Society & Culture & Entertainment Writing

How to Write A Small Report Using a Simple Outline Format

The elements of any small report or eBook are pretty simple and if you use a basic outline this will help you break down your project into smaller bite size projects. Just commit to completing one section at a time and set a goal to complete one or two sections a day and in about 5-7 days you will have completed your entire project depending on the amount of content you wish to include.

For this report let’s set a goal of about 15-20 pages this should give your reader plenty of good content and a great way for you to lead into a more in-depth product with a higher price tag in the future.

First of all let’s take a look at the basics of what your small report should include. And for this particular report let’s use the steps or tips model. Here’s the basic outline.

1. Title Page (1pg)

2. Disclaimer Page (1pg)

3. Introductory Pages (1-2pgs)

     a.) About You and Your Experience

     b.)Lead In

4. Steps or Tips 1-5 (10 pgs) that’s two pages minimum per step or tip

     1. Step 1

        a.) sub-point

        b.) sub-point

Repeat Throughout Steps 2-5

5. Conclusion (1-2pgs)

Title Page

Ok… this one is pretty self explanatory. On this page you are going to restate the tile and subtitle of your small report and where you would display your name as the author and any copyright information. Now this doesn’t have to be real fancy, but as you develop your own style you may want to use a particular graphic or background image. That is kind of like your signature or mark.  Again this doesn’t have to be anything real fancy. It could be as simple as some large text with a simple border and a different back ground color inside the outline.  Once you have developed your particular title page, you then can use it over and over again as a template for future reports.

Disclaimer Page/Legal Statement

Now… as sad as it may be, it seems like we live in a law suit happy world these days. And In my express opinion it would be in your own best interest to contact a legal professional that will guide you in the proper wording of your legal statement in order to protect yourself from any liability. This statement is usually only about one paragraph long.  

---Disclaimer--- I am not a legal professional nor am I giving any legal advice and highly recommend that you contact one in your local area concerning what your legal statement you should include in order to properly protect yourself from any legal recourse.

I think you get the idea…

On this page you may also want to include a short notice letting the reader know that they may freely distribute / give away your report to others or not. This all depends on what you plan to use your report for. Some reports you will use to generate traffic and some will be for sale.

Introductory Pages

Whoever your particular market may be… This would be a good place for you to let your readers know what is different about you and your approach to the subject you are writing about.  You then lead them into the steps your report includes.

On these pages you will want to write a brief introduction about yourself and your experience and a lead in as to what your small report will do for your readers.  What problem or problems will it solve?

For example: Let’s say your market is “Better Parenting” and you want to write a small report called “How to get Your Kids to do Their Chores in 5 Painless Easy Steps”

Your intro statement would say something like … My name is so and so… and I am the proud parent of 3 beautiful kids. Over the years I have found the rewards and consequence method to work the best for getting my lovely children to complete their chores in a timely and painless fashion. Here are the 5 easy steps I employ and that have worked like a charm for me.  Then you’ll want to make a built list of the 5 steps of implementing your particular system.

The Steps

Ok… Here is where you will obviously give your audience the steps to use to solve their problem. By the way, this is where you are going to spend most of your time writing, as it is the heart of your content. I recommend you break down each step as follows. First will be the main point of your step and 1-3 sub points.

 Let’s follow along the “Get Your Chores Done” idea

Example: Step1 ---Using A White Board---

This of course is your main point and where you explain how using a white board helps you organize your list of chores and where the kids can see the stars they receive for successfully completing each chore. 

Then your sub points would look something like this.

---Sub Point A--- How to set up Your White Board

---Sub Point B--- Where to Locate Your White Board

--Tip-- You may want to include some real life examples of how you and little Billy struggled at first, but how you and he eventually found success. This is a great way to make your report a little more personal.

As you are writing your outline you may find that you will come up with several ideas for future products and or items you could promote along with your small report. Like cute little chore charts with fuzzy little bunnies and sad little monkeys instead of stars and check marks. That’s why it’s good idea to keep some side notes for future reference.

Conclusion Page

This is where you’ll want to wrap the whole thing up and invite your readers to come and visit your website where you sell more parenting guides and products that relate to raising children or whatever your reports are about.

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