This week has been a report-heavy week for me, which is great as I love creating the skeleton of a report for those with more in-depth knowledge to flesh out, then give that report its final makeover before sending it down the runway. One thing that I noticed missing in all of the reports was consistency in formatting.
One key element in an accomplished document is consistent formatting, whether that document be your resume, an essay, a presentation, a speech, or a report. Things to look out for:
– verb tense
– parallel structures (for lists, verbs, and otherwise)
– key repeated elements should look similar (i.e., date formats: if you start using the format of “April, 2014”, don’t suddenly follow with “April 10, 2012” as people will wonder if you’d missed adding the day in the first version)
– tone (if you are using informal language, don’t introduce formal language all of a sudden)
It is always good practice, as well, to have someone who has a good grasp of the English language (a good check is whether they like to read, do crosswords, and/or play scrabble) to review your work. All good writers have a good editor under their belt, who plays a crucial role in making good writing, great.