1. Have a clear purpose
- Are you writing to inform people of your ideas or to give them some information or facts?
- Are you presenting the results of some research; drawing conclusions from information that you have found?
- Are you making a recommendation—making improvements, suggesting changes?
- Are you recording information for other people to have easy access to and use?
2. Have a clear idea of your audience
Asking yourself some key questions will help you to decide on the language to use, how much information to include and how to present it.
- Are they experts? If they are use appropriate technical terms
- Are they familiar with the topic? If not, it’s best not to overload them with too much information
- Are they busy? Think about the length of your report, and including an executive summary, summary of recommendations or lists of key points
Before you start writing, develop a clear road map of the contents of your report. Put together a plan—write down some headings and subheadings. You can always change it as you go. Having a plan will help you:
- Decide what order to put the information in
- Remember all the things that you want to include