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Writing Reports and
Proposals
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Chapter 14 - 1
Learning Objectives
• Explain how to adapt to your audiences
when writing reports and proposals
• Name five characteristics of effective report
content
• List the topics commonly covered in the
introduction, body, and close of formal
reports
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Chapter 14 - 2
Learning Objectives
• List six strategies to strengthen your
proposal argument
• Identify five characteristics of effective
writing in online reports
• Briefly describe three report elements that
can help readers find their way in long
documents
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Chapter 14 - 3
Reports and Proposals
• Be sensitive to their needs
• Build strong relationships
• Control style and tone
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Chapter 14 - 4
Sensing Audience Needs
• The “You” attitude
• Sense of etiquette
• Positive emphasis
• Bias-free language
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Chapter 14 - 5
Building Relationships
• Language
• Content
• Credibility
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Chapter 14 - 6
Controlling Style and Tone
• Formal and informal tone
– Information
– Situation
– Report length
– Audience
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Chapter 14 - 7
Composing Reports and
Proposals
• The introduction: context, subject,
purpose, main ideas, and tone
• Body sections: presentation, analysis,
interpretation, and support
• Concluding section: benefits, main
points, structure, and action items
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Chapter 14 - 8
Drafting Report Content
• Accurate
• Complete
• Balanced
• Clear and logical
• Documented properly
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Chapter 14 - 9
Report Introduction
Authorization
Opportunity or Purpose
Scope of Coverage
Background
Sources and Methods
Terms and Definitions
Limitations
Report Organization
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Chapter 14 - 10
The Report Body
• Explanations of problem or opportunity
• Facts, statistics, and trends
• Results of studies or investigations
• Discussion and analysis of potential actions
• Advantages, disadvantages, costs, and benefits
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Chapter 14 - 11
The Report Body
• Procedures or steps in a process
• Methods and approaches
• Criteria for evaluating options
• Conclusions and recommendations
• Support for conclusions and recommendations
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Chapter 14 - 12
The Report Closing
• Summary
• Conclusions
• Recommendations
• Action plans
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Chapter 14 - 13
Content of Proposals
• The AIDA Plan
– Introduction
– Body
– Closing
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Chapter 14 - 14
Strategies for Success
• Demonstrate your knowledge
• Provide concrete examples
• Research the competition
• Offer a workable proposal
• Relate to needs of the audience
• Package your proposal attractively
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Chapter 14 - 15
Proposal Introduction
• Problem or background
• Proposed solution
• Scope or delimitations
• Organization
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Chapter 14 - 16
The Proposal Body
• Proposed solution
• Work plan
• Qualifications
• Detailed costs
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Chapter 14 - 17
The Proposal Closing
• Key points
• Benefits and merits
• Qualifications
• Commitment
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Chapter 14 - 18
Drafting Online Content
1. Build trust with intended audiences
2. Adapt content for global audience
3. Use in a concise, skimmable format
4. Compose effective links
5. Use search engine optimization
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Chapter 14 - 19
Collaborating on Wikis
• Forgo traditional expectations
• Edit and improve each other’s work
• Use templates and formatting options
• Apply the appropriate tools
• Practice in the “sandbox”
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Chapter 14 - 20
Three-Step Wiki Process
• Creating a wiki
• Adding content
• Revising content
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Chapter 14 - 21
Guiding the Readers
• Headings and links
• Transitional devices
• Previews and reviews
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Chapter 14 - 22
Technology for
Reports and Proposals
• Templates
• Embedded and linked documents
• Electronic forms
• Electronic documents
• Multimedia documents
• Proposal-writing software
Copyright © 2010 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall
Chapter 14 - 23
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