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Report Writing for Criminal Justice Professional

Report Writing for Criminal Justice Professional - 2nd edition

ISBN13: 978-0870842047

Cover of Report Writing for Criminal Justice Professional 2ND 98 (ISBN 978-0870842047)
ISBN13: 978-0870842047
ISBN10: 0870842048
Cover type:
Edition/Copyright: 2ND 98
Publisher: Anderson Publishing Co.
Published: 1998
International: No

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Report Writing for Criminal Justice Professional - 2ND 98 edition

ISBN13: 978-0870842047

Clarice R. Cox and Jerrold G. Brown

ISBN13: 978-0870842047
ISBN10: 0870842048
Cover type:
Edition/Copyright: 2ND 98
Publisher: Anderson Publishing Co.

Published: 1998
International: No

This handbook provides practical advice on report writing--with specific writing samples and guidelines included for law enforcement, security, corrections and probation personnel. The authors go beyond the routine English-grammar approach to deal with the difficult but often-ignored problem of documentation that will hold up in court. Important concepts are emphasized with related checklists, forms and pull-out chapter tests.

Author Bio

Cox, Clarice R. :

Clarice R. Cox, retired tenured instructor of the University of Hawaii and Honolulu Community College. Cox received her M.Ed. in Educational Communication from the University of Hawaii. She has presented papers for ACJS on security, mediation and textbook writing. Additionally, Cox has contributed articles to a wide range of publications, both popular and scholarly. Since her retirement, she has led various workshops and seminars on issues such as recall training for detectives and security report writing.

Brown, Jerrold G. :

Jerrold G. Brown, retired police officer from the Honolulu Police Department, has taught police report writing, constitutional law, criminal evidence, police management and principles of the criminal justice system at Honolulu Community College. While employed as a police officer, Brown completed an A.A. in Police Science, a B.S. in Human Development and a M.Ed. in Educational Foundations. He is currently completing a doctorate in clinical psychology and is executive director of the Hawaii Mental Health Center, Inc. He continues to be active in the law enforcement area.

Table of Contents

FOREWORD (by Margery S. Bronster)
FOREWORD (by Roger Fulton)

Section One-The Nature of Report Writing

Chapter 1: The Why and How of Report Writing

Why Do You Write Reports?

Law Enforcement Reports
Security Reports
Corrections Reports
Probation and Parole Officers Reports

How Do You Write Reports?

Writing the Log
Do Not Copy Randomly Chosen Models
How Do You Get Started?
What Kind of Notebook Should You Use?
How Much Should You Record in a Notebook?
Investigate, Don't Just Record
Don't Use Legalese or Old-Fashioned Terminology
Should You Use Abbreviations?
Add Sketches, Photographs, and Diagrams
Evidence for Law Enforcement
Evidence Collected for Security
Evidence Collected for Probation and Parole
Need for Documentation
What Should be Documented?

The ABCs of Report Writing (Whatever Your Field)


Chapter 1-TEST

Chapter 2: Starting to Write

Planning Your Writing

Completing the Face Page

Review Your Notes

Make a "Shopping List"

Place Information in Groups
Label the Groups
Place Groups in Order

Writing the Report

Proofreading and Revisions

Sample Writing Exercise Using the Shopping List Method

Creating a Shopping List from Notes
Grouping the Shopping List
Labeling the Shopping List
Placing the Labeled Shopping List in Order
Final Report

Basic Recommendations for Writing Reports

Spelling, Jargon, and Abbreviation
Verb Tense
Active versus Passive Voice
Pronoun Agreement
Third Person versus First Person
Gender-Neutral Language
Superfluous Words or Legalese
Accurate and Factual Reporting


Chapter 2-TEST

Chapter 3: The Face Page

UCR Crime Definitions

Methods of Gathering Information

Correct Abbreviation and Capitalization

Dealing with Names

Writing a Good Synopsis

Keeping Up with Trends


Chapter 3-TEST

Chapter 4: The Narrative-The Continuation Page and Follow-Up Report

Continuation Page, Follow-Up Report, and Supplementary Report or Material

What is Your Purpose?

Who are Your Readers?

Chronological Organization

Using Military Time

Headings and Subheadings as a Way of Organizing

Creating Visual Impact and Ease of Reading

Avoiding Repetition and Meaningless Material

Getting Rid of Stereotyped Fillers


Chapter 4-TEST

Chapter 5: Habits that Make for Speedy Writing

Writing About People

Yourself and Fellow Employees
Describing Other People

Writing About Property

Writing About Places

Specific Parts of a Location

Describing MOs and Trademarks

Definitions of MO and Trademark

Avoid Being Called on Your Time Off


Chapter 5-TEST

Chapter 6: Other Types of Writing

Learning from the Short Memo

Writing a Letter

Faxing and Other Technological Advances

Recording Minutes of a Meeting

The Presentence Investigation Report (PSIR)

Research and Other Reports


Chapter 6-TEST

Chapter 7: Reading and Correcting Reports

Common Problem Areas

Use of Word Processors

Improving the Agency by Helping the Individual


Chapter 7-TEST

Section Two-The Mechanics of Report Writing

Chapter 8: Simplified Study of Grammar

Identifying Parts of Speech

Using One Word in Several Ways

Using Verbs in the Past Tense

The Sentence

Direct Objects versus Indirect Objects: Learning the Patterns

Identifying Active and Passive Verbs

Identifying Independent and Dependent Clauses

Recognizing Prepositional, Participial, and Infinitive Phrases

Using Phrases as Adverbs, Adjectives, and Nouns

Using Prepositions in Your Report


Chapter 8-TEST

Chapter 9: Avoiding Errors in Sentence Structure

The Run-On Sentence-Source of Many Errors

Block Method of Visualizing Sentence Structure

Punctuation Problems

Subject-Verb Agreement

Noun-Pronoun Agreement

Dangling Participles

Sentence Fragments


Chapter 9-TEST

Chapter 10: Making Punctuation Work

The Comma

The Semicolon

The Colon

The Apostrophe

The Ellipsis


Quotation Marks

The Dash



Chapter 10-TEST

Chapter 11: Breaking the Spelling Jinx

Take Special Care with Names

Learn Words Commonly Used in Report Writing

Study Common Problem Areas

Clearing Up the "-ing" Confusion
Learning Words with Tricky Letter Combinations
Forming Plurals
Dealing with Other Complexities of the English Language

Strengthen Your Overall Writing Ability

Developing Proofreading Techniques


Chapter 11-TEST

Chapter 12: Using or Abusing Words


Slang and Dialects

Don't Use Legalese

Avoid Using Words or Phrases That Draw Conclusions

Improve Your Vocabulary

Synonyms, Antonyms, and Homonyms


Avoiding Sexism

Avoiding Racism

Considering Ageism


Nonverbal Communication

Developing Your Vocabulary


Chapter 12-TEST

Chapter 13: Abbreviating and Capitalizing

Abbreviating to Save Time and Space

Numbers and Codes Used for Abbreviation
Clarify Abbreviations
Abbreviations of Latin Terms
Changing Rules
Be Consistent
Postal Abbreviations for States and Territories


Don't Over-Capitalize
General Rules for Capitalization
Capitalizing and Indenting for Brevity and Impact


Chapter 13-TEST

Section Three- The Modernization of Report Writing

Chapter 14: Innovations and Predictions in Criminal Justice

Identifying Criminals

Identifying Trends

Improving Ways of Sharing Information


Translated Forms
Automation of Report Writing
Dictation of Reports
Computer-Aided Dispatching Systems and Records Management Systems
Facsimile Machines, E-Mail, and the Internet
Word Processing
The Crime Lab
Automatic Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS)
Use of Computers and Television

Looking Toward the Future

Appendix A: Model Reports
Appendix B: Examples of Agency Instructions for Completing Report Forms
Appendix C: Selected Readings

About the Authors

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