CIS Report Assignment

The reports that scored very well were those in which there was a clear connection between the steps listed under “Procedure” and the information given in the “Findings”. The reader should never be confused about what the report writers were trying to find out.

Remember to use the past tense in reported speech:

“The students understood that there was value in belonging to a professional organisation”.

Be aware of the difference in meaning:

Institute: a specific professional body

Institution: generic term for an organisation (including universities)

Avoid unnecessary capital letters. Capitals should be used sparingly, usually only as headings. Body text (i.e. paragraphs) should never be in capitals only.

Use the appropriate vocabulary in report writing:

WRONG: The team also done an interview.

RIGHT: The team also conducted an interview

The titles of publications should be typed in italics: e.g. The Sunday Times 

Make use of point-form numbering in reports, apart from the “Terms of Reference” section which should be written as a flowing paragraph. The numbering usedin the “Procedure” and “Findings” sections should correspond (i.e. for each procedural step there should be a corresponding finding).

OMT 1 Report Assignment

There were some very thorough investigations of the topic relating to job-seeking during one’s studies, and some well-balanced conclusions and recommendations made. Students who scored well in this assignment focussed their attention on delivering a clear account of how they went about their investigation, and briefly reporting the findings.
Proof read your assignment before submission so that obvious grammar errors and typographical errors (“typos”) can be corrected.

Use of the apostrophe:

one student’s response

two students’ responses

Avoid the use of informal abbreviations like “don’t” and “couldn’t” in formal report writing.

When summarising the information given by an interviewee, make use of reported speech – this is a report, after all. Introduce a sentence where you want to report the actual words spoken like this: “The manager said that only the best writers were employed”.

WRONG: Students who have experience advice others to look for jobs themselves.

RIGHT: Students who have experience advise others to look for jobs themselves.

Use complete sentences throughout the report, even when using point form.

Be specific about your sources of information:

WRONG: Information from the newspaper was used to find part-time jobs.

RIGHT: Information from the classified ads in The Witness of 12 June 2006 was used to find part-time jobs.

Be specific about your sample:

WRONG: A number of interviews were conducted in which a number of employees were questioned.

RIGHT: Five interviews were conducted with employees.

Avoid the first person “I” and “We” in report writing.

Financial Accounting Report Assignment

Make use of reported speech throughout the report, in particular where the actual words of an interviewee are being reported.

Other general points:

WRONG: Gave a questionnaire

RIGHT: Administered a questionnaire

Note also the spelling of the word “questionnaire” which is frequently used in report writing.

Electronic Engineering Report Assignment

Reports were generally well-researched, and the results systematically presented. Care must be taken when reporting interviews. Use a summarised report style, and do not repeat verbatim what the interviewee has said. Remember your schooldays when you were taught to write reported speech? Well this is where you start to use it professionally.

Some details:

Correct terminology:
WRONG: Gave a questionnaire
RIGHT: Administered a questionnaire

CMA Report Assignment

Groups who adhered to the standard schematic report layout scored well in this assignment. Some students had difficulty with producing good report writing style. Remember: a report must be written in the past tense throughout.

Detailed feedback:

Use reported speech in summarising interviews – do not give verbatim (word-for-word) reports.
WRONG: “Just look at the large number of new businesses”
RIGHT: “The manager drew attention to the large number of new businesses”

WRONG: Securities
RIGHT: Security staff

WRONG: To do a research
RIGHT: To conduct research

WRONG: People who answer questions
RIGHT: Respondents

Be aware of agreement (concord) between subject and verbs of sentences and plurals:
WRONG: benefits for students to identify career opportunity and apply for a job while still studying
RIGHT: benefits for students to identify career opportunities and apply for a jobs while still studying

Avoid bad spell-checker automatic corrections (when you use a word processor to type your assignment)

WRONG: territories
RIGHT: technikons

WRONG: proferred to photocopy
RIGHT: preferred to photocopy

WRONG: lectures were interviewed
RIGHT: lecturers were interviewed

Use standard report headings for the formal (schematic) report (see page 42 of the course notes).
Avoid using the first person (“I” and “we”) in business and technical report writing. Use an impersonal style, e.g. “It was decided that …”
Terms of reference section: be sure to include all the information specified in the course notes (see page 42)
Avoid an informal style:
WRONG: “Take a look around you …”
RIGHT: “If one scans the business environment”

Feedback on tests and assignments

DUT English and Communication students can find detailed feedback on their tests and assignments right here. Just click on your lecturer’s name under “Categories” and look for your class.

– Prof Graham Stewart