In Unit 3, we had the chance to learn about the entire process of writing a Formal Report. Thought it was challenging in some aspects it was also very rewarding.
For the research component of the formal report, there were two ways: primary research and secondary research. Secondary research included sources such as articles, scholarly reviews, websites, statistics etc. and primary research, which was the main focus of the research component, included interviews as well as surveys. I found it easier to start with secondary research and have background knowledge before moving onto the primary research. Online sources were also simpler in the sense that as much time needed could be taken to go through a topic thoroughly as well as there being many sources to compare and contrast with. However, more specific questions that came with the research relied upon the interviews for direct knowledge. I learned, through this part of the assignment, especially how to navigate the process of setting up and going through with an interview. For example, scrapping questions, rewording them, exploring some more than others and such. This included the survey as well where I needed to reduce the number of questions for consideration of time and because I did not consider it in advance, needed to wait for the results for a longer period. It showed me other challenges in conducting interviews and surveys such as setting up mutual times of availability, especially in a busy season or time.
Sitting down and organizing the report was enjoyable because it was a time to gather all the information and put them together in a hopefully clear and logical way. After organizing, it was clear where parts still needed more information or analysis and this narrowed down the goals. Another challenging aspect was writing the report utilizing the right language. The Instructor’s Blog contained the Four Main Common Errors: writing with a negative tone, demanding tone, using unnecessary pronouns and information the reader already knows. I found it difficult to apply the last one especially but it showed the error in how I make the mistake of writing excess information at times. Though it was challenging to keep in mind these helpful pointers, while revising for the final draft of the report I hope to be able to reduce any and all of the areas in the report that can be changed. This also includes applying the YOU-attitude and I believe the more practice there is, the more natural these attitudes will become.
Peer reviewing was enjoyable and my partner’s report was insightful, being thoroughly researched. Again, I referred to the new posts on the Instructor’s Blog when reviewing as well as Unit Two’s posts. Utilizing the proper language in different situations is something that there have been many opportunities to practice. It felt much more comfortable writing a peer review this time and hopefully, there has been an improvement from my first peer review. I also tried to be as detailed as possible when reviewing, considering all of the questions in the checklist provided for us. It was a process of going back and forth between the report, checklist, and written review constantly editing and multiple times. This process showed me how I need to seriously review my own work. My partner’s writing style is very concise and clean and something to learn from. Each unit has shown something to be improved on and in this unit especially, is editing for me. Going forward, I will thoroughly review my draft section by section, applying the checklist provided in Unit 3:3 and going through the posts on the Instructor’s Blog.