ESTON’s Technical Report Writing Training Course

Report Writing Course

ESTON’s EDL7T course has been designed to train students in the disciplines required to become skilled writers of effective company reports. As you progress through the report writing course, you will learn about the fundamental skills and finer points that must be fully understood by those who wish to become successful report writers. The Writing Effective Reports distance learning training course comprises Study Notes and tutor-assessed Exercises that build into the most comprehensive, career-enhancing study programme of its kind available. Subjects covered include relevant topics and skills, such as: Information Research and Management, Searching the Internet for Information, Decision Making, Procedure Writing, Writing Précis, Writing in English and Analysing Comprehension, which are all of considerable practical value. This report writing course includes full tutorial support for a period of six months.

Further course information for Writing Effective Reports Course (EDL7T)

An ESTON Training Distance Learning Course (with tutorial support)

About this Course

The Writing Effective Reports distance learning training course comprises Study Notes and tutor-assessed Exercises that build into the most comprehensive study programme of its kind available. Subjects covered include relevant topics and skills such as: decision making, writing in English, writing précis, information research and management, and analysing comprehension, which is of great practical value to all in industry and commerce.


ESTON’s EDL7T course aims to train you in the disciplines required to become a professional writer of effective reports. As you progress through this training course, you will learn more about the following fundamental skills and topics that must be fully understood by those who wish to become successful report writers:

  • The English language

There is, in fact, no substitute for having a good eye and ear for English. When using the English language as the tool of communication, good observation skills can very quickly stimulate reader interest, which can be self-generating, as interest makes for keener scrutiny.

  • Considering your readers

Having established a picture of the readers of your report in your mind, as a communicator you should consider their likely use of your material, as it will have a major influence on the content and the way you structure and present the information.

  • Decision making

Report writing, in common with all types of communication, relies on establishing and presenting facts. This involves making decisions. Decisions are made on the facts understood by the decision maker and nothing else. The ability of the report writer to ferret out facts is, therefore, fundamental.

  • Writing in English

This report writing course does not attempt to teach you English as a subject, but only to ensure that your ability to write English will be to a practical and acceptable standard in your workplace. Writing is not just about style and grammatical correctness. It includes all the techniques that make the written word easily and quickly understood and remembered. Try to write as you would speak. If you were describing an aspect of your hobby, you would more than likely describe it simply and fluently.

  • Making notes and taking notes

Note making and note taking are core skills in the report writer’s arsenal. In this course you will learn these skills, and afterwards you will be asked to demonstrate them in the course exercises. Well-developed notes form the
working framework for all organised writing, speaking and decision making. The techniques of both note making and note taking are generally similar. In many cases, notes taken during a discussion may have to be re-worked through the note making process as a framework for a document such as a report, or simply to give an intelligible understanding of what was said.

  • Using English at work

Certain aspects of the English language are specific to writing in the work-place, so some explanation is appropriate. Although actual words, phrases, slogans and terminology used within different industries may be peculiar to those industries, the principles apply generally. As communication is not a precise art, the objective of this course is to put emphasis on the principles that suit our particular circumstances.

  • Writing précis

Summarising, or writing a précis, is a task that confronts all writers at some time. When collecting information we often find someone has expressed perfectly what we want to say, but there are too many words for our purposes. There are occasions when we have to summarise a long correspondence running through a file, perhaps as a brief, or to provide a
summary or abstract to inform others of the content of an article. And, of course, one of the possible elements of a report is its summary, which should give the gist of the whole report compactly and succinctly.

  • Analysing comprehension

We have all experienced difficulty in understanding things from time to time. When we have eventually understood, the subject has rarely been as complex as it appeared during the learning stage. There are occasions when a document has been read, perhaps only a paragraph, and it has not been at all clear what was meant. It would take several readings before its content could be summarised and explained. The problem is compounded in report writing, as the reader has to follow the English meaning and understand the technical or commercial subject simultaneously.

  • Holding successful meetings

Meetings are a frequent occurrence in many organisations and both their effectiveness, and the means of improving them, is considered in this course. Few company meetings would be considered well run or efficient in retrospect if a tape recording of the meeting was expertly analysed. The purpose of meetings is usually to inform others, to collect information or to obtain balanced views, usually as part of a decision-making or planning process. Although people may go to a meeting primarily to discuss a subject, discussion in itself is not the main objective; there should be the
minimum discussion required to achieve a declared objective. The key to successful meetings is objectiveness.

  • Researching information

All of the source information you will need to include in your report is waiting to be gathered. It may be included in written material, for example: e-mails, letters, other reports, specifications, articles and books. The source
information that you require may also be included in engineering drawings, schematics or parts lists, or it may be stored in people’s heads representing experience or new ideas. In the majority of cases, researching involves extracting information from all of these sources.

  • Searching the Internet

The Internet comprises millions of websites containing billions of pages of information on every subject imaginable. These days, the Internet is an invaluable business tool as well as being an increasingly widely-used resource for personal computer users at home.

  • Selecting information

One of the most important judgements anyone writing company reports must consider is which facts and information are relevant to the particular purpose. Your mind, and any reference material you have gathered, will no doubt contain far more facts than will be necessary or desirable, so you will have to be selective and retain only the information that is essential.

  • Using a word-processing program

Microsoft Word is a comprehensive and powerful word-processing program, which includes hundreds of features and options that are accessed via several separate drop-down menus on the menu bar. In addition, Word includes many toolbars that can be displayed around the Word screen, as and when required. Many of the features and options available in Word, such as selecting different fonts, making text bold or underlined, indenting paragraphs and saving and printing documents, are basic and common to most word-processing programs. However, it is not intended to describe all of the basic word-processing features and options in this course.

  • Preparing reports

Company reports form an excellent model for teaching the principles of all written communication and document production. To produce any document, the writer must establish the objectives precisely, collect the information, either from other sources or from their own work, validate the information, consider how best to present the subject matter for a particular readership, plan a structure, or decide how to fit in with an existing structure, arrange to prepare illustrations and graphics, write and edit the report, and then get it reproduced in the manner or quantity required; with all of these tasks using the minimum of resources. The basic principles are similar, whether writing a letter or e-mail, an article, a proposal or user instructions for a piece of equipment, or answering progress assessment questions. Only the conventions of presentation are specific to report writing; the logical thinking, planning and organisation of information apply generally.

Course Structure

As soon as we receive your Enrolment Form and payment, we will send you the complete course, via MailBgFile. The course contains Study Notes for you to read, and Exercises for you to complete. You receive over 200 pages of Study Notes and Tutorial Advice on more than 20 subjects, forming a permanent reference for you to use during and after the course. There are six Exercises for you to complete and send to your personal tutor. Your tutor reviews your submissions and returns Tutorial Comments with detailed advice and/or a Specimen Answer. You can take as much time as you need to complete the course; although, we do apply a six-month time limit on the tutorial support for contractual reasons. However, in exceptional circumstances you can apply for an extension to this period without incurring an extra charge.

ESTON Training Diploma

If you complete the Writing Effective Reports training course, you will receive an ESTON Training Diploma, provided that your tutor-assessed course work achieves the required standard.

Distance Learning

Writing Effective Reports is a distance learning training course. But what exactly is distance learning and what are the benefits of this training method?

Training without Classrooms

Distance learning is the training method for the 21st century. Training on a major subject usually calls for lengthy, and often inconvenient, periods of work release. Courses can be expensive and accommodation costs are high. This means that traditional classroom courses tend to be too short to cover the subjects thoroughly. Also, the backlog that greets your return to work often means that you don’t get the chance to introduce new ideas, while they are still fresh in your mind. Many intended innovations, or new methodologies, never see the light of day.

Freedom to Learn

Distance learning overcomes all of these barriers. It is now one of the foremost teaching techniques used by individuals, companies and colleges alike. Participants do not need to be released from work, the training is cheaper than classroom fees, and there are no additional accommodation costs. The course contains all the training material required and gives you the freedom to learn at your own pace. You can implement new ideas as the course progresses. Instead of being one in a class of many, the only participants in distance learning are you and your personal tutor.

ESTON Training Tutors

The best way to judge your performance and identify weaknesses is to have your work assessed critically against objectives and acknowledged standards by expert and experienced, time-served tutors. ESTON Training’s tutors are practised and professional writers, with extensive publications management experience. Although you will be allocated your own tutor,
he or she may well call in another opinion where a particular expertise is required. Thoroughness of the personal tutorial is recognised by individuals and companies alike as a unique feature of ESTON Training’s courses.

Help and Advice

Although the course exercises are designed for submission and return by e-mail, you are always welcome to telephone your tutor for additional help and advice, or if you need a particular point clarified.


If you are seriously thinking about enrolling on the Writing Effective Reports training course, it is natural to question whether you have the right qualities and experience to make a success of it. The following notes may help you.

Personal Qualities

While preparing reports you will work with other people at all levels to acquire information; therefore, you must be a good communicator. To be effective and efficient while identifying and acquiring the information your readership needs, you must also be inquisitive, persistent and self-assured.

Basic English

You need to be able to write sound, grammatically correct English. If you have had little or no writing experience since your school days, you can expect to be a bit rusty. Provided that you remember the basics, this course will provide the required polish. However, should it be required, ESTON Training also provides an excellent Business English training course titled “English at Work” (Ref: EDL6) for those students who need to re-acquire the basics.

Background and Experience

Good report writers come from all walks of life, with wide-ranging technical and commercial experience. The main thing you really need is the desire to succeed.

Report Writers in Industry and Commerce

In an industrial or commercial company, a report writer’s work breaks down neatly into two parts: the technical or commercial side and the writing.

Technical or Commercial Requirements

On the technical or commercial side, you must establish your customers’ technical or commercial requirements, technical ability and intellectual level. You research information by study, discussion, and correspondence (e-mail, telephone or the Internet). You must also verify the information’s accuracy and suitability for your customer.

Writing Requirements

As a report writer, you may be expected to establish contractual commitments, prepare synopses, and estimate times and costs. You may also need to determine a programme of cost and production control, design and plan the report, instruct illustrators, graphic designers, website administrators and printers, and write the information so that the reader can understand it and assimilate it easily.

Information Management

Despite the name “Report Writer”, the writing element of report writing comprises only one facet of the work. As in most jobs, the bulk of your time is spent managing information, investigating, discussing, liaising with other people and using your judgement to plan and make decisions.

Funding your Course

You can pay for the course yourself, or funding may also be available. Assisted funding policies are variable, changing from region to region and from time to time. However, you may be eligible for sponsorship, so it is worth enquiring at your local Jobcentre Plus. Also, your local Chamber of Commerce may know of sponsorships. We are pleased to explain our training schemes to sponsors, if they want to discuss your application for funding.

  • Employers. Often employers see training as a valuable initiative that benefits the company. It is worth approaching your employers to establish whether they will pay part or all of the cost of your course. They may even allow you a few hours study time each week.
  • Armed Services. There are training entitlements to help with funding courses. Your Education Officer will give you advice and make the necessary arrangements on your behalf if you are eligible for a partial refund.

Professional Association

As a student with ESTON Training you qualify for student membership of the Institute of Scientific and Technical Communicators (ISTC) at a reduced fee for the first year. This professional association aims to establish and maintain professional codes of practice for people engaged in all branches of scientific and technical communication, and provides a forum for the exchange of views. It aims to further members’ expectations and interests.

Course Enrolment

You can enrol whenever you want to; there is no fixed start time. Just complete an Enrolment Form (supplied on request) and return it to us with your payment, or company purchase order number. Alternatively, you can enrol on line.

  • Standard
  • Full Tutorial Support (for six months)
  • Ref: EDL7T
  • £600

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The tutorial support was excellent! Both Wilma Cowie and Stan McKerron were always friendly and helpful. I received a lot of constructive guidance and tips. The tutorial responses were returned promptly.

M. S – Qualified, with Distinction

This is first-class training from a knowledgeable and well-organised provider. I would not hesitate to recommend ESTON Training to friends, family or work colleagues – in fact, I already have done!

M. W – Qualified, with Distinction

Great news (for me)! I landed a job. I saw a job posting and sent in my CV. I went for the interview last Monday and they offered me the job on Tuesday. I will be working 20 hours a week, predominantly from home.

C. V – Qualified, with Distinction