• A presentation = a talk giving info about a subject/product/an idea
  • Is an important form of oral communication
  • Stage fright/fear of making presentation is widespread
  • Combating stage fright
  • Recognize your nervousness/accept the fact that you are nervous
  • Understand what happens to you physically when you feel nervous
  • Regard your nervousness positively as a form of energy which you can turn to your advantage
  • Regard nervousness as a healthy sign, which can actually improve your performance
  • Visualize yourself giving a good & strong presentation; positive imagination infuses freshness & confidence
  • Work hard on your content; if you are well prepared, you’ll feel excited about sharing it
  • Work hard on the opening lines & the rest of the introduction; once the opening sentences are in the right place you’ll immediately feel better
  • Focus on what you have to say to your listeners rather than bothering about your nervousness
  • Once you start telling the audience what you know your nervousness will leave you
  • Rehearsal & practice will polish your performance & also make you feel more self – assured & confident
  • Rehearse your presentation in front of your friends/parents/siblings
  • Maintain eye contact with your audience
  • Start your presentation with a smile
  • Preparing Power Point Slides for Presentations
  • Reach the presentation area much before the audience & adjust material on the laptop/pen drive before you speak
  • Time your slides, ensure when to show a slide
  • Keep the lens of the LCD covered so that the audience does not have to look at a blank screen before you show them your first slide
  • While displaying a slide, avoid standing/walking in front of the LCD lens
  • Avoid cluttered slides > writing long paragraphs or lengthy sentences
  • Give the ideas/info in bullet form, not more than eight to ten points in a single slide
  • Avoid reading the slides by looking at them; it reveals lack of preparation
  • Keep your slides to the minimum number
  • Make your slides as captivating & innovative as possible


  • Quick and Easy: the basic features are easy to master and can help you to organize the material
  • Simple bullet points: it can reduce complicated messages to simple bullet points that are easy to comprehend
  • Easy to modify: when compared to other visual aids such as charts, posters, or objects
  • Easily re-order presentation: with a simple drag and drop or using key strokes, you can move slides to re-order the presentation.



  • Two types
  • Verbal > the use of language to communicationunicate
  • E.g.: intra personal & inter personal communicationunication
  • Non-verbal > communicationunication without words
  • Daily communicationunication > 35%verbal; 65% non- verbal

“The most important thing in communicationunication is to hear what isn’t being said” – Peter


  • Body Language – all the expressions that we share by means of our body movements
  • Kinesics /kɪnɪsɪks/=the study of body language                                                  


  1. Personal Appearance
  2. A person’s personal appearance is important
  3. Wear a dress neatly washed & ironed

Posture = the way we sit, stand & carry ourselves

  • Eg: sitting on the edge of the chair in an interview = tension
  • Drooping shoulders = depression
  • Raised chin & stiff shoulders = defiance

Gestures = the physical movement of arms, legs, hands torso & head

  • Gesturing – a natural part of speech & thinking & is culture-specific
  • Offloads some of the mental effort of VC
  • Communicationon gestures & their meaning
  • Waving hands = saying hello/goodbye
  • Thumbs up = appreciation/agreement
  • Crossed arms = defence, negativity
  • Rubbing palms = nervousness

Facial expressions

  • The face is the index of the mind
  • e.g.: frown = disapproval
  • Clenched teeth = suppression of anger
  • Raised eyebrows = surprise/sarcasm
  • Narrowing one’s eyebrows = lack of trust in others

Eye contact

  • Eyes = the windows to the soul
  • Truthfully convey the emotions & feelings
  • Looking into a person’s eyes is the best way to understand his/her attitude or reaction
  • Eyes play a significant role in human communicationunication
  • Avoiding eye contact=evasion, fear, doubt

Proxemics / Space Distance

  • Space matters a lot to us
  • We are reluctant to board a crowded train/bus
  • All of us want our own territory & space to feel relaxed & enjoy a comfort that is lost if we are surrounded by people/things
  • While communicationunicating we must respect the territories of others
  • All of us have a psychologically defined territory
  • Not many are welcomed beyond a point
  • These psychological territories > 4 zones

Intimate zone – no stranger is welcome here

  • Is shared by lovers, spouses, children, parents, & very close relatives & friends
  • Anyone who tries to enter is an intruder   

Personal zone – shared by close friends, colleagues, & associates

Social zone – the most official/formal interactions fall here

  • Also interaction with occasional visitors like gardeners, plumbers, electricians etc.

Public zone – public speaking & presentations come in this zone

Haptics / Touch

  • The most communicationon type of non-verbal communicationunication
  • Handshakes, holding hands, hugs etc.
  • The meaning conveyed by touch is dependent on the situation, the relationship b/w the communicationunicators & the manner of touch
  • It is culture-centric

Chronemics – the perception of time

  • Includes punctuality, willingness to wait
  • Time can be used differently by individuals & in cultures

Chromatic – the use of colour to communicationunicate

  • e.g.: white > peace
  • Purple > royalty
  • Red > danger

Para language/Vocalics

  • The study of the different aspects of our voice
  • Includes pitch, volume, tone, rate, pause, articulation, pronunciation

Pitch = the rise & fall in the human voice

  • Plays a crucial role in communicationunication
  • Expresses all the emotions that are to be conveyed

Volume = the loudness/softness of the voice

  • It is not just what you say but how you say it
  • e.g.: whispering = you want to hide something
  • Speaking aloud = you want to be heard by all
  • While addressing an audience if you are not loud enough it suggests lack of confidence
  • Speaking loud over the phone = lack of good manners

Tone – the attitude of the speaker > friendly, critical, sarcastic etc

Rate = the no of words you speak per minute

  • The normal rate = 120-150 words per minute

Pause = a short silence flanked by words

  • Lets the listener reflect on the message & digest it
  • Indicates the speaker’s uncertainty, tension, hesitation etc.

Articulation = the clarity in your voice

  • A clearly articulated message = competence
  • The speaker should speak in such a way that all the words are understood by the listener

Pronunciation =an important role

  • Use the accepted form of pronunciation
  • In the case of English, it is RP  


  • People communicationunicate through silence too
  • It is an often neglected but powerful tool
  • Silence can effectively communicationunication responses like sorrow, anger, disapproval etc.
  • It allows us to think, breathe, listen & hold the attention of the listener
  • Heightens the expectation of others  
  • Allows others to process what you have said & consider their response
  • Silence can be a cold sort of punishment
  • The silent treatment when you go home late
  • In an interview silence can encourage the other person to ‘open up’
  • It can also be use intentionally to create anxiety & discomfort in the other person 


  • Duplicates verbal communication
  • e.g.: head nod > yes/no
  • Replaces verbal communication
  • e.g.: answering yes/no with just a head nod
  • Complements verbal communication
  • e.g.: when a friend wins a competition you verbally congratulate him/her & also shake his/her hand or pat him/her on the back    
  • Strengthens / Accents verbal communication
  • E.g.: we can raise the volume of our voice on certain words > I am VERY angry
  • Regulates verbal communication
  • E.g.: eye contact while talking
  • Using vocal segregates like ‘um’ contradicts verbal communication
  • Telling your friend, you’re fine with a sad face
  • Indicates the relationship between people
  • e.g.: Romantic partners standing close together, mere acquaintances maintain a distance.
  • Demonstrates/Maintains cultural norms
  • e.g.: hugging, greeting with hands folded reveal the respective cultures of nations


  • Verbal communication – single channel > words
  • Nonverbal – multiple channels > gestures, pitch
  • Verbal – ambiguous, not easy to decode
  • Verbal accompanied by Nonverbal – easy to decode
  • Verbal communication – linear > messages have a beginning & an end
  • Nonverbal communication – continuous > we can get Nonverbal cues even after the verbal message has ended
  • Verbal communication – conscious > we think & formulate the words before we communication
  • Nonverbal communication – unconscious & spontaneous > our facial expressions reveal our emotions
  • Verbal – language-specific > the receiver can understand the sender’s message only if he knows the linguistic codes the sender uses
  • Nonverbal communication – of a universal nature > smiles, frowns mean the same the world over


  • Email/electronic mail/paperless communication
  • Came into existence in the late 20th century
  • A method of exchanging digital messages across the internet/other computer networks
  • One of the quickest ways to communicate in writing


  • Header – shows the sender’s mail ID, the receiver’s mail ID, the date, time & the subject
  • Body – is the message, formal/informal; also contains the complimentary close


  • Fast, cheap, and easy to operate – can be sent instantaneously to as many people as required
  • Captures the spirit of the age – anything that saves time is most welcome in the present age
  • Flexible in tone and style
  • Are legal and valid


  • Have a neutral email address that reflects your identity
  • Keep the header short & sweet
  • Avoid an abrupt beginning
  • Use effective subject lines
  • Start courteously with a proper salutation
  • Have a neutral email address that reflects your identity
  • Keep the header short & sweet
  • Avoid an abrupt beginning
  • Use effective subject lines
  • Start courteously with a proper salutation
  • Add a warm up sentence
  • Avoid use of capital letters all through the text
  • Avoid acronyms
  • End carefully with a complimentary close
  • Sign off with your full name
  • Proofread your email for errors in language — vocabulary, grammar & punctuation


  • Reply immediately
  • Avoid circulating e mails to everyone
  • Send the copy of a mail only to those who have something to do with it
  • Avoid attaching unnecessary files
  • Answer all queries as exhaustively as possible
  • It strengthens our professional image & adds to the goodwill of the organization we work for
  • Avoid sexist language like ‘man is mortal’
  • Use e mail jargon sparingly
  • Keep your mailbox uncluttered
  • Delete junk mail regularly from the inbox
  • Read & edit your mails


  • Privacy is lost
  • Casualness creeps in – the email writer often forgets the distinction between a formal and an informal mail
  • Ambiguity – no universally accepted conventions in mail writing so people write in whatever way they want – casually, informally, colloquially – hampering the efficacy of the message
  • Virtue is sacrificed to convenience – using short quick and abbreviated versions
  • Abundant unsolicited mails


  • A report — is an important form of business communication.
  • Is an account of something that happened in the past
  • Re = back; portare = to carry.
  • A report = a formal communication written for a specific purpose, conveying authentic info in a completely impartial/objective manner.
  • A good report is — (a) well analysed & argued. (b) written in appropriate & correct English.
  • 3 stages — planning, organizing & writing.


  • A formal piece of writing
  • A factual account
  • Written for a specific purpose
  • Written in an organized manner
  • Written for a specific audience
  • Written in an objective manner
  • Includes only relevant information


  • Helps professionals plan, execute, manage & evaluate business activities effectively.
  • Facilitates the flow of information to ensure smooth execution of tasks.
  • Serves as a record of facts & as a repository of information.
  • Enables the authorities to take timely decisions.
  • Helpful in creating awareness among shareholders & other investors about the market position of the company.


ORAL                                                             WRITTEN   

Presented face to face                                    Not necessarily

Easy for the speaker                                        Easy for the reader

Ephemeral                                                       Permanent record

Immediate clarification is possible                 Not possible

Less accurate & reliable                                 More accurate & reliable

Informal                                                         Formal 


  • Informal Report
  • Informal style but the content & organization of facts the same as a formal report.
  • Fulfills an immediate requirement so shorter than a formal report.
  • Eg: the report about the current status of production / people in a particular dept given to the managing director.
  • Two commonly used informal reports > letter reports & memo reports.


Letter report

  • Is a short report using the business letter format.
  • The business letter format is very important for formal communication.

Tips for writing letter reports.

  • Should be typed and not handwritten.
  • Use full block format of business letters in which all lines start from the left.
  • Use the company’s letterhead or formal 8 ½ inch by 11 inch/A 4 size stationery.
  • Set your objectives, analyse the facts critically.


  • Use one or two illustrations to support the analysis.
  • Use ‘I’ & ‘you’ to maintain informality.
  • Avoid a bookish / prosaic style.
  • Include appropriate salutations & a complimentary close.
  • Ensure that there are no typographical or grammatical errors in the report.
  • Maintain proper margin & line spacing.


[Refer to page 248-9 for a sample letter report.]


Memo > also called an inter-office memorandum.

  • Is a prescribed form used to send important info within an organization.
  • Conveys info about routine business matters like sending info from one dept. to another, announcing a change in policy matters etc.

Memo report > a report that provides facts of routine nature or deals with a minor problem using the format of the inter-face memorandum.

E.g.: engineers write memos to their supervisors.

  • Memo report should give an account of what has been done
  • Should describe the important findings and also their significance.
  • Is circulated within the organization only.
  • So more informal in style than a letter report.
  • Length > not more than three typed pages.
  • Main body m comprises relevant headings like findings, recommendations etc.


[Refer to page 247 for a sample memo report.]


Letter report                                                              Memo report

4-5 pages                                                                     2-3 pages

Uses letter layout                                                        Uses inter-office memorandum format

Less informal                                                              More informal

Used both for internal & external communication      Only for internal communication


  • Seriousness of purpose & content
  • Elaborate data which cannot be informally presented
  • Three broad categories > I. Routine; II. Informational; III. Interpretative.

I. Routine reports / periodic reports.

  • Submitted at prescribed intervals/weekly, monthly, quarterly, annually.
  • Present the collected data & facts in their original form.
  • Sometimes include brief recommendations.
  • Routine reports > five types

1. Progress report> informs the reader about the status/progress of a particular project.

  • Gives an account of the various stages of the project in chronological order & the details of the work completed & the amount of work yet to be completed.
  • The work completed must be evaluated to determine the progress of the project.
  • Mention can also be made of special problems likely to arise during the course of the work.

2. Laboratory report > written by scientists & students of engineering, science, psychology & those who work regularly in laboratories.

  • The proforma > the name of the experiment, the apparatus used, the procedure followed & the findings & conclusions.
  • Record their experiments & provide a step-by-step account of the processes to be followed.
  • Mechanical devices like computers & laboratory equipment are mentioned before the process is explained.
  • Findings are put in a logical order; also a brief summary of the findings.

3. Inspection report > complied only after a thorough investigation of objects/products.

  • Helps in checking the quality of products in a systematic manner.
  • Ensures the right standard & smooth functioning of the equipment.
  • Written in a prescribed pro forma with columns to indicate the options regarding the quality & operation of each part of a particular product.
  • Purpose > to check the mishandling & poor production of equipment.
  • Usually submitted to the executive heads of the maintenance/production/sales departments.

4. Inventory report > computer-generated.

  • User has to put in the relevant data about the stock.
  • Includes statistical details = the no, amount & type of material required.
  • Written by the person in charge of the stocks in a prescribed form & duly signed by him.
  • Submitted at regular intervals > weekly/monthly/ annually.

5. Annual confidential report > submitted annually by the controlling officers about their subordinates.

  • Evaluates their work performance & behaviour.
  • Determines a professional’s appraisal.
  • Important decisions – promotion, demotion, transfer, termination — based on this report.

II.  Informational report

  • Conveys all the details related to the subject.
  • Data is collected, arranged in a proper order & presented as it is without analysing it.
  • Recommendations are not provided.
  • Each part prepares the reader for what is to come.
  • Discussion of one point must be complete before taking up another point.
  • Info report develops an understanding of the aims, objectives, policies, regulations, problems, procedures & outlook of a company.

III. Interpretative/analytical/investigative report

  • Analyses & interprets the data obtained.
  • Arrives at some conclusions & recommendations.
  • Helps the reader analyse, interpret & evaluate facts.
  • Very useful & essential in the professional world because they help in making a decision, solving a problem, expanding the business etc.
  • Is more expansive, elaborate.
  • Varies widely in scope & subject matter.
  • But always associated with some business activity. Like accounting, advertising etc.
  • Is an integral part of the business world


Graphic Aids/Illustrations

  • Make the report more interesting & readable.
  • Give emphasis to the key points.
  • Supplement the text.
  • Help in communicating the content of the report.

When & why they are used

  • When a mass of statistics has to be presented.
  • When complex ideas have to be explained.
  • Help to clarify & reinforce the info.
  • Lend a professional flair to the presentation.
  • Help in presenting large details with accuracy & in less space.
  • Make the description clear, vivid & eye-catching.

How to use them

  • Illustrations should be neat, accurate, self-contained & big enough to be clearly visible.
  • Contents should be closely related to the text.
  • Placed as close to the first reference as possible.
  • Numbered & captioned > Tables– Roman numerals at the top.
  • Figures – Arabic numerals at the bottom.
  • The term figure can be used for graphic aids other than tables.
  • Refer to pages 253 &254 for examples


  1. Independent table
    • Includes rows & columns.
    • Gives the complete statistical info.
    • Help us understand the trend/pattern without going through the preceding/following text. (ref table 16.3 page 255).
  2. Dependent table
    • Closely associated with the preceding/following text.
    • Cannot be interpreted independent of the text.
  3. Phrase table
    • Consists of rows & columns.
    • Uses words & phrases to provide info & not figures (refer table 16.4 page 255)
  4. Photographs, maps, charts & graphs
    • Graphs = the illustrations that help us to present the data in a colourful & catchy manner.
    • Help us understand the trends & patterns the report highlights.


  • Different stages
  • Defining your objective, scope & purpose.
  • Data collection
    • Formal writing requires solid proof; it cannot depend on assumptions & imagination.
    • So data collection is very important
  • Sources for data collection > text books, office records, files, journals, handbooks, manuals, magazines, encyclopaedias, newspapers, government publications, internet, computer databases.
  • Methods of data collection
  • Personal observation > when writing a report on an experiment you conducted in a laboratory or on an event you witnessed.

                        Advantages                             Disadvantages

                        First-hand info                         time-consuming

                        Very reliable                            not necessarily convincing for others

  • Telephonic interview > when seeking info of a routine nature & only brief answers are needed from a small number of people.


  • Quickest of survey techniques
  • Low refusal rate
  • Memory factor eliminated
  • Low cost occasionally
  • High returns
  • Approach & questions standardized
  • Mostly reliable in matters of costly & time-consuming routine research


  • No detailed data available
  • Observation eliminated
  • Limited info
  • Little time for orientation & reaction
  • Respondents’ antagonistic
  • Not essentially representative
  • Low credibility
  • Personal Interview> must be shrewd, observant & sensitive to the reaction of the person being interviewed.
  • Quick to readjust your approach & attitude.
  • Secure a person’s attention, excite his interest & establish a rapport with him/her.
  • First, decide on the questions to be asked.
  • Break the discussion into significant components for easy handling.
  • Frame the questions accordingly.
  • This set of questions > an interview sheet.


  • Flexible
  • Direct info
  • Orientation possible
  • Non-verbal interpretation possible
  • Least obscure
  • First-hand impressions
  • Questions can be repeated / rephrased
  • Useful in market survey


  • Limited coverage
  • Costly & time-consuming
  • Prone to discussion
  • Subjective info
  • Given to chance & failure
  • May influence responses
  • Likelihood of respondents not responding to personal / embarrassing questions


  • Get a prior appointment from the person whom you plan to interview.
  • Inform him/her about its purpose.
  • Prepare an interview sheet with at least 10 possible questions.
  • Be clear about your purpose of collecting data.
  • Reach the venue on time well dressed.
  • Carry a pen and a notepad to take down the answers.
  • Seek permission beforehand to record the interview.
  • Greet the interviewee warmly, brief him/her about the interview & then begin the interview.
  • Show your interest & zeal by listening actively.
  • Don’t get annoyed when you get confused, but seek clarification in a strategic manner.
  • Bring the interviewee back to the topic if he digresses.
  • Don’t ask embarrassing/personal questions.
  • Don’t get involved in heated / unnecessary arguments.
  • Always assume a subordinate position as you are seeking a favour from the interviewee.
  • Don’t interrupt the respondent unnecessarily.
  • Thank the interviewee for sparing his time.
  • Keep the line of communication open as you may need more info later.

Mail questionnaire> the ideal method when a wide geographical area has to be covered & a large no of people has to be contacted.


  • Cheapest method
  • Covers a wide area
  • Is specific, accurate & can be processed
  • Covers a large no of respondents
  • Is utmost scientific & reliable
  • Reduces hesitation


  • No clarification possible
  • Not necessarily correct
  • Illiterates cannot answer
  • Unmilling individuals will not answer
  • Is time-consuming
  • Not face-to-face
  • High refusal rate


1. Basic requirements > good mailing list, good covering letter & interested respondents.

2. Tips for framing a questionnaire

  1. Set objectives for every question that you ask.
  2. Be pointed, short & clear.
  3. Figure out possible answers.
  4. Phrase the questions clearly.
  5. Avoid leading & delicate questions.
  6. Avoid long & complicated questions.
  7. Arrange the questions logically.
  8. Don’t ask questions that require lengthy ans.
  9. Leave enough blank space for the ans.
  10. Don’t repeat the questions.

3. Additional tips

  1. Enclose the covering letter with a self-addressed, stamped envelope.
  2. Assume confidentiality.
  3. Ensure action & be courteous.

4. Writing and Revising

  1. Prepare a rough draft with everything relevant.
  2. 1st review > concentrate on blocks of ideas.
  3. 2nd review > concentrate on finer details, syntax & diction.
  4. Write the final report in a specific form using a style sheet / manual.

5. Preparing an outline

  • Outline = an arrangement of words / phrases / sentences which indicate the nature & sequence of topics & subtopics to be discussed in the report.
  • Outline gives a framework & indicates the pattern of the report.


  • Front matter. Main body & Back matter.

1. Front Matter

a. Cover = a binding / hard cover

  • Contains important info like the title of the report, report no, if any, name of the report writer & organization & date.
  • Use white/neutral (soft) colour.
  • Keep proper space b/w the different items of info
  • Use either all capital letters or the first letter of each key word must be in capitals.
  • For sample cover ref to page 262.

b. Title page = is the first right hand page of the report.

  • Contains additional info along with what is given in he cover of the report.
  • Tells the reader about the subtitle of the report, the name & designation of the authority for whom the report is written & approvals, if any.
  • This page should not be crowded with unnecessary info.
  • For sample title page refer to page 262

c. Frontispiece = the window displays of the whole report.

  • Comprises artistic drawings, pictures, photographs or maps.
  • Sole purpose > to arouse the curiosity of the reader about the contents of the report.
  • Not normally used in technical reports.

d. Copyright notice = indicates who has the legal rights of the document > the author or the publisher.

  • Is always placed on the inside of the title page.
  • For sample refer to page 263

e. Forwarding letter > forwards a report to the primary recipient of the report.

  • Two types > covering = a record of transmission of the report; not bound with the report; does not contain any important info.
  • Introductory – refers to specific parts of the report; contains plenty of info; so is usually bound into the report, immediately after the title page.

f. Preface – introduces the report to the readers.

g. Acknowledgements = the names of those people & sources that helped the report writer.

  • Inserted before the abstract of the report.
  • Drafting an acknowledgement > categorize the persons whom you want to acknowledge; express your gratitude using different expressions; mention why you are indebted to the person.
  • For a sample refer to page 263. 

h. Table of contents / ToC – is an essential element in a long formal report.

  • It includes the chapter headings & subheadings & their respective page numbers; so easy to locate specific info.
  • It serves as a guide to the report.
  • The decimal numbering system (DNS) is used to prepare the ToC.
  • Sample ToC in page 264. 

i. List of illustrations with page nos when more than 12 illustrations are used in a report.

j. Abstract = a brief write-up on what the report is about & its accomplishments in 250 words.

  • It contains relevant info like the main purpose, main design point, methodology & some eye-catching results to show the significance of the report.
  • Sample abstract in page 265.

k. Executive summary – presents the entire report in a nutshell.

  • Tells the reader what to expect in the report & what the report explores.
  • It is like a window to a building.
  • It enables the reader to know the significance & relevance of the study.
  • It helps the authorities to take decisions to solve the problem discussed in the study.


  • Abstract > very brief, not more than 300 words.
  • Relevant only when the report is meant for people from the same field of knowledge.
  • Presents only the essence of the report.
  • Cannot help in taking decisions.
  • Does not include illustrations.
  • Executive summary > more elaborate.
  • Meant for readers other than subject experts.
  • Presents the entire report in a nutshell.
  • Can help in taking quick decisions, if needed.
  • May include one or two illustrations.

2. Main Body

a. Introduction = an effective curtain-raiser to the content, significance etc. of the report.

  • It gives the reader a clear picture of the problem and catches his/her attention.
  • It provides the following elements of info.
  • Background info
  • Includes the historical/technical background that gave rise to the problem.
  • Throws light on the exact state of affairs & the factors responsible for the situation.
  • Problem statement = specifying what exactly is the problem you are trying to solve.
  • Reference to authorization – includes the person requesting the report & the reference to the letter/memo/meeting/telephonic conversation held on a specific date by which the person was asked to submit the report.
  • Purpose & scope.
  • Significance.
  • Methodology = stating the method/ the sources used to collect the facts & analyse them.
  • Procedure.
  • Basic principles/theories involved
  • Summary of findings.
  • General plan of work.

                 Sample introduction in page 267.

b. Discussion

  • Text is divided into several sections/chapters.
  • Matter is organized into topics & sub-topics.
  • Substantial matter is included under each topic/ sub-topic.
  • Detailed analysis/interpretation is provided.
  • Recommendations are not inserted.
  • Illustrations are included to make the analysis clear.

c. Conclusion – draws inferences in a crisp & tidy manner.

  • Briefly recapitulates the problem studied, the approach adopted & the results arrived at.
  • Can be written either in points or developed in separate paragraphs.

d. Recommendations – state the actions required to be taken based on the findings & conclusions.

Suggest solutions/ideas/recommendations.

3. Back Matter

  1. Appendices
    •  Additional charts & graphs can be added.
    • Contains material closely related to the topic but not absolutely essential.
    • Provides a proper cross-reference in the text.
    • Experimental results, detailed calculations, statistical data, sample questionnaire, sample pro forma etc. can be included in the appendix.
  2. Bibliography = an alphabetically list of all the sources such as newspapers, books, magazines, journals, websites, movies etc. made use of to write the report.
  3. List of references — includes the bibliographical details of all the books & sources from which ideas/facts/data have been borrowed.
  4. Footnotes = the small references mentioned at the bottom of the page & a star/asterisk mark is used to draw the reader’s attention.
  5. Glossary = a list of technical terms & words that appear in the text of the report.
    • They are arranged in the alphabetical order.
    • Their meaning & explanation are also provided.
  6. Index = the list of various topics, sub-topics & other aspects discussed in the main text.
    • Serves as a quick guide for the reader to locate any specific idea/concept given somewhere in the main text.

Documentation > an indispensable part of any professional writing such as proposals, reports & research papers.

  • Includes how books, anthologies, journals, etc. are to be cited.


  1. MLA (Modern Language Association) style
  2. APA (American Psychological Association) style
  3. Chicago style


Tips for writing a newspaper report

  • Easy to read; an attractive presentation style.
  • Provides the answers to the questions WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, WHY & HOW?
  • Headline should catch the reader’s attention.
  • 1st para — gives the main point of the story & answers the question who.
  • Succeeding paras — answer the questions what, when, where, why & how.
  • Paragraphs should be short & punchy, giving info clearly and concisely.
  • References to what people said can be included, either in direct/indirect speech.
  • Past tense must be used as the report in about an event that has already taken place.
  • For sample reports refer to page 277.


a report from The Hindu by their special correspondent.

                          CBI starts inquiry

                           into match-fixing

                      By our Special Correspondent


Example 1

a report on a boat tragedy

                            THE HINDU

                   TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 27, 2018

KOCHI: At least 25 persons feared dead as crowded boat capsizes in the Periyar, search for other passengers on. At least 25 people drowned and another 15 were missing when an overloaded boat capsized in the Periyar on Monday evening.

The dead included men, women and children who were on their way back from the Ashtami Rohini celebrations at the Sri Krishna temple.

The boat designed to carry 25 people was carrying at least 45 people when it overturned at 5.30pm.


  • E mail/electronic mail/paperless communication
  • Came into existence in the late 20th century
  • A method of exchanging digital messages across the internet/other computer networks
  • One of the quickest ways to communicate in writing

Format of an E-mail

  • Header – shows the sender’s mail ID, the receiver’s mail ID, the date, time & the subject
  • Body – is the message, formal/informal; also contains the complimentary close

E mail writing — reasons for popularity

Guiding steps to writing an E mail

  • Have a neutral e-mail address that reflects your identity
  • Keep the header short & sweet
  • Avoid an abrupt beginning
  • Use effective subject lines
  • Start courteously with a proper salutation
  • Add a warm up sentence
  • Avoid use of capital letters all through the text
  • Avoid acronyms
  • End carefully with a complimentary close
  • Sign off with your full name
  • Proofread your e-mail for errors in language — vocabulary, grammar & punctuation

E- mail writing — common etiquette

  • Reply immediately
  • Avoid circulating e mails to everyone
  • Send the copy of a mail only to those who have something to do with it
  • Avoid attaching unnecessary files
  • Answer all queries as exhaustively as possible
  • It strengthens our professional image & adds to the goodwill of the organization we work for
  • Avoid sexist language like ‘man is mortal’
  • Use e mail jargon sparingly
  • Keep your mailbox uncluttered
  • Delete junk mail regularly from the inbox
  • Read & edit your mails


  • A paragraph is a group of sentences
  • A well-structured paragraph has a beginning, a middle & an end


1. Topic sentence/Introducer

  • The first sentence that introduces the main idea
  • Usually appears in the beginning of a paragraph
  • Gives the core idea & emphasizes it
  • Guides the readers to know what it is all about

Two major functions: Structural & Interpretive

  1. Structural topic sentences
  2. Describe the shape of the argument
  3. Help to follow the argument
  4. Guide the readers to anticipate & move with the rest of the paragraph
  5. Interpretive topic sentences
  6. Offer a conclusion/reaction/feeling
  7. Acquaint the readers with the author’s perspective
  8. So more valuable than structural topic sentence
  9. Structural topic sentence does not tell us a lot about the topic
  10. Interpretive topic sentence allows the writer to freely express his/her interpretation of the data & also tries to convince the reader
  11. Both are known as introducers
  12. Introducer > lays the foundation for the rest of the argument to follow
  13. Raises hopes and makes promises

2. Supporting details/Developers

  • Constitute the main body of the passage
  • Fulfil the promise made by the introducers
  • Substantiate, augment & authenticate the claims made by the introducers

3. The concluding sentences / Terminators

  • Wind up the discussion
  • Leave on the reader the final impression about the crux of the entire paragraph 


  1. Narrative Description
  2. Suits the paragraphs that have an intense emotion to express
  3. Sustains our interest by telling a story in an engaging manner
  4. Comparisons & Contrasts
  5. Two similar things are compared/two dissimilar things are contrasted
  6. Make the argument forceful & emphatic
  7. Prove our perspectives in an objective manner
  8. Sustained Analogy
  9. Analogy = comparison of things that are generally not from the same class
  10. Extensive use of such comparisons = sustained analogy
  11. Is figurative & literary in its impact & appeal
  12. Cause and Effect
  13. An important device that helps to establish a relationship b/w certain events & the reasons behind them
  14. Convinces readers in a scientific & logical manner
  15. Quotations & Paraphrasing
  16. Quoting authorities substantiates a point of view
  17. Peer testimony = when the words of common people are quoted
  18. Enumeration
  19. Listing a series of ideas to substantiate the topic sentence


  1. Unity
  2. The togetherness of ideas
  3. A paragraph should have one central idea – outlined through the topic sentence — & the subordinating ideas that help the main idea
  4. Coherence
  5. All the ideas fit together well
  6. E.g.: arguing for an idea & arguing against it at the same time result in incoherence
  7. Expansion & Emphasis
  8. Properly expanding & emphasizing the idea introduced in a sentence
  9. Taking the generated idea to its logical conclusion

Chapter 12: NOTE MAKING

Note Taking = when you listen to a speaker or watch documentaries & jot down notes


  • Helps us to focus & concentrate on what is said
  • Helps us to prepare for tests & exams
  • Are the key points to understand a subject
  • Helps us to understand the complex concepts or elements of the subject


  • Brief, concise & written in the 3rd person
  • Contain only the relevant details/facts of the subject
  • Avoid illustrations/descriptions except in science & technology-oriented subjects
  • Info presented in phrases/words/brief sentences; follows a specific gr pattern
  • Info presented in a logical sequence
  • Usually divided into > main points, sub-points, sub-sub-points and so on


  1. Get ready to take notes (before a class)
  2. Review the notes from the previous class
  3. Complete the assigned readings
  4. Take notes (during a class)
  5. Focus your attention on what the teacher is saying & write quickly
  6. Rewrite the notes (after a class)
  7. Complete your notes by replacing short forms/abbreviations into words
  8. Check with other students to ensure that you have not missed any important info

 NOTE MAKING = when you read & prepare notes


  • Helps us to observe & record the crucial & finer aspects of a text / a phenomenon
  • Helps us to appraise the text / a situation from close quarters
  • Helps us to figure out the complexity of an idea/a thought / situation
  • Helps us to recall & recapture the intensity of an observed phenomenon & express it in our own words


  1. The Cornell Method = a systematic format for condensing notes
  2. Leave a two & a half inch margin on the left & a six inch area on the right to make notes
  3. Leave sufficient space b/w each new point
  4. Write the notes in the main space (6 inch area)
  5. Use the left-hand space to label each significant bit of info & detail with a cue / key word


  • Is organized & systematic; so helps in recording & reviewing notes
  • Is an easy format for pulling out major concepts & ideas
  • Is a simple & efficient method
  • Saves time & effort
  • Is like a ‘do-it-right-in-the-first-place’ system
  • See fig. 12.1 on page 186
  • The Outlining Method
  • Indented outlining > the best method for informative kind of lectures & texts.
  • The most general info begins on the left
  • Each specific group of facts indented with spaces to the right.
  • For headings Roman numerals, letters of the alphabet, & Arabic numerals are commonly used at different levels.
  • For a sample refer to page 187


  • a well-organized system if used rightly.
  • helps in recording the content & also observing the relationship among various pts.
  • helps to keep the review process easy.


  • this method requires more thought into the subject matter for accurate organization.
  • lends limited review as it is very brief.
  • cannot be used if the lecture is rushed through
  • The Mapping Method
  • Is a graphic repsn of the whole talk/lecture.
  • Used when the lecture content is heavy & well-organized.
  • Have to use our cognitive & analytical skills & critical thinking to create a map of the info.


  • Helps us to track the talk/lecture visually.
  • Easy to review the entire info in no time.
  • Different colours can be used for highlighting.
  • The Taxonomizing Method
  • Helps in charting/recording the info in a systematic manner.
  • The page is divided into quadrangles & labelled with appropriate headings such as history, causes, effects & measures.
  • The info can be recorded into the suitable category.


  • Facilitates in taking down notes as quickly as possible.
  • Reduces the amount of unnecessary writing.
  • Provides an easy review mechanism for memorizing the facts & studying the comparisons & relationships.
  • The Sentence Method
  • Used by students who do not know the technical way of taking down notes.
  • Every new thought/fact/topic is written on a separate line.


  • We get more/all the info.
  • Notes prepared by using this method give a sufficient idea of the content of the actual text


  • The major/minor points cannot be determined from the numbered sequence.
  • Difficult to edit without rewriting by clustering related points.


  • Writing is a skill like swimming or driving. 
  • Constant practice and interest in these skills can make a person good at it.
  • Writing is different from these skills.
  • It is the physical manifestation of language and is an intellectual skill.
  • All languages serve as tools to express our thoughts, feelings, ideas and beliefs.
  • So more effort and dedication are needed to master the art of writing.
  • Writing requires patience and perseverance.


  • Writings > four major categories
  • PERSONAL WRITING > what we write to our friends, family, et al.
  • Expresses our thoughts & emotions.
  • Suffused with emotions.
  • Subjective ideas.
  • Personal choice of words & expressions.
  • It is warm & subjective.
  • CREATIVE WRITING > expresses deep thoughts and imaginative perceptions.
  • Emotions & thoughts play a pivotal role.
  • Is imaginative & poetic.
  • Intense in its appeal & impact.
  • Literary style = enriched by figures of speech.
  • So it is delightful as well as instructive.
  • At times the style is complex and abstract.
  • BUSINESS WRITING > a clear, precise and direct form of expression.
  • Emerges from the requisites in a person’s professional life.
  • The focus is on facts and data.
  • So comprises factual descriptions & analyses.
  • More specific in purpose, objective in tone & formal in expression.
  • Direct and concrete words.
  • Unambiguous sentences which are to the point
  • ACADEMIC WRITING > scholarly & research based.
  • Elaborate prose style.
  • Lengthy paragraphs based on wider thoughts and studies.
  • Makes use of multiple cross-references and citations.
  • Conveys the idea through domain based terminology.


  • In certain situations — discussions, writing assignments & project reports — we have to be brief, clear and precise.
  • Five forms of condensation
  •  PRECIS — the most common form to be read and written both by a student & a professional.
  • Is a short and concise account of some text.
  • Purpose – briefly restate the central idea and the important points (none of the details) of the original text.
  • Must observe — the principles of clarity, coherence, completeness, conciseness, & exactness


  • Be brief and precise > a precis must be concise, precise and focused.
  • Normal length — 1/3 of the original text.
  • Be complete > a precis must be as complete and comprehensive as the original text but in a few words.
  • All the important points must be incorporated.
  • Be choosy > only the indispensable part of the original text must be chosen for the precis.
  • Discard examples, illustrations, quotations, and similar superfluous material included in the original text.
  • Be original > express the author’s view in your own words without distorting/modifying it.
  • Neither add your ideas nor omit any important idea of the author.
  • Be coherent > a good precis must give the author’s ideas in a compact, complete and coherent way.
  • Be clear > clarity of expression should not be lost in the zeal to condense the text


  • Be original > express the author’s view in your own words without distorting/modifying it. Neither add your ideas nor omit any important idea of the author.
  • Be coherent > a good precis must give the author’s ideas in a compact, complete and coherent way.
  • Be clear > clarity of expression should not be lost in the zeal to condense the text
  • Review & compare > compare your version with the original; count the no of words.
  • Edit & revise > incorporate all the alterations, modifications you made in the first draft & shape the final version of the precis.



How you can best improve your English depends on where you live and particularly on whether or not you live in an English speaking community. If you hear English spoken every day and mix freely with English speaking people, that is on the whole an advantage. On the other hand, it is often confusing to have the whole language, poured over you at once. Ideally, a step-by-step course should accompany or lead up to this experience. It will also help a great deal if you can easily get the sort of English books in which you are interested.

To read a lot is essential. It is stupid not to venture outside the examination ‘set-books’ or the text books you have chosen for intensive study. Read as many books in English as you can, not as a duty but for pleasure. Do not choose the most difficult books you find, with the idea of listing and learning as many new words as possible; choose what is likely to interest you and be sure in advance that it is not too hard. You should not have to be constantly looking up new words in the dictionary, for that deadens interest and checks real learning. Look up a word here and there, but as a general policy, try to push ahead, guessing what would mean from the context.

It is extensive and not intensive reading that normally helps you to get interested in extra-reading and thereby improve your English. You should enjoy the feeling which extensive reading gives of having some command of the language. As you read, you will become more and more familiar with words and sentence patterns you already know, understanding them better and better as you meet them in more and more contexts, some of which may differ only slightly from others.


  • People living in an English speaking community learn English faster.
  • They are in touch with people who speak English fluently and every day.
  • Reading English books is essential for learning English.
  • We should read books meant for concentrated study & also those that give us pleasure.
  • Read books that you like and are simple.
  • Reading must be for enjoyment & not for increasing your vocabulary.
  • Reading familiarizes us with the structure & vocabulary of the language.

Title — Learning English

Living in an English speaking community helps to improve one’s English. However, a gradual introduction to the various aspects of the language is a better way of learning. This is possible through books prepared for this purpose, which require concentrated reading. Reading books is essential for learning English. One should read not only text books but also books for pleasure. These should be in simple language and of one’s own choice. This reading would be for enjoyment, and not merely for increasing one’s stock of words. This kind of reading would familiarize the reader with the usages and grammatical aspects of the language.

  • SUMMARY – often included in formal reports
  • Gives in brief the findings of a study, a journalistic article or a geographical survey.
  • Avoids examples & illustrations.
  • Emphasizes the main arguments & conclusions of the original work.
  • Follows the sequence of the ideas as expressed in the original & detailed work.
  • ABSTRACT — often preferred to a summary in specialized forms of communication.
  • Often published along with a research article in journals & magazines.
  • Highlights the purpose, scope & significance of a work.
  • SYNOPSIS — a condensed & shortened version of an article/research paper/a chapter of a book/a report/a book itself.
  • Highlights in brief all the essential features of the original document.
  • Is required when researchers have to submit research proposals/dissertations/theses to universities.
  • The researcher has to highlight the purpose, scope & significance of the research in it.
  • It includes a reference to the methods adopted for data collection.
  • It also provides the general plan of the entire work & tries to establish its importance in the relevant field.
  • PARAPHRASING — reproducing the author’s ideas in your own words.
  • The author’s words can be used.
  • Paraphrasing of write-ups conveys in simple terms an idea which appears to be too ambiguous/philosophical/poetic to follow.
  • A paraphrased text of a classic brings the text written in different languages & times to readers who can follow only a simpler version of it.