Module 23 - Short Reports
Chapter 23 - Short Reports
Teaching Tip: Assemble students in seven groups and assign one pattern to
each group. Give the students 10-15 minutes to confer, then have them give
a “mini-lesson” on each pattern to the rest of the class. Where possible, have
students use examples from the textbook.
Should I use the same style for reports as for other business documents? LO
Yes, with three exceptions.
Unless the audience expects otherwise, writers should follow the general
principles for writing described in Module 15 and Module 16. However,
three notable exceptions to the guidelines in those modules are described
on PP 23-11:
1. Use a fairly formal style, without contractions or slang.
2. Avoid the word you.
3. Include in the report all the definitions and documents needed to
understand the recommendation.
Teaching Tip: Writers can violate these principles—and basically any others in
writing—if the audience(s) allows it. However, writers must keep in mind the
multiple levels of audience for documents—just because the primary audience
approves of the violation does not mean secondary or gatekeeper audiences will. In
general, reports are more formal than other business documents; using a conservative
approach to the language in reports often is wise.
In particular, writers should pay attention to three key principles of any writing (PP 23-12):
Say what you mean.
Teaching Tip: To better understand choosing the right word,
have students read or review the information in Module 15.
Tighten your writing.
In-Class Exercise: Give students 10-15 minutes to complete the exercises in the
Polishing Your Prose lesson on being concise (pp. 390-391). Have students share
their solutions with the rest of the class. Which solutions work best? Why?
Use blueprints, transitions, topic sentences, and headings.
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