Informal reports are the simplest and shortest; they are also the most frequently used reports in the business. How to write an informal report effectively or the development process of the informal reports is very important for an effective informal report.
The length may vary from one to five pages in the memorandum, letter, or manuscript format. Regardless of the length or format, all informal reports have common elements. The major common elements in the order of their development are:
How to write an informal report
The development process of informal report
- Define the problem.
- Cite sources of information.
- Establish a work plan.
- Collect and organize data.
- Analyze data.
By these steps which are mentioned below, you will be able to develop an informal report.
1. Define the Problem
The first step in the development of any report is to define the problem in precise terms. The problem can be defined as the answer to the question? What do you want to know? By answering other questions, why? When? Where? and Who? the problem can be defined more clearly.
The answers to these five questions will establish the scope of the study. Clearly defining a problem is important because it will save time, effort, and money.”
- What: A study of the workflow.
- Why: To determine whether the workflow is efficient.
- When: Current.
- Where: In the mailroom.
- Who: Mailroom employees.
2. Cite Source of Information
Sources of information can be any report, person, or other information, written or oral, which will produce data to solve a problem. If you are given the task of finding out how the employees would react to a certain proposal, you would either interview each employee or have each one fill out a short questionnaire.
If you are asked how customers would “react, the customers would be interviewed or asked to complete a questionnaire. For example, many restaurants have simple questionnaires that customers may fill in to indicate the quality of food, service, and atmosphere.
Sometimes you may have to observe someone’s reactions. Observations can be a very important source of information. A clearly defined problem statement is important in seeking the proper sources of information.
3. Establish a Work Plan
In establishing a work plan you must decide:
- When is the report due?
- What are the tasks to be done?
- Who is responsible for each task?
- When is each task to be completed?
By answering these questions, you will establish a working plan and will begin to solve the stated problem. After the tasks have been determined, you must decide how many of the tasks to assume personally and how many to delegate to others.
Your work plan should also include a detailed time frame so that exact dates are established for the completion of each task. These dates will help enable the research team to meet the time limitation for completing the entire report.
4. Collect and organize data
This is another essential step for how to write an informal report.
The process of collecting data depends on the sources of information used. You will find it helpful to use index cards to collect data from any source. The index card should contain as much information about the source as possible.
For example, the following information should be noted for each library source:
- Title of article, chapter, or report.
- Date of publication.
- Page references
Although all this information may not be available for unpublished sources, enough information should be collected so that you can easily find the source if it is needed again.
You can use abbreviations and put the material in your own words. If you want to use the material in the author’s words or copy exactly from a report, the quoted material must be enclosed in quotation marks and credit given to the source.
If the data are from interviews questionnaires, personnel files, or any sources that need to be tabulated, a summary or tally sheet should be used.
5. Analyze Data
The final step in the development process is to analyze data. After you have collected the data on note cards, on a tally sheet, or in graphic form, you have all the information necessary to solve the problem.
When analyzing data that are gathered in numeric form, use some measurements to point out relationships. Although there are many different measurement techniques, percentages and ratios are used most often.
To write an effective informal report should follow the instruction above for how to write an informal report.
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