2. Reporting Information
• There are a lot of types of writing that
report information, such as newspapers,
textbooks, websites, institutions, and
• When you write a report information, you
are the expert, and it is up to you to give
information on a certain topic.
3. Key Features/Reports
• Tightly focused topic: the goal is to
information readers about something without
digressing or bringing in the writer’s own
• Accurate, well-researched information:
reports require some type of research. That
research will depend on the topic. Scholarly
sources will be required for some topics,
while others may need field research
(interviews, observations, etc.)
4. Key Features/Reports Cont.
• Various writing strategies: presenting
information will require several different
types of patterns, such as defining,
comparing, classifying, explaining process,
analyzing cause and effect, contrast, etc.
• Clear definitions: provide clear definitions
of any key terms that the audience may
5. Key Features/Reports Cont.
• Appropriate design: reports may often
combine paragraphs with information
presented in lists, tables, diagrams, and
other illustrations; however, the
information must be presented correctly
and referenced correctly.
6. A Guide to Writing Reports
• Choosing a Topic: Try to approach a topic
from an angle that interests you.
• If you get to choose: What interests you?
What do you wish you knew more about?
Topics are limitless.
– Intriguing technology * common objects
– Sports * important environ. issue
--the arts *An important event
– A historical period
7. A Guide to Writing Reports
List a few possibilities and then choose one
you’d like to write on or know more about.
• If your topic is assigned: try focusing on
a more limited topic within the larger topic.
8. Considering the Rhetorical
• Purpose: Why are you presenting this
information? To teach readers about
subject? Demonstrate about research?
• Audience: Who will read this report? What
do they already know about the topic?
What background info do they need? Will
you need to define terms? What do they
want or need to know about it? Why
should they care? How can you attract
9. Considering the Rhetorical
• Stance: What is your own attitude toward
the subject? What interests you most
about it? What about it seems important?
• Media/design: What medium are you
using? What is the best way to present the
information? Will it all be in paragraph
form, or is there information that is best
presented as a chart or table? Do you
need headings? Diagrams? Photographs?
10. Considering the Rhetorical
• Generating Ideas and Text: good reports share
certain features. Remember the goal is to
present information clearly and accurately.
– Start with exploring what you already
know about your topic. Write what you know
through freewriting, listing, or clustering.
– Narrow your topic: Narrow the focus and
what you need to know a fair amount about
your topic. Start with sources to find issues
the topic may include.
11. Generating Ideas and Text
– Come up with a tentative thesis: write out a
statement that explains what you plan to
report or explain. A good thesis is potentially
interesting and limits your topic enough to
make it manageable. (A declarative sentence
with three areas to cover in the paper.)
– Do any necessary research and revise
your thesis. Outline the aspects of your topic
you expect to discuss and develop a research
12. Ways of Organizing a Report
• Reports on topics
– Begin with an anecdote, quote, or other
means of interesting to readers.
– Provide background and state your thesis.
– Describe your topic, defining any key terms.
– Explain by comparing, classifying, analyzing
causes or effects, explaining processes, etc.
– Conclude by restating your thesis or referring
to your beginning.
13. Ways of Organizing a Report
• Reports on an event
– Introduce the topic; provide any necessary
background info; state your thesis.
– Narrate the first event or procedure
– Narrate the second event or procedure
– Narrate the third event or procedure
– Repeat as necessary
– Conclude by telling what happened, stating
the implications, or some other means.
14. Ways of Organizing a Report
• Reports that compares and contrasts
– Introduce the topic; provide any necessary
background information; state your thesis.
– Describe the item
– Describe the other items, using the same
structure used to describe the first
– Conclude by restating your thesis
15. Writing Out a Draft
• Drafting: try to write a complete draft in one sitting;
concentrating on getting the report on paper or screen
and on putting in as much detail as you can.
– Explain the process, analyzes of the cause, compare
it with something more familiar.
• Draft a beginning
– Simply state your thesis
– Start with something that will provoke readers’
– Begin with an illustrative example
16. Writing Out a Draft Cont.
• Draft an ending: an effective ending
leaves the reader thinking about the topic.
– Summarize the main points
– Point out the implications of your report
– Frame your report to its introduction
– Tell what happened
• Come up with a title: tells readers
something about your subject—makes
them want to read more.
17. Considering Matters of Design
• What is the appropriate typeface? (Times
Roman, Courier, etc.
• Are headings needed? (For short essay,
no they are not)
• Any information that would be easier in a
• Any information summarized in a table?
• Data presented in graphs?
• Illustrations needed?
18. Getting Response and Revising
• Getting responses from others is good.
– Does the title and opening sentences get the reader’s
– What information does this text provide and for what
– Does the intro explain why this information is being
presented? Larger context?
– All key terms defined?
– Any questions?
– Visual information?
– Quoted, paraphrased, and summarized information
– End satisfying?
19. Editing and Proofreading
• Editing paper
– Check key terms
– Check transitions
– Check headings if included
– Make sure photos and illustrations have
– Proofread and spell-check
20. Taking Stock of your Work
• How well did you convey the information?
• What strategies did you rely on and how did they
help you achieve your purpose?
• How well did you organize the report?
• How did you go about researching the
• How did you go about drafting the piece?
• What did you do well?
• What could you improve?
• Are written portraits of people, places,
events, or other things.
• A profile presents a subject in an
entertaining way that conveys its
significance, showing us something or
someone that we may not have known
existed or that we see every day but don’t
know much about.
22. Key Features/Profiles
• An interesting subject: something
unusual or may be something ordinary
shown in an intriguing way, like an
interesting person, a place, or an event.
• Any necessary background: includes
just enough information to let readers
know something about the subject’s larger
23. Key Features/Profiles Cont.
• An interesting angle: captures its subject from
a particular angle.
• A firsthand account: spend time observing and
interacting with your subject.
• Engaging details: include details that bring your
subject to life by using specific information,
sensory images, figurative language, dialogue,
anecdotes. Leave dominate impression.
24. A Brief Guide to Writing Profiles
• Choosing a suitable subject: make a list
of five to ten topics that interest you. Make
sure you can do firsthand research.
Interviewees must be willing to be
25. A Brief Guide to Writing Profiles
• Considering the Rhetorical Situation
– Purpose: Why are you writing the profile?
What angle will best achieve your purpose?
How will you engage and inform the readers?
– Audience: Who is your audience? How
familiar are they with the topic? What
expectations might they have? What
background information do you need to
26. Considering the Rhetorical
– Stance: what view of your subject do you
expect to present? Sympathetic? Critical?
Sarcastic? Is perspective balanced?
– Media/design: Will your profile be a print
document? Published on the web? Oral? Etc.
27. Generating Ideas and Text
• Visit your subject and do observations and interviews.
• Explore what you already know about your subject. What
is interesting? What do you know already? What do you
expect to find out?
• If you’re planning to interview someone, prepare
• Do additional research.
• Analyze your findings—look for patterns & use reading
• Come up with an angle—most memorable part?
• Note details that support your angle—use describing
subject, comparing, and dialogue that captures subj.
28. Ways of Organizing a Profile
• As a narrative
– Introduce your subject and your angle on it;
provide any necessary background.
– Tell about various incidents or characteristics,
one by one, that bring your subject to life.
– Conclude by stating your overall impression
with an anecdote, a quote, a summary
comment, or some other ending.
29. Ways to Organize a Profile
• As a description:
– Introduce your subject and your angle on it,
providing any necessary background.
– Present details that create some dominant
impression of your subject: sensory details,
examples, dialogue, anecdotes, etc.
– State your overall impression, offering a final
anecdote or quote or finishing a description