English Communication Unit 4 Documenting, Report Writing, Letter Writing

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English Communication Unit 4 Documenting

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English Communication Unit 4 Documenting, Report Writing, Letter Writing Notes cover all the exercise questions in UGC Syllabus. The English Communication Unit 4 Documenting, Report Writing, Letter Writing provided here ensures a smooth and easy understanding of all the concepts. Understand the concepts behind every Unit and score well in the board exams.



  • Report Writing
  • Making notes
  • Letter Writing

Q.1. Write the Five Tips for Improving Your Documentation Immediately

Ans : (1) Quit it with the Passive Voice

The passive voice is a plague on effective documentation. It reduces its clarity, its consistency, and the efficiency and tightness of the writing. The passive voice is writing in which the subject of the sentence denotes the recipient of the action rather than the performer. For example, “the server was installed” represents the passive voice while “the technician installed the server” represents the active voice. The passive voice is more common in most documentation because it is an easier, sloppier way of writing.

Writing in the passive voice is highly detrimental to documentation, especially to process related documentation where it is essential to understand which people or systems are performing the actions. The good news is that this is an ebay fix. Under your Grammar function and Word, you can click on the “Passive Sentences” option and Word will automatically check for passive sentences for you.

To improve your documentation immediately: Use the passive voice grammar check function in Word to review your documentation and to change passive sentences into clearer, sharper active sentences.

(2) Use Simple Visuals to Engage your Reader

You might not be a graphic artist, but you can improve your documentation quickly through using simple visuals. Take advantage of the many canned Shapes and SmartArt in Word to add a little “punch” to your documentation to better engage your audience.

If you have Microsoft Visio, then take advantage of the many ways that this program offers to draw simple diagrams which reduce your need for extensive text and which improve your chances of stakeholder engagement. One diagram that is particularly useful is the swimlane diagram which illustrates actors and their actions. Without being a process expert, you will be surprised how the simple wim Lane will improve clarity in roles, responsibilities, and processes for your team and your organisation overall.

To improve your documentation immediately: Create visuals in your documentation to illustrate your key messages, replace blocks of text, and to hold your readers’ attention.

(3) Use Great Titles and Bullets

Remember, your audience generally wants to exert as little energy as possible when reading your work. They’ll just “skim” your document looking for the main points. So, make things easy for them! Headers and bullets, often combined with effective visuals, are as important as the text. For some readers, headers and bullets are all that they will read. Your reader might even make a decision about your work just by reading the table of contents. So, when assessing your documentation, it’s helpful if the entire gist of your work is communicated by the headers and bullets alone. Does the reader understand what you are trying to say? If they can understand most of what you are saying just by reading the headers, then you have done a good job.

To improve your documentation immediately: Revise your headers and bullets to summarise the whole document.

(4) Tame your Acronyms and Buzz Words

There is perhaps nothing more annoying when it comes to documentation than walking onto a project or into a new organisation and being unable to understand a single paragraph in the document, because it is so full of acronyms and buzz words. Acronyms and buzz words do not, let me repeat, make you sound smarter. In most cases, they actually annoy your reader through hindering her ability to grasp your key messages.

Avoid using excessive acronyms and buzz words whenever possible. Or at least, define them upfront. In many cases, you should define acronyms and frequently used words in a well thought-out Glossary at the beginning of your documents or as part of your documentation library.

To improve your documentation immediately: Learn to tame your use of excessive acronyms and buzz words. If you need to use them, then make sure that you define them upfront at the beginning of your documents or documentation library.

(5) Use the Reperformance Standard

One of the key challenges that organisations face in developing and maintaining excellent documentation is that they do not have a consistent standard for assessing their documentation. In reality, there are many different types of and uses for documentation and using one consistent standard is difficult. There is however one standard that provides a strong metric for most documentation. This standard is called the “reperformance standard”.

The reperformance standard states that the documentation must enable a user to “reperform” the related task or process. That is, the documentation must have sufficient detail and communicate with enough clarity through its text or visuals as a standalone document to allow the user to execute the steps. Although more commonly used by assurance and audit professionals, the reperformance standard can be expanded to many other applications within organisations, including training materials, user manuals, process documentation, and disaster recovery documentation. So, test the quality of your documentation against this standard and challenge yourself to ensure that you are meeting it.

Q.2. What is a report?

Ans: A report is written for a clear purpose and to a particular audience. Specific information and evidence are presented, analysed and applied to a particular problem or issue. The information is presented in a clearly structured format making use of sections and headings so that the information is easy to locate and follow.

When you are asked to write a report you will usually be given a report brief which provides you with instructions and guidelines. The report brief may outline the purpose, audience and problem or issue that your report must address, together with any specific requirements for format or structure. This guide offers a general introduction to report writing; be sure also to take account of specific instructions provided by your department.

Q.3. What makes a good report?

Ans: Two of the reasons why reports are used as forms of written assessment are:

(i) to find out what you have learned from your reading, research or experience;

(ii) to give you experience of an important skill that is widely used in the workplace.

An effective report presents and analyses facts and evidence that are relevant to the specific problem or issue of the report brief. All sources used should be acknowledged and referenced throughout, in accordance with the preferred method of your department/university. The style of writing in a report is usually less discursive than in an essay, with a more direct and economic use of language. A well written report will demonstrate your ability to:

(a) Understand the purpose of the report brief and adhere to its specifications;

(b) Gather, evaluate and analyse relevant information;

(c) Structure material in a logical and coherent order;

(d) Present your report in a consistent manner according to the instructions of the report brief;

(e)Make appropriate conclusions that are supported by the evidence and analysis of the report;

(f) Make thoughtful and practical recommendations where required.

Q.4. The structure of a report

Ans: The main features of a report are described below to provide a general guide. These should be used in conjunction with the instructions or guidelines provided by your department.

Title Page This should briefly but explicitly describe the purpose of the report (if this is not obvious from the title of the work). Other details you may include could be your name, the date and for whom the report is written.

Geology of the country around Beacon Hill, Leicestershire

Angus Taylor

2 November 2014

(Example of a title page)

Terms of Reference

Under this healing you could include a brief explanation of who will read the report (audience) why it was written (purpose) and how it was written (methods). It may be in the form of a subtitle or a single paragraph.

A report submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for Course GL456, Department of Geology, University of Leicester.

Summary (Abstract)

The summary should briefly describe the content of the report. It should cover the aims of the report, what was found and what, if any, action is called for. Aim for about ½ a page in length and avoid detail or discussion; just outline the main points. Remember that the summary is the first thing that is read. It should provide the reader with a clear, helpful overview of the content of the report.

Exposure of rocks belonging to the Charnian Supergroup (late Precambrian) were examined in the area around Beacon Hill, north Leicestershire. This report aims to provide details of the stratigraphy at three sites – Copt Oak, Mount St. Bernard Abbey and Oaks in Charnian Supergroup consists mainly of volcaniclastic sediments (air-fall and ash-flow tufts) interbedded with mudstones and siltstones. These rocks show features that are characteristic of deposition in shallow water on the flanks of a volcano ( e.g. welding and alteration of ignimbrites). Further studies are required to understand depositional mechanisms and to evaluate the present day thickness of individual rock units.

Contents (Table of Contents)

The contents page should list the different chapters and/or headings together with the page numbers. Your contents page should be presented in such a way that the reader can quickly scan the list of headings and locate a particular part of the report. You may want to number chapter headings and subheadings in addition to providing page references. Whatever numbering system you use, be sure that it is clear and consistent throughout.


The introduction sets the scene for the main body of the report. The aims and objectives of the report should be explained in detail. Any problems or limitations in the scope of the report should be identified, and a description of research and any necessary background history should be included.

In some reports, particularly in science subjects, separate headings for Methods and Results are used prior to the main body (Discussion) of the report as described below.


Information under this heading may include: a list of equipment used; explanations of procedures followed; relevant information on materials used, including sources of materials and details of any necessary preparation; reference to any problems encountered and subsequent changes in procedure.


This section should include a summary of the results of the investigation or experiment together with any necessary diagrams, graphs or tables of gathered data that support your results. Present your results in a logical order without comment. Discussion of your results should take place in the main body (discussion) of the report.


The main body of the report is where you discuss your material. The fact and evidence you have gathered should be analysed and discussed with specific reference to the problem or issue. If your discussion section is lengthy you might divide it into section headings. Your points should be grouped and arranged in an order that is logical and easy to follow. Use headings and subheadings to create a clear structure for your material. Use bullet points to present a series of points in an easy-to-follow list. As with the whole report, all sources used should be acknowledged and correctly referenced. For further guidance check your departmental handbook and the Learning Centre guide: Referencing and Bibliographies.


In the conclusion you should show the overall significance of what has been covered. You may want to remind the reader of the most important points that have been made in the report or highlight what you consider to be the most central issues of findings. However, no new material should be introduced in the conclusion.


Under this heading you should include all the supporting information you have that is not published. This might include tables, graphs, questionnaires, surveys or transcripts. Refer to the appendices in the body of your report.

In order to assess the popularity of this change, a questionnaire ( Appendix 2 ) was distributed to 60 employees. The results ( Appendix 3 ) suggest the change is well received by the majority of employees.


Your bibliography should list, in alphabetical order by author, all published sources referred to in your report. There are different styles of using reference and bibliographies. Refer to the study guide Referencing and Bibliographies and check your departmental handbook for guidelines. Texts which you consulted but did not refer to directly could be grouped under a separate heading such as ‘Background Reading’ and listed in alphabetical order using the same format as in your bibliography.


Where appropriate you may wish to acknowledge the assistance of particular organisations or individuals who provided information, advice or help.

Glossary of Technical Terms

It is useful to provide an alphabetical list of technical terms with a brief, clear description of each term. You can also include in this section explanations of the acronyms, abbreviations or standard units used in your report.

You will not necessarily be required to use all of the hearings described above, nor will they necessarily be in the order given here. Check your departmental guidelines or instructions.

Q.5. Writing the report: the essential stages

Ans : All reports need to be clear, concise and well structured. The key to writing an effective report is to allocate time for planning and preparation. With careful planning, the writing of a report will be made much easier. The essential stages of successful report writing are described below. Consider how long each stage is likely to take and divide the time before the deadline between the different stages. Be sure to leave time for final proofreading and checking.

Stage 1: Understanding the report brief

This first stage is the most important. You need to be confident that you understand the purpose of your report as described in your report brief or instructions. Consider who the report is for and why it is being written. Check that you understand all the instructions or requirements, and ask your tutor if anything is unclear.

Stage 2: Gathering and selecting information

Once you are clear about the purpose of your report, you need to begin to gather relevant information. Your information may come from a variety of sources, but how much information you will need will depend on how much detail is required in the report. You may want to begin by reading relevant literature to widen your understanding of the topic or issue before you go on to look at other forms of information such as questionnaires, surveys etc. as you read and gather information you need to assess its relevance to your report and select accordingly. Keep referring to your report brief to help you decide what is relevant information.

Stage 3: Organising your material

Once you have gathered information you need to decide what will be included and in what sequence it should be presented. Begin by grouping together points that are related. These may form sections or chapters. Remember to keep referring to the report brief and be prepared to cut any information that is not directly relevant to the report. Choose an order for your material that is logical and easy to follow.

Stage 4: Analysing your material

Before you begin to write your first draft of the report, take time to consider and make notes on the points you will make using the facts and evidence you have gathered. What conclusions can be drawn from the material? What are the limitations or flaws in the evidence? Do certain pieces of evidence conflict with ane another? It is not enough to simply present the information you have gathered; you must relate it to the problem or issue described in the report brief.

Stage 5: Writing the report

Having organised your material into appropriate sections and headings you can begin to write the first draft of your report. You may find it easier to write the summary and contents page at the end when you know exactly what will be included. Aim for a writing style that is direct and precise. Avoid waffles and make your points clearly and concisely. Chapters, sections and even individual paragraphs should be written with a clear structure. The structure described below can be adapted and applied to chapters, sections and even paragraphs.

(i) Introduce the main idea of the chapter/section/paragraph

(ii) Explain and expand the idea, defining any key terms.

(iii) Present relevant evidence to support your point(s).

(iv) Comment on each piece of evidence showing how it relates to your point(s).

(v) Conclude your chapter/section/paragraph by either showing its

(vi) Significance to the report as a whole or making a link to the next chapter/section/paragraph.

Stage 6: Reviewing and redrafting

Ideally, you should leave time to take a break before you review your first draft. Be prepared to rearrange or rewrite sections in the light of your review. Try to read the draft from the perspective of the reader. Is it easy to follow with a clear structure that makes sense? Are the points concisely but clearly explained and supported by relevant evidence? Writing on a word processor makes it easier to rewrite and rearrange sections or paragraphs in your first draft. If you write your first draft by hand, try writing each section on a separate piece of paper to make redrafting easier.

Stage 7: Presentation

Once you are satisfied with the content and structure of your redrafted report, you can turn your attention to the presentation. Check that the wording of each chapter/section/subheading is clear and accurate. Check that you have adhered to the instructions in your report brief regarding format and presentation. Check for consistency in numbering of chapters, sections and appendices. Make sure that all your sources are acknowledged and correctly referenced. You will need to proofread your report for errors of spelling or grammar. If time allows, proof read more than once. Errors in presentation or expression create a poor impression and can make the report difficult to read.

Q.6. Write the types of report?

Ans: This article throws light upon the top eight types of report. The types are: 1. Formal or Informal Reports 2. Short or Long Reports 3. Information or Analytical Reports 4. Proposal Report 5. Vertical or Lateral Reports. 6. Internal or External Reports 7. Periodic Reports 8. Functional Reports.

Type # 1. Formal or Informal Reports :

Formal reports are carefully structured; they stress objectivity and organisation, contain much detail, and are written in a style that tends to eliminate such elements as personal pronouns. Informal reports are usually short messages with natural, casual use of language. The internal memorandum can generally be described as an informal report.

Type # 2. Short or Long Reports:

This is a confusing classification. A one-page memorandum is obviously short, and a twenty page report is clearly long. But where is the dividing line? Bear in mind that as a report becomes longer ( or what you determine as long ), it takes on more characteristics of formal reports.

Type # 3. Informational or Analytical Reports:

Informational reports ( annual reports, monthly financial reports, and reports on personnel absenteeism) carry objective information from one area of an organisation to another. Analytical reports (scientific research, feasibility reports, and real-estate appraisals) present attempts to solve problems.

Type # 4. Proposal Report:

The proposal is a variation of problem-solving reports. A proposal is a document prepared to describe how one organisation can meet the needs of another. Most government agencies advertise their needs by issuing “requests for proposal” or RFPs. The RFP specifies a need and potential suppliers prepare proposal reports telling how they can meet that need.

Type # 5. Vertical or Lateral Reports:

This classification refers to the direction a report travels. Reports that are more upward or downward the hierarchy are referred to as vertical reports; such reports contribute to management control. Lateral reports, on the other hand, assist in coordination in the organisation. A report travelling between units of the same organisation level (production and finance departments) is lateral.

Type # 6. Internal or External Reports:

Internal reports travel within the organisation. External reports, such as annual reports of companies, are prepared for distribution outside the organisation.

Type # 7. Periodic Reports:

Periodic reports are issued on regularly scheduled dates. They are generally upward directed and serve management control. Preprinted forms and computer generated data contribute to uniformity of periodic reports.

Type # 8. Functional Reports:

This classification includes accounting reports, marketing reports, financial reports, and a variety of other reports that take their designation from the ultimate use of the report. Almost all reports could be included in most of these categories. And a single report could be included in several classifications.

Although authorities have not agreed on a universal report classification, these report categories are in common use and provide a nomenclature for the study (and use) of reports. Reports are also classified on the basis of their format. As you read the classification structure described below, bear in mind that it overlaps with the classification pattern described above.

i. Preprinted Form:

Basically for “fill in the blank” reports. Most are relatively short (five or fewer pages) and deal with routine information, mainly numerical information. Use this format when it is requested by the person authorising the report.

ii. Letter:

Common for reports of five or fewer pages that are directed to outsiders. These reports include all the normal parts of a letter, but they may also have headings, footnotes, tables, and figures. Personal pronouns are used in this type of report.

iii. Memo:

Common for short (fewer than ten pages) informal reports distributed within an organisation. The memo format of “Date,” “To,” “From ,” and “subject” is used. Like longer reports, they often have internal headings and sometimes have visual aids. Memos exceeding ten pages are sometimes referred to as memo reports to distinguish them from shorter ones.

iv. Manuscript:

Common for reports that run from a few pages to several hundred pages and require a formal approach. As their length increases, reports in manuscript format require more elements before and after the text of the report. Now that we have surveyed the different types of reports and become familiar with the nomenclature, let us move on to the actual process of writing the report.

Q.7. Write the Six Characteristics of a Good Note

Ans: The six critical factors to be aware of when buying or creating a real estate-backed note include the buyer/borrower, the collateral, the down payment, the terms of the note itself, seasoning and the associated paperwork. We’ll go through these one at a time.

The most important of these is the person buying the property and getting a loan from the seller. Most seller financed loans are created for people with a credit score of 600 or greater, although most banks have a 620 minimum. Just like with banks, the better your score, the better the interest rate you can get.

If you are creating a note can protect yourself from an applicant with poor credit by getting a large down payment and charging a higher interest rate. These are things a note buyer will look for when considering the purchase of a loan.

The second thing to analyse is the property being offered as collateral. A pretty 3-bedroom home in a nice suburb would be worth more than a single-wide on 35 acres, 20 miles from the nearest grocery store. A well-built apartment building would be worth more than 50 acres of dirt.

When buying a note you must affirm that the property is correctly valued. If you get that number wrong, the whole deal starts off on shaky ground. While you may want to check a home’s value on Zillow, or Trulia, or eppraisal. Com, your most accurate number will come in a BPO (Broker’s Price Opinion) created by a local realtor who has actually driven out to see the property. Sold comps and listing comps will be more accurate than anything produced by a software package like Zillow.

The third factor to consider is the down payment. Consider two people who each buy a house worth $50,000. One puts down $800 and the other puts down $5,000 (10%). The note that has the greater down payment will be worth more than the other if everything else is equivalent. If a buyer has enough “skin in the game” they will be more likely to make paying their mortgage a top priority since they have more to lose if they default.

The fourth thing to look at are the terms of the loan. What is the interest rate? Currently, a rate between 8 and 10% is pretty common in the seller-financed world. Much above that will make it difficult to pay. A note with a rate of 5 or 6% may pay too little to make it attractive to an investor who will be forced to deeply discount their offer to get their required yield.

The payback period can also affect the perceived value of a note. Generally, a short amortisation period is more attractive because an investor will get her money back quicker.

If a note has a provision to collect escrows for taxes and insurance, that should bring a better price when sold than one that doesn’t. In the latter case the lender is counting on the buyer to set aside funds to take care of these payments, but that’s asking for a lot of self discipline from someone who has shown via their credit score that they may not have much.

If the buyer can’t make the insurance payments, you as the investor may have to attach forced-place insurance, an expensive option to keep yourself covered.

Property taxes will be collected eventually and generally have a lien position ahead of the first mortgage. Non-payment over a period of years can lead to the loss of the property at a tax sale.

The last thing to look at on the note itself is the overall payment. An investor making an offer to buy a loan will want to feel comfortable that the buyer can afford to make the payments and still have enough left over for all their remaining living expenses. Also, if local rental rates are higher than their mortgage payment, that’s another incentive for the buyer to keep up their obligation to pay on time.

The fifth factor is called seasoning. That’s simply the amount of time the borrower has been making payments. A note buyer will offer more for a note with three years of seasoning than one where the new owner has only made three payments. A good track record gives an investor confidence that payments will continue being made on time and can even offset the negative effect of a low credit score. 

Sixth and last, all the ancillary paperwork contrib-utes to the overall value of a note. Here’s a list of documents to ask for from the note seller: title policy, tax certificate, mortgage or deed of trust, the allonge (showing the transfers of the loan), the mortgage trans-fers, credit report, payment history and original applica-tion including the social security number of the bor-rower. If you are creating a seller-financed note, having all these documents will keep the value of your note as high as possible.

So whether you’re buying a note or creating one, the same six pieces of the puzzle will be responsible for the size of the discount offered when a note is sold. 

Q.8. Hints for Good Note Taking 

Ans: (i) Don’t write down everything that you read or hear. Be alert and attentive to the main points. Concentrate on the “meat” of the subjects and forget the “trimmings.” 

(ii) Notes should consist of key words, or very short sentences. As a speaker gets side-tracked you can go back and add further information.

(iii) Take accurate notes. You should usually use your own words, but try not to change the meaning. If you quote directly from the author, quote correctly and record the citation.

(iv) Think a minute about your material before you start making notes. Don’t take notes just to be taking notes! Take notes that will be of real value to you when you look over them later. 

(v) Have a uniform system of punctuation and ab-breviation that will make sense to you. Use a skeleton outline and show importance by indenting. Leave white space for later additions. 

(vi) Omit descriptions and full explanations. Keep your notes short and to the point. Condense your ma-terial so you can grasp it rapidly. 

(vii) Do not worry about missing a point. Leave space and try to pick up the material you miss at a later date, either through reading, questioning, or common sense. 

(viii) Don’t keep notes on oddly shaped pieces of paper. Keep notes in order and in one place. 

(ix) Shortly after making your notes, go back and rework (not recopy!) your notes by adding extra points, spelling out unclear items, etc. Remember, we forget quickly. Budget time for this vital step just as you do for the class itself. 

(x) Review your notes periodically. This is the only way to achieve lasting memory. 

Q.9. Taking Useful Notes 

Ans: Use dashes for words when the speaker goes too fast. Leave space so that you can fill in details later. Use symbols to call attention to important words: underline, CAPS, circle, box, *, !, ?, or >. 

When the instructor says “this is important”, get it exactly and mark it. Get a reference to the text or other source if you can. 

Don’t erase a mistake and don’t black it out com-pletely. Draw a single line through it. This saves time and you may discover later that you want the mistake. 

Abbreviate — shortcuts, such as abbreviations, are alternatives to writing everything longhand. Abbreviate only if you will be able to understand your own sym-bols. Be constantly on the lookout for new and useful abbreviations and symbols to shorten your writing time. This will also increase your listening time.

Q.10. Report Purpose and Scope. 

Ans: A report is a structured document that takes information and presents it in an objective and succinct manner. It contains an introduction, body and conclu-sion. The style of the writing is analytical without being argumentative. The scope of a report varies depending upon the subject. Academic reports take data or research and present it in a logical format. 


Structure the report with short paragraphs, graphics such as tables or figures, numbered headings and subheadings, and possibly a bibliography or glossary. Many reports also contain an abstract at the beginning and are followed by a recommendation or appendix section at the end. Formal reports contain the following: title page; table of contents; introduction; body; and conclusion. 


Present the material in a stylized and clean manner so the reader may digest it quickly. Use spacing to make paragraphs stand out from each other. Include graphics, numbering, formal language, and consistent formatting to contribute to the overall presentation of the report. 


Do not include information that is outdated, inaccu-rate, irrelevant or conflicting with any other data. Refrain from noting your opinions; it is up to the reader to make subjective conclusions based upon the objective information contained in the report. Make recommen-dations in the report only if they are supported by facts.

Writing Process 

While every writer has a different strategy and process for completing an accurate report, there are some general guidelines to follow to ensure the report is a clear and concise document. These steps include: ana-lyze the scope of the report and the magnitude of the task; organise ideas surrounding the report and deter-mine what does not need to be included; create an outline with headings and all the pertinent information; filially, write and revise the draft.

Q.11. Why is report writing so important ? 

Ans: Often report writing at university is presented as deceptively simple — all you need to do is ensure you follow the required report structure, and write clearly and concisely. But we know this isn’t as straightforward as it seems; although reports have to be easy to read, this doesn’t necessarily make them easy to write. 

Reports are formally structured but you’ve probably discovered that what is needed for a report in one dis-cipline is likely to be different from a report in another discipline. Also expectations can be different from one report to the next, even within the same subject. 

Writing concisely and clearly takes time. You have to work out exactly what your audience wants to know in order to make sure you are writing relevant information. 

So, the truth is there is no set formula for writing a report – every report is different. Each one depends on what the purpose is, who you are writing for and the kind of research that you are reporting. 

So if every report is different, how can you tell what makes a good report? The key is to understand the purpose of report writing rather than just what goes in each section. 

The keys to writing good reports are:

Understanding the types of writing a report involves Being able to identify the audience and purpose of your report 

Knowing how reports are read by your audience 

Knowing the purpose of each section in a report (not just where the information goes) 

Understanding how good organisation of your report helps the reader find the information they want 

Being able to communicate well both in writing and using graphical data 

The good news is the ability to write good reports will stay with you. You’re once you leave university but good report writing principles of writing informatively for a specific audience and purpose will help you com-municate well in whichever career you choose. 

Q.12. What are the methods of collecting data ?

Ans: Data Collection Methods: 

Data collection is a process of collecting information from all the relevant sources to find answers to the research problem, test the hypothesis and evaluate the outcomes. Data collection methods can be divided into two categories: secondary methods of data collection and primary methods of data collection. 

Secondary Data Collection Methods 

Secondary data is a type of data that has already been published in books, newspapers, magazines, jour-nals, online portals etc. There is an abundance of data available in these sources about your research area in business studies, almost regardless of the nature of the research area. Therefore, application of appropriate set of criteria to select secondary data to be used in the study plays an important role in terms of increasing the levels of research validity and reliability. 

These criteria include, but are not limited to date of publication, credential of the author, reliability of the source, quality of discussions, depth of analyses, the extent of contribution of the text to the development of the research area etc. 

Primary Data Collection Methods

Primary data collection methods can be divided into two groups: quantitative and qualitative. 

Quantitative data collection methods are based on mathematical calculations in various formats. Methods of quantitative data collection and analysis include ques-tionnaires with closed-ended questions, methods of correlation and regression, mean, mode and median and others. 

Quantitative methods are cheaper to apply and they can be applied within a shorter duration of time compared to qualitative methods. Moreover, due to a high level of standardisation of quantitative methods, it is easy to make comparisons of findings. 

Qualitative research methods, on the contrary, do not involve numbers or mathematical calculations. Quali-tative research is closely associated with words, sounds, feeling, emotions, colours and other elements that are non-quantifiable. 

Qualitative studies aim to ensure greater level of depth of understanding and qualitative data collection methods include interviews, questionnaires with open-ended questions, focus groups, observation, game or role-playing, case studies etc. 

Your choice between quantitative or qualitative methods of data collection depends on the area of your research and the nature of research aims and objectives. 

Q.13. What is letter writing ? 

Ans: Letter writing by itself is an art. It Is also a social and business asset. The ability to write a good and perfect letter can be as useful as the ability to talk well and the ability to maintain excellent interpersonal relationships. In business, effective communication through letters saves much time, trouble and inconvenience. It promotes understanding as well as business. The letter one sends on behalf of a company or an organisation is a representative of the organisation. 

Great writers of the twentieth century have lamented the decay of the art of letter writing consequent to the invention of the telegraph and telephone. But the impor-tance of letter writing is getting reestablished with the advent of the computer and e-mail facilities. 

In fact, towards the end of the nineteenth century great novelists wrote their novels in the continuous for-mat of letters written by the characters in it. They are called’ epistolary novels’ (composition in letter form). Great men of the preceding century like Emerson, Mark Twain and George Bernard Shaw wrote letters that are read and enjoyed even today. 

Q.14. Write types of Letter ? 

Ans: A detailed description of the above mentioned letters is given below successively-

Formal Letter: The letter which is written accord-ing to the formal rules and regulations of an organisation is called formal letter. This type of letter always main-tains the formalities of the office strictly. Institutional and business letters fall in this category. 

Informal or Personal Letter: The letter which does not follow any formal rule and contains personal infor-mation is known as informal or personal letter. This type of letter is written to relatives and friends fOr exchanging news or feelings or to seek favours. The basis of writing a personal letter is a personal relationship. 

Business Letter: The letter which contains commercial information and is written among business people is called a business letter or commercial letter. Business letters are formal, structured and non-personal. Com-mercial letter contains information relating to trade inquiry, circular, order, complaint, claims, adjustment, collection relating to trade inquiry, circular, order, complaint, claims, adjustment, collection etc. 

Official Letter: When a letter is written containing the official information like rules, regulations, facts and figures, activities, system, procedure etc. it is called an official letter. In other words, when a letter is written following the official decorum, it is known as an official letter. Officials use this type of letter to send official messages to other branches and offices. Official letter strictly follows the prescribed rules, regulations, structure and style of the office. 

Social Letter: Letter that is written on any social occasion or purpose is called a social letter. Invitation letters for different programs, thanks letter, condolence letter, congratulation letter etc. fall in the category of social letter. It is actually one kind of personal letter. 

Report Letter: Letter that is prepared in the form of a report or investigation and is sent to the person, who has assigned it, is called a report letter. In a real sense, it is a short report in the form of a letter. The letter sent to the sales manager by the salesman on every day’s sales volume is an example of a report letter. 

Notice Letter: Notice letter is a letter that is sent to a person notifying or informing him about any special topic. 

Circular Letter: A letter that circulates or announces the same information or message to a large number of people at a time is called a circular letter or a circular. Announcement of new product, change of business address, retirement or admission of partner etc. requires circulating the certain message. For this purpose circular letters are written. 

Order Letter: When the quotation of the seller satisfies the queries of the prospective buyer, he places order through an order letter. So, after granting the quotation, the letter which the buyer writes to the supplier or seller, requesting him to deliver the prescribed amount of goods is called an order letter. 

Complaint Letter: However efficient an organisation may be in running a business, everything does not go all the time according to plan. There will be some mistakes and some accidents. Letters written to bring these mistakes to the notice of those who must own the responsibility for them are called claim or complaint letters. 

Employment Letter: Letters which are written in case of employment are considered as employment letter. Job application letter, appointment letter, joining letter, promotion letter etc are examples of employment letters. 

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