ICTD International Centre for Training and Development
Report Writing and Formatting
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About the course
Many people are defeated by the awesome task of writing. They do not trust themselves to use written language effectively. They go to the files to see what has been done in the past. To overcome their insecurity, they try to write to impress by hunting for “big” words. They also pad their reports as proof of their thoroughness. Unfortunately, such tactics prevent writing that is clear or concise. This program will help participants learn to practice the habits of good writers.
Most of us have to write reports to communicate information within and outside our organizations and time is always an issue. However, a badly written report risks remaining unread and its objectives not being reached. Effective report writing is one of the best ways of influencing and persuading the right people and leaves a permanent record of your research and thought processes.
- Participants on this course will gain tools, learn techniques and practice skills leading to increased technical writing confidence.
- Starting at a basic level, the course will equip participants with an ability to write technical reports and documents in such a way as to help the readers to understand what they did not understand before.
- Complex matters that have to be communicated in writing can either be confusing or can be clear.
- Introduction to technical writing
- The need for clear and concise technical writing
- Objectives of technical writing
- Categories of readers
- Expressing versus impressing
- The development process
- Preparing to write (writing objective, identify readers, perform research)
- Organizing the writing - methods of organization (general to specific, specific to general, chronological, sequential, cause and effect, spatial, comparison)
- Document outlining – mind mapping, outline formats, outline styles
- The rough draft
- Revising the document – activate, clarify and simplify the writing, fog index principle
Advanced Level Skills
- Elements of technical writing
- Technical definitions
- Technical descriptions
- Technical instructions
- Formats of technical writing – formal technical report
- Establish framework
- Terms of reference – subject matter, purpose for writing, reader of the report
- Structure of a report (main sections) – introduction, main body
- (findings/observations/discussions), conclusion, recommendations, executive summary, other sections.
- Case study: Developing awareness of fact and opinion
- Practical session: Writing a formal report with investigation of faulty models.
Advanced Level Skills (continued)
- Formats of technical writing – memo report
- Basic structure
- Types of reports – (feasibility study, progress / status, test, fault)
- Other technical documentation
- Technical proposal
- Technical manual – operations and maintenance
- Journal article
- Specification writing
- Specifications and the design process
- Fundamentals of specification writing using a quality function deployment technique
- Applying the QFD method – an 8 step process
- Creating a specification template
- Problem solving: Analysis of a specification
A variety of methodologies will be used during the course that includes:
- (30%) Based on Case Studies
- (30%) Techniques
- (30%) Role Play
- (10%) Concepts
- Pre-test and Post-test
- Variety of Learning Methods
- Case Studies and Self Questionaires
- Group Work
Who should attend
- Any staff member who is beginning to take responsibility for generating and conveying business information will find this course essential.
- It is therefore aimed primarily at middle and junior management as well as first line employees such as technicians and junior engineers.
- Administrative support staff may also benefit from attendance on this course as they will have a deeper understanding of the elements of report writing and their role in it.