Unit IV - Writing Skills- Documenting, Report Writing, Making Notes and Letter Writing-BA/Bsc/Bcom 1st Sem -English Communication - Under Dibrugarh University



1. Define the process of documentation. What are its purposes? Or Write Necessary of Documenting.

Ans: Documenting or documentation is any communicable material that is used to describe, explain or instruct about some attributes of an object, system or procedure, such as its parts, assembly, installation, maintenance and use. It is the process of storing, locating, updating and sharing data for the purpose of achieving progression and outcomes in an organisation.

Purpose of Documentation:

The purpose documentation is to:

i) Describe the use, operation, maintenance, or design of a process through the use of manuals, diagrams, and other written and graphic materials.

ii) Provide useful information to the targeted audience.

iii) Teach something by demonstration.

iv) Persuade and convince the people to revise their decisions.

v) Establish a culture of standardised practices within an organisation.

vi) Ensure compliance with requirements of end-users.

2. Discuss the various types of documentation.

Ans:  Types of Documentation:

The documentation process consists of two basic types:

i) System Documentation

It records a system's design specifications, its internal workings, and its functionality. System documentation may be further divided into internal and external documentation.

 An internal document is a record that is created and stored within an organisation. The document is used to support the processes of the organisation. Internal documents may include employee timesheets, production plans, purchase requisitions, sales order etc.

 An external documentation is the record of the outcomes of all the structured programmes of an organisation. Documents that are external in nature include customer specification documents, product standard codes, rules of statutory and regulatory bodies, operating and repairing manuals etc.

ii) User documentation

A user document is the record of how an application system operates. It provides knowledge to end users on how to use a system. User documents are in the form of a booklet and may include such information like introduction to the system, technical or operational details, glossary of technical terms, troubleshooting tips etc.

3. What are the requirements of good documentation?

Ans:  Requirements of an Effective Documentation

(i) Production of a good document requires planning and considerable investment of time and resources.

(ii)Technical terms specific to a particular system should be explained in simple and comprehensible language to the readers.

(iii) Collection of proper feedback adds value to the documentation process. The more the inputs the more informative will be the document.

(iv) Accuracy of information should be maintained at all costs. If the information is not true, the document will lose its credibility.

(v) Good documentation involves providing exhaustive information with multiple numbers of examples. Proper illustrations make a document user friendly.

A Text For AECC English Communication,Bcom 1st Sem,Dibrugarh University,BA 1st Sem,Bsc 1st Sem,

Report Writing 


1. What is a report? Mention the qualities of a good report.

Ans:  Report is a term derived from the Latin word reportare, meaning to carry back. It is an important form of written communication which gives an account or statement of an event, situation, experience, incident, or the like. A report may also be an examination of some issues or problems. It carries essential information on the topic. It provides the readers sufficient information to arrive at a conclusion on a particular topic.

Qualities of a Good Report

To be specific, a good report must have the following qualities:

(i) A good report should contain only important and relevant information.

(ii) A report should be written in third person and indirect speech.

(iii) It should be written in passive voice and not in active voice.

(iv) Simple words and easy language make a report understood by all sections of the reading public.

(v) A good report is generally brief, concise and to the point.

(vi) A headline, date, time, place, source of origin, and verification of facts make a report complete and authentic.

(vii) Ideas should be logically developed in a report.

2. Prepare a report on the Blood Donation Camp organised by your college.


3. Make a report on the Golden Jubilee celebrations of your college.


4. Write a report for an English newspaper on the Republic Day celebrations held at your college.


Additional Common Questions:

(1) Write the steps of writing a report.

Ans: Steps of Writing a Report

(i)Planning :Observe the issue and plan a basic outline of the report

(ii)Research: Collect required data from primary or secondary sources

(iii)Drafting :Organize the collected data in a written format

(iv)Editing: Edit and revise the organized data for clear and error free content 

(v)Concluding: Interpret the data and     incorporate recommendations to meet objectives

(2) What are the types of Report. 

Ans: Types of Report

Reports can be categorised into:

i) Informational Reports: Reports which organise and present data without analysing or recommending additional data are called informational reports. They help in monitoring and controlling organizational process. These documents, created for implementation of policies, are used for future references.

 Examples: Rules and regulations report,    Government compliance report.

ii) Analytical Reports: Reports prepared to analyse, understand and evaluate

information are called analytical reports. Background details provided by these reports aid decision making. These are mainly survey reports which persuade people with information and assessment.

 Examples: Research reports, Company growth report, Trouble shooting report.

Making Notes 


1. What is note making? Distinguish between note making and note taking.

Ans: Note making is an important writing skill made for the purpose of remembering large chunks of information in a text. It is a process of listing out, in brief, the most important facts and ideas and arguments contained in a written text. In other words, it means recording the information scanned from the written or printed material that we are reading for future use.

Difference between Note Making and Note Taking:

Note making and note taking may look identical if they are approached casually. But as a matter of fact they are quite different from each other. The following are the differences between note making and note taking:

(i) Note making is made from a text or a passage, while note taking involves taking dictation from the speaker. 

(ii) Note making involves only writing skills, whereas note taking uses both listening and writing skills.

(iii) A text prepared through the process of note making is understood only by the person preparing it. On the other hand, the text made by applying the process of note taking can be understood by everyone.

(iv) Omission of verbs, use of symbols and abbreviations, and such other methods are freely used in note making. But in note taking such methods are not used. It is just the reproduction of what the speaker says.

(v) Note making is an active process. Here, the author of the note scans the main information from the text and jots them down in a manner suitable to his/her understanding. Note taking is a passive activity. One simply has to write down what is being spoken.

2. What are the purposes of note making?

Ans:  Purpose of Note Making:

Notes are made for the following purposes:

(i) To record key information from a text for its future use and reference.

(ii) To analyse and interpret a text.

(iii) To help remember relevant information.

(iv) Habit of making notes leads to development of critical thinking.

(v) By looking at the points made in a note, a speaker remembers the whole content that he/she has prepared for a speech or a lecture.

3. Enumerate the characteristics of an effective note. Or Write characteristics of a good note.

Ans: Characteristics of a Good Note:

(i) Notes should be short and to the point.

(ii) They should be relevant and carry all the information.

(iii) Information should be presented in a logical order.

(iv) In note making full and complete sentences should be replaced by phrases.

(v) Information should be logically divided and sub-divided by the use of figures and letters.

(vi) All irrelevant information should be left out from a note.

(vii) Abbreviations and symbols need to be used liberally.

(viii) Articles, prepositions and conjunctions should be avoided as far as practicable.

(ix)  As notes are made for the author's own understanding, spelling and grammatical errors are acceptable.

(x) Notes must make sense when read again.

4. Mention the steps in making a good note.

Ans: Step i: The passage should be read very thoroughly.

Step ii: A second reading of the text is necessary for understanding the content clearly.

Step iii: Topic or key sentences should be located. It helps in forming the title.

Step iv: Passage should be divided into sections and sub-sections. The facts should be numbered.

Step v: A rough draft consisting of the main points should be arranged in a logical manner.

Step vi : One word substitution should be used wherever possible.

Step vii : While arranging the main points and sub-points, abbreviations and symbols should be freely used.

Additional Common Questions:

(1) Write a sample format of a note.

Ans: Sample Format of a Note

(a) HEADING        

1. Sub Heading

         (i) sub point

         (ii) sub point

         (iii) sub point

2. Sub Heading

          (i) sub point

          (ii) sub point

          (iii) sub point

3. Sub Heading

           (i) sub point
           (ii) sub point

           (iii) sub point

(2) What are the keys to Abbreviations and symbols used in note making ? 




 M. P.             Member of Parliament

 U.S.A.          United States of America

 U.N.O.         United Nations Organisation

 H.R.D.         Human Resource Development

 D.P.              Display Picture


(a)  Dept.              Department

       Com.              Commerce

       Sc.                   Science

       Dr.                  Doctor

       Mr.                 Mister

       Mrs.               Missus

(b) Writing the first few and last few letters of a word with an apostrophe in between

      Can't             Cannot

      Haven't        Have note

      Shan't           Shall not

      Won't            Will not

      Weren't        Were not


      Pc.          Precent

      Mg.         Milligram

      MI.          Millilitre

      C.V.         Curriculum vitae

      P.M.T.     Per metric Tonne


       %          Percentage

       =           Equal

       +           Plus/Positive

       -            Minus/Negative

       &          And

      @           At

      #            Number/Sharp

       $           Dollar

      100       Hundred


Letter Writing 


1. Briefly discuss the functions of different types of letters. Or What are types of Letters ? Or Write short notes on : (i) Personal Letters (ii) Business Letters (iii) Official Letters (iv) Letters to the Editor (v) Job application letters.


Personal letters are written to family members, relatives and friends to communicate private issues and for maintaining personal relations. These letters have a very personal tone.

Business letters are written to or by a business house or enterprise for commercial purpose. These letters demand a formal treatment. They require simple and systematic treatment of the subject.

Official letters are written to various public or civil servants who generally head their respective departments, sections and branches. These letters are written to officials regarding civic amenities like sanitation, roads, electricity, pollution, etc.; police/ law and order; departmental activities like posting, transfers, leave, etc.

Letters to the Editor are written to express opinions on agreement, disagreement, etc. regarding social, political and economic issues. They highlight many local, national and international issues.

A job application letter is written to potential employers seeking a suitable employment. It is a form of advertising written in a persuasive style to stimulate reader's interest and to show how one can cater to the specific needs of the organization and prove useful to them.

2. What are the features of an effective letter?

Ans: Writing Effective Letters:

In order to write effective and excellent letters, the following points are to be kept in mind :

(i) Natural: An effective letter should be natural in tone like oral communication and convey the complete message.

(ii) Proper language: A good letter is written in simple and direct language. Active verbs, nouns, adjectives and adverbs are used to create vivid image and retain the attention of the reader. Vague words and technical words are avoided.

(iii) Clarity: A good letter has a clear, unambiguous and self-explanatory message.

(iv) Brevity: An effective letter is written in as few words as possible in order to make it effective.

(v) Accuracy: A good letter contains accurate facts and figures. All names, specifications and dates are correctly spelt and the ideas are clearly presented.

(vi) Correct tone: The tone or emotion of letter is adopted after considering the objective of the letter which may be formal, informal, persuasive, positive or negative, in order to make it effective.

(vii) Grammatical accuracy: A good and effective letter is free from grammatical and structural errors.

3. You borrowed an important textbook from a classmate last term. You now realize your classmate has returned home overseas and you still have the book. Write a letter to him/her apologizing for the mistake.


4.Write a rejection letter to a candidate who appeared for an interview for the Customer Service Head position in your company.


5. Write a letter to your internet service provider explaining the need to get your connection activated at your new address. 


Additional Common Questions: 

(1) What is letter writing ? Or Define letter writing. 

Ans: Letter writing is the exchange of written or printed messages. Letter writing is one of the most indispensible activities of modern society. Commerce, business, official correspondence, personal correspondence, public representations, complaints, enquiries and other dealings are carried on through letters. Therefore, students should cultivate and learn the art and skill of letter writing.

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