Your community assessment report should be visually appealing, reader-friendly, and professional. These are key characteristics of effective written presentations. As you write the report, always keep in mind your intended audience; this includes varied groups, such as federal officials, community partners, staff, parents, and others. Some may know little or nothing about your program or Head Start, so it is important to provide sufficient context that the published report can stand on its own, without added background information. Here are some tips for creating an effective presentation.
- Write in a logical, organized way.
- Add maps, charts, and illustrations for clarity. Information displayed visually may be more easily understood by community members, Head Start staff, and parents.
- Make sure your conclusions are supported by the data
analysis and synthesis.
- Ensure the sections of the report read smoothly and easily.
- This is particularly important if multiple authors contributed to writing the report.
Tell Me More
For help determining whether your community assessment report is complete, well organized, and readable, see the Appendix A-2: Community Assessment Report Checklist.
Here are some tips for making your document reader-friendly.
- Use accessible written conventions, (e.g., short paragraphs, headings for major sections, page numbers).
- Provide visual displays of the data to accompany the text (e.g., charts, graphs, maps).
- Define Head Start-specific terms, abbreviations, and acronyms. The reader may not be familiar with the Head Start community, service area, terms, or abbreviations commonly used by Head Start programs. Consider providing a glossary of terms.
- Provide reference citations for internal and external data. Use a standard style for citations (e.g., report title, authors, date of publication, etc.). Sources can either be entered as footnotes or as in-line citations, with the full reference included in the report's bibliography.
- Format charts, graphs, and other patterns with an eye
toward high-contrast color combinations that are engaging and easy to see.
Tell Me More
See Appendix B-5, Attribute of Good Data Display, for checklists of structural and functional attributes to consider when preparing data for presentation or distribution.
Follow these conventions for tables, charts, and graphs.
- Include a title for each table, chart, and graph.
- Use tables to present columns or lists of data.
- Number tables in consecutive order (i.e., Table 1, Table 2, etc.).
- Label each visual display of results, such as a graph, map, or pie chart, as a figure, and number each figure in consecutive order (e.g., Figure 1, Figure 2, etc.).
- Place each table and figure close to the appropriate text.
Resource Type: Article
National Centers: Program Management and Fiscal Operations
Audience: Directors and Managers
Last Updated: July 31, 2023