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Section 1.14.1

Format

Use standard document formats to help organize your material into widely acceptedarrangements. Most work-related documents have evolved standardized formats for thearrangement of material. Reports, for example, typically begin withthe title page, which is followed by the abstract, the table of contents, andso on. Formats help reduce material into predictable patterns for readers. Formats also call outlogical arrangements appropriate to given kinds of methods, data, and subjects. These conventionssave time in at least two ways: they provide writers an organizing and data-reduction tool, and theyhelp readers anticipate how the document's subject matter is arranged.

Some documents that have widely recognized format conventions are:

memoranda

research reports

technical articles

trip reports

design reports

letters

proposals

instructions

Many document elements also follow standard formats; some ofthese elements are:

graphs and figures

tables

citations (bibliography, footnotes, parenthetical references)

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