¶ ¶ ¶ BASIC STEPS IN REPORT WRITING ¶ ¶ ¶ The effective writer makes certain that reports that leave his or her desk are technically correct in style, usable in content, and attractive in format. The First Step Information is gathered about the subject; the effective writer takes time to outline the data to be used in the report. This approach allows the writer to establish the organization of the report. When a topic outline is used, order of presentation, important points, and even various headings can be determined and followed easily when writing begins. The Correct Style The purpose of the report often determines its style. Most academic reports (term papers, for example) are double spaced with indented paragraphs. Most business reports, however, are single spaced; and paragraphs are blocked. When a style is not stipulated, general usage may be followed. The Finished Product The most capable writer will refrain from making a report deliberately impressive, especially if doing so makes it less expressive. The writer does, however, follow the outline carefully as a first draft is written. Obvious errors are ignored momentarily. Refinement comes later, after all the preliminary work is done.
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