Communication Skills

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Some Facts About Reading

Loud Reading


ñ     Positive Aspects of Loud Reading:

  1. Increases concentration and decreases the chances of distraction:

While loud reading multiple senses are at work. Therefore our mind has to work more. Hence there is less chance of getting distracted. Concentration increases if we do not get distracted.

  1. Leads to better comprehension:

Increase in concentration leads to better comprehension.

  1. Increases the chances of extensive reading:

While reading aloud we constantly listen to what we read. Hence there is less chance of missing anything.  

  1. Enhances pronunciation:

Since we can listen to what we read while reading aloud, there is a possibility of being aware of our wrong pronunciation. If we are aware of our wrong pronunciation we can rectify it.


ñ     Negative Aspects of Loud Reading:

  1. Fatigue:

Reading aloud for a long time can cause fatigue. This may eventually lead to lack of interest and concentration.

  1. Circumstantial problem:

Loud reading cannot be done at all places. At times it may cause disturbance to others.

Bad Reading Habits

  1. Reading while doing something else such as eating, talking, chatting through a social networking site (Causes distraction, Lessens comprehension and slows down the pace)
  2. Reading in incorrect postures (Harms eyesight, causes shoulder pain)
  3. Moving lips while reading (Slows down the pace)
  4. Reading with same speed (Lessens comprehension)
  5. Rereading a word or sentence out of habit (Slows down the pace)
  6. Reading in low light (Harms eyesight)

Tips for Effective Reading

(See Technical Communication 2nd Edition by M. Raman and S. Sharma; Chapter: 12)

  1. Learning and applying certain reading skills such as Note-making, Understanding Discourse Coherence and Sequencing of Sentences.
  2. Applying certain techniques such as SQ3R Technique, Skimming and Scanning, Summarising
  3. Being aware of non-verbal signs, structure of the text, structure of the paragraph, punctuation
  4. Inferring author’s viewpoint
  5. Anticipating meanings of unfamiliar words
  6. Asking typical reading comprehension questions
  7. Predicting the content
  8. Understanding the gist  

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Example of the format of a report

1.Front page

In addition to the report content, the formal report is accompanied by a number of other components.

a) Transmittal Letter

Generally, the first component of a formal report is the transmittal letter. Similarly to a semi-formal report, the transmittal letter “transmits” the report to the intended reader. The letter will often contain the summary or at least the highlights of the report, as well as any details about completing and sending the report that are relevant to the receiver. The transmittal letter is generally attached to the report with a paper clip. Occasionally you will see the transmittal letter incorporated in the binding of the report before the Table of Contents. The transmittal letter may also contain the following information:

why the report was written



who commissioned the report and when


b) Cover

The formal report generally has a cover. The quality of the cover can have a significant impact on the impression the report makes. Reports that have covers of good quality stock, that are glossy, have some sort of visually attractive design and are glued to the pages of the report – rather than stapled, Cirlox bound or placed in a binder – make the best impression. The cover usually has the title of the report and name(s) of the person(s) who completed the report. Often the date the report was completed is placed on the cover as well.

c) Title Page

The title page generally has four main pieces of information:

the title of the report
the name of the person or organization receiving the report
the person(s) or organization who authored the report
the date the report was submitted
The title of the report takes precedence on the title page, with the other information neatly arranged on the page.

d) Table of Contents

The Table of Contents is an accurate and comprehensive table of the information located in the report with a corresponding page reference to easily locate each section. The contents are generally arranged to the left of the page, with subsections indented and identified by section numbers. Each item in the contents should have a corresponding page number that indicates where the section begins only.

e) List of Illustrations

If there are visuals, a listing, with page numbers, can be made at the bottom of the Table of Contents, or immediately following it.

f) Summary

The Summary or Executive Summary is separated from the main body of the report and placed as far forward in the report as possible on its own page. Generally it is located after the Table of Contents, but it could appear beforehand in some reports.

g) Glossary

If there is quite a lot of terminology that the intended reader would not be expected to know, then the report writer would compile a glossary of these terms with definitions at the start of the report.

h) Page Numbering

The first section of the report is not usually numbered as part of the report, but given introductory page numbers in the form of lowercase Roman numerals.

2.a. Body

The body of the report contains the Background, Details and Methodology used . With formal reports, there are generally a number of visuals and a variety of headings and subheadings contained in the report. The page numbers for the report usually start with the Background section.

This should sum up the main points of your report. Note that it is not the place to introduce new material. However, you can express opinions, provided that you have the evidence to support them. The conclusion you come to should substantiate the points made in the main text. You may wish at this point to make recommendations which arise naturally from your conclusion.
c. Recommendations
Recommendations should be suggestions for improvements or future actions, based on the conclusions you have drawn earlier. Not all reports require recommendations, but if they are to be included, you might wish to highlight them by putting them in a separate section.

3. Back Section

a) Endnotes

If footnotes or references were used in the text, a list of corresponding references is contained at the back of the report.

b) References

The references are a list of books and other sources of information that were used to compile the report.

c) Appendices

The appendices include all supplementary material related to the report. Generally, it includes material that provides additional information that would be excessive within the body of the report. The appendices should be well labelled (Appendix A, Appendix B, etc), appropriately titled and explained, referred to in the text of the report, and appear in the same order as they do within the body of the report. Many appendices are proceeded with a page that has its label and title. Appendices can include the following information:

test results
approval letters
intermediate or status reports
large photos or maps

d) Index

Long and elaborate reports can have indexes based on key words and subjects at the back of the report so that specific information can be located quickly.