Effective Writing: Improving Scientific, Technical, and Business Communication

By Christopher Turk; John Kirkman | Go to book overview

14

Writing minutes and reports of proceedings
The term 'minutes' is used widely to mean three different things:
• informal notes, usually attached to and commenting on files of papers, much like memoranda;
• brief, formal records of decisions taken at a committee, board or other formal meeting;
• descriptive reports of the proceedings at a meeting, summarizing the discussion and recording the decisions taken.

Minutes as memoranda

Minutes as memoranda are used mainly in national and local government, and in the armed forces. They are informal but official internal documents, used principally to accumulate comments on papers (especially correspondence) in a file. For example, papers relevant to a given topic are assembled within a manilla file. A 'minute sheet' is fastened inside the cover of that file, and people who receive the file write their comments on the minute sheet, before they pass the file to the next person concerned with it. In that way, a dossier of comments builds up on the minute sheet. Readers of the file may record a point of view both on the documents in the file and on other comments on the sheet; they may provide additional information or commentary on a document in the file; or they may record executive decisions.

Minutes as memoranda are usually expressions of opinion, recognized as part of the internal management process of an organization. Since they are informal, usually hand-written, they are often written in a cryptic, abbreviated style; their

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Effective Writing: Improving Scientific, Technical, and Business Communication
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • From the Reviews of the First Edition vi
  • Preface vii
  • About the Authors ix
  • 1 - Writing is Communicating: Revising Basic Assumptions 1
  • References 20
  • 2 - Thinking About Aim and Audience 21
  • 3 - Starting to Write: a Practical Approach 36
  • 4 - Organization and Layout of Information 44
  • References 76
  • 5 - The Use of Headings and Numbering 77
  • 6 - Algorithms for Complex Possibilities and Procedures 82
  • 7 - Style for Readability 90
  • References 117
  • 8 - Writing with a Computer 119
  • 9 - Informative Summaries 127
  • 10 - Choosing and Using Tables, Illustrations and Graphic Presentation Techniques 148
  • 11 - Writing Instructions 195
  • 12 - Writing Descriptions and Explanations 216
  • 13 - Writing Letters and Memoranda 225
  • 14 - Writing Minutes and Reports of Proceedings 240
  • 15 - Writing in Examinations 251
  • Appendix A 267
  • Appendix B 269
  • Index 273
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