During my years as a corporate training consultant, I often taught technical writing to researchers and engineers. In those days--perhaps still--my students were required to write monthly progress reports for their bosses. Most of my students dreaded writing anything, but especially those period reviews of what they had accomplished. Just to lighten their mood, if not their burden, I wrote an all-pupose report that they could hand in on any month, on any project, whether they were biochemists, metallurgists, or structural engineers. The composition I gave them was full of all the writing mistakes their bosses were used to encountering: passive voice, vagueness, unnecessary words, run-on sentences, and dangling participles.
Here it is. I hope it gives you a laugh. Or something to hand to your boss. It is the end of the month after all.
For the Month of ___________
During the interim period, considerable progress has been made in the preliminary work directed toward the establishment of initial activities. The background information has been surveyed and the functional structure of the component parts has been clarified.
Considerale difficulty has been encountered in the selection of optimum materials and experimental methods, but this problem is being attacked vigorously, and we expect that the development phase will proceed at a satisfactory rate. In order to prevent unnecessary duplication of previous efforts in the same field, it was necessary to establish a survey team which has conducted an extensive tour through various facilities in the immediate vicinity.
The committee held its regular meeting and considered important policy matters pertaining to the overall organization levels and staff responsibilities that develop on the personnel associated with specific assignments resulting from the broad functional specifications. It is believed that the rate of progress will continue to accelerate.