ClearTips: Riveting Reports

An Approach to Planning and Drafting

1. Figure Out What You're Writing and for Whom
What's your main topic?
Who's going to read what you write?
What's your purpose in writing?
How long should your report be?
How much time can you spend writing?
What's your working title?

2. Spell Out Your Main and Supporting Messages
Your main message
Your supporting messages

3. Use Your Supporting Messages to Develop an Outline

4. Decide How Long Each Section Will Be

5. Create a Paragraph-by-paragraph Plan

6. Make a Strong Point about Each of Your Paragraph Topics

7. Gather Your Details, Examples, and Comments

8. Convert Your Raw Material into Draft Paragraphs
Lead with the point and support it
Lead with the point and conclude with a comment
Lead with the point and follow it with a bulleted list
Conclude with the point after introducing the subject
Start with a question and answer it immediately

9. Tape Your Draft on a Wall to Apply the Finishing Touches
Review your line of argument
Spotlight your messages
Adjust length and balance
Refine your title and section headings
Take a last look

The sources for Riveting reports are available in PDF.

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Edit yourself
Stunning sentences
Powerful paragraphs
Riveting reports