There are various reports available for various purposes. Now how the report will be developed is a key question here. There are some steps to write a report effectively. The following steps are generally followed to write a report.
Steps to write a Report
- Recognizing and defining a problem
- Defining the purpose and scope of the study
- Developing hypothesis
- Defining terms clearly
- Determining the Audience
- Selecting a method of solution
- Organizing, analyzing and interpreting the data
- Making an Outline
- Writing the final report.
Topic given above is the most important steps to write a report. Now detail discussion about the above topic given below:
1. Recognizing and defining a problem: One must first realize what the problem is. Then the problem should be defined by answering the following 5 W questions:
- What to study?
- Why do we need such study?
- When do we need such study?
- Where do we need to investigate?
- Who will be investigated?
2. Defining the Purpose and Scope of the Study: What is the purpose of any study, the reasons are discussed here. Then for the convenience of the study, the exact scope should also be determined, e.g. there is a labor-management problem for which an investigation is required.
Now the purpose of such investigation to study would be to find out those factors which are raising conflict between labors and management. Whereas the scope would be the factory workers and respective authority of the factory.
3. Developing hypothesis: For problem solving, research, a researcher should develop hypotheses. A hypothesis is a tentative statement or explanation of any problems. e.g. If the investigation is required to find out labor management problem, then the hypothesis could be as follows :
- H 1: There is a huge communication gap between management and labors
- H 2: Management has always ignored Job satisfaction of the labors.
4. Defining terms clearly: There may be various confusing terms related to study and require clear definition. So, definition of various confusing terms should be nicely presented, e.g. Job satisfaction depends on person to person. So, what’ type of satisfaction is ignored by management should be defined properly.
The term ‘labor’ is also a confusing One because there may be factory labor or general labor. So, which labors are facing problems should be defined properly.
The term ‘time’ is also confusing because it may be short term or long term. So, how long the problem exists between labors and management need proper definition.
5. Determining the Audience: Reports are prepared for readers. So, who are readers of the report should be considered carefully.
For example: Report for cost, volume and profit analysis is required for higher level management. This report is not for factory workers or outsiders. Annual confidential report (ACR) is made for higher level management and not for workers. So, the knowledge and interest of readers should be considered while preparing any report. So, the report should be reader oriented.
6. Collection of Data: To solve the problem we need some reasonable basis and therefore we need to collect data. Data are of two types:
- Primary data: Data collected from research, observation, experiment or survey,
- Secondary data: Data collected from the library.
7. Organizing, Analyzing and Interpreting the Data: Data which are collected is required to be arranged orderly, i.e., data should be arranged by some logical basis such as time, quantity and place. Analyzing involves examining the collected data for possible errors or omission and make proper editing for accuracy and completeness. After the data are organized and analyzed, now it is time to interpret the data in terms of logical meaning. More presentation of data does not make any sense; it requires an evaluation of the data to derive any logical conclusion.
8. Making an Outline: Once the final pattern of the report has taken shape in the writer’s mind, he should prepare an outline to write the report. In this outline the problem is stated, the facts are recorded, they are briefly analyzed and the logical conclusions are made. An outline is not essential -but it helps in writing a systematic report.
9. Writing the Final Report: The last stage is that of writing the report. The writer should be careful that the language of the report is simple and free from grammatical errors. The success or failure of all efforts made for the project under study depends directly on the nice presentation and preparation of the report.
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