Post 268 – by Gautam Shah
Presentations style and techniques used for direct or inter personal communications like elocution, orations, sermons, lectures, cannot be used for reports, etc. Writing an assignment for superiors, teachers, retainers, employers have a defined motive, and structure. Method of presentation is essentially tailor-made to satisfy the assignee. Reports, however, become public documents after a while, and could be accessed by anyone. Reports are extremely intentional, but the authors have no control how these may be interpreted.
Reports inform others about events, experiences, observations, conclusions or a deductions, and are created with a lot of deliberation. A report document is a formal presentation, and is structured for communication -to a set of receivers (audience). Reports for regular participants can be a very abstract expression, as the creator and the receiver both have matured to a modality of understanding. All communicable presentations must be simple, clear, intentional (specific to a subject) and comprehensive, bereft of all unnecessary information. Reports for a public domain have to be rational, to save the media Space and access Time.
We deal with many different types of reports in our day to day life, like: Medical, Weather, Radio, TV, newspaper, School, Site, Departmental, Confidential, Legal, Business etc… Reports present results, prescriptions, directions, listings, proofs, deductions, explanations, confirmations, contradictions, facts, readings, observations, experiences, specifications, formulations, procedures, predictions, etc… Reports have many different forms, letters, memos, notes, essays, descriptions, theses, submissions, dissertations paper, minutes, memoranda, etc.
Report with jargoned language or complex slang, confuses the reader, and one with very lucid expressions may not be taken seriously. A complex language or technical writing saves the author from an onslaught of reactions, but denies the feedback. It creates a limited class of audience. Word processors like MS-Word consider writing accessible by 9-10 standard student to of very superior quality.
Most reports or writings are accessed and used from archives in some other time and space. Format of a report must be very relevant to the user or reader of the report. A specific report would provoke only a specific class of users, whereas a general report may stimulate different people differently. Some reports merely inform the user, and are not required to cause any acute stimulation. But a report that is required to provoke or instigate may also prescribe the course of action or mode of operation. Such reports may or may not indicate benefits and hazards of the prescribed actions.
Reports at simplest level present matter in Time-sequence of occurrence, manifestation, acquisition or realization or attention. This method alone fails with experienced readers, who jump from one part to another to anchor to things of relevance. It is often better to start linking the events to places and provide bridges to traverse on.
It is very necessary to define the purpose of writing or the level of provocation one wishes to cause, at the start. Reports have some effect: ‘Reports stimulate a person very mildly, or provoke to take corollary action. Reports also affect values, beliefs, feelings, prestige, honours of individuals, cultures, societies, nations, races etc.
Reports affect individuals and organizations by providing gains and losses. Reports also affect its author, composer or originator, when intended results or feedbacks are not of desired type, do not come in at all, are inadequate, or late. Authors are also affected by premature release or unauthorized use of the reports.
Authors of document or report must not only present an appropriate material, but also take steps, so that others can readily access it. For this purpose title of the report must be unique, and if necessary longer. A good title stands out among many other reports of similar nature. One of the best way to find a legitimate title, is to search other publications in an internet search engine.
Frequently occurring matters generate regular reports which have an established structure. Special reports have varied data and are published at an unpredictable frequency. Reports have many styles or formats. Contents of reports vary according to the purpose. Some reports state the purpose, truth or an assumption first and follow it up with information to justify or reject it. Some study a context or situation to uncover the purpose or truth, behind it. Some take a middle course, on various presumptions and situations and build up a hypothesis, formula, or a theory.
Reports are assets with a cost of rarity (unique, patent, invention, realization, miracles); cost of acquisition (investigation, surveys, experimentation, prototyping); cost of dissemination (printing, publication, presentations, copy rights, patents). These costs are recovered as salaries, royalties, commissions, fees, awards, grants, favours, charges, prestige, goodwill etc.
Reports that are provocative prescribe the course and consequences for the provocation. Authors who create reports for a fee have to guarantee for the veracity of information, and quantum of gain or loss. In case of a thesis or dissertation the author has to guarantee authenticity of facts and truthfulness of comments and observations.