasoning on the facts valid Planned – logical flow and classification of the material Presentation – the reader knows exactly where they are and why they are there Style –a simple, concise style which is easy to read and impossible to misunderstand Intelligible – to all likely to read it even though they may not know the technical and other details of the subject

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7 Structure – Large Reports Title page Contents list Terms of Reference Summary Introduction Main Body Itemised Findings Itemised Conclusions Itemised Recommendations Appendices (if any) Bibliography Acknowledgements Beginning Middle End

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8 Structure – Committee Report Purpose Background Considerations Resource Implications Results of Public Consultations Recommendations Beginning Middle End USE THE TEMPLATE PROVIDED Included with the report are any background papers which are deemed relevant (Large docs are placed in members library)

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9 Terms of Reference This defines the scope and limitations of your report. It should be an agreement between you and whoever asks for the report indicating exactly what you are supposed to be covering and why.

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10 Examples of TOR’S Report to the Director: To investigate the current delays in responding to customer complaints To examine alternative methods of overcoming delays To make recommendations accordingly To inform the Corporate Management Team of a new training and development initiative being rolled out throughout the Council for employees who have literacy, numeracy and business language development needs.

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11 Checklist for completing summaries Read the report Note how you have divided the information and the importance you attached to it List the key topics From the list draft a summary Check and edit the draft summary Check the final draft against the full report

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12 The Strategic Planning Process

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13 Low High POWER Low High PREDICTABILITY A Few Problems B Unpredictable but Manageable C Powerful but Predictable D Greatest Threat or Opportunity Stakeholder Power/Dynamism Matrix

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14 Low High POWER Low High LEVEL OF INTEREST A Minimal effort B Keep Informed C Keep Satisfied D Key Players Stakeholder Power/Interest Matrix

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15 Main Body – Organising Data Step 1 – Put the information in chronological or other logical or suitable order Step 2 – Decide which facts are of primary importance, secondary importance etc.

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16 Main Body – Producing the body of your report Conduct a final review of your information: Any significant facts within the information related? Any of the facts contradicting each other? Are there any irrelevancies? Any gaps in the information which need to be investigated?

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17 Checklist for compiling recommendations Examine findings and conclusions – readers should be able to anticipate your recommendations Check that the recommendations you are going to make are within the scope of the Terms of Reference Ensure recommendations are itemised and numbered

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18 You now have knowledge and understanding of: The Decision Making Process Format of Reports Purpose of Reports Essentials of a good report Structure of Reports Gathering Information Writing Reports in Simple English Presenting your findings

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