Thursday, 12 December 2013

Speakout Advanced p 73. A Report. Writing

An international research group is carrying out an investigation into the housing situation for young people around the world. You have been asked by the group to write a report about your country, including the following points:
  • the different housing options available in your country for young people in their early twenties.
  • the problems faced by young people with each option
  • possible future changes in the housing situation for young people in your country 
Write your report






REPORTS

A report should be practical and business-like. It should present the necessary information as clearly as possible so that the reader can follow it easily, and it should express an overall opinion at the end. You can simply begin with a heading or you can write the report in the form of a memo to a particular person or group if you wish.

STRUCTURE
·         Give your report a clear, factual heading.
·         Divide the report into paragraphs or sections to deal with separate aspects of a subject and use numbers, letters or subheadings to make this clear.
·         Start by saying what the report is about and/or how you gathered the information.
·         End with a conclusion which gives a summary of the situation (and a recommendation if necessary).

The Student Services Manager at your school or college has asked you to write a report on the library facilities and to suggest any improvements that could be made.






HEADING:
            Report on College Library Facilities

INTRODUCTION:
Saying how you have gathered the information.
·         The aim/purpose of this report is to…
·         This report looks at…
·         In order to prepare this report, I visited/interviewed/studied…
In order to prepare this report, I visited the college library on several occasions and interviewed the librarians and a number of students.

SUBHEADINGS:
Write subheadings or number each point.
            General
            Books
            Newspapers and magazines

REPORTING IMPRESSIONS AND FINDINGS:
·         It seems/appears that …
·         Most people/The majority of people seem to/tend to…
·         It is interesting/surprisingly/strange that…
·         Interestingly, Surprisingly, Strangely, …

QUOTING
·         According to X, Y said/felt/mentioned that … + reported speech

GENERALISING
·         In general, On the whole,
General
The library has a welcoming atmosphere and most people said that it was easy to find your way around. It is well decorated and well-lit and the only problem is that there are not quite enough tables and chairs for everyone at busy times.
Books
There is a very good selection of books for all subjects but according to the librarians there is sometimes a waiting list when a particular book has been recommended by a teacher. The catalogue system is rather complicated and surprisingly it does not appear to have been updated recently.
Newspapers and magazines
The range of newspapers and magazines is excellent and they seem to be well used.

MAKING A RECOMMENDATION
·         In my opinion/view,
·         I would recommend (+ -ing)

SUMMING UP
·         In conclusion, To sum up, On balance
Conclusion
The library facilities are very good, on the whole, but I would recommend providing additional copies of popular books, supplying a small number of extra chairs, and improving and updating the catalogue system.


SAMPLE ANSWER



Report on College Library Facilities

In order to prepare this report, I visited the college library on several occasions and interviewed the librarians and a number of students.

General
The library has a welcoming atmosphere and most people said that it was easy to find your way around. It is well decorated and well-lit and the only problem is that there are not quite enough tables and chairs for everyone at busy times.

Books
There is a very good selection of books for all subjects but according to the librarians there is sometimes a waiting list when a particular book has been recommended by a teacher. The catalogue system is rather complicated and surprisingly it does not appear to have been updated recently.

Newspapers and magazines
The range of newspapers and magazines is excellent and they seem to be well used.

Conclusion
The library facilities are very good, on the whole, but I would recommend providing additional copies of popular books, supplying a small number of extra chairs, and improving and updating the catalogue system.




You will get  more ideas on how to write reports on page 73. You can also find useful language for writing a report here and here.


Sample answer:
Ready for cae ss p 34. reports
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HOW TO WRITE A REPORT

WHAT IS REPORT?


A report is a factual description of an event or situation. It may be written for a superior (e.g. a teacher, a manager), a peer group (e. g. colleagues) or a general audience (e. g. a committee). A report should be practical and business-like. The writer of the report should present the necessary information as clearly as possible so that the reader can follow it easily, and it should express an overall opinion and / or make suggestions or recommendations at the end.

STRUCTURE

A report should be clearly organised. Headings may be included. When you write a report, clarity is essential. You should organise your report into paragraphs, and use each paragraph to deal with different information. You should clearly explain the objective of the report at the beginning, and draw conclusions and / or make suggestions or recommendations at the end of the report.

Title: this needs to be clear and simple to help the reader know what you will be discussing in the report.

Introductory paragraph: it should state the purpose of the report and where the information was gathered. You may invent where you got the information.

Different paragraphs or sections to deal with separate aspects of a subject. Use a clear layout with a division into paragraphs according to the input. You may include:

Headings: they will make it clear that your report is not an essay or review.

Lists of numbered points or bullets where appropriate. (DON'T overdo it, though. If you use them in more than one section, you won't be able to show the full range of structures and vocabulary you know.)

Conclusive paragraph: to give a clear summary of the situation (and a recommendation if necessary). Only give the recommendations in this last paragraph.

STYLE

You should use formal, objective, factual, impersonal language. Remember to avoid contractions.

USEFUL PHRASES FOR EACH OF THE PARAGRAPHS

Introduction

Stating the purpose of the report (paragraph 1)

The main aim / objective / purpose of this report is to compare / examine / evaluate / describe / outline (some suggestions) / analyse (some suggestions) / expose / present / give information on /consider / suggest...

This report is intended to inform sb of sth

This report looks at... / deals with...

This report contains my comments on...

Describing how you got the information (paragraph 1)

To prepare for this report, I conducted interviews with... / I visited three of the most popular... / I discussed the issue with...

In order to prepare this report, I visited / interviewed / studied...

Reporting your results (paragraphs 2, 3,...)

The first observation to make is...

The first observation concerns...

Several people said / told me / suggested / thought that...

Most people / The majority of people seem to / tend to...

It appears / seems that...

It is interesting / surprisingly / strange that...

Interestingly / Surprisingly / Strangely / Not surprisingly...,

According to most / the majority of respondents... ,

It appears that the majority of ...

Many of those interviewed stated that....

Others pointed out that...

All those who were interviewed believe that / are concerned that...

It is thought that...

It was commented upon by a number of people we talked to that...

The main problem was that...

A cause of dissatisfaction was...

The only problem is that ...

It should be considered /It is worth considering that...

Presenting a list

The arguments against... are the following:

First,...

Secondly,...

The following were the main reasons given for supporting..: firstly,..., secondly,...

Points mentioned in favour of / against... were: ...

There are several ways in which... might be...: ...

They gave / suggested the following reasons: ...

They made the following points: ...

Comparing and contrasting

One of the main differences between X and Y is that...

X is totally / entirely / completely different from Y, in that...

Unlike X, Y is...

While / Whereas X is..., Y is...

Although X is..., Y is...

X is slightly / rather / somewhat / a great deal (cheaper / more expensive) than Y.

Despite the fact that X is..., it is nevertheless the most...

Making recommendations (last paragraph)

All things considered...

My overall recommendation / opinion / feeling is that...

I have no hesitation recommending...

On the whole I believe we can...

It would seem that... is the best idea.

Taking all the factors mentioned into account...

I would therefore recommend (+ -ing)...

I would strongly recommend that... should + bare infinitive

Clearly, more could be done to... Therefore, I would make the following recommendations:...

We have no hesitation in recommending...

I would strongly / highly recommend ...

My first / second recommendation would be to...

It would be (highly) advisable to ...

If my recommendations are followed, then ...

The best solution / ideas would seem to be ...

In the light of the results of the survey I would advise against...

I feel it would be to our advantage if...

The best solution is / would be to...

This will have an impact on + noun

Suggesting additional ideas

Another option would be to ...

I would also suggest ...

Another point to consider is hat ...

Alternatively...,/ Moreover,... / Furthermore,...

Apart from this / In addition to this...

Concluding

As long as / provided that these recommendations are taken into consideration...

In conclusion...

The research shows / demonstrates...

From the research / the evidence we conclude that...

SAMPLE 1

The University Union to which you belong intends to make suggestions to the University Council to improve the main library on campus. You are asked to write a report to assess its current situation.

Report on College Library Facilities

The aim of this report is to evaluate the present-day conditions of the library facilities on campus.

In order to prepare this report, I visited the main college library on several occasions and interviewed the librarians and a number of students.

General

The main university library has a welcoming atmosphere and most people said that it was easy to find your way around. It is well decorated and well-lit and the only problem is that there are not quite enough tables and chairs for everyone at busy times.

Books

There is a very good selection of books for all subjects but according to the librarians there is sometimes a waiting list when a particular book has been recommended by a teacher. The catalogue system is rather complicated and surprisingly it does not appear to have been updated recently.

Newspapers and magazines

The range of newspapers and magazines is excellent and they seem to be well used.

Conclusion

The library facilities are very good, on the whole, but I would recommend providing additional copies of popular books, supplying a small number of extra chairs, and improving and updating the catalogue system.

SAMPLE 2

Your college has been asked to accept a group of 50 students from another country for two weeks. Your principal has asked you to write a report. What would be the advantages and disadvantages of accepting this group? What would you recommend?

Report on proposed visit by 50 overseas students

Introduction

The purpose of this report is to consider the advantages and disadvantages of accepting a large group of students from overseas for two weeks. I have discussed the issue with all the senior members of college staff.

Advantages

All those I interviewed believe that for students, this would be an exciting opportunity to explore a foreign culture, both in the classroom and socially. Moreover, most of them thought the visit would be stimulating for the college at this quiet time of the year.

Disadvantages

Some members of staff are concerned that:

1. there would be insufficient seating in the library at busy times.

2. the visitors might be more interested in enjoying themselves than studying.

3. the restaurant queue would be very slow at lunchtime.

Conclusion and recommendation

Clearly, the visit might involve some practical difficulties, but on the whole, everyone thought that it should be seen as an opportunity not to be missed. I would therefore suggest that the college accepts the group.

SAMPLE 3

You work for the Student Travel Agency of your college. The principal of the college is interested in the experiences of students who have worked abroad during their summer holidays. She has asked you to write a report on the advantages and disadvantages of such work. In particular, she wants to know whether the college should recommend "working holidays" to its students.

Working holidays for students

The purpose of this report is to consider the advantages and disadvantages of working holidays abroad. In order to obtain this information, I interviewed more than 30 students who had worked in different countries.

The benefits of working holidays

A large number of the students I spoke to said that they had enjoyed working abroad and had become more open-minded as a result. Apparently, they felt they had learnt a lot about the local people and their way of life by working side by side with them.

The disadvantages of working holidays

Not surprisingly, many students complained that they had worked too hard in certain countries. They believed that they had been exploited by their employers, who paid them very little money. According to some students, there had also been problems with documents such as work permits.

Conclusions and Recommendations

It appears that the majority of students found the experience of working abroad very beneficial. Therefore, I believe that the college should recommend "working holidays" to its students. However, it should also warn them about the problems they could face and the precautions they need to take. 

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