Writing Short Reports

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<p>Writing Short Reports</p> <p>A report presents comprehensive information on a specific subject. Its main function is to inform, offer expert opinion, advice to managers, keep a check on progress, plan for the future and make decisions.</p> <p>Planning Steps </p> <p>Indicate your purpose clearly Give accurate and objective information Apply suitable headings Organize the points Lead logically to a conclusion</p> <p>1: Take time to identify your task 2: Consider your readers needs 3: Identify and list your and sourcing requirements 4: Avoid being side-tracked 5: Discard anything irrelevant</p> <p>Order of Information </p> <p>1: Indirect order 2: Direct order 3: Routine order</p> <p>Three types of Report Formats </p> <p>1: Formal 2: Letter 3: Memorandum</p> <p>Four types of Short Reports1: Justification Report 1 Purpose statement (subject line) 2: Structure of information Describe the current situation Describe the change Justify the change Describe the cost factor Discuss the advantages and disadvantages</p> <p>3: Conclusion Make a conclusion Close with a recommendation</p> <p>2: Progress Report 1: Purpose statement 2: Structure of information Open with the current status Work or goals completed so far Follow with details of the operations achievements Present any problems/delays and suggest their solutions Change of plans (give details) 3: Conclusion Give advantages of the change introduced Indicate the future</p> <p>3: Periodic Report 1: Purpose statement 2: Structure Open with facts and figures Present objective information on achievements and problems Cost factors involved 3: Conclusion Summarize the findings Close with recommendations</p> <p>4:Incident Report: Written on forms generated by the organization</p> <p>Involving clients Unusual delays Accidents Special events</p> <p>Short Report Formats </p> <p>Title page Introduction/Executive Summary Sections with headings/sub headings Discussion (progress) Cost analysis (graphs, figures) Recurring / non recurring expenses Conclusions References Signature Block</p> <p>Sample:(Signature of the final authority) Name----------Designation-------------------Date ----------------( signature of the presenter) Name/s-----------------Designation/s---------------Date--------------------</p> <p>Planning a Long Report </p> <p>1: Define its Purpose 2: Consider the reader 3: Determine what issues are involved 4: Collect information 5: Sort and Evaluate your information 6: Organize your material 7: Prepare the Outline</p> <p>Sequence of steps: </p> <p>1: Create an Outline including the major Headings and Subheadings. 2: Write the Purpose Statement and introductory section. 3: Write the Main Text. 4: Draw the Conclusion from the information you have gathered. 5: Write the Conclusion and your Recommendations.</p> <p>6: Prepare the Preface, Abstract, Synopses or Executive Summary after presenting facts and findings. 7: Construct a list of References (bibliography) as you research, plan and write the report. 8: Construct the Table of Contents and table of graphics. Place each item in the order they appear. 9: Write the letter of Transmittal. 10: Prepare the Title Page.</p> <p>Shaping the Long Report </p> <p>Title Page Letter of Transmittal Dedication/Terms of Reference Acknowledgments Table of Contents List of figures or tables (optional) Executive Summary/Purpose Statement Introductory section of the report Center section of the report</p> <p>Conclusion References Recommendations Signature Block Bibliography Glossary of terms Appendices and Attachments</p> <p>Editing the Long Report </p> <p>Eliminate obscure or gender biased language. Correct spellings and punctuations. Clearly identify the introduction and the scope of your report. Check for any unsupported opinions. Remove any extra information that is not vital. Edit the lay out or format of the report (font, double space)</p> <p>Steps to Writing a Successful Grant Proposal</p> <p>There are eight key elements in the successful writing of a grant proposal.</p> <p>Consider first, the reviewer. Many competitive programs utilize review panels (especially for the Program Director. The more competitive the program, the more reviewers will look for reasons to reject proposals early on.</p> <p>Verify the program/proposal match. Develop your funding search skills to find the most appropriate funding programs for your proposal. Study the program goals and eligibility, and make contact with the program officer before starting your proposal. Send a brief (2-3 short paragraphs) overview of your proposed project. Always inquire about alternative, more appropriate funding sources. Always remember: the program should fit your current funding priorities!</p> <p>Organize/structure the proposal. Build your case by assembling the proposal in distinct sections:</p> <p>Abstract (consider writing your abstract last; it will allow for more concise, project specific information) Problem Statement or Significance of Research Project Purpose (overall goal and specific objectives) Research Design or work plan (activities and timelines) Applicant qualifications and capabilities Evaluation Plan Budget (summary and justifications - refer back to the research design/work plan) Appendix (everything else)</p> <p>Prove the Importance of Your Project. State your purpose and case for need up front; build a compelling argument. Cite an authoritative source in support of your project/program.</p> <p>Assume an Uninformed but Intelligent Reader. Use clear, accessible language. Stick with direct statements and an active voice. Avoid insider jargon and acronyms.</p> <p>Illustrate a Detailed Project Plan. Specify major tasks and timelines. Use flow charts, calendars, etc. to visualize the project on a single page.</p> <p>Pay attention to all Review Criteria. Read the evaluation standards carefully, and then reference them in the project narrative. Touch all the bases, not just the ones you're comfortable with. Reviewers will use the criteria to score your proposal.</p> <p>Follow the Application Instructions Exactly! Avoidable mistakes often include: late submission, narrative too long, fonts, margins, spacing too small, signatures or certifications missing, budget narrative missing, insufficient number of copies, inappropriate binding. The Grants and Contracts Office is here to help you with this. Remember: the sooner you contact us, the sooner we can help you submit a competitive proposal.</p> <p>Structure/Formatting of the Proposal The funding source will usually specify the contents and exact order in which the proposal should be submitted. Please do not be creative or improve on the funder's procedures. Some common components are described below.</p> <p>Cover Page Most funders specify the format for the cover page and provide special forms to summarize basic administrative and fiscal data for the project. The cover page must have the authorized administrative official signature. The following items are typically included on the cover page, but always follow the prescribed format if one is provided:</p> <p>Project title Project summary Total cost of project Funds requested from sponsor Name, position, address, phone number, email, and fax number of PI Signature block for PI Signature block for authorized administrative official Name, position, address, phone number, email, and fax number of authorized administrative official</p> <p>Abstract or Project Summary Proposals often have an abstract or summary. Funders often use the abstract in their compilations of research projects funded or in disseminating information on successful projects. Although the abstract often appears at the beginning of the proposal, the abstract should be written as a concise summary of the proposal.</p> <p>Table of Contents The convenience of the reader is the guiding consideration of producing a table of contents. Proposals should list all major parts and divisions including lists of illustrations, tables and appendices.</p> <p>Introduction The introduction sets the tone of the proposal. The introduction outlines the goals of the project, how long it will take, and give enough background to enable the reviewers (who might not be experts in your field) of a particular project in a context of common knowledge.</p> <p>Project Goals and Objectives Goals and objectives are different and are clearly separated in the proposal. The goal of the project is what one hopes to accomplish as a result of the project. Objectives are statements of precise outcomes that can be measured in support of the goals. Objectives are SMART (specific, measurable, allocable, reasonable and time sensitive).</p> <p>Review of Literature Discussions of work done by others gives the reviewers the impression of how this project will build upon what has already been done by others. The literature will also highlight how the proposed project is different and unique from other projects. This is more prevalent in public proposals.</p> <p>Description of Proposed Project The project description is the heart of the proposal and is the primary concern of the technical reviewers. Establish the need for the project and the benefits derived Be realistic. Distinguish between long-range goals and the short-range objectives for which funding is being sought. Our eyes are often bigger than our stomachs and we take on more than is possible within the time or funding constraints.</p> <p>Develop a clear timeline for your objectives Clearly define the focus of the project, including its limits Clearly identify the means of evaluating the data or the conclusions Clearly describe the connection between the objectives and the methods to show that the approach is carefully developed and thought out</p> <p>Plan of Action, Methodology and Design While the description outlines in more general terms what the project is about and how long it will take to complete, the action plan spells out in specific steps and procedures how the project will take place. In determining the total length of the project, it is important to remember to incorporate the hiring schedules in the total time needed to complete the project.</p> <p>Current and Pending Support Many funders request that applicants supply information on any active and pending support. The potential funders review the faculty/staff time allocations and other potential resources for funding in the pending section.</p> <p>Evaluation Evaluation represents the logical Conclusion to the proposal and sends a clear message to the sponsor that the project is clearly thought out and that the PI is concerned that the stated goals have been achieved. A well developed evaluation process can create more carefully articulated project objectives.</p> <p>FEASIBILITY REPORTS</p> <p>The Feasibility Reports discuss the practicality, and possibly the suitability and compatibility of a given project, both in physical and economic terms. They also discuss the desirability of the proposed project from the viewpoint of those who would be affected by it. Report writers must come to a Conclusion, and must Recommend that some action is taken or is not taken and/or that some choice is adopted or is rejected.</p> <p>Reports are not read from cover-to-cover by one person. For example, a manager may read only the synopsis or abstract and act on the advice it contains while a technical officer may read only the section that explains how things work. On the other hand, a personnel officer may look at only the conclusions and recommendations that directly affect his/her working area.</p> <p>A Formal/Feasibility Report includes: (at least 8 double-spaced typed or printed pages using one inch margins) </p> <p>Letter of Transmittal Title Page Dedication (optional) Abstract/Synopses/Executive summary Table of Contents</p> <p>1: Introduction 1.1: Aim 1.2: Scope 1.3: Background</p> <p>2: Procedure 2.1: Data Collection Method 2.2: Literature Review ( reports, research papers, journals, articles, books)</p> <p>3: Analysis of Data 3.1: Water flow of Blue River 3.2: Sediment Level 3.3: Fish stock numbers 3.4: Weed infiltration rates 3.5: Salinity level 3.6: Likely areas to be flooded</p> <p>4: Conclusion 5: Recommendations References (details of sources used/in alphabetical order) Bibliography (mentioning all the references in detail) Glossary of Technical Terms/Index (alphabetical order) Appendices: A, B, C (diagrams, charts, graphs, maps)</p> <p>Types of Technical Reports: </p> <p>Feasibility: whether a project is feasible or not. Recommendation: compares two or more alternatives and recommends one Evaluation :studies something in terms of its worth or value Primary Research Report: work done in a laboratory Technical Specifications: discusses a new product design in terms of its construction, material, functions, features and market potential.</p> <p>Proposals</p> <p>Write about the Brilliant Idea and provide a Rationale for it. A proposal is a method of persuading the reader to agree to the writers view point or accept his suggestion .It is a systematic, factual, formal and persuasive description of a course of action or a set of recommendations/suggestions.</p> <p>Types of Proposals: Non Formal: Brief description Initiates small projects Does not require elaboration</p> <p>Formal: Long description Initiates big projects Requires elaboration and detailed descriptions Manuscript format is used May have several sections</p> <p>Internal: Readers within an organization External: Readers outside an organization Solicited: It is advertised Written in response to a specific request Requirements and conditions are specified by the organization in the advertisement Unsolicited: Written without any request for a proposal by an individual or an organization</p> <p>Parts of a Formal Proposal </p> <p>Title page Table of contents List of figures Abstract or Summary Introduction Methodology Statement of the Problem Proposed Budget (Non Recurring/Recurring)</p> <p>Proposed Plan and Schedule Advantages/Disadvantages Recommendations References Conclusion Appendices</p> <p>***************************************************</p>