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Chapter 12 Preparing To Write Business Reports Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product , 5e Copyright © 2006 What Are Business Reports? Business reports are systematic attempts to answer questions and solve problems. They include the following activities. Planning

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chapter 12 preparing to write business reports

Chapter 12Preparing To Write Business Reports

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication:

Process and Product, 5e

Copyright © 2006

what are business reports
What Are Business Reports?
  • Business reports are systematic attempts to answer questions and solve problems. They include the following activities.

Planning

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

what are business reports3

Planning

What Are Business Reports?
  • Business reports are systematic attempts to answer questions and solve problems. They include the following activities.

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

what are business reports4

Research

Planning

What Are Business Reports?
  • Business reports are systematic attempts to answer questions and solve problems. They include the following activities.

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

what are business reports5

Research

Planning

What Are Business Reports?
  • Business reports are systematic attempts to answer questions and solve problems. They include the following activities.

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

what are business reports6

Research

Organization

Planning

What Are Business Reports?
  • Business reports are systematic attempts to answer questions and solve problems. They include the following activities.

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

what are business reports7

Research

Organization

Planning

What Are Business Reports?
  • Business reports are systematic attempts to answer questions and solve problems. They include the following activities.

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

what are business reports8

Research

Organization

Presentation

Planning

What Are Business Reports?
  • Business reports are systematic attempts to answer questions and solve problems. They include the following activities.

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

ten truths about business reports
Ten Truths About Business Reports
  • Everyone writes reports.
  • Most reports flow upward.
  • Most reports are informal.
  • Three report formats (memo, letter, and manuscript) are most common.
  • Reports differ from memos and letters.

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

ten truths about business reports10
Ten Truths About Business Reports
  • Today’s reports are written on computers.
  • Some reports are collaborative efforts.
  • Ethical report writers interpret facts fairly.
  • Organization is imposed on data.
  • The writer is the reader’s servant.

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

report functions
Report Functions
  • Informational reports
  • Analytical reports

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

report formats
Report Formats
  • Letter format
  • Memo format
  • Manuscript format
  • Printed forms

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

writing style
Writing Style
  • Formal
  • Informal

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

slide14

Audience Analysis and Report Organization

If readers

are informed

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

slide15

If readers

are informed

Audience Analysis and Report Organization

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

slide16

If readers

are informed

Direct Pattern

Audience Analysis and Report Organization

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

slide17

If readers

are informed

Direct Pattern

Audience Analysis and Report Organization

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

slide18

If readers

are informed

Report

-----Main Idea ----

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----------------------

Direct Pattern

Audience Analysis and Report Organization

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

slide19

Audience Analysis and Report Organization

If readers

are supportive

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

slide20

If readers

are supportive

Audience Analysis and Report Organization

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

slide21

If readers

are supportive

Direct Pattern

Audience Analysis and Report Organization

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

slide22

If readers

are supportive

Direct Pattern

Audience Analysis and Report Organization

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

slide23

Report

-----Main Idea ----

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----------------------

If readers

are supportive

Direct Pattern

Audience Analysis and Report Organization

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

slide24

Audience Analysis and Report Organization

If readers

are eager to

have results first

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

slide25

If readers

are eager to

have results first

Audience Analysis and Report Organization

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

slide26

Direct Pattern

If readers

are eager to

have results first

Audience Analysis and Report Organization

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

slide27

Direct Pattern

If readers

are eager to

have results first

Audience Analysis and Report Organization

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

slide28

Report

-----Main Idea ----

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----------------------

Direct Pattern

If readers

are eager to

have results first

Audience Analysis and Report Organization

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

slide29

If readers

are informed

If readers

are supportive

If readers

are eager to

have results first

Audience Analysis and Report Organization

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

slide30

If readers

are informed

If readers

are supportive

If readers

are eager to

have results first

Audience Analysis and Report Organization

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

slide31

If readers

are informed

If readers

are supportive

Direct Pattern

If readers

are eager to

have results first

Audience Analysis and Report Organization

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

slide32

If readers

are informed

If readers

are supportive

Direct Pattern

If readers

are eager to

have results first

Audience Analysis and Report Organization

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

slide33

If readers

are informed

Report

-----Main Idea ----

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----------------------

If readers

are supportive

Direct Pattern

If readers

are eager to

have results first

Audience Analysis and Report Organization

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

slide34

Audience Analysis and Report Organization

If readers

need to be

educated

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

slide35

If readers

need to be

educated

Audience Analysis and Report Organization

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

slide36

If readers

need to be

educated

Indirect Pattern

Audience Analysis and Report Organization

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

slide37

If readers

need to be

educated

Indirect Pattern

Audience Analysis and Report Organization

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

slide38

If readers

need to be

educated

Report

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----Main Idea ----

Indirect Pattern

Audience Analysis and Report Organization

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

slide39

Audience Analysis and Report Organization

If readers

need to be

persuaded

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

slide40

If readers

need to be

persuaded

Audience Analysis and Report Organization

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

slide41

If readers

need to be

persuaded

Indirect Pattern

Audience Analysis and Report Organization

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

slide42

If readers

need to be

persuaded

Indirect Pattern

Audience Analysis and Report Organization

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

slide43

Report

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----Main Idea ----

If readers

need to be

persuaded

Indirect Pattern

Audience Analysis and Report Organization

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

slide44

Audience Analysis and Report Organization

If readers

may be hostile

or disappointed

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

slide45

If readers

may be hostile

or disappointed

Audience Analysis and Report Organization

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

slide46

Indirect Pattern

If readers

may be hostile

or disappointed

Audience Analysis and Report Organization

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

slide47

Indirect Pattern

If readers

may be hostile

or disappointed

Audience Analysis and Report Organization

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

slide48

Report

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----Main Idea ----

Indirect Pattern

If readers

may be hostile

or disappointed

Audience Analysis and Report Organization

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

slide49

If readers

need to be

educated

If readers

need to be

persuaded

If readers

may be hostile

or disappointed

Audience Analysis and Report Organization

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

slide50

If readers

need to be

educated

If readers

need to be

persuaded

If readers

may be hostile

or disappointed

Audience Analysis and Report Organization

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

slide51

If readers

need to be

educated

If readers

need to be

persuaded

Indirect Pattern

If readers

may be hostile

or disappointed

Audience Analysis and Report Organization

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

slide52

If readers

need to be

educated

If readers

need to be

persuaded

Indirect Pattern

If readers

may be hostile

or disappointed

Audience Analysis and Report Organization

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

slide53

If readers

need to be

educated

Report

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----------------------

-----Main Idea ----

If readers

need to be

persuaded

Indirect Pattern

If readers

may be hostile

or disappointed

Audience Analysis and Report Organization

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

applying the writing process to reports
Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Step 5

Step 6

Step 7

Analyze the problem and purpose.

Anticipate the audience and issues.

Prepare a work plan.

Implement your research strategy.

Organize, analyze, interpret, illustrate the data.

Compose the first draft.

Revise, proofread, and evaluate.

Applying the Writing Processto Reports

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

work plan for a formal report
Work Plan for a Formal Report
  • Statement of problem
  • Statement of purpose
  • Sources and methods of data collection
  • Tentative outline
  • Work schedule

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

researching report data
Researching Report Data

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

researching report data57
Researching Report Data
  • Locating secondary print data
    • Books – card catalog, online catalog
    • Periodicals – print indexes, CD-ROM indexes

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

researching report data58
Researching Report Data
  • Locating secondary electronic data
    • Electronic databases
    • The Internet
    • World Wide Web search tools

Google MSN search

Ask Jeeves Yahoo!

    • Evaluating Web sources

How current is the information?

How credible is the author or source?

What is the purpose of the site?

Do the facts seem reliable?

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

researching report data59
Researching Report Data
  • Tips for searching the Web
    • Use two or three search tools.
    • Understand case sensitivity.
    • Prefer uncommon words.
    • Omit articles and prepositions.
    • Use wild cards.
    • Know your search tool.
    • Learn basic Boolean search strategies.
    • Bookmark the best pages.
    • Be persistent.
    • Repeat your search a week later.

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

researching report data60
Researching Report Data
  • Researching primary data
    • Surveys
    • Interviews
    • Observation
    • Experimentation

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

illustrating report data
Illustrating Report Data

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

illustrating report data62
Illustrating Report Data
  • Functions of graphics
    • To clarify data
    • To condense and simplify data
    • To emphasize data

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

illustrating report data63
Illustrating Report Data
  • Forms and objectives of graphics
    • Table

To show exact figures and values

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

illustrating report data64
Illustrating Report Data
  • Forms and objectives of graphics
    • Bar chart

To compare one item with others

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

illustrating report data65
Illustrating Report Data
  • Forms and objectives of graphics
    • Line chart

To demonstrate changes in quantitative data over time

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

illustrating report data66
Illustrating Report Data
  • Forms and objectives of graphics
    • Pie graph

To visualize a whole unit and the proportion of its components

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

illustrating report data67

Repair

Receive

Test

Re-stock

Re-box

Floor

Shelves

Ship

Illustrating Report Data
  • Forms and objectives of graphics
    • Flow chart

To display a process or procedure

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

illustrating report data68
Illustrating Report Data
  • Forms and objectives of graphics
    • Organization chart

To define a hierarchy of elements

Charles Eubank

President

William Dixon

Joan Williams

Wayne Lu

Vice President

Vice President

Vice President

Sales

Design

Production

Clarice Brown

John Deleuze

George LaPorte

Manager

Manager

Foreman

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

illustrating report data69
Illustrating Report Data
  • Forms and objectives of graphics
    • Photograph, map, illustration

To create authenticity, to spotlight a location, and to show an item in use

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

pie graph
Pie Graph

2006 MPM INCOME BY DIVISION

DVDs & Videos

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

pie graph71
Pie Graph
  • Use pie graphs to show a whole and the proportion of its components.
  • Generally begin at the 12 o’clock position, drawing the largest wedge first. Computer software programs, however, may vary in placement of wedges.
  • Include, if possible, the actual percentage or absolute value for each wedge.

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

pie graph72
Pie Graph
  • Use four to eight segments for best results; if necessary, group small portions into one wedge called “Other.”
  • Distinguish wedges with color, shading, or crosshatching.
  • Keep all labels horizontal.

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

vertical bar chart

Figure 1 Figure number

2006 MPM INCOME BY DIVISION Figure title

40

Scale

value

$32.2

30

$24.3

$22.0

20

Millions of Dollars

10

0

Theme

Parks

Motion

Pictures

Videos

Scale captions

Source note

Source: Industry Profiles (New York: DataPro, 2002), 225.

Vertical Bar Chart

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

bar charts
Bar Charts
  • Bar charts make visual comparisons. They can compare related items, illustrate changes in data over time, and show segments as parts of wholes.
  • Bar charts may be vertical, horizontal, grouped, or segmented. Avoid showing too much information, thus producing clutter and confusion.

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

bar charts75
Bar Charts
  • The length of each bar and segment should be proportional.
  • Dollar or percentage amounts should start at zero.

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

documenting data
Documenting Data

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

documenting data77
Documenting Data
  • Reasons for crediting sources
    • Strengthens your argument
    • Gives you protection
    • Instructs readers

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

documenting data78
Documenting Data
  • Learning what to document
    • Another person's ideas, opinions, examples, or theory
    • Any facts, statistics, graphs, and drawings that are not common knowledge
    • Quotations of another person's actual spoken or written words
    • Paraphrases of another person's spoken or written words

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

documenting data79
Documenting Data
  • Manual notetaking suggestions
    • Record all major ideas from various sources on separate note cards.
    • Include all publication data along with precise quotations.
    • Consider using one card color for direct quotes and a different color for your paraphrases and summaries.

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

documenting data80
Documenting Data
  • Electronic notetaking suggestions
    • Begin your research by setting up a folder on your hard-drive that will contain your data.
    • Create separate subfolders for major topics, such as Introduction, Body, and Closing.
    • When on the Web or in electronic databases you find information you may be able to use, highlight (i.e., drag with your mouse) the passages you want to save, copy them (using control-c), paste them (using control-v) into documents that you will save in appropriate subfolders.

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

documenting data81
Documenting Data
  • Be sure to include all publication data.
  • Consider archiving on a Zip disk the Web pages or articles used in your research in case the data must later be verified.

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

documenting data82
Documenting Data
  • Learn to paraphrase
    • Read the original material carefully so that you can comprehend its full meaning.
    • Write your own version without looking at the original.
    • Do not repeat the grammatical structure of the original, and do not merely replace words of the original with synonyms.
    • Reread the original to be sure you covered the main points but did not borrow specific language.

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

documenting data83
Documenting Data
  • Two Documentation Formats
    • Modern Language Association

Author’s name and page (Smith 100) placed in text; complete references in “Works Cited.”

    • American Psychological Association

Author’s name, date of publication, and page number placed near text reference (Jones, 2000, p. 99). Complete references listed at end of report.

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e

slide84

End

Mary Ellen Guffey, Business Communication: Process and Product, 5e