To draft either a Progress Report
Periodic Activity Reports and Progress Reports are informal reports (see chapter 20 of the textbook, “Informal Reports”). Unlike formal reports, discussed in Chapter 21, short reports do not contain title pages, tables of content, glossaries, works cited pages, or indexes. They are brief, informative, and visual.
There are two types of informal reports:
- InformationalReports contain straight information and provides short timely updates. Informational reports include these sub-genres: progress report (summarize specific accomplishments on a particular project), activity report (summarize general activities during a particular period). Trip reports and meeting minutes also fall under informational reports.
- AnalyticalReports include information, but they also include interpretations and conclusions based on that information. According to our textbook, “Analysis is the heart of technical communication. Analysis involves evaluating information, interpreting it accurately, drawing valid conclusions, and making persuasive recommendations” (2017, pp. 473). Analytical reports include these sub-genres: feasibility report, recommendation report, peer review report, justification report. Note: You will be responsible for drafting an analytical report for your final exam document.
Progress reports monitor progress and problems on various project. Just as an employer might, I will use this report to evaluate projects I have assigned, monitor your progress, and decide if the course and assignments need altered. See the example report, Figure 20.2, on page 476 of your textbook.
Periodic activity reports summarize general activities over a specified period of time. This type of report is used by employers to help them monitor workloads. Periodic reports can also include the following: incident reports, sales reports, progress reports, since this is a newly designed course, I am interested to know how the workload balances out. See the example, Figure 20.3, on page 477 of your textbook.
To practice communicating your progress during a project (in this case, this course)
Using the information in Chapter 20, “Informal Reports”, draft a brief (one page) report that could be sent in the body of an email.
The boxes on pages 475 and 478 of your textbook contain some excellent guidelines for drafting reports of this nature. You are always encouraged to research valid and professional web sites for examples. Templates are not typically a good idea: you cannot easily edit them to meet your needs.
I am mainly looking for inclusions here. What did you include? Was it sufficient for me to make a determination of whether or not the course load is balanced, the materials are clear and specific, and the course is organized in a logical manner? Here is a list of things I need to know:
- Progress you have made
- Problems you have encountered (how will/did you solve these problems)
- Are you on schedule (if not, when will you be back on schedule)
Other items I am interested in:
- Is it well organized (around a set of dates)?
- It is visually constructed for best readability.
- Does it include a purpose statement (brief intro piece)?
- Does it state the time period covered?
- Does it mention the work you still need to complete (brief conclusion)?
- Has it been proofread for grammatical errors?
This is an informal report; however, it still needs to meet professional standards.