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  1. A business report is any factual, objective document that communicates information about some aspect of business.
  2. Reports are essentially a management tool.
  3. When developing a report, you have only one goal--to make the information clear.
  4. When writing a report, you should tailor the content to include only those facts that support your theories or that you personally find interesting.
  5. When writing a voluntary (as opposed to an authorized) report, you need to provide more background on the subject and explain your purpose more carefully.
  6. The subject of a business report affects its vocabulary and format.
  7. Even if the intended reader of a report is very familiar with the subject, the writer needs to define terms and explain basic concepts.
  8. External reports of fewer than ten pages should usually be done in memo format.
  9. Informational reports are usually organized to highlight conclusions, recommendations, or reasons.
  10. Electronic reports fall into two basic categories.
  11. A new class of software known as "report writers' actually creates business reports for you.
  12. Electronic reports offer several advantages over paper reports, including cost and space savings and faster distribution.
  13. Electronic reports, unlike paper reports, cannot be tampered with.
  14. In general, the more routine the report, the less flexibility you have in deciding format and length.
  15. If a report to an outsider is five or fewer pages long, it can be presented in letter format.
  16. Reports done in memo form should not include subheadings or visual aids.
  17. Short reports are more common in business than long ones.
  18. All effective reports contain a mix of broad concepts and specific detail.
  19. When you expect your audience to be receptive, use the indirect approach to organize your business report.
  20. Using the indirect approach makes for a more forceful report that is particularly convenient to readers.
  21. The longer the report, the less effective the indirect approach is likely to be.
  22. An indirect argument is harder to follow than a direct argument.
  23. The direct and indirect approaches should never be combined in a business report.
  24. A primary concern when preparing informational reports is the readers' emotional reaction to the content.
  25. In an analytical report, facts are a means to an end rather than an end in themselves.
  26. Because readers often respond emotionally to informational reports,you should present your material in the most indirect fashion possible.
  27. A memo summarizing an employee's trip to a trade show would be an example of a personal activity report.
  28. Analytical reports are primarily intended to educate readers.
  29. The indirect approach should always be used for analytical reports.
  30. A justification report is an internal report designed to persuade top management to approve a proposed investment or project.
  31. A good organization for a justification report would be one built around recommendations.
  32. All analytical reports are best organized around recommendations or conclusions.
  33. A business plan documents an organization's overall goals and the operational methods it will use to reach those goals.
  34. One good way to organize a troubleshooting report is around a list of reasons that gradually build toward your conclusions and recommendations.
  35. Using I and you gives a report a more informal tone.
  36. To guarantee the objectivity of your report, use a formal style of writing.
  37. Most organizations expect business reports to be written in an unobtrusive, impersonal style.
  38. The opening should provide readers with clues to the structure of a report.
  39. If one main heading in a report is a noun phrase, all such headings should be noun phrases.
  40. Transitional words and phrases can make a poorly organized report seem logically and clearly written.

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Last Update: 09/07/01
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