Writing / 

05 May 2008

The Basics of Writing a Technical Report

I originally found this on Edward Tufte’s website, and thought it was a solid bit of advice. I’ve since passed it along to a number of engineers and developers who have found it helpful.

State your message in one sentence. That is your title. Write one paragraph justifying the message. That is your abstract. Circle each phrase in the abstract that needs clarification or more context. Write a paragraph or two for each such phrase. That is the body of your report. Identify each sentence in the body that needs clarification and write a paragraph or two in the appendix. Include your contact information for readers who require further detail.

Credit to William A. Wood. The original URL is now dead, unfortunately.