You've probably never been formally taught how to write professional reports. It's usually just assumed that you know how to write them to a suitable professional standard. Unfortunately, if you can't produce high quality reports, you risk embarrassment and poorer career prospects.
That's the bad news. The good news is that report writing is a skill that this course will help you to master.
Table of contents
Here is a table of contents and sample pages and a detailed list of outcomes for the course (PDF, 435 KB).
The course meets the following business needs:
- Reports are expected to conform to structural, punctuation and formatting conventions. If they don't, they may be viewed as amateurish. Conversely, reports that do conform to people's expectations are more likely to be described as professional and will be taken more seriously.
- Having the skills to write a good report, not just a mediocre one, generates benefits for all parties: you, your readers, your organisation and your organisation's clients.
- It's difficult to inform or persuade your readers if you don't understand who they are, why they want your report, what they already know, how much they want and when they want it. If you guess at this information, you're likely to write for the wrong people, provide the wrong information and/or pitch it at the wrong level.
After mastering the course's contents, you'll be able to:
- Explain the importance of identifying your readers and their needs.
- Identify how much detail your readers need and will understand.
- Provide information to diverse groups of readers with different needs.
- Create a who-needs-what table to organise your writing and to generate an outline.
- Structure and present your report professionally.
- Write an executive summary that conveys all the essential information and encourages readers to read the rest of your report.
- Write a background section that provides the necessary context for your readers.
- Write effective conclusions and recommendations.
- Use bulleted and numbered lists effectively.
- Correctly and consistently use essential punctuation, capitalisation and abbreviation. (For a more detailed coverage of these topics, see the Editing and Proofreading course.)
- And more.
This course is aimed at anyone who wishes to improve his or her report-writing skills.