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S T U D E N T

L E A R N I N G

D E V E L O P M E N T

C E N T R E

Report writing

Report
writing
Anne Hilton

De Montfort University Library


Series editors: Anne Hilton and Sue Robinson
Originally sponsored by the ELI
1995 De Montfort University. All rights reserved.

Contents
Introduction to this study pack ....................................................... 3
Objectives .........................................................................................3
Brief .................................................................................................. 4
1 Introduction ..........................................................................5
1.1 Why reports are written ........................................................... 5
1.2 The report format ..................................................................... 6
1.3 Constitution of a report ............................................................ 8
1.4 How reports are read ................................................................ 8
2 The report structure ...........................................................11
2.1 The title page .......................................................................... 11
2.2 The summary .......................................................................... 12
2.3 The contents list ...................................................................... 12
2.4 The introduction ..................................................................... 15
2.5 The main body of the report .................................................. 16
2.6 The conclusions and recommendations ................................ 18
2.7 The appendices ....................................................................... 19
2.8 The bibliography ..................................................................... 19
2.9 Summary writing..................................................................... 20
3 Some notes on planning and writing reports .................... 22
3.1 Deciding what information is needed ................................... 22
3.2 Gathering information ............................................................ 22
3.3 Analysing information ............................................................. 23
3.4 Writing up ............................................................................... 23
3.5 Review and typing ................................................................... 24
4 Bibliography ........................................................................26
Report writing activity ................................................................... 28

Introduction to this study pack


This package aims to form a practical introduction to the basics of
report writing, to enable novices to understand the report format and
to organise and write clear report texts.
If you have never written a report before it may feel strange at first,
particularly if you have not had the opportunity of reading many
reports. Dont worry this is not a problem everyone has to start
somewhere!

Objectives
By the end of this study pack, you should be able to:

recognise and understand the report format as distinct from


essays or other written styles;

design and organise a good report structure and


communicate this clearly through the contents list and general
physical structure of the report;

write in the report style, adhering to good report layout;

write clear, short summaries and relevant introductions;

present relevant evidence from which you make


constructive conclusions

The package is designed to enable you to work at your own pace, to


experiment and maybe even to make mistakes, but certainly to learn
from the experience;
Throughout, you will be presented with information about the process
of report writing and questioned to check your understanding. You
can perform activities on the pages included at the rear of this pack.
However, to write a report you need a brief to work from.
If you have already been given a report to write, you can use that
brief.
If you do not already have such a brief, use the fictitious one provided
over the page. Dont worry too much about the facts. You are
practising report writing not research methods, so if you need to you
can make up some facts for your activities.

Brief
Your Students Union (SU) has been asked by the Local Authority to
comment on student accommodation in your area. The SU has asked
you to prepare a report for the Local Authority which will establish
that the institution (university/college) is responsible for making sure
sufficient accommodation is available to their students.
You are asked to consider, firstly, the effects that high rents have,
especially now that most students are supported by loans and,
secondly, the deteriorating quality of both private accommodation and
student hostels. Another problem is the of lack of housing benefit
available to students which is particularly significant where
accommodation has to be retained in the vacations.
Meanwhile the government intends to increase the total percentage of
young people in higher education, which also has strong implications
for availability of accommodation.
To enable you to get underway practising your report-writing skills we
will assume you have done all your research! You have read all
relevant publications for the past ten years and looked particularly at
European practice. You have also conducted a survey among your
fellow students and have interviewed fifty local landlords.
Your research has given you the following facts:

you have data for the past ten years to show that availability of
accommodation is worsening;

you have statistics to say that 76.5% of students think all first
year students should be offered places in halls of residence;

your interviews with landlords show that accommodation on


the open market is becoming more difficult as rents rise and
quality deteriorates;

the student survey revealed that even halls of residence are


largely in need of re-furbishment to bring them up to standard.

Remember, you can use your own brief if you wish.

Introduction
The first step in report writing is to understand the nature of the
report animal. Those of you who have never written reports or who
have written only essays up to now, or even those of you who have
written bad reports, may feel this is far from easy. This is largely
because you probably do not understand what you are trying to do.
This study pack works on the theory that if you know what you are
doing then practise will quickly make perfect!
The following sections consider the nature of reports with the
intention of getting an understanding of them.
If you wish to take a break, do so after completion of the individual
activities.
Good luck!

1.1

Why reports are written


Before we can start to write good reports it is important to understand
why a report is required, and not an essay or long letter, etc.
Reports are usually written because there is a need for specific
information to enable a course of action to be taken. For example,

a problem needs investigating

a decision needs to be taken.

This is distinctly different from the essay format which may ask you to
explore a theme or develop your ideas and so on.
Therefore, it follows that reports are written at the commission or
request of a particular person or group or organisation: your client,
manager or government department. The report is written for a
purpose and for a specific audience. Keep both of these clearly in
mind when you work on the report and pay attention to the brief or
terms of reference you are given for writing the report.
What reports are not is just descriptions taken literally from one text
and then re-written in your own words. The facts should be applied to
the problem. Someone needs your analysis of the situation. Therefore
use the information and avoid quoting it literally.

Activity 1
Bearing in mind the specificity of the need for this report, which of
the following elements would you expect in the brief and which would
you disregard?
a A description of the problem.
b An outline of what information is needed.
c

A definitive history of the subject and related areas.

d The scope and limitations of the report.


e Reviews of previous reports written for your client.
f

What types of recommendations are expected.

g The deadline for submission.


h An indication of issues not directly relevant but similar to the
topic.
The answers will be provided later in this document

1.2

The report format


So now we know why reports are written, but what is so particular
about the report format?
To understand the report format it is often helpful to contrast it to the
more familiar essay. Essays are written with a beginning, a middle and
an end and can therefore only be read consecutively, from beginning
to end. This is very time consuming. People who read reports are
generally short of time and need to be able to read them quickly. A
clue to how this affects the report format is that reports are not
structured as continuous prose. They are arranged so that any item of
information can be spotted quickly and read separately. Could your
reader do this with your report?
In addition the experiences of the reader may differ to that of the
writer so that a different interpretation is arrived at. Think of all the
people who have discussed the different interpretations of
Shakespeare or T. S. Eliot! In creative writing this is acceptable. In
report writing it can be positively dangerous! Consider the busy
manager who asks you to report on the safety of a power station. You
find the power station to be unsafe, but write in such convoluted prose
that it is assumed you are saying all is well. A week later and bang!

Lesson number one is that reports are usually more important than
essays in that a course of action will emanate from them. Many people
forget this and just content themselves with describing the problem.
To summarise so far then, reports, in contrast to essays, are designed
to convey specific information fast and accurately. These two criteria
(speed reading and accurate comprehension) tend to dictate all the
distinct characteristics found in a standard report format and will be
explored later in this text. Meanwhile, the following activity will give
some indicators of what is meant by these criteria.

Activity 2
The following are elements of a report. Tick the ones which are
designed for:
1: speed reading
2: accurate comprehension
1

a A summary at the beginning of the report which


conveys the main findings to a scanning reader.
b A very detailed contents list which enables
location of specific information.
c Signposting of key sections of information by
headings and numbered sections.
d Appendices where large chunks of indigestible
information can be removed from the main text.
e The use of illustrations such as graphs or charts to
represent the complex data placed in the appendices
more simply.
f

A written style which is objective and impersonal.

g A clear body of argument presented without the


clutter of extra verbiage.
h Facts which are presented analytically in the body
of the report.
i

Your own opinions presented in the conclusions


or recommendations.
P

Hopefully we are now beginning to see why the report format exists!

1.3

Constitution of a report
Basically there are two elements in any report. In order not to forget
this, think of a report as two hands clapping:
One hand: evidence which substantiates your facts should be
presented and the sources identified as references to texts. These are
always listed in the bibliography at the end to enable your evidence
to be checked or followed up.
Other hand: opinion, professional that is. Your considered opinions
are placed as conclusions and recommendations at the end of the
report.
With two hands you are now able to clap! Remember, no-one hears
one hand clapping, so make sure your report has two.

1.4

How reports are read


This may seem simple: the obvious answer being from beginning to
end like all good stories. But this is not so. Below is an analysis of how
managers read reports.
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Summary

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Introduction 123456789012345678901234567890121234567890123456789
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Body
Conclusion

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Appendix

(Windust, 1983)
This is important, because unless you know how reports are read you
will fail to produce a good one. For example, if all the effort is put into
the body of the report with poor conclusions and a weak summary
then it will fail to communicate properly to the reader.

A good report gives the information asked for in the way the reader
wants it. For example, remember to identify your audience; is it a
layman or a fellow colleague? Also, remember the purpose of the
report. This section should have explained the fundamentals and got
you thinking about what and why a report is.
Remember this saying which, whilst not talking about the report
format, does typify it:

tell them what you are going to tell them (summary)

tell them (body)

then tell them what you already told them (conclusion and
recommendations).

Take note all of you who feel that reports are repetitive this is exactly
so!
Now let us look at the application of report writing.

Answers to the activities in section 1


Activity 1
3 and 8 are not needed in your report. Only directlyrelevant history
and background are needed.
Activity 2
Answers are as follows:
1: speed reading
2: accurate comprehension
1

a A summary at the beginning of the report which


conveys the main findings to a scanning reader.
b A very detailed contents list which enables
location of specific information.
c Signposting of key sections of information by
headings and numbered sections.
d Appendices where large chunks of indigestible
information can be removed from the main text.
e The use of illustrations such as graphs or charts to
represent the complex data placed in the
appendices more simply.
f

A written style which is objective and impersonal.

g A clear body of argument presented without the


clutter of extra verbiage.
h Facts which are presented analytically in the body
of the report.
i

Your own opinions presented in the conclusions


or recommendations.

Now let us look at the application of report writing.

10

The report structure


The layout of most reports tends to follow a standard pattern, which is
roughly as follows:

title page

summary

list of contents

list of figures (if applicable)

introduction

main body of the report

conclusions and recommendations

appendices

bibliography

This is not a fixed rule. Some reports may not contain everything listed
above, while others may have additional sections. This is just a guide,
but it is the format this package will take you through.
The following sections will enable you to try out your report-writing
skills. Dont worry if this feels odd at first. Relax, you can learn a lot
from your mistakes.

2.1

The title page


The title should be brief but explicit. Do not make it abstract and do
not concoct a meaningless description. It should express the purpose
of the report and adhere to the brief. For example, a brief asking you
to investigate the lecturing standards at De Montfort University
should be something like:
An investigation into lecturing standards at De Montfort
University: 1990-91
not
Unspeakable boredom.
The title page should also include:

your name

the date

for whom the report is written

statements of confidentiality, etc.

11

It should avoid gimmicks such as coloured pens or fancy lettering


which give an unprofessional image.

Activity 3
So now we can begin report writing.

2.2

Check your brief and turn to page 28 at the back of the pack.

Draft out a title page along the lines indicated here.

The summary
The next element of a report is a summary, but as the summary is a
description of the finished report it obviously cannot be written until
the report is finished.
For the moment make a mental note that in the report the summary
comes after the title page and before the contents page.

2.3

The contents list


This is where all good report writing begins. Design a good contents
list before you start writing and everything else will come more easily.
Basically the contents list is a valuable information point for the
reader. It gives an outline of the structure of the report and shows
the logical approach taken to break down and analyse the problem.
Lecturers pay particular attention to this page, so make sure it is good!
The contents list will have specific chapter or section headings for the
main body of the report. The sections should be numbered and show
the pages on which they can be found. The two main methods for
numbering chapters or sections are as follows.

12

Alpha-numeric
For example:
Page
1
2
3
3
5
6

Summary
1 Introduction
2 First chapter heading
a) section heading
i)
sub-heading
ii)
sub-heading
through to
12 Bibliography

49

Decimal
For example:
Page
1
2
3
3
5
6

Summary
1 Introduction
2 First chapter heading
2.1 section heading
2.1.1 sub-heading
2.1.2 sub-heading
through to
12 Bibliography

49

Note, the numbering sequence begins at the introduction not the


summary.

2.3.1 Illustrations
Lists of figures and tables or any other illustrative material should
have a different numbering sequence to the text. For example:
Page
Figure i: Table of accident statistics

45

If you do include illustrations make sure that:

they work

they are self-explanatory

they are clearly titled

they are correctly cross-referenced to the text.

13

Activity 4
Now have a go at drafting out a contents list (imaginary for those
following the brief given in this study pack), bearing in mind that this
is best done as soon as you have collected and assimilated all the
information and before you begin writing. Remember, this is where
the report is designed.
The procedure is as follows:
a

Array all your information.

b Choose a method of presentation, e.g.


chronological
comparative
hierarchical, etc.
c

Arrange information into main groups (chapters with numbers


e.g.: 4 Student Hostels, etc.).

d Now arrange the chapters logically in the method you have


decided upon.
e Logically arrange the sections to each chapter (sub-sections)
e.g.: 4 Student hostels
4.1 Accommodation available
4.2 Hostel prices, etc.
f

Do not forget to list, number and title separately:


figures such as photographs, maps, diagrams, etc.
appendices.

When you are ready, turn to page 30 and draft out the contents list.
Return to the next section when you have completed the activity.

14

2.4

The introduction
Sometimes called the preface or foreword, it should set the scene and
capture the attention of the reader by stating:

the aims and objectives in detail;

the problem which required the report to be written;

what the report intends to achieve) e.g.: solution toidentify


main problemsetc.).;

any definition of terms;

the research methods of your investigation;

where you start and stop;

background history, as necessary.

Keep it brief and stick to the salient points only. A history does not
have to go back to prehistoric times. Only include that history which
affects the subject of the report.
First, let us clarify some points which may be a problem.
Aims and objectives may be remembered alphabetically in that A
comes before O. In reality an aim is a general statement of intent and
objectives follow as the specific ways of achieving the aim (e.g.: Im
aiming to get you to write reports. One objective is to get you to write
an introduction).
Research methods are how you plan to find your information. Noone will believe accommodation is inadequate without published
statistics or a survey of the problems, etc.

Activity 5
Before you write the introduction there are things you need from the
brief, so make a note of them here:
Aims of the report ....................................................................................
.................................................................................................................
Objectives.................................................................................................
.................................................................................................................

15

Research methods ...................................................................................


.................................................................................................................
Problem or reason for the report ............................................................
.................................................................................................................
What the report intends to achieve ........................................................
.................................................................................................................
Consult your brief and identify the items listed here. Write a short
statement for each in the space provided above.
When you have done this you are now ready to write the introduction.
Turn to page 31 and write an introduction using the above
information. Aim to write about one page of text.
Do not forget to plan the introduction first and remember that the
numbering sequence of reports starts here.
Have you chosen a numbering system from the two samples shown?
Return to the next section when you have completed the activity.

2.5

The main body of the report


This is the section of the report where the facts or evidence are
presented. It extends from the introduction up to the conclusions and
recommendations. You should take care to make a clear reference to
the texts which constitute your evidence and support your arguments.
Always write up from a well-designed contents structure. In this
respect reports are easier to write than essays.
How you choose to arrange the body of the report depends on your
personal preference. Below is a list of tips.

Arrange material into groups of similar information and sub


divide as you feel necessary much as you did at the Contents
stage.

Give each section a heading which indicates its content.

Ensure all related ideas are grouped together and not scattered
throughout the report.

16

Sections should follow each other logically: chronologically;


geographically, historically, etc., as discussed earlier.

Present the facts then analyse the information. (Note that


although we talk about the main body of the report, this term is
never used. Each chapter will have its own title!)

Build your argument step-by-step towards your conclusions.

Look at section 3.4 for more tips on writing up.

Activity 6
To try out your skills at writing in report style choose one chapter
from the contents list, but not the introduction or the conclusions. It
does not have to be chapter 1.
The virtue of writing from such a detailed structure as your contents
list is that you can do the easiest bits first. Youll be surprised at how
much easier the problem sections become if you do this. For example,
you might not feel confident about chapter 2 yet, but you could have a
good go at chapter 6.
Draft out the chapter of your choice.
Remember:

each sub-section makes 1 point

use numbered headings and sub-sections

include a fictitious diagram for practice and refer to it in your


text

refer your reader to the data for this diagram which is in


Appendix 3.

Turn to page 32 and write two pages of text. Make up the facts but use
good structure and clear prose. Consult the brief for ideas.

17

2.6

The conclusions and recommendations


Conclusions and recommendations can be combined or dealt with in
two separate chapters. Either way, they should be clear and precise
and they are better listed with headings.
a Conclusions should draw out the implications from the body.
They should relate closely to the textual content of the report and
should never introduce new material.
b Recommendations should aim to improve the situation and
should describe a clear course of action. Remember, this is the
section usually read after the summary and before the main body
of the report. Therefore this section should be well thought out
and strong. In course work this is where marks may be gained
because it allows you to demonstrate your professional
competence in a given situation.

Activity 7
Now is the moment of truth. You have to decide what the overall
conclusions were and what you will recommend. The choice is yours,
but it must be supported by good reasons. You must always go with
the evidence.
Again, if you are using the brief provided in this study pack, this
section will be fictitious. For example:
Conclude which method of accommodation has come out as best

say why one does

say why the others do not

Recommend how these conclusions should be acted upon

government investment

a separate inquiry into needs, etc.

When you are ready, turn to pages 34 and 35 and complete this
section.

18

2.7

The appendices
The appendices are where you should put all the supporting
information which would otherwise hinder speed reading of the
report. It is also where you place all the information you have
collected in the form of data, letters and so on. For example,
appendices are used to present the following types of information:

information which is useful to the understanding of the


presentation but is not essential to the text;

information which is referred to continuously in the text and


has therefore no one logical position in the text;

tabular information;

other supporting evidence not available in normal published


sources and held only by you, e.g.; letters, trade literature,
survey information, etc., which you will have collected.

Anything in the appendices should have been referred to in the text.


For example:
A questionnaire (Appendix 3) was sent to 30 colleges and the
results (Appendix 4) show clearly that
In other words, there is a copy of the questionnaire in Appendix 3 and
the details of the responses in Appendix 4.

2.8

The bibliography
This may also be called a list of references as it is a list of all the
published evidence you have referred to in the main body of the
report. Your reader, quite reasonably, will want to know the full details
of any texts you say you have referred to. What doesnt go in the
bibliography is non-standard publications such as letters and so on,
which only you have access to.
Remember the texts you refer to are the support for your arguments.
Therefore, do not miss them out of your writing or you will weaken
your case.
An example of citing references is shown on page 8 where Windust is
the author of the diagram shown. The full reference for this will be
shown in the bibliography which you can see at the end of this study
pack.
If you wish, you may also list your background readings. However, if
they are not referred to in the text they should not be included in the

19

bibliography. Make a separate listing called Background reading or


Further information.
For more detailed instructions please follow the self-study pack on
using information. This will help you to complete your experience of
report writing.

2.9

Summary writing
Now you should be ready for the summary.
Often called an abstract or precis, the summary should tell in a
nutshell all that the report accomplishes:
its aims (introduction)

what it looked at (introduction)

how it looked at it (introduction)

what was found (main body)

what action is called for (conclusions/recommendations)

Remember this summary is usually read first and will have an


important impact on the reader who may have to skim many reports
every day.
If it helps, remember to talk about the report and continue to do so
until you get to the end of the summary. For example, This report
aims toIt concludes etc. Having done this, do not talk about the
report anywhere else. Also, aim for a maximum length of half to threequarters of a page.
The art is to mention the important points of the report and not try
to describe every item covered. If you become bogged down with
detail, leave the report in a separate room and write the summary
from memory. Your memory should filter important points from
clutter.

Activity 8
If you have completed the activities up to this point you are now in a
position to write a summary of the report, even though you will put it
at the beginning of the report in front of the contents page. Most
students find the summary a great problem, so, to prepare you, fill in
the following gaps first with short notes.
R

20

Remember you are not trying to condense the whole report but are
indicating to your reader the important points, which are:
Aims ..........................................................................................................
.................................................................................................................
Objectives.................................................................................................
.................................................................................................................
Problem ....................................................................................................
.................................................................................................................
Method .....................................................................................................
.................................................................................................................
Findings....................................................................................................
.................................................................................................................
Conclusions ..............................................................................................
.................................................................................................................
Recommendations ...................................................................................
.................................................................................................................
It will be useful if you can supply a short statement for each of these
criteria before you start. When you begin the summary proper, aim for
about half a page of text only! Turn to page 29 to complete the
activity.

21

Some notes on planning and writing reports


The best reports are planned reports. Make a note of the stages of
report writing and plan your time so that they all get the attention they
require. For example:

deciding what information is needed

gathering information

analysing the information

writing up

reviewing

typing (where applicable)

checking

Do a little and often for a less painful experience!

3.1

Deciding what information is needed


Look carefully at your brief and decide where you can expect to find
the best information. It is usually wise to start with a literature search,
if only to discover what information is available and what has gone on
before. Even if you then decide to do surveys or questionnaires this
will give you a sound base for the report.

3.2

Gathering information
This must be done systematically in the case of a literature search and
with sound and tested methodology in the case of surveys and so on.
The library will provide packages explaining the basic literature search
strategy, but other investigative methods can be devised through
standard text books and the advice of your tutor. It is important to
ensure that you have gathered all the relevant information on a
systematic and scientific basis to ensure that your report is accurate
and balanced and that your arguments cannot be refuted.

22

3.3

Analysing information
This is a very important stage. Do not rush into writing the report too
quickly. You have two tasks:

to be objective

to digest the facts and present the reader with an


interpretation.

You cannot do either of these in a hurry. Try to put aside your preconceived opinions and look disinterestedly, as a judge would, at the
evidence. Then think how this would best be conveyed to the reader.

Can any concepts or information be presented graphically to


illustrate the situation better?

Avoid using lengthy quotations, it is your job to analyse the


information.

Can any detailed information be relegated to the appendices?

Are you sure you have kept your opinions separate for the
conclusions and recommendations?

When you do decide how you will present the facts do not forget to
make references to your sources of information.

3.4

Writing up
When you begin to write remember that your task is:

to present the facts

to analyse the information

to show how the work was done

to present your conclusions

The report should have a structured unity. To do this, keep the title
and the reader clearly in mind throughout. Note the advice in section
2.5.
For those counting words, count everything from the introduction up
to and including conclusions and recommendations. Nothing else!
Arrange your references so that you remember to cite them, and make
sure that all sections are clearly labelled and numbered. Use plenty of
space when you write up as this makes reading the report quicker and
easier.

23

Write the main body of the report first, then work out the appendices
and illustrative content. Next, spend some time working out
professional and competent recommendations and conclusions while
the report is clearly in your mind. Only when this is accomplished
should you attempt to write the introduction and the summary. If you
try to do them first they may not relate to the true report once it is
written. Now you can draw up a contents list and finalise the title!

3.4.1 Written style in reports


The written style of the report is functional and formal. It is
concerned with a factual and objective weighing of evidence and a
consideration of all sides of the problem. Keep to the point and be as
brief as possible.
Here are some tips.

3.5

Avoid writing in the first person singular (I, we, you, etc.).

Use short sentences for clarity, without slipping into note form.

Make each paragraph contain one distinct idea.

Use quotations sparingly, it is your job to analyse the


information.

If you have a number of points always list them rather than talk
about them.

Use illustrative techniques wherever possible.

Explain all abbreviations.

Always acknowledge the source of your ideas.

Review and typing


The review is best done with a fresh mind after a break of about 24
hours. Try to read as if coming to the report for the first time and you
will detect errors easily missed when you have been working on the
report. Otherwise get a friend to comment on it. Finally, check you
have made your points clearly and logically, and, of course, check
grammar and spelling.
If you do have your report typed make sure that the typist has good,
clear instructions about:

margin spacings

line spacing

indentations and headings

how much space to leave for diagrams, etc.

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Keep a photocopy yourself and, if possible, give a phone number you


can be contacted on.
Always allow sufficient time for checking. In the case of typing
remember it will have to be returned to the typist for correction.
If you are compiling your own report, remember that layout is very
important to the presentation.
Therefore, if you are still at a basic stage of word-processing it may be
wiser to write it out by hand instead, unless of course you have been
asked specifically to word-process.
Your client is always the boss!

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Bibliography
BOWDEN, J. (1991) How to write a report, Plymouth, How to Books.
CHAPPELL, D. (1984) Report writing for architects, London,
Architectural Press (808.06672/CHA).
A bit dry, but has some useful tips.
COOPER, B. M. (1964) Writing technical reports, Harmondsworth,
Penguin (808.0666/COO)
A good business approach.
GORDON, K. (1984) The transitive vampire: An adult guide to
grammar, London, Severn House Pubs (428.2/GOR)
The only book on grammar which makes good bedtime reading!
SCOTT, B. (1984) Communication for professional engineers,
London, Telford (658.4502462/SCO)
A truly excellent book, not in the least limited to engineers.
STAPLETON, T. B. (1983) Pleased to report, London, Estates
Gazette (333.33/STA)
Particularly useful for surveyors and land managers etc.
WILLIS, P. (1983) Dissertation Handbook, London, RIBA
Publications (808.066721021/WIL)
Useful tips particularly on how to incorporate illustrations.
WINDUST, C. (1983) Whats so magical about a report?
Communication of Scientific and Technical Information, April, pp. 7-9
A very succinct account of why we need reports.
HAMILTON, A. Writing matters, London, RIBA Pubs
(808.066/HAM)
Written mainly for architects but good general application.

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