View the How to Write a Report Presentation

10 Steps to a Better Report Grade
Getting Started
Step 1: Budget Your Time. There’s a basic formula:
 Allow
1/3 of the time for research.
 Allow
1/3 of the time for organizing data into a basic
written product and editing and/or reorganizing data.
 Allow
1/3 of the time for polishing the writing,
formatting and proofreading.
Research Phase
Step 2: Understand the Assignment
 What’s
the goal of the report?
 What’s the scope of the report? How many sources are
required? Think breadth.
 What level of detail is expected? How advanced?
Think depth here.
 What format is expected for the report and for citing
your sources?
Research Phase
Step 3: Choose Appropriate Sources
GO TO THE LIBRARY early. The Librarians are amazing
and helpful.
Wikipedia and Internet searches = introductory, OK for
definitions, a start.
Field-specific databases, professional journals, academic
sources = more appropriate for post-secondary research.
Research Phase
Did I mention
that you should
to the LIBRARY?
… seriously, they’re really helpful there.
Research Phase
Step 4: Save Time by Recording Sources
Collect good data, including visuals (tables, graphs, etc.)
Even if you’re not sure you’ll use it, print it out or photocopy
it & note the source right on the printed page.
Note all information required by the citation format you
must use.
Research Phase
Recording sources as you go saves time because:
 You
can easily find the article again if you want more
information or want to check your facts.
 You
pre-build your bibliography/list of works cited,
avoiding annoying searches for details later.
YOU KNOW? The new version of Word has a
fantastic References feature.
Organization & Writing Phase
Step 5: Organize Your Data
 What
information seems to belong together naturally?
 If
you group your data differently, does a different
organization seem to appear?
 Pick
the organization that works best for your project
requirements & reader.
Organization & Writing Phase
Step 6: Turn groups of data into report sections
 Organize
data in a group into a sensible order (chrono,
 Turn
each piece of data into a sentence. Turn the
group of sentences into a paragraph.
 Introduce
 Start
and conclude the paragraph.
thinking about intros, conclusions and
Organization and Writing Phase
Step 7: Meaningful Headings = Easy Marks
 The
organization you chose determines your headings.
Be consistent with the appearance of headings at each
 Major
grouping = HEADING
Sub-grouping = Subheading
Sub-sub-grouping = Sub-subheading
Organization and Writing Phase
Step 8: Edit
 OK.
You’ve got a basic document.
 THIS IS NOT ENOUGH. Take a hard look. In what
ways is it lacking?
Too much about A, not enough about B. Balance the data.
Biased – all positive reviews for A. Dig deeper.
Lame sources for Z. Get better ones.
It’s hard to understand/visualize X. Find/create a
Revising/Polishing Phase
Step 9: Revise/Reorganize/Rewrite
Check for the overall flow of logic in this phase.
Add, change or delete, according to what you noticed in the
editing phase.
Finalize your intro, conclusions and recommendations. Do
they reflect your content?
Finally, have another person read your report. Does it
make sense to him or her?
Polishing Phase
Step 10: Unify the Formatting
 Ensure
all headings look the same. And all subheadings. And all sub-sub… you get it.
 Ensure
you have used the same font, spacing, margins,
and paper throughout.
 Number
 Add
the pages.
covering material.
Polishing Phase
Step 11: Proofread
 OK,
OK, there are actually 11 steps, not 10, but 11
doesn’t sound as good.
 Proofreading means checking your grammar,
punctuation, and spelling.
 Use Spellcheck. Use grammar check.
 THEN CHECK IT YOURSELF. Read it out loud (you heard
me). You’ll catch a lot of errors that way.
 Don’t forget to visit a Communications Centre near you!!