Overview of business report writing for Business Studies
Because it so closely mirrors the real commercial world, business actually has a language of its own. The language of business is known either as the report format or as report style writing. In this tutorial the two terms are used interchangeably. In most cases your Business Studies teachers will prefer that you use report style writing for your assignments instead of the more familiar "essay style" of writing that you have become so accustomed to over the past ten years. For example: The sentence below contains the same words but there is a slight difference in presentation. The first sentence is written in report style writing and the second sentence is written in standard essay style. (Sentence one , written in report style writing)
The good news is that report style writing is:
easy to learn
easy to organise and
likely to help earn you higher marks in Business Studies. (Sentence two, written in essay style writing)
The good news is that report style writing is easy to learn, easy to organise and likely to earn you higher marks in Business Studies. See the difference? There is of course more to report format writing than this. Please read on. Note: Other subjects may also use a form of report style writing. Check with your teachers as you may run into slight variations from subject to subject.
Why use report style writing?
In the business world decision making is critical. Business people need access to information that is: •
concise and clearly presented
easy and quick to interpret and
useful to them in accurately assessing situations and making decisions. Business managers don’t want, nor do they have time, to wade through paragraphs or pages of non essential information. In a growing number of businesses decision makers refuse to deal with reports or proposals that are over specified lengths. For example: More commonly now employment advertisements do not include telephone business names or telephone numbers for applicants to respond. Instead they specify that interested parties should send a one page resume by email. Imagine the time saving for personnel managers. Hence, the development of the business report, or in our case, business report style writing for extended response questions and assignments. An important point in favour of report style writing for your purposes is that, in most cases, well organised reports are less time consuming to evaluate. Ask your teachers which they prefer to mark, report style assignments or essays. Looking beyond the classroom, there are some practical reasons for becoming acquainted with the report medium. •
The prestigious Wall Street Journal has suggested that 75 per cent of jobs created between 1982 and 2010 require, or will require, report writing skills. •
Baden Eunson, Australian author of "Writing and Presenting Reports" states that "being able to write reports and being able to deliver oral presentations upon the subject matter of those reports are skills that are much sought after".
Business example of report style writing: National Australia Bank A quick and practical way to see how the business report format is used by business managers, is to get ahold of a public company’s annual report. Virtually any report from any public company will do. To illustrate we have selected excerpts from the 2001 annual reports of the National Australia Bank and of Woolworths. The bank’s full annual report is well over 100 pages detailing hundreds of items, from key financial ratios to total remuneration paid to company directors. To read and become familiar with all the pages would be a fascinating, although time consuming task, critical for the professional analyst, but overwhelming for the average stakeholder. The graphs below are adapted from information contained in the 2001 Annual Report of the National Australia Bank. National Australia Bank Group financial highlights
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