Writing reports 1

Today is our topic of discussion Writing reports 1

Writing reports 1


Writing reports 1


A. You can write a report on an event, on a situation, on almost anything. Yesterday, for example, there was a clash between two football teams. Your school team and the AB School team were playing the final match in the Inter-School League Cup.

Immediately after half-time something happened with a penalty and the supporters of both the teams were found running into the field. They started pushing each other. For about half an hour it was a complete chaos. The play had to be abandoned. Now your headteacher has asked you and two of your colleagues to write a report on the incident. Let’s call it case 1.

Again, a researcher, asked by an NGO or a government department, may come to a thana and spend a few days talking to the children, parents and teachers. He has got an assignment to write a report on the causes of Primary Schools Dropouts in Trisal.

Let’s call it case 2. In both the cases the report writers have got reasons why they are writing their reports. In casel, they were asked by the headteacher to write the report, and this assignment is part of their job. In case 2, the researcher must have a written contract or a TOR (terms of reference) in which the following things are specified:

– Deadline for submitting the report

– Lenghth of the report

– Amount of money the writer will receive for writing the report, (etc.)

Notice, in case 1 there may be no written TOR. They might have been just asked by the headteacher to write the report.

B. Once you know why you are going to write a report, the next thing for you is to try to evaluate the reader(s) of your report. In case 1 above, the headteacher has asked for the report. But even other teachers and outsiders like managing committee members and police authority may be its readers.

In ease 2, the report is likely to have  even wider readership. So the writer as he/she goes on writing the report must ask himself/herself, “How much does the reader already know? How much does he/she need to know? How best can I give him/her the information/facts he/she needs?”


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C. After you have known your reader(s), you have to identify the sources of information and collect it for writing the report. There are various ways of collecting information or data. You can observe events, situation, you can interview people (for both cases 1 & 2), you can also study reports, journals, documents, books, etc.

and prepare a questionnaire. But remember all the information, facts you have collected for your report, may not be true or may be biased. So before you use any information in your report, test its reliability.

This you can do by taking into account the status and position of the person you are going to interview and the reputation of the writers/publishers of reports, journals, books, etc. you are going to study. Perhaps, the easiest way of assessing the value of some information is to ask more than one person about its reliabity.

Thus equipped with all the necessary information, facts, etc., you are now ready to start writing the report.

Note these words and phrases.

readership (n) – The readership of a newspaper, journal, magazine or book is the number and type of people who read it.

questionnaire (n) – A questionnaire is a set of questions circulated among a lot of people. They fill in the

questionnaire (i.e. answer it) – The sender collects the filled in questionnaire, analyzes the answers and finds information, facts for his/her report or survey.


Writing reports 1


reliability (n) – If some information is reliable it is likely to be correct. So reliability of the information is its correctness.

by taking into account – by considering

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