1 A Summary
1.1 A one-page summary which outlines, in no more than three short
paragraphs (and preferably just one) what the report says
1.2 You should write this last
1.3 It should be in the third person and present tense. e.g. ‘The report considers the arguments in favour of Quality Circles and makes recommendations about their adoption. .
2 An Introduction
2.1 This should give a brief explanation of the aims/context of the report, and should include details of any information necessary for the reader to understand it. e.g. company size; structure; main activities; your role/position; etc.
3 The Main Body of the Report
3.1 This is where you present your main account of the problem or issue you are writing about.
3.1.1 It should be based on analysis, not intuition, e.g. avoid writing ‘I
3.1.2 You must backup what you write with evidence and/or argument. This means you must substantiate each assertion you make with evidence, e.g. extracts from the company annual report, staff survey, recent appraisal, interviews, etc.
31.3 You must support opinions with specific examples/evidence (e.g. from a consultant’s report) or by building a logical argument based on previously cited examples/evidence
3.1.4 You should make a clear distinction between objective facts and personal opinions.
3.2 Ideally this section should be divided into numbered paragraphs like this briefing sheet, showing which section the paragraph belongs to. 3.3 Headings for each sub-section should be underlined or in bold. 3.4 Consider presenting material in the form of diagrams, charts, etc. wherever appropriate. These are not only easier to grasp, but also reduce the word count.
4.1 This is where you sum up the general conclusions you have reached, such as ‘The very low staff morale is a result of an autocratic management style’.
4.2 Don’t confuse conclusions (where you draw together the threads of the preceding discussion to make some overall points) with recommendations (where you say what should be done about the conclusions you have reached).
4.3 It is sometimes a good idea to present your conclusions in the form of a bullet list, like this:
• Conclusion 1
• Conclusion 2
5.1 This is where you list the actions which your conclusions lead you to believe are necessary, e.g. ‘The team leader should attend a course in modern approaches to management’…
5.2 The recommendations must be based on the analysis and conclusions.
5.3 Wherever possible, you should include a clear indication of: o The priorities
o The timescale / deadlines for completion o Who is to be responsible for taking and/or monitoring the recommended action o To whom any action should be reported
o From who authorisation must be sought
o The financial budget or source of funds o Other costs/resource implications
6 The List of References
6.1 This is the list of sources referred to directly in your report. If you have mentioned a writer or a book (even a course book) you must give full details here of:
o The writer(s) or editors
o The date of publication
o The title
o The publisher
6 The Bibliography (if any)
6.1 The bibliography is where you list details of any books or other sources you have consulted in preparing your report which you think it would be useful for your reader to know about or be able to consult. You should give the details outlined in the section on references above.
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Topic: Analysis of the Cultural Differences of Coca Cola
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