Department of Applied Language Studies | Short Courses


Short Learning Programme (SLP)


About this course

The Report Writing SLP aims to develop basic principles for the writing of effective reports in differing formats and contexts. Most professions require individuals to write and draft reports that are either generic in nature or customised and specific to the work environment and professional sphere. As a result, many struggle to formulate a professional report that presents information and data in a coherent manner. 

The Report Writing SLP aims to develop report-writing principles to include in report structures including conciseness and clarity - leading to reports that can inform effective decision-making processes. This course includes the structuring of reports from short memo formats to lengthy formal reports.

Depending on the report writing needs of the specific group of delegates completing this course, the facilitator will often include relevant and industry-related formats  of reports as part of the in-class discussions.


Who should attend?

This course is ideal for any professional who is required to write and draft reports. If you are required to arrange, structure and present information and data logically in a coherent and cohesive manner that will be easily understood by your audience, then this course is for you.


How will this course help you?

Report Writing will help you by informing your practice of writing and drafting reports.

You will be shown professional formats for different reports – enabling your future reports to be written and drafted more effectively.


What will you learn?


Learning Outcomes

A delegate of this course should be able to:

  • understand and apply principles of communication theory;
  • describe barriers to effective writing and identify strategies for effective report writing  in  the workplace;
  • demonstrate ability to determine the purpose and audience in writing a report;
  • differentiate between fact and opinion when gathering information for a report;
  • choose relevant information for report completion;
  • select an appropriate research procedure to investigate an area of concern;
  • choose the appropriate report format for a specific audience;
  • write (generate) a formal / memo / letter report which reflects a logical, accurate presentation of findings;
  • demonstrate ability to write meaningfully by avoiding generalisations based on too few observations and too little research;
  • demonstrate ability to write meaningfully by avoiding unsupported assumptions in written work;
  • demonstrate ability to assess writing for technical and expression errors by revising and editing work carefully;
  • apply principles of presentation by graphic aids; and,
  • choose the most effective presentation for reports which give both dignity to the document and favourably influence audiences.


The following will be covered in this course:

  • Communication Theory
  • Audience and Purpose in Report Writing
  • Barriers to Effective Report Writing
  • Subjectivity and Objectivity in Writing
  • Report Formats
  • Structure and Style of Reports
  • Writing Principles (clarity, conciseness)
  • Coherence and Cohesion in Writing
  • Planning Research for a Report
  • Working with Visual Aids in Reports


How will this course be taught?

This course will be taught using face-to-face instruction and self-paced learning (readings, tasks and activities, and online/home-based learning). You will be welcomed into a small group of delegates and taught by a qualified and experienced facilitator.

The face-to-face sessions will be interactive and the facilitator will engage with all delegates. Group numbers will be kept to a minimum to ensure increased delegate engagement during facilitation. The facilitator will utilise the face-to-face sessions to present the course content and interact with you by completing class-based activities and tasks that will apply your knowledge.

Depending on the delivery mode of this course, you might also be given access to our online learning platform so that you have access to course resources and be able to complete certain activities. 

The language of teaching and learning (LOTL) of this course will be English.


How will you be assessed?

A final task will be assigned that has to be submitted for review and formative feedback will be provided thereafter. The course facilitator will provide the task instructions during the course.


Learning Support

Your learning will be supported by a qualified and experienced facilitator. A dedicated administrative assistant will be assigned to assist you with any administrative matters. A tutor will be assigned when group numbers are high and the facilitator requires assistance in supporting your learning.


How will this course be delivered?

This course can be offered in the following modes of delivery:


Mode A: Part-time

Duration: 6 weeks, part-time (1 weekday evening face-to-face session weekly)

Requires 3 hours weekly:  2-hour face-to-face session* + 1 hour self-paced learning


Mode B: Part-time - Accelerated

Duration: 2 weeks, part-time (1 Saturday session [9:00-15:30] weekly)

Requires 8 hours weekly:  6-hour face-to-face session* + 2 hour self-paced learning


Mode C: Full-time

Duration: 2 days, full-time (consecutive weekdays)

Requires 16 hours of teaching and learning:  12 hours of face-to-face facilitation* (over 2 days) + 4 hours self-paced learning


*Face-to-face sessions will be offered at one of the University Port Elizabeth campuses unless arranged otherwise and stated explicitly.

Kindly check the provisional schedule to see if this course will be offered soon and the applicable mode of delivery.  If this course is not included in the schedule, you are still encouraged to apply.


Course Fee and Payment Details

The course fee is based on the mode of delivery:

R3150* - Mode A - Part-time

R3450* - Mode B & C (light lunches and refreshments included)

*This is an estimate and is based on delivery at one of the Port Elizabeth campuses.

You may pay for this course via the following methods:

  • Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT)
  • Payment at the University cashiers

Kindly wait for provisional acceptance and a reference number before paying for this course.


Admission Requirements

A delegate:

  1. has to be older than 16;
  2. has to be able to communicate in the language of teaching and learning (LOTL) of this course; and,
  3. should have completed a relevant level of education deemed suitable for entry into this course (usually a high school qualification).

No prior knowledge is required for entry into this course, however, knowledge of Business Writing will be advantageous.


Course Completion Requirements

In order to complete this course successfully, delegates have to attend the face-to-face sessions, complete assigned activities, and complete and submit the final course assessment.



This course has been accredited by the Unit of Continuing Education of the University in accordance with the regulations of the Council of Higher Education (CHE), South Africa.

Upon meeting the requirements and successfully completing this course, you will be awarded a Certificate issued by Nelson Mandela University.

Delegates who complete their courses online or via distance learning (where applicable) will receive both a digital and hardcopy of their certificates.

A certificate of completion will be awarded to delegates who attended the course and completed the final assessment.

A certificate of attendance will be awarded to delegates who attended at least 70% of the total notional hours of the course but did not complete the final assessment.


Suggested study path

Should you wish to study more than one DALS short course, then we recommend that you complete the following:

  1. Business Writing
  2. Report Writing
  3. Professional Presentations


How to Apply

If you would like to apply, then simply check when this course might be scheduled for delivery and then click on the APPLY link.

If there is an upcoming scheduled offering and sufficient delegates have applied and been provisionally accepted, and your application is also successful, then you will receive a confirmation to pay and register for the course.

You will be required to pay the course fee within 5 business days of being provisionally accepted. 

The DALS SLP payment and cancellation policy applies.

You may also submit an enquiry with your expression of interest.  Should an opportunity arise, then you will be invited to apply.


Provisional Schedule

Kindly visit the SCHEDULE to see if this course will be offered soon.

If this course does not appear on the schedule, you are still encouraged to apply as it will be offered once the minimum number of delegates have been provisionally accepted and have confirmed their registration.

Applying and being provisionally accepted will reserve your space in one of our face-to-face groups.

Companies or organisations sending private groups (of at least 10 delegates in a single group) are not subjected to the provisional schedule. Special arrangements will be made for corporate registrations.

Other courses you might be interested in

You might be interested in the following courses:

See all the DALS Short Courses here.