Guide to Report Writing / Edition 1

Paperback (Print)
Rent
Rent from BN.com
$8.91
(Save 75%)
Est. Return Date: 10/28/2014
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
$33.30
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $31.68
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 11%)
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (9) from $31.68   
  • New (5) from $31.71   
  • Used (4) from $31.68   

Overview

This concise, practical book is written for you if your professional success is linked to the quality of the reports you produce. You will learn how to. . .

  • Manage data, minimize discomfort, and master the report-writing process
  • Assure that your reports get read, understood, and acted on—rather than contributing to information overload
  • Develop a communication strategy that enables you to design reports to meet the needs of diverse readers and decision-makers
  • Write reports that are clear, high in skim-value, and rich in content-value
  • Follow a sound approach to report-writing so you will avoid procrastination and use your time productively
  • Allow your readers to find it a pleasure—rather than a struggle—to read your reports
  • Convey your ideas so clearly and persuasively that you gain recognition and influence within your organization
Like all the books in the Prentice Hall Guides to Advanced Business Communications series, this book is . . .
  • Brief: summarizes key ideas only
  • Practical: offers clear, straightforward tools you can use
  • Reader-friendly: provides easy-to-skim format
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Listed by the Wall Street Journal as one of the five business "books you shouldn't miss."

"Really a gem. — Former managing editor, Harvard Business Review

"Short, compact, practical, and readable ...l liked it immensely." — Journal of Business Communication

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780130417718
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 7/2/2001
  • Series: Guide to Series in Business Communication Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 87
  • Sales rank: 314,951
  • Product dimensions: 5.27 (w) x 7.95 (h) x 0.23 (d)

Read an Excerpt

HOW THIS BOOK CAN HELP YOU

This book will help you to write user-friendly reports. If you are among those professionals who rely on reports for communicating—or receiving—important information, then this book can help you to:

  • Establish and maintain your credibility as a professional.
  • Understand what effective reports are and how to create them.
  • Plan and execute your projects so that you use your time wisely and efficiently.
  • Identify and gather the information you need, analyze it appropriately, and shape it so that you accomplish your project goals.
  • Design reports that are inviting, attractive, and readable.
  • Create reports that get read and understood—and that convey data, conclusions, and recommendations that get accepted and acted upon.

Once you understand the essential report features, as well as the key principles that underlie the preparation and writing of reports, you will be able to make informed choices that will enable you to create virtually any report: of any length, for any purposes, for any audiences, in any field. For as we hope to demonstrate in the pages that follow, a report (to paraphrase Gertrude Stein) is a report is a report. That is, although actual reports may differ in a variety of ways—among them, length, dress, type of information they contain, purpose, and more—in the essential elements they are similar.

If you would like information about other kinds of communication in a business or management setting, please see the other books in this Prentice Hall series in Advanced Communication. All of the books in this series are short, professional, and readable.

  • Guide to Electronic Communication by Kristen DeTienne (Prentice Hall, 2002)
  • Guide to Managerial Communication: Effective Business Writing and Speaking by Mary Munter (Prentice Hall, 2000)
  • Guide to Meetings by Mary Munter and Michael Netzley (Prentice Hall, 2002)
  • Guide to Presentations by Mary Munter and Lynn Russell (Prentice Hall, 2002)
WHO CAN USE THIS BOOK

If you are interested in the success of your organization and are committed to your own professional growth—as well as the professional growth of your colleagues—then you should find value in this book. You should find this book especially useful if you are an MBA-level student who writes reports for any of your courses, a business professional who writes reports, a manager or executive whose staff writes reports for you to read, or a consultant.

  • MBA students: This book is designed to be used as a core text in an MBA-level managerial communications course or as a supplementary text for virtually any MBA-level course that calls for students to create and deliver reports in any function area: finance, marketing, organizational behavior, operations management, technology, consulting, and more.
  • Business professionals: This book is designed to meet the needs of business professionals—in any field—whose success in the workplace depends, at least in part, on their ability to solve problems and communicate their solutions effectively.
  • Managers or executives: This book can help managers or executives who frequently read reports by enhancing their ability to guide fellow employees—subordinates and teammates—as they prepare reports.
  • Consultants: This book should deliver special value for those involved in consulting, whether they are internal or external consultants, working independently or for a large domestic or international consulting firm. The quality of the consulting solutions they deliver to their clients depends in no small part on the quality of reports with which they communicate those solutions.
WHY THIS BOOK WAS WRITTEN

The thousands of participants in various professional report-writing courses and workshops we have taught—between the two of us, at Cornell University, University of Minnesota, Purdue University, Miami University, Iowa State University, Albion College, and Washington University's John M. Olin School of Business, as well as at dozens of companies and organizations—tell us they want a brief summary of report writing techniques. Such busy professionals have found other books on this subject too long or too remedial for their needs. That's why Prentice Hall is publishing this series, the Prentice Hall Guides to Advanced Communication—brief, practical, reader-friendly guides for people who communicate in professional contexts. (See the inside front cover of this book for more information on the series.)

  • Brief: The book summarizes key ideas only. Culling from thousands of pages of text and research, we have omitted bulky examples, cases, footnotes, exercises, and discussion questions.
  • Practical: This book offers clear, straightforward tools you can use. It includes only information you will find useful in a professional context.
  • Reader friendly: We have tried to provide an easy-to-skim format—using a direct, matter-of-fact, and nontheoretical tone.
HOW THIS BOOK IS ORGANIZED

This book is organized into five main sections.

Chapter 1 explains what makes reports effective—by identifying what reports are, how they are used, and what key virtues they share.

Chapter 2 explains how you can manage your report-writing process effectively-by describing what you should consider as you plan and execute your projects.

Chapter 3 explains the components of an effective report-by identifying the key elements to include.

Chapter 4 explains what you can do to design readable reports—by identifying how you can enhance the clarity and skim-value of your report.

And the appendix guides you through a formal report's front-end materials—by providing illustrations of a letter of transmittal, executive summary, title page, and table of contents.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

We acknowledge the many people who helped us make this book possible.

M.N. I would like to thank Carolyn Boulger, Mary Munter, and JoAnn Syverson for all their help, guidance, and patience with this project. Their willingness to support, respond, and provide feedback was invaluable. I would also like to thank Craig and Mary for their time, energy, and commitment to this project.

C.S. If it is true that the key to growth entails surrounding yourself with people who will hold you to high standards, then I have been multiply blessed. First, I have been blessed with an immediate family and close friends who have long maintained high expectations. Second, I benefited from the example and encouragement of Leonora Woodman, under whose tutelage I first leaned to teach; and from Jeanne Halpern, who, as mentor to a generation of students at Purdue University, inspired us and helped us to raise our standards of professionalism. Third, I had the good fortune to work with the talented MBA students, faculty, and administration at Washington University's John M. Olin School of Business, 1995-1998, who persuaded me, despite my reluctance, to add to the world's bookshelves on managerial communication. And fourth, I found great pleasure in working with Michael and Mary, who provided the right blend of encouragement and intellectual stimulation to push our collective thinking and, I hope, capture this moment of truth.

Michael Netzley Carlson School of Management University of Minnesota

Craig Snow School of Hotel Administration Cornell University

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

1. What Makes Reports Effective.

What Reports Are. How Reports Are Used. What Virtues Effective Reports Share.

2. How to Manage the Report-Writing Process.

The Conceptual Task: Planning. The Technical Task: Researching and Analyzing. The Composing Task.

3. What Key Elements to Include in Your Report.

Front-End Materials. Body of the Report. Back-End Materials.

4. How to Design a Readable Report.

Ensuring Clarity. Ensuring Skim-Value.

Examples.

Letter of Transmittal. Title Page. Table of Contents. Executive Summary.

Read More Show Less

Preface

HOW THIS BOOK CAN HELP YOU

This book will help you to write user-friendly reports. If you are among those professionals who rely on reports for communicating—or receiving—important information, then this book can help you to:

  • Establish and maintain your credibility as a professional.
  • Understand what effective reports are and how to create them.
  • Plan and execute your projects so that you use your time wisely and efficiently.
  • Identify and gather the information you need, analyze it appropriately, and shape it so that you accomplish your project goals.
  • Design reports that are inviting, attractive, and readable.
  • Create reports that get read and understood—and that convey data, conclusions, and recommendations that get accepted and acted upon.

Once you understand the essential report features, as well as the key principles that underlie the preparation and writing of reports, you will be able to make informed choices that will enable you to create virtually any report: of any length, for any purposes, for any audiences, in any field. For as we hope to demonstrate in the pages that follow, a report (to paraphrase Gertrude Stein) is a report is a report. That is, although actual reports may differ in a variety of ways—among them, length, dress, type of information they contain, purpose, and more—in the essential elements they are similar.

If you would like information about other kinds of communication in a business or management setting, please see the other books in this Prentice Hall series in Advanced Communication. All of the books in this series are short, professional, and readable.

  • Guide to Electronic Communication by Kristen DeTienne (Prentice Hall, 2002)
  • Guide to Managerial Communication: Effective Business Writing and Speaking by Mary Munter (Prentice Hall, 2000)
  • Guide to Meetings by Mary Munter and Michael Netzley (Prentice Hall, 2002)
  • Guide to Presentations by Mary Munter and Lynn Russell (Prentice Hall, 2002)

WHO CAN USE THIS BOOK

If you are interested in the success of your organization and are committed to your own professional growth—as well as the professional growth of your colleagues—then you should find value in this book. You should find this book especially useful if you are an MBA-level student who writes reports for any of your courses, a business professional who writes reports, a manager or executive whose staff writes reports for you to read, or a consultant.

  • MBA students: This book is designed to be used as a core text in an MBA-level managerial communications course or as a supplementary text for virtually any MBA-level course that calls for students to create and deliver reports in any function area: finance, marketing, organizational behavior, operations management, technology, consulting, and more.
  • Business professionals: This book is designed to meet the needs of business professionals—in any field—whose success in the workplace depends, at least in part, on their ability to solve problems and communicate their solutions effectively.
  • Managers or executives: This book can help managers or executives who frequently read reports by enhancing their ability to guide fellow employees—subordinates and teammates—as they prepare reports.
  • Consultants: This book should deliver special value for those involved in consulting, whether they are internal or external consultants, working independently or for a large domestic or international consulting firm. The quality of the consulting solutions they deliver to their clients depends in no small part on the quality of reports with which they communicate those solutions.

WHY THIS BOOK WAS WRITTEN

The thousands of participants in various professional report-writing courses and workshops we have taught—between the two of us, at Cornell University, University of Minnesota, Purdue University, Miami University, Iowa State University, Albion College, and Washington University's John M. Olin School of Business, as well as at dozens of companies and organizations—tell us they want a brief summary of report writing techniques. Such busy professionals have found other books on this subject too long or too remedial for their needs. That's why Prentice Hall is publishing this series, the Prentice Hall Guides to Advanced Communication—brief, practical, reader-friendly guides for people who communicate in professional contexts. (See the inside front cover of this book for more information on the series.)

  • Brief: The book summarizes key ideas only. Culling from thousands of pages of text and research, we have omitted bulky examples, cases, footnotes, exercises, and discussion questions.
  • Practical: This book offers clear, straightforward tools you can use. It includes only information you will find useful in a professional context.
  • Reader friendly: We have tried to provide an easy-to-skim format—using a direct, matter-of-fact, and nontheoretical tone.

HOW THIS BOOK IS ORGANIZED

This book is organized into five main sections.

Chapter 1 explains what makes reports effective—by identifying what reports are, how they are used, and what key virtues they share.

Chapter 2 explains how you can manage your report-writing process effectively-by describing what you should consider as you plan and execute your projects.

Chapter 3 explains the components of an effective report-by identifying the key elements to include.

Chapter 4 explains what you can do to design readable reports—by identifying how you can enhance the clarity and skim-value of your report.

And the appendix guides you through a formal report's front-end materials—by providing illustrations of a letter of transmittal, executive summary, title page, and table of contents.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

We acknowledge the many people who helped us make this book possible.

M.N. I would like to thank Carolyn Boulger, Mary Munter, and JoAnn Syverson for all their help, guidance, and patience with this project. Their willingness to support, respond, and provide feedback was invaluable. I would also like to thank Craig and Mary for their time, energy, and commitment to this project.

C.S. If it is true that the key to growth entails surrounding yourself with people who will hold you to high standards, then I have been multiply blessed. First, I have been blessed with an immediate family and close friends who have long maintained high expectations. Second, I benefited from the example and encouragement of Leonora Woodman, under whose tutelage I first leaned to teach; and from Jeanne Halpern, who, as mentor to a generation of students at Purdue University, inspired us and helped us to raise our standards of professionalism. Third, I had the good fortune to work with the talented MBA students, faculty, and administration at Washington University's John M. Olin School of Business, 1995-1998, who persuaded me, despite my reluctance, to add to the world's bookshelves on managerial communication. And fourth, I found great pleasure in working with Michael and Mary, who provided the right blend of encouragement and intellectual stimulation to push our collective thinking and, I hope, capture this moment of truth.

Michael Netzley
Carlson School of Management
University of Minnesota

Craig Snow
School of Hotel Administration
Cornell University

Read More Show Less

Introduction

HOW THIS BOOK CAN HELP YOU

This book will help you to write user-friendly reports. If you are among those professionals who rely on reports for communicating—or receiving—important information, then this book can help you to:

  • Establish and maintain your credibility as a professional.
  • Understand what effective reports are and how to create them.
  • Plan and execute your projects so that you use your time wisely and efficiently.
  • Identify and gather the information you need, analyze it appropriately, and shape it so that you accomplish your project goals.
  • Design reports that are inviting, attractive, and readable.
  • Create reports that get read and understood—and that convey data, conclusions, and recommendations that get accepted and acted upon.

Once you understand the essential report features, as well as the key principles that underlie the preparation and writing of reports, you will be able to make informed choices that will enable you to create virtually any report: of any length, for any purposes, for any audiences, in any field. For as we hope to demonstrate in the pages that follow, a report (to paraphrase Gertrude Stein) is a report is a report. That is, although actual reports may differ in a variety of ways—among them, length, dress, type of information they contain, purpose, and more—in the essential elements they are similar.

If you would like information about other kinds of communication in a business or management setting, please see the other books in this Prentice Hall series in Advanced Communication. All of the books in this series are short,professional, and readable.

  • Guide to Electronic Communication by Kristen DeTienne (Prentice Hall, 2002)
  • Guide to Managerial Communication: Effective Business Writing and Speaking by Mary Munter (Prentice Hall, 2000)
  • Guide to Meetings by Mary Munter and Michael Netzley (Prentice Hall, 2002)
  • Guide to Presentations by Mary Munter and Lynn Russell (Prentice Hall, 2002)

WHO CAN USE THIS BOOK

If you are interested in the success of your organization and are committed to your own professional growth—as well as the professional growth of your colleagues—then you should find value in this book. You should find this book especially useful if you are an MBA-level student who writes reports for any of your courses, a business professional who writes reports, a manager or executive whose staff writes reports for you to read, or a consultant.

  • MBA students: This book is designed to be used as a core text in an MBA-level managerial communications course or as a supplementary text for virtually any MBA-level course that calls for students to create and deliver reports in any function area: finance, marketing, organizational behavior, operations management, technology, consulting, and more.
  • Business professionals: This book is designed to meet the needs of business professionals—in any field—whose success in the workplace depends, at least in part, on their ability to solve problems and communicate their solutions effectively.
  • Managers or executives: This book can help managers or executives who frequently read reports by enhancing their ability to guide fellow employees—subordinates and teammates—as they prepare reports.
  • Consultants: This book should deliver special value for those involved in consulting, whether they are internal or external consultants, working independently or for a large domestic or international consulting firm. The quality of the consulting solutions they deliver to their clients depends in no small part on the quality of reports with which they communicate those solutions.

WHY THIS BOOK WAS WRITTEN

The thousands of participants in various professional report-writing courses and workshops we have taught—between the two of us, at Cornell University, University of Minnesota, Purdue University, Miami University, Iowa State University, Albion College, and Washington University's John M. Olin School of Business, as well as at dozens of companies and organizations—tell us they want a brief summary of report writing techniques. Such busy professionals have found other books on this subject too long or too remedial for their needs. That's why Prentice Hall is publishing this series, the Prentice Hall Guides to Advanced Communication—brief, practical, reader-friendly guides for people who communicate in professional contexts. (See the inside front cover of this book for more information on the series.)

  • Brief: The book summarizes key ideas only. Culling from thousands of pages of text and research, we have omitted bulky examples, cases, footnotes, exercises, and discussion questions.
  • Practical: This book offers clear, straightforward tools you can use. It includes only information you will find useful in a professional context.
  • Reader friendly: We have tried to provide an easy-to-skim format—using a direct, matter-of-fact, and nontheoretical tone.

HOW THIS BOOK IS ORGANIZED

This book is organized into five main sections.

Chapter 1 explains what makes reports effective—by identifying what reports are, how they are used, and what key virtues they share.

Chapter 2 explains how you can manage your report-writing process effectively-by describing what you should consider as you plan and execute your projects.

Chapter 3 explains the components of an effective report-by identifying the key elements to include.

Chapter 4 explains what you can do to design readable reports—by identifying how you can enhance the clarity and skim-value of your report.

And the appendix guides you through a formal report's front-end materials—by providing illustrations of a letter of transmittal, executive summary, title page, and table of contents.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

We acknowledge the many people who helped us make this book possible.

M.N. I would like to thank Carolyn Boulger, Mary Munter, and JoAnn Syverson for all their help, guidance, and patience with this project. Their willingness to support, respond, and provide feedback was invaluable. I would also like to thank Craig and Mary for their time, energy, and commitment to this project.

C.S. If it is true that the key to growth entails surrounding yourself with people who will hold you to high standards, then I have been multiply blessed. First, I have been blessed with an immediate family and close friends who have long maintained high expectations. Second, I benefited from the example and encouragement of Leonora Woodman, under whose tutelage I first leaned to teach; and from Jeanne Halpern, who, as mentor to a generation of students at Purdue University, inspired us and helped us to raise our standards of professionalism. Third, I had the good fortune to work with the talented MBA students, faculty, and administration at Washington University's John M. Olin School of Business, 1995-1998, who persuaded me, despite my reluctance, to add to the world's bookshelves on managerial communication. And fourth, I found great pleasure in working with Michael and Mary, who provided the right blend of encouragement and intellectual stimulation to push our collective thinking and, I hope, capture this moment of truth.

Michael Netzley
Carlson School of Management
University of Minnesota

Craig Snow
School of Hotel Administration
Cornell University

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)