Power Tools for Technical Communication:
Informal Reports—Planning Guide



Use this planning guide to define the key details for your informal report. When you are through, you can e-mail this planning information to yourself, your instructor, or both.
  1. Find a project for an informal report and define the type of report. Describe that project and its type (site inspection report, trip report, accident investigation) in the input box below:

  2. Identify and analyze the audience, purpose, and situation. In the input box below, describe the audience, purpose, and situation of your informal report:

  3. Do the necessary research and investigation. In the input box below, describe what information you will need to gather for your informal report and how you'll gather it:

  4. Identify the things you must describe. In the input box below, take some notes on what things (if any) will need to be described in this informal report:

  5. Identify the events or processes you must narrate. In the input box below, take some notes on what events or process (if any) will need to be discussed in this informal report:

  6. Identify the causes, effects or both you must explain. In the input box below, take some notes on causes, effects, or both that are related to your project and that you must discuss in your informal report:

  7. Plan an introduction. In the input box below, try rough-drafting an introduction for your informal report:

  8. Sketch the headings you'll use. List the headings you would use in your informal report and briefly describe the contents of those sections:

  9. Consider the format. In the input box below, describe the format you'll use for your informal report:

  10. Review and revise your rough draft. When you've written the rough draft of your informal report and reviewed it, use the input box below to describe the problems you find:

    Your name:
    E-mail this planning information to me:
    E-mail this planning information to my instructor:


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