Please read pages 267-282 in A Concise Guide to Technical Communication.
Respond to the below questions:
What purposes might call for writing a Long Report?
To inform an audience, offer a solution to a problem, report progress, or make a detailed recommendation.
“Long reports are often structured like a ______…”
A small book, with a table of contents, appendixes, and an index.
What types of audiences might be interested in reading long reports?
“Long reports are called for in situations where an audience needs _____ _____, _____, and _____ –the whole story.”
Detailed information, statistics, and background information.
Describe a possible scenario that might require a long report.
Recommending is different from ________?
Informing, so it’s important to understand the reason you are writing the report in the first place.
What are the 3 types of long reports?
Explain ‘Causal Report.’
used in situations where you need to explain what caused something to happen
Explain ‘Comparative Report.’
used when you need to rate similar items on the basis of specific criteria.
Explain ‘Feasibility Report.’
used when your purpose is to assess the practicality of an idea or plan.
The ‘Introduction’ of a long report does what?
Engages and orients the audience and provides background as briefly as possible for the given situation.
The ‘Body’ does what?
Describe and explains your findings.
What is the purpose of the ‘Conclusion’?
Answers the questions that originally sparked the analysis.
Your ‘Conclusion’ should provide what? What should it not include?
A clear and consistent perspective on the whole document. Don’t introduce new ideas, facts, or statistics in the conclusion.
“A long document must be _____________.”
Easily accessible and must accommodate users with various interests.
What is included in the ‘Front Matter’ of a long report? The ‘End Matter’?
Front: the title page, letter of transmittal, table of contents, and abstract.
What does the ‘Title Page’ include?
Report title, name, the names of all authors, and their affiliations.
What is the purpose of the ‘Letter of Transmittal’?
-Acknowledge individuals and organizations that helped with the report.
-Refer to sections of special interest.
-Discuss limitations of your study or any problems in gathering data.
-Discuss possible follow up investigations.
-Offer personal (or off-the-record) observations.
-Urge the recipient to immediate action.
What does the ‘Table of Contents’ do?
Help readers to find the information they are looking for by providing a table of content
What is the ‘Abstract’/’Executive Summary’?
For readers who are interested only in the big picture, the entire report may not be relevant, so most long reports are commonly preceded by an abstract (short) or an executive summary (longer).
What steps or suggestions should you follow when preparing an ‘Abstract’?
Make sure your abstract stands alone in terms of meaning.
Write for a general audience. Readers of the abstract are likely to vary in expertise, perhaps more than those who read the report itself; therefore translate all technical data.
Add no new information. Simply summarize the report.
Present your information in the following sequence :
Identify the issue or need that led to the report.
Offer the major findings from the body of the report.
Include a condensed conclusion and recommendations, if any.
When and why might you include ‘Appendixes’ in your long report?
Add one or more appendixes to your report if you your report if you have large blocks of material or other documents that are relevant but will bog readers down if placed in the middle of the document itself.
Why might you include a ‘Glossary’?
If your report contains more than two or three technical terms that may not be understood by all audience members.
Do ALL long reports include all of the same elements? What factors should you consider when deciding what to include?
Not all reports have all of these supplements.
Briefly list long report “usability considerations.”
-Clearly identify the problem or goal.
-Provide enough information but not too much.
-Provide accurate information.
-Use appropriate visuals.
-Use informative headings.
-Write clearly and concisely.
“To address the true purpose of the situation, you must ___________________.”
Identify the main goal.
“Any usable analysis must ___________________.”
Address the needs, interests, and technical expertise of your audience.
“Make sure your information is _____________________________.”
As accurate as possible and, to the best of your ability, without bias.
“…visual information can make _____________________.”
Complex statistics and numeric data easy to understand.
In long reports, what purpose do ‘Headings’ and ‘Subheadings’ serve?
To announce what each section contains.
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