Can be used in any course in which students are assigned to write a business report or are taught how to write reports. For Entrepreneurship, Management, Consulting, or Marketing courses; undergraduate Report Writing courses, MBA Managerial Writing courses, or adult or continuing education courses in Report Writing or Business Writing.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
This concise, practical book is written for you if your professional success is linked to the quality of the reports you produce. You will learn how to. . .
HOW THIS BOOK CAN HELP YOU
This book will help you to write user-friendly reports. If you are among those professionals who rely on reports for communicating—or receiving—important information, then this book can help you to:
Once you understand the essential report features, as well as the key principles that underlie the preparation and writing of reports, you will be able to make informed choices that will enable you to create virtually any report: of any length, for any purposes, for any audiences, in any field. For as we hope to demonstrate in the pages that follow, a report (to paraphrase Gertrude Stein) is a report is a report. That is, although actual reports may differ in a variety of ways—among them, length, dress, type of information they contain, purpose, and more—in the essential elements they are similar.
If you would like information about other kinds of communication in a business or management setting, please see the other books in this Prentice Hall series in Advanced Communication. All of the books in this series are short, professional, and readable.
WHO CAN USE THIS BOOK
If you are interested in the success of your organization and are committed to your own professional growth—as well as the professional growth of your colleagues—then you should find value in this book. You should find this book especially useful if you are an MBA-level student who writes reports for any of your courses, a business professional who writes reports, a manager or executive whose staff writes reports for you to read, or a consultant.
WHY THIS BOOK WAS WRITTEN
The thousands of participants in various professional report-writing courses and workshops we have taught—between the two of us, at Cornell University, University of Minnesota, Purdue University, Miami University, Iowa State University, Albion College, and Washington University's John M. Olin School of Business, as well as at dozens of companies and organizations—tell us they want a brief summary of report writing techniques. Such busy professionals have found other books on this subject too long or too remedial for their needs. That's why Prentice Hall is publishing this series, the Prentice Hall Guides to Advanced Communication—brief, practical, reader-friendly guides for people who communicate in professional contexts. (See the inside front cover of this book for more information on the series.)
HOW THIS BOOK IS ORGANIZED
This book is organized into five main sections.
Chapter 1 explains what makes reports effective—by identifying what reports are, how they are used, and what key virtues they share.
Chapter 2 explains how you can manage your report-writing process effectively-by describing what you should consider as you plan and execute your projects.
Chapter 3 explains the components of an effective report-by identifying the key elements to include.
Chapter 4 explains what you can do to design readable reports—by identifying how you can enhance the clarity and skim-value of your report.
And the appendix guides you through a formal report's front-end materials—by providing illustrations of a letter of transmittal, executive summary, title page, and table of contents.
We acknowledge the many people who helped us make this book possible.
M.N. I would like to thank Carolyn Boulger, Mary Munter, and JoAnn Syverson for all their help, guidance, and patience with this project. Their willingness to support, respond, and provide feedback was invaluable. I would also like to thank Craig and Mary for their time, energy, and commitment to this project.
C.S. If it is true that the key to growth entails surrounding yourself with people who will hold you to high standards, then I have been multiply blessed. First, I have been blessed with an immediate family and close friends who have long maintained high expectations. Second, I benefited from the example and encouragement of Leonora Woodman, under whose tutelage I first leaned to teach; and from Jeanne Halpern, who, as mentor to a generation of students at Purdue University, inspired us and helped us to raise our standards of professionalism. Third, I had the good fortune to work with the talented MBA students, faculty, and administration at Washington University's John M. Olin School of Business, 1995-1998, who persuaded me, despite my reluctance, to add to the world's bookshelves on managerial communication. And fourth, I found great pleasure in working with Michael and Mary, who provided the right blend of encouragement and intellectual stimulation to push our collective thinking and, I hope, capture this moment of truth.
Carlson School of Management
University of Minnesota
School of Hotel Administration
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