While reports may seem like a chore, they play an important role at work. For example, they may inform, uncover problems, point to needed changes, or track progress. Most reports are easier to write if you follow systematic approach like this one
1) Gather the information you need. Focus on the objective and limit your research to what’s appropriate to the topic.
2) Create a rough draft. Include an introduction, background information, factual presentation of events or findings, conclusions and recommendations, as appropriate for the type of report.
3) Revise the rough draft. Focus on content, logic, clarity and amount of details. Number pages and sections so readers can follow and refer to your points easily. Check your document matches any house style.
4) Edit the second draft. Focus on the finer points – spelling, punctuation, grammar, etc.
5) Prepare the final report. Proofread it. Sign and date it, if all is well. Then, circulate copies as appropriate, keeping a file copy for yourself.
“Agendas” and “Minutes”
These are documents that can be considered types of reports. They prepare people to participate in meeting and reiterate what happened during meetings.
It is a list of the topics to be discussed during the meeting. The agenda is circulated to all who will attend, prior to the meeting. Topics are often listed in order of importance, and/or time to be allotted to each is given. Topics should be described in enough detail to be meaningful.
The minutes of the meeting
Summarize the discussion that occurred and any decisions that were made or actions agreed upon. The minutes are usually written up later, based on notes taken during the meeting. Copies of the minutes are circulated to all who attended the meeting
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