ERIC Number: ED311062
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Who Writes This Junk? Who Reads Evaluation Reports Anyway? Publication Number 88.21.
Ligon, Glynn; Jackson, Elaine E.
The efforts of the Austin (Texas) Public School District to improve the readability and usefulness of technical reports are reviewed. Coincident with, or consequent to, a 1977 letter by W. E. Jones to the editor of an Austin paper (the "Austin American Statesman") complaining about excessively lengthy (500-page) evaluation reports, the district began to separate technical reports and summary documents. Technical reports became in-house documents and final reports took on a more newsy reporting style, with more and simpler graphics, simpler language, suggestions of actions rather than direct recommendations, standardized report features, an executive summary, and design features to guide the reader to important elements. Positive features of an evaluation report should be: (1) succinct description of the study; (2) succinct description of the analysis, in an attachment rather than in the text; (3) succinct description of the results; (4) conversational language; (5) simple presentation of numbers; (6) single idea tables; (7) placing complex tables in attachments; (8) simple, single-idea graphics; (9) popular format; (10) attractive report covers; and (11) a descriptive or inspiring title. Attachments include four pages of before and after reports reflecting the new policies. (SLD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Austin Independent School District, TX.