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The New Police Report Manual, Second Edition

NCJ Number
Devallis Rutledge
Date Published
173 pages
This book seeks to help police officers write better reports.
The objective of writing a report is to communicate information as clearly and as accurately as possible, and the writer should use the approach best calculated to do that. The book gives numerous examples of what it calls an artificial style of writing and suggests ways to say the same thing in a natural, more informative style. It also gives examples of words and phrases in "gobbledygook" (wordy jargon, inflated, involved, and obscure verbiage) and translates them into plain talk. The plain talk versions are not only clearer, but also much shorter in almost every case. The book suggests ways to make it easier for the writer to live with a report and tougher for the criminal to live with it: (1) know when and how to use quotations; (2) don't allow legal terminology or vague words to take the place of facts; (3) don't make unsupported assertions about someone else's abilities, perceptions, or state of mind; (4) when necessary, show the facts behind your state of mind; (5) don't write a "Whodunit"; and (6) recap. Figure, tables


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