10 Easy Steps to Better Report Writing

Posted by

Lynne Callister

on 12 Jun 2020

10 Easy Steps to Better Report Writing

How you write creates an impression, for good or bad. Persuasive writing generates engagement, motivation and drives action.

If your writing is 'sticky' then at the very least, it keeps the audience reading.

Did it work? If you are still reading, then it did! To help you keep your readers engaged and entertained we've collated some easy steps to help improve your report writing.

Free Time Management Training Presentation

10 easy steps to improve your report writing

1. Find a good role model

To be a good writer, you should surround yourself with good writing. Learn from the best and regularly read a good mix of writing in books, newspapers, trade magazines and online articles. Your colleagues' reports may also provide inspiration and creative muse and give you an idea of what's been done before.

2. Think about what you're going to say

Don't start writing too soon. Consider what you're going to say and why (your aim, purpose and objectives in writing). Identify who your typical reader is (e.g. novice or expert, what they need to get from your report, whether colleagues or outside your company, etc.). This information helps you pitch your writing at the right level.

3. Create a plan

Decide what heading and/or key sections to include. Use internal templates (if available), mind-mapping software, or document outline tools to plan the flow and structure.

4. Gather and sift any source information

Only use data, statistics and background information from reliable and established sources to maintain credibility.

5. Respect others' intellectual property & copyright

Uphold the principles of good writing by respecting others' IP; acknowledge sources and references to improve credibility and allow reader follow-up.

Free Behaving Professionally Training Presentation

6. Create the first draft

Don't expect to produce a masterpiece straight off. Most writing goes through a number of edits before final approval.

7. Use techniques to engage readers

Anecdotes and story-telling, data, examples, charts and images can add interest and improve understanding.

8. Get the basics right

Pay attention to detail and focus on spelling, grammar, punctuation, format, spacing, professionalism, logic, look and feel. It's worth taking more time here, so your writing isn't remembered for all the wrong reasons.

9. Assess & review your draft

Once you have a draft, assess and review what you've written. Is it too long or too short? Are sections missing? Should you remove anything? Can you improve readability? Enlist the help of your peers to offer further insight and identify improvements.

10. Check whether sign-off is needed

Remember to get approval from your manager or others before distribution.

Time Management Training Module

Looking for more training insights?

If you'd like to stay up to date with best practices, industry insights and key trends across regulatory compliance, digital learning, EdTech, and RegTech news, subscribe to Skillcast Compliance Bulletin.

To help you navigate the compliance landscape, we have collated searchable glossaries of key terms and definitions across complex topics, including GDPR, Equality, Financial Crime and SMCR. We also track the biggest compliance fines, explaining what drives them and how to avoid them.

You can follow our ongoing YouGov research into compliance issues, attitudes and risk perceptions in the UK workplace through our Compliance Insights blogs.

Last but not least, we have 70+ free compliance training aids, including assessments, best practice guides, checklists, desk-aids, eBooks, games, handouts, posters, training presentations and even e-learning modules!

If you've any questions or concerns about compliance or e-learning, please get in touch.

We are happy to help!

Compliance Essentials

Our comprehensive off-the-shelf compliance solution of 30+ in-depth courses and dozens of microlearning modules helps companies from SMEs to global corporates to achieve compliance success.

Start a Free Trial