Updated November 2020

2 tips for writing reports for work

Year-end. While most people are planning how to avoid gaining 10 pounds from all the holiday snacking and parties, you're consumed with that year-end report. Here are some tips for creating less arduous and more effective reports at the end of the year or any time!

Report Writing Tip #1: Create a logical framework

Before sitting down to whack out that report, doing a quick think-through first. The best tool for this is the Position-Rationale-Proof Strategy™. This tool makes it faster and easier to build out a logical framework and to include details and support that have value to the reader. Here's what it looks like:

The Word Factory's Position-Rationale-Proof Strategy

Download the PRP report-writing workbook and try it for yourself.

Report Writing Tip #2: Draft fast, revise slow

It's tempting when our backs are against the wall to skip steps in order to meet a deadline. How often does that work for you? Yeah, me neither. That's why I take 5 or 10 minutes to use these pre-writing strategies so I think in a faster format that's easily translated into my report. That leaves me time to revise.

Revision is where we make writing better (editing, your last step, is where you make things correct -- like spelling, punctuation, usage and grammar). I've compiled a handful of quick and effective revision strategies for better writing.

Super-pressed for time? Just do this two-step process:

  1. Do a quick word count of your whole report and figure out 15% of that total.
  2. Read over the draft with an eye toward chopping that number of words from the piece.

You'll be surprised how many unnecessary qualifiers, introductory phrases and other superfluous verbiage you've amassed and how easy it is to delete without disemboweling your report. In fact, skillful pruning distills your information, giving it more impact. Yay!

Use this information to make business report-writing less painful and more impactful. Good luck.

Bonus report writing tip: Hire a business writing coach -- like me! Read about how to work with a writing coach.

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