Report Writing

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This teaches issues in Report Writing - Types, Methods, Style,etc.

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Presentation Transcript

Institute of Life Long Learning Report Writing17May 2008 : 

Institute of Life Long Learning Report Writing17May 2008 Prof. K.V. Bhanu Murthy Department of Commerce

Agenda : 

2 Agenda Types of Reports Choice of topic and type How to Write Reports Anatomy of a Report Presentation Bibliography Copyright issues

Types of Reports : 

3 Types of Reports Dissertation. Thesis (A Ph.D is one type of thesis). Report Essay

Discourse : 

4 Discourse "Dissertation" comes from the Latin term dissertātiō, meaning "discourse[1]." [1] Discourse is communication that goes back and forth (from the Latin, discursus, "running to and from"), such as debate or argument.

Reports : 

5 Reports The word "thesis" comes from the Greek θέσις, meaning "position", and refers to an intellectual proposition. That needs to be proved or disproved A report is a document characterized by information or other content reflective of inquiry or investigation, which is tailored to the context of a given situation and audience. The purpose of reports is usually to inform.

APPROACHES : 

6 APPROACHES An analytical paper breaks down an issue or an idea into its component parts, evaluates the issue or idea, and presents this breakdown and evaluation to the audience. An expository (explanatory) paper explains something to the audience. An argumentative paper makes a claim about a topic and justifies this claim with specific evidence.

Some Examples : 

7 Some Examples Dissertation: A critical review of feminist criticism in recent Indian writings in English. Highlighting the debate. Thesis: Have pollution levels gone down in Delhi? Arguing the case with some evidence. Report: What is sub-prime crisis? Or Nanotechnologies in daily life or Global Warming. Gathering and presenting information. Essay: Rashtravadi andolan aur yuva lekhak. Janvadi lekhakon mein boli ka pratibimb.

Common understanding of a report : 

8 Common understanding of a report In the practical world of business or government, a report conveys information and (sometimes) recommendations from a researcher who has investigated a topic in detail. A report like this will usually be requested by people who need the information for a specific purpose and their request may be written in terms of reference or the brief. Whatever the report, it is important to look at the instructions for what is wanted

Considerations for choice of topic : 

9 Considerations for choice of topic Current topic – lots of information available on net. Old topic – information available in library. But must have scope to show a new angle. Scope for data analysis and graphic presentation makes the final presentation attractive. Good at computers? Go ahead. Good expression – essay type better. General or specific - Have a specific point to make go for thesis. But with only one clearly stated hypothesis.

Criteria for deciding : 

10 Criteria for deciding Choice of Issues Assessing your capabilities Availability of information or data Time frame Feasibility Interest

5 Steps to Report Writing : 

11 5 Steps to Report Writing Define the problem Gather the necessary information Analyze the information Organize the information Write the report

Problem definition : 

12 Problem definition Review the background information - do not re-invent the wheel. Use existing reviews. Pick up the precise topic State the problem/ issue All of the above has to be done by yourself and to yourself. You could consult a colleague or senior.

Strategies to Organize Reports : 

13 Strategies to Organize Reports Comparison/contrast – FDI -India vs. China Problem-solution – Child labour and night schools. Elimination of alternatives – Nuclear energy: debating alternative sources of energy. General to particular – Fundamental rights to RTI. Geographic or spatial – Female foeticide: The Case of Punjab. Functional – How do credit cards work? Chronological – Fifty years of post colonial writings.

Language : 

14 Language UK English and US English International English and Indian English Denotation and Connotation Let me know when you’re free next week for a meeting. Could you let me know what times you have free? Tone She is hung up on trivial details. She is meticulous and takes care of details that others sometimes ignore.

Writing Style : 

15 Writing Style Brief writing style Omit needless words Combine sentences Rewrite

We do IT in Style! : 

16 We do IT in Style! Chicago Manual of Style Microsoft Manual of Style AMA Style Guide Dictionary Thesaurus Online research

Anatomy of a Report : 

17 Anatomy of a Report Cover Page Acknowledgements A thank you to the people who helped you. Contents or Table of Contents List of Illustrations Executive Summary Report Body

Cover Page : 

18 Cover Page Cover Sheet This should contain some or all of the following: full title of the report; your name; the name of the unit of which the project is a part; the name of the institution; the date. If there are multiple authors the presenters surname must be in capitals. The details of the author for correspondence must be given

Contents or Table of Contents : 

19 Contents or Table of Contents Headings and subheadings used in the report with their page numbers. Remember that each new chapter should begin on a new page. Use a consistent system in dividing the report into parts. The simplest may be to use chapters for each major part and subdivide these into sections and subsections. 1, 2, 3, etc, can be used as the numbers for each chapter. The sections for chapter 3 (for example) would be 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, and so on. For a further subdivision of a subsection you can use 3.2.1, 3.2.2, and so on.

Illustrations : 

20 Illustrations

Abstract : 

21 Abstract Abstract or Summary or Executive Summary or Introduction This is the overview of the whole report. It should let the reader see, in advance, what is in it. This includes what you set out to do, how reviewing literature focused and narrowed your research, the relation of the methodology you chose to your aims, a summary of your findings and of your analysis of the findings.

Report Body : 

22 Report Body Introduction Purpose and Scope; Limitations, Assumptions, and Methods Background/History of the Problem Layout - section wise Body Presents and interprets data Conclusions and Recommendations References or Works Cited Appendixes Interview transcripts, questionnaires, question tallies, printouts, and previous reports

Aims and Purpose : 

23 Aims and Purpose Aims and Purpose or Aims and Objectives Why did you do the work? What was the problem you were investigating? If you are not including a literature review, mention here the other research which is relevant to your work.

Methodology : 

24 Methodology Methodology Methodology deals with the methods and principles used in an activity, in this case research. In the methodology chapter you explain the method/s you used for the research and why you thought they were the appropriate ones. You may, for example, be doing mostly documentary research or you may have collected you own data. You should explain the methods of data collection, materials used, subjects interviewed, or places you visited. Give a detailed account of how and when you carried out your research and explain why you used the particular methods which you did use, rather than other methods. Included in this discussion should be an examination of ethical issues.

Data Collection : 

25 Data Collection Primary or Secondary – Questionnaire or experimental observations. Source – Unctad Trade & Development Report 2001. Time period – with justification. Missing data – treatment of. Cross sectional or time series.

Main: Present and interpret data : 

26 Main: Present and interpret data Give a clear presentation of your results: What is the hypothesis (ses) (if any). What did you find out? How did you verify? Could there be any exceptions? Show the essential data and calculations here. You may want to use tables, graphs and figures.

Presentation : 

27 Presentation This has two aspects: The written report and the oral presentation. Regarding the written report look below: General guidelines Document Design FAQ and CE

General Guidelines I : 

28 General Guidelines I Type your paper on a computer and print it out on standard, white 8.5 x 11-inch paper, Double-space the text of your paper, and use a legible font like Times New Roman or Courier. The font size should be 10-12 pt. Leave only one space after periods or other punctuation marks (unless otherwise instructed by your instructor). Set the margins of your document to 1 inch on all sides. Indent the first line of a paragraph one half-inch (five spaces or press tab once) from the left margin.

General Guidelines II : 

29 General Guidelines II Create a header that numbers all pages consecutively in the upper right-hand corner, one-half inch from the top and flush with the right margin. (Note: Your instructor may ask that you omit the number on your first page. Always follow your instructor's guidelines.) Use either italics or underlining throughout your essay for the titles of longer works and, only when absolutely necessary, providing emphasis. If you have any endnotes, include them on a separate page before your Works Cited page.

Document Design : 

30 Document Design Use no more than 5 fonts. Use no more than 5 colors. Use glossy paper. Use white space. Use templates. Use parallelism. Avoid double emphasis.

FAQ and CE : 

31 FAQ and CE Questions You, We, I – personal pronouns Standards for reports How long? Common Errors It’s a common error! Its consequences are great! Singular & Plural errors. Neutrality (he/she, John)

Referencing style : 

32 Referencing style Author(s). "Title of Article." Title of Periodical Day Month Year: pages. Poniewozik, James. "TV Makes a Too-Close Call." Time 20 Nov. 2000: 70-71. Buchman, Dana. "A Special Education." Good Housekeeping Mar. 2006: 143-8. Web-resources: Decent Proposal” by John Fellows, www.sellingpower.com, 2002 Newspaper report - Better Business Writing, The Sunday Times, 22 April 2002.

Propriety of references : 

33 Propriety of references Acknowledge all sources. All things referred to in the text must appear in bibliography. All things in bibliography must find a place in the text and must be referenced. Smith (2003) or [2] Arya. References must be in alphabetical order.

Copyright : 

34 Copyright All open source material like wikipedia need not be referenced. Figures / Tables from net or books should be if source is open and known. Some websites like “open learn” of Open University UK, only need acknowledging. Source code from “open source” need not. Priced material/published material can be used if acknowledged and after permission.

Oral Presentation : 

35 Oral Presentation Avoid lengthy and technical explanation. Judges already know the subject matter. Acknowledge your co-authors and others’ if necessary. Prepare 1 slide per minute of presentation. Try to engage the audience. Do not read out very fast. Pause at logical place. Stand erect and look just above the spectators.

Ironic!!!! : 

36 Ironic!!!! How was my presentation? Thanks! Any queries please address to bhanumurthykv@yahoo.com Any praise: to the organizers.