• aid the reader in locating information in the report quickly and understanding the report

more easily.

You are watching: Within the context of preparing formal reports and proposals, the term limitations refers to

• Preliminary pages are numbered with small Roman numerals (i, ii, iii, etc.)

• includes the title, author, date, and often the name of the person or organization who requested the report.

• added when opting for a formal report format

• Avoid short, vague titles or excessively long titles.

• To give some clues on writing a descriptive title, think of the “five W’s”:

• Arrange the title consistently on the half-title page, title page, and the first page of a


• provides the reader with an analytical overview of the report and the order in which information is presented.

• aids the reader in understanding the report and in locating a specific section of it.

• Placing spaced periods (leaders) between the report part and the page numbers

helps lead the reader’s eyes to the appropriate page number.

• To aid the reader in locating a specific graphic in a report with many graphics.

• The list should include a reference to each figure, identified by both figure number

and name, along with the page number on which the figure occurs.

• contents and the figures can be combined on one page if both lists are brief.

• summarizes the essential elements in an entire report.

• simplifies the reader’s understanding of a long report.

• positioned before the first page of the report.

• Paying attention to topic sentences and concluding sentences in paragraphs helps you write concise executive summaries based on major ideas and reduces the use of supporting details and background information.

(1) briefly introduce the report and preview the major divisions.

(2) summarize the major sections of the report.

(3) summarize the report summary and any conclusions and recommendations.

• The report itself contains the introduction, body, summary, and any conclusions and recommendations.

• Report pages are numbered with Arabic numerals (1, 2, 3, etc.).

• Orients the reader to the problem.

• May include the following information:

o What the topic is

o Why it is being reported on

o The scope and limitations of the research

o Where the information came from

o An explanation of special terminology

o A preview of the major sections of the report to provide coherence and


How the topic is divided into partsThe order in which the parts will be presented

• the heart of the report

• presents the information collected and relates it to the problem.

• To increase readability and coherence, this section contains numerous headings to

denote the various divisions within a report.

Consists of: summary, conclusion, recommendations

A good report ends with an analysis of what the reported information means or how it should be acted upon.

Introducing a new idea in the summary may suggest that the study was not completed adequately or that the writer did not plan the report well

ends with a brief summary that adds unity to a report by reviewing the main points presented in the body.

is designed to solve a specific problem or answer research questions.

Ends with an “analysis,” which may include a summary of the major research findings, particularly if the report is lengthy.
Ends with an “analysis,” which may include a summary of the major research findings, particularly if the report is lengthyReviewing the major findings prepares the reader for the conclusions, which are inferences that the writer draws from the findings.Recommendations follow the conclusions.

it presents the writer’s opinion on a possible course of action based on the


• Bibliography/works consultedàWhen the reference list includes sources not cited in

the report.

• If a report includes endnotes rather than in-text parenthetical citations (author and date

within the text), the endnotes precede the references.

• contains supplementary information that supports the report but is not appropriate for inclusion in the report itself.

May include questionnaires/accompanying transmittal letters/ summary tabulations/ verbatim comments from respondents/ complex mathematical computations and formulas/ legal documents.

• Placing supplementary material in an appendix helps prevent the report body from becoming excessively long.

Careful organization and formatting ensure that the reader will understand and comprehend the information presented.

Outlining and SequencingUsing Headings Effectively

o Identification of the major and

minor points to be covered by

the writer.

o Organization of the identified

points into a logical sequence.

a report that outlines comparative information clearly to the reader; used commonly when comparing items for purchase.

headings that talk about the content of the section, and even give a conclusion about the section. (eg. “Outside provider is the best choice”).

Headings take their positions from their relative importance in a complete outline

In a Roman numeral outline,

“I” is a first-level heading,

“A” is a second-level heading,

“1” is a third-level heading.

Because second-level headings are subdivisions of first-level headings, you should have at least two subdivisions (A and B).All headings of the same level must be treated consistently

physical position on the page

appearance (type style, underline, etc.)

grammatical construction.

• Avoid first-person pronouns as a rule.

• Use active voice.

• Use tense consistently.

-Most of the report writing is in the past tense.

-When calling the reader’s attention to the content of a graphic use present tense (“the graph shows”)

-Use the future-tense verb if you want to mention that the study will convince the reader.

• Avoid placing two headings consecutively without any intervening text.

• Use transition sentences to link sections of a report.

• Use a variety of coherence techniques.

• Use tabulations and enumerations.

o use bullet points/numbers if you want to present a series of items.

• Define terms carefully.

• Check for variety.

avoid monotonous sameness in sentence length or construction.

The following writing suggestions will enhance your credibility as a researcher:

Avoid emotional terms.

“The program was fantastic” doesn’t convince anyone. However, “The program saw an increase of 18% over that of the previous year” does convince.

Identify assumptions.

Statements such as “Assuming all other factors remain the same ...” inform the

reader of important assumptions.

Label opinions.Use documentation.

Citations and references (works cited) are evidence of the writer’s scholarship and


Short Reports

reports that include only the minimum supporting materials to achieve effective communication.

focus on the body—problem, method, findings, and conclusion.

Short Reports might incorporate any of the following features

o Personal writing style using first or second person

o Contractions when they contribute to a natural style

o Graphics to reinforce the written text

o Headings and subheadings to partition portions of the body and to reflect

organization Memorandum, email, and letter formats when appropriate

Memorandum, Email, and Letter Reports

• The memorandum report is directed to an organizational insider, as are most email reports.

• The letter report is directed to a reader outside the organization.

Form Reports

form reports: reports that meet the demand for numerous, repetitive reports; include college registration forms, applications for credit, airline tickets, and bank checks

Benefits of form reports

increase clerical accuracy by providing designated places for specific items. save time by telling the preparer where to put each item and by preprinting common elements to eliminate the need for narrative writing make tabulation of data relatively simple.Assist in analytical workMost are computer generated

internal proposals:

proposals used by managers to justify or recommend purchases or changes in the company.

installing a new computer system, introducing telecommuting or other flexible work schedules, or reorganizing the company into work groups.

external proposal:

a proposal written to generate business; one organization describes how it can meet the needs of another by, for example, providing a product or service

solicited proposals:

proposals generated when a potential buyer submits exact specifications or needs in a bid request or a request for proposal, commonly referred to as

an RFP.

Governmental agencies, such as the Department of Education, solicit proposals

and place orders and contracts based on the most desirable proposal.

unsolicited proposal:

a proposal prepared by an individual or firm who sees a problem to be solved and proposes a solution

a business consultant who is a regular customer at a family-owned retail store prepares a proposal to assist the business in designing a computerized perpetual inventory with an automatic reordering system.

Proposal Structure

A proposal includes:

• details about the manner in which the problem will be


• the price to be charged or the costs to be incurred.

General Parts of a Proposal

1. Problem and/or Purpose

2. Scope

3. Methods and/or procedures

4. Materials and Equipment

5. Qualifications

6. follow-up and/or evaluation

7. budget or cost

8. summary

9. Addenda

5. Qualifications

• your proposal must convince the potential buyer that you have the expertise to deliver what you have described and that you are a credible individual or company.

• devote a section to presenting the specific qualifications and special expertise of the personnel involved in the proposal:

-past records of the bidder

-the recommendations of its past customers

-proposed cost.

Proposal Preparation

• Writers find a successful pattern and adopt it as their basic plan.

• The ultimate test of a proposal is its effectiveness in achieving its purpose.

• Involves assembling parts in a manner that would coerce readers’ acceptance.

In the context of writing formal reports, a researcher intending to enhance his credibility


a. use emotional terms.

b. avoid citations.

c. avoid labelling opinions.

d. identify assumptions.

Linda, a manager at Addoso Inc., is writing a proposal on how a new work benefit will affect employees" attitude toward their jobs. She places limits on what she proposes to do in her report. In this case, these limitations will be placed under the ___ section of her proposal.

a. evaluation

b. references

c. scope

d. methods

Rozell & Ramos Associates invites proposals for renovating its infrastructure. The firm will place order with the company that offers the most desirable proposal. This proposal type is an example of ___.

a. solicited proposal

b. unsolicited proposal

c. renewal proposal

d. research proposal

Short reports focus on the ___ of the reports.

a. bibliography

b. executive summary

c. body

d. index

Which of the following is true of form reports?

a. They meet the demand for repetitive reports.

b. They are mostly formal in nature.

c. They cannot be used for analytical work.

d. They are typically used for special, nonstandard reports.

Which of the following statements best defines a justification report?

a. It is a report that includes only the minimum supporting materials to achieve effective communication.

b. It is a report that meets the demand for numerous, repetitive reports.

c. It is a report designed to solve a specific problem or answer research questions.

d. It is a report that outlines comparative information clearly to the reader.

Which of the following statements is true of a proposal structure?

a. Proposals include the price to be charged or the costs to be incurred.

b. The format of a proposal is independent of the length of the proposal.

c. Long proposals use a memo format.

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d. Proposals do not include preliminary report parts.




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