Short Reports: How To Write Routine Technical Documents

I don’t get to teach technical writing much anymore, so when I touched on it in a new media class I took the opportunity to freshen up some older web resources.

A business memo, a lab report, or a professional e-mail are all variations on the basic report structure described in this document.  Feel free to modify these guidelines in order to meet your reader’s needs.

  • Think of Your Reader First
    Your busy reader has a problem, and has turned to your report for help. What, exactly, does your reader want? Deliver it as efficiently as possible.
  • Begin with Your Conclusions
    A technical document is not a mystery novel. Don’t save your best points for the end, because most readers are too impatient to wait.
  • Organize with Appropriate Headings
    For any document longer than a page or two, break the content into sections (like introduction, background, discussion, and conclusion).

via Short Reports: How To Write Routine Technical Documents — Jerz’s Literacy Weblog.