Advanced Report Writing Course
This course is accredited by the Services Seta and the material covers unit standard 110023 at NQF level 4 worth 6 credits
This four day workshop is intended to help you do the writing your job demands. If you are a manager at any level in business, government, or industry, you must write reports. Whether you want to or not, you write to explain things, to smooth relationships and to convince others of the value of some course of action. Writing must be clear, concise, complete, and correct. It must also convey your message in a courteous tone. The workshop will help you to identify the range of this kind of writing, the forms it takes, and the persuasive techniques it requires.When you have completed this course you will be able to define the key concepts associated with Advanced Report Writing and you will be able to: Identify the main obstacles to effective Report Writing and how to avoid them; Understand the nature of a Technical Report and Project Report; Write from the perspective of the writer and the reader.
Upon completion of this course, the participants should be able to:
- To learn the value of good written communications
- To prepare reports and proposals that inform, persuade, and provide information
- To learn how to proofread your work so you are confident it is clear, concise, complete, and correct
- To provide an opportunity to apply these skills in real work applications
Understand a range of tools and techniques for Advanced Report Writing:
- Use these techniques to build an effective process that can be used to deliver professional results on a consistent basis from Report Writing activity
- Explain the benefits of having an effective Report Writing process in the Organization
Technical reports may be required for a number of reasons such as:
- Detailing activities and results associated with investigating a customer complaint
- Proving that a particular process or product has been validated and meets specifications
- Providing reference material as part of a development project
The value of reports may be that they provide:
- Reference materials that form part of the knowledge bank of the organization
- Documentary evidence of investigation or validation of products and processes
Reports are only of value if they are:
- Based on fact
- Compiled by people who are competent
Advanced Report Writing should have:
- Data & Information
- Information Uses
- Information Mapping
Apply total quality principles to writing Reports:
- Quality is conformance to requirements
- The goal is to achieve zero defects
- The cost of quality is the expense of doing it wrong
- The motto is - "do it right first time"
There are five levels of report writing processes:
- Level 4: Managed and sustainable
- A robust process is in place and managed
- Level 3: Organized and repeatable
- A sound process is in place and is being refined - training is on-going
- Level 2: Rudimentary
- A process is taking place but not always enforced
- Level 1: Ad hoc
- Little or no coordination of report writing
- Level 0: Oblivious
- Reports are written by whoever has time
Data and Information:
- Raw data must be gathered
- Raw data is essentially useless in a report
- Raw data has to be translated into information
- Translation leads to:
- Increased knowledge
- Increased understanding
- Increased usefulness
- Information is used for three main areas:
- Planning activities
- Monitoring activities
- Controlling activities
- Information will flow between all three
Information mapping is designed to allow the information to be presented in its most useful format
- Key areas - purpose, audience needs, information types
- To create an overall structure based on results of the analysis
- To format the information to make it accessible to the intended audience; this involves some translation
- Advanced Report Writing skills
- The functions of communication
- Barriers to effective communication
- Advanced Report writing skills - Sentences; tips on joining words and punctuation
- Some common report writing faults to avoid
- Writing good paragraphs
- Transitions and ordering the parts
- Overcoming writer's block: subjectivity; objectivity and bias
- Mapping your business process for effective communication and report writing
- Data collection and analysis for report writing
- Writing of: project proposals and technical reports
- Project progress report template
- Revising and editing
- Writing and improving the quality of business and technical reports.
- Compile technical reports ensuring content and format are appropriate.
- Discuss the focus of the report - deciding on correct content.
- Meeting reporting deadlines.
- How to select, format, structure and layout reports: including headings, bullets and numbering.
- Ensure the document sequence is logical and meaningful.
- How to present information differently: text, graphs, tables, flow charts and diagrams.
- Organising and structuring a technical text appropriately.
- Presenting the same information in different ways.
- Technical reports
- General reports
- Report checklists
- Topic or subject matter
- Purpose of the report
- Scope of the report
- Section identification systems
- Table of contents
- Stages of report production
- Checklist for editing our work
- Appendix: homophones and parts of speech