1. Be mindful of the three: language, spellings and grammar, and format.
2. Write simple, short sentences that you can manage to write without grammatical errors. As a thumb rule, if your sentence runs into the third line in MS Word, it is long and perhaps confounding.
3. Do run proper spell check before submitting any document to anyone. It is unprofessional and rather rude to submit documents with spellings mistakes. The reader will immediately lose confidence in your professional capabilities.
4. Maintain proper formatting requirements for any professional document. Typically a standard font such as Times New Roman or Arial with size 12, proper line and paragraph spacing to facilitate readability, and justified alignment (unless submitting to US people who prefer left justified) is needed. All tables, figures, lists and any other such things must have captions with proper number and title (e.g. Table 1: Names of the ...view middle of the document...
(This is citation. In the ‘References’ section, you have to give full reference of this citation.). This citation indicates that I have used the idea of Bass. Had this been an exact quote, putting it under “ “ sign would be required. In that case the citation would include the page number as well (eg. Bass, 1985: 12).
6. Remember, your writing intends to be read! If it fails to arise the reader’s interest, it won’t be read beyond first few lines or so. Therefore, it is very important to build interest right from the first line. You must articulate what you intend to do and why it would of interest right in the beginning. Look at any article published in a top academic journal such as Academy of Management Journal or a top practitioners’ journal such the Harvard Business Review. Notice how they build their first paragraph and the first few pages. Do not embed the key ideas or the central questions of your work deep down the pages. No one would have the patience to ‘discover’ them!
7. Analysis is the substance of anything you do in a professional write up. For God’s sake, please do not consider ‘write up’ as a distinct form of writing. It is a common noun for any kind of writing.
8. Always make it a point to stress on what did you learn. Learning is always about something ‘NEW’, not regurgitating the ‘OLD’. Write ups that simply reproduce the book or some web pages indicate that the writer lacks professional competence.
9. An executive summary is an aid to executive decision making. If it doesn’t mention the key findings, key learning points and key action points, it won’t inform executive decision making in any significant way.
10. A report should be a coherent document. One shouldn’t feel that various loosely hanging sections are attached together to go in the name of report. It would require more elaboration than the space would permit. You must look into your business communication book for details. For God’s sake, please don’t consider ‘BODY’ as a section title in a report. It is the part of a report that comes in between Introduction and Conclusion. It may include several sections such as objectives, research questions, theoretical framework and hypotheses, methodology, findings, and implications.