Reports are informative and they have a purpose, so if the writing is unclear or irrelevant, the effectiveness of the information is lost and the purpose is not achieved. This is especially true in a work environment where clear, incisive communication is a powerful tool for persuasion and achieving change. A poorly written report will be ignored or dismissed – both you and your message will lose authority. At university, a poorly written report will also lose you marks! Write concisely – it’s easy to say, but how can you achieve this? We tend to be more focused when we have a target to meet. So as well as keeping in mind the overall word count for your report, it’s also a good idea to set yourself mini-word counts for each section in the planning stage, especially if you have a habit of writing a lot. Realising you need to trim 100 words from the introduction is far less disheartening than having to cut 1,500 words at the end!.
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