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Informal Report Essay Sample

Informal Report Pages
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Learning objectives
* Identify seven kinds of informal reports and four report formats.
* Define a report project and gather data.
* Organize report data using effective headings.
* Present data objectively to gain credibility.
* Write information and recommendation reports.
* Write justification and progress reports.
* Write formal and informal minutes of meetings.
* Write summaries and to-file reports.

Seven Kinds of Informal Reports
* Information Report
* Recommendation Report
* Justification Report
* Progress Report
* Minutes of Meeting
* Summary
* To-file Report

Report Formats
* Letter format
* Memo format
* Report format
* Prepared forms

Letter Format
* For reports that travel outside an organization.
* Uses inside address, salutation, and other letter elements.
* Divides information into groups with headings.

Memo Format
* For reports that remain within an organization.
* Uses TO, FROM, DATE, and SUBJECT headings.
* Divides information into groups with headings.

Prepared Forms
* For reporting routine activities, such as sales, figures, or merchandise inventories.
* Uses standardized fill-in forms.
* Produces uniform results.

Guidelines for Writing Informal Reports
Define the project.
* Write a statement of purpose.
* Consider primary and secondary readers.
Gather data from these sources:
* Company records
* Observation
* Surveys, questionnaires, inventories
* Interviews

Electronic and other research
Determine organization:
* Inductive strategy
* Problem, facts first.
* Conclusions, recommendations last.
* Deductive strategy
* Recommendations first.
* Facts, discussion last.

Good Report Headings
* Outline the text.
* Highlight major ideas.
* Identify facts.
* Point way through text.
* Provide visual resting points.
* Are parallel in construction.

Kinds of Report Headings
Functional:
Problem
Background
Summary
Discussion
Conclusions
Talking or descriptive:
Students Revolt Against New Tuition Fees
Commission Proposes Three Remedies
Job Fair Involves Community and Campus

Parts of an Information Report
* Introduction
* Findings
* Summary

Information Report Introduction
* Explain why you are writing.
* Describe methods and sources used to gather information and why they are credible.
* Provide any special background information.
* Give the purpose of the report.
* Offer a preview of findings.

Information Report Findings
(also called Observations, Facts, Results, Discussion)
* Use chronological, alphabetical, topical, or most-to-least-important method of organization.
* Number or indent paragraphs.
* Underline or boldface key words.

Information Report Summary
(Optional)
* Summarize findings objectively and impartially.

Parts of a Recommendation Report
* Introduction
* ->Analysis of Facts
* Background
* ->Options
* Problem
* ->Alternatives
* Method of collecting data
* ->Limitations
* Findings
* ->Conclusions
* Presentation of facts
* ->Recommendations

Parts of a Justification Report
* Information
* Analysis
* Recommendation

Parts of Formal Minutes
* Name of group, date, time, place, name of meeting
* Names of people present; names of absentees, if appropriate
* Disposition of previous minutes
* Old business, new business, announcements, reports
* Motions, votes, actions taken
* Name and signature of individual recording minutes

Parts of Informal Minutes
* Summaries of important discussions
* Decisions reached
* Items on which action must be taken, including people responsible and due dates

Summaries of Articles or Books
* Include primary ideas, conclusions, and recommendations
* Omitexamples,illustrations,and references,
To-file Reports
* Document oral decisions,directives, and discussions
* Include names and titles of individuals included
* Summarize any decisions
* Request confirmation or correction

Try Your Skill
Which format is most appropriate for the following situations?

Try Your Skill
1. An informal report made by the purchasing manager to his boss suggesting ways to improve procedures for submitting purchase requests.
a. Letter format
b. Memorandum format
c. Report format
d. Prepared form
1. An informal report made by the purchasing manager to his boss suggesting ways to improve procedures for submitting purchase requests.
a. Letter format
b. Memorandum format
c. Report format
d. Prepared form

2. A long report written by consultants at DataTech for Hughes Manufacturing Co. describing procedures and equipment to automate Hughes’ freight billing system.
a. Letter format
b. Memorandum format
c. Report format
d. Prepared form

2. A long report written by consultants at DataTech for Hughes Manufacturing Co. describing procedures and equipment to automate Hughes’ freight billing system.
a. Letter format
b. Memorandum format
c. Report format
d. Prepared form

3. A report showing the monthly sales totals for all sales reps.
a. Letter format
b. Memorandum format
c. Report format
d. Prepared form
3. A report showing the monthly sales totals for all sales reps.
a. Letter format
b. Memorandum format
c. Report format
d. Prepared form

4. A progress report from a convention planning committee to the president of an organization.
a. Letter format
b. Memorandum format
c. Report format
d. Prepared form

4. A progress report from a convention planning committee to the president of an organization.
a. Letter format
b. Memorandum format
c. Report format
d. Prepared form

Try Your Skill
What are the advantages of functional headings?
Help writer outline a report.
Help readers recognize sections of report.
What are the disadvantages of functional headings?
Give little clue about what is contained in a section.

What are the advantages of talking or descriptive headings?
Provide more information.
Are more interesting.
What are the disadvantages of talking or descriptive headings? Readers may lose sight of the overall organization of the report.

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