We prepare many kinds of reports over different intervals of time, of different lengths, and for very different audiences. Where to begin? Are you familiar with the term, "Elevator Pitch." The concept is that you meet someone in an elevator and have a very brief time to share a thought or make a request. How do we do this effectively? Well, the idea is obviously to focus upon the key elements of our message. This isn't easy. One thing that I recommend is to write your summaries first. Some will say, how can I summarize something when I haven't written it yet? However, I say if you can create the summary message, you know what you need to have in the body of the message. Yes, you will most likely need to do some research to complete the report, but if you know where you are heading (your purpose or objective as articulated in your summary), you are more likely to seek the needed information. Then you can return to the summary at the begin and modify it a bit if necessary. What do you think of this approach? Will it work for you?