Report title: Importance and use of attachments in reports Author: Robin Horsham Position: Work team: Manager Business Operations Date of submission: 21 April 2004 Introduction This report was commissioned in March 2004 by the Manager of the Australian Book Store Practice Firm. It is to be presented in hard copy for publication as an eBook. The findings and recommendations will also be delivered to a full staff meeting in an oral presentation. 1. Purpose The purpose of this report is to outline the role and importance of using attachments in reports. 2.
Background In the hectic world of business, managers and supervisors do not have time to read pages and pages of text. However, additional information is often needed to support content in a report. This is when attachments become very useful. 3. Scope This report covers the following areas: definition of an attachment uses of attachments rules for using attachments 4. Sources to intimation Information for this report was obtained from communication textbooks and university Internet sites. The author has also had many years experience in writing ND teaching reports in the Faculty of Business and in the workplace.
Discussion 1. Definition of an attachment The Manchuria Concise Dictionary provides this definition: ‘a document which accompanies a primary document, especially one providing additional information’ (2000: 62). An attachment can also be called an appendix. Attachments are placed at the end of a report before the bibliography and/or references. In some reports, attachments contain more information than the body of the report itself. Attachments can be: other workplace documents (egg. Teeter, minutes of meetings, questionnaires, extracts from other reports) graphics (egg. Abeles or graphs, maps or plans) texts from other sources (egg. Newspapers, Journals, legislation) 2. 2 Uses of attachments Attachments ‘contain… Explanatory and illustrative material’ (University of New England, December 2003). They are used to: support points in the body of the report add information (extra details) to information in the body of the report provide additional information of interest not directly related to main points in the odd of the report include information that could clutter the text in the main body of the report (egg. Graphics). 2. Rules for using attachments With scanners and the cut and paste facility in word processing software, attachments can be easily blended into the text of the report. This allows for page numbering, headers and footers to be added to the attachments if necessary. These rules will ensure a professional use to attachments Give each attachment a heading or a title. Two or more attachments ‘should be identified by numbers or letters’ (Dwyer, 003: 410) egg. Attachment 1 or Attachment A. Cross-reference each attachment in the correct place in the text of the report.
They should not be placed at the back in the hope the reader finds them and knows why they are there. Treat each attachment as a separate document and number the pages for each. Start numbering again on the next attachment. Place and number the attachment in the same sequence that they are referred to in the text of the report. If the attachments are essential reading in a long report, list them at the front on the Contents page. Include number, title and page number’s. If more than three attachments are used, list them on a contents page before the first attachment.
Include number, title and page number’s for each. Conclusion Attachments can be very important, particularly in large formal reports. They allow the reader to choose to read any additional or backup information. They can help make the body of the report easier to read, and so save time. Attachments must be integrated into the report, labeled, cross-referenced, sequenced accurately and listed for the reader if necessary. Recommendations Based on information in this report, the following recommendations are made. 1 . Attachments must be presented professionally. 2.
Attachments must be integrated into the report as a whole. 3. Attachments must be cross-referenced from the relevant text in the report. 4. Report writers should only use attachments with text that is relevant to the content in their report. Report writers should Attachment/s be clear about the role to each attachment. Note: The original text has been edited (paragraphs). IA Note on Appendices I I You should place information in an Appendix that is relevant to your subject but deeds to be kept separate from the main body of the reports Tit avoid interrupting the line of development of the report.
Anything can be placed in an appendix as long as it is relevant and as long SSL Lou made reference to it in the body of your report. You should not include an appendix simply for the sake of including one, though. I IAn appendix should include only one set of data, but additional appendices are acceptable if you need to include several sets of data that I Did not belong in the same appendix. I I Label each appendix with a letter, A, B, C, and so on. Do not place the appendices in order of their importance to you, but rather in the I lorded in which you referred to them in your report.