Friday, 8 March 2013
Report Writing Study Guide
In my last blogpost I showcased a Mindmap for sections of a report, so I thought it a good opportunity to share a related study guide I created last year.
At university Report Writing was a real problem for me. It looks easy enough, but understanding what goes in which section, how to write an Abstract... or even knowing what an abstract was, as opposed to an Executive Summary, proved to be somewhat of a challenge initially. For a class full of freshers who were still going through the transition of 'understanding the language' of university, it turned out to be something of a barrier. The module booklet and a lecturer handout were not clear or very detailed, so we were left frustrated... not being aware there was study skills support available also compounded the misery.
So, in the end, we resorted to looking in books and on websites. Of course, this just helped to confuse us further. Not realising that there were many different types of report or that section headings could mean slightly different things to different disciplines meant we just got ourselves into a pickle. If I could show you some of the first reports my classmates and I did, I think after you'd stopped chuckling, you would realise we needed a bit of help. Sadly, that help never came, but as we grew more experienced and learnt from our mistakes and poor marks, we improved. By the third and final year they were even quite polished.
A few years later and I got the opportunity to produce a few study guides for a friend and her very excellent "Essential Study Skills" book. I have mentioned the book before in an earlier post, but a good thing is always worth repeating... Anyway, having learnt a thing or two about doing assessments I really enjoyed the opportunity to make something I could share with others.
I am by no means an expert in study skills. I often find myself looking at study skills books myself, trying to work out what people mean or need, but the creation of the study guide below was a good way to focus on some of the things I had learnt and to be reminded, with fondness, the journey I went though to learn how to write reports.
I do intend to write a full and comprehensive guide to report writing, but this is still in the development phase and has gotten quite long. This one is much shorter and I hope anyone who stumbles upon this blog will find it useful. If you have a particular learning resource (doesn't have to be about report writing) that you really love or found useful, please share it with me in the comments... or tweet the link. Thanks