Of the seven common patterns of organization (Formal classification, informal classification, comparison, partitioning, segmenting, cause/effect, and problem/solution) we will cover two: Formal Classification and Partitioning.
Classification and Partition Reports are used to organize information into categories for easy analysis. While a classification report or a partition report is usually a part of a report that organizes data into sections for analysis, a classification analysis or a partition analysis can be a separate report, depending on the request.
The information presented in each section of the report must be parallel to other sections and exclusive to each specific section of analysis. Information in any section is not to be compared with information in another section; the information in any section must be able to stand alone. This is important to avoid complicated access to information.
First, a parallel structure provides a pattern for a reader to follow. Second, information that is exclusive to each section provides a reader access to the information from any section without having to take time scanning text in other sections. Each section must present information on one item or part. Thus, categories in a classification report or a partition report present information that is parallel, exclusive, non-overlapping, and complete. Do not give opinions or use subjective words that suggest opinions, such as expensive, small, comfortable. Just offer the facts.
A focused title provides a guide for the information needed in a classification or partition report. In addition, if the classification or partition is a separate report, an outline prefaces the report, which includes the introduction. The body of the report is formatted in sections, using headings, subheadings, and a visual that presents an overview of the reported data. This visual is presented after the introduction. A conclusion is usually not needed.
The difference between a Classification Report and a Partition Report is that the Classification Report organizes many similar subjects into groups and analyzes these subjects according to their specific parts. The Partition Report organizes the parts of a single subject and analyzes these parts according to their components.
Access the following file for an example of a Classification Report. Note that the major headings, sub headings, markers, and content following a parallel structure. In addition, note that only facts are presented. The report does not use subjective wording or offer opinions.
Access the following file for an examples of Partition Reports. Note that the sub groups of a Classification Report details the contents of partition reports for each group. Also note that the major headings, sub headings, markers, and content of each partition follows a parallel structure. In addition, note that only facts are presented. The reports do not use subjective wording or offer opinions.
The use of a diagram that visually details Classification Reports or Partition Reports add a reference for a report’s text. These diagrams usually show contents in hierarchal structures, linear structures, or layout mapping. When creating a visual that represents a report text, remember that the visual and text are mutually exclusive. Although the visual and text complement each other, each can stand alone. Each presents the same information in different formats.
See the following example of a Partition Report that details an Evacuation Plan. Note that both the diagram shows the reader the exact same details the text explains to the reader.