This report assignment requires you to write a recommendation report on a real topic of your choice. Chapter 4 defines a recommendation report as follows: “A recommendation report assesses a troublesome or unsatisfactory situation, identifies a solution to the problem, and persuades decision makers to pursue a particular course of action that will improve matters” (71).
Your topic may come from your work, community, college experience, or any other area of your life where you can identify a “troublesome or unsatisfactory situation.” Preferably, pick a topic that you’re really interested in, that has something to do with your career field, and/or that you feel strongly about. In addition, pick a topic on which you’re confident you can find information—both in printed or electronic sources and through interviews or surveys. You should select your topic carefully because this project is worth a substantial number of points, and you’ll be expending a great deal of time and energy on the project. The more satisfied you are with your topic, the more satisfied you’re likely to be with your report.
You will write your report to a real decision maker, an executive reader who has the means to act on your recommendations. As you prepare your report, you should do so with this reader in mind. In other words, write the report as if that person will be the reader. You aren't required to submit the report to that reader, just to me. However, when I grade your report, I’ll be doing my best to assess how convincing it would be for that reader.
FORMAT AND LENGTH REQUIREMENTS
Your report must follow the long report format discussed in Chapter 11. Consistent with that format, it must contain the following components:
1) Front Matter (Each element below on a separate page)
- Transmittal Document
- Title Page
- Table of Contents
- List of Illustrations (optional)
- Glossary (optional)
2) Text (3-4 single-spaced pages, plus at least one visual)
- Body (with appropriate textual divisions)
3) Back Matter (Each element below on a separate page)
- Appendixes (optional)
For a report that contains these components and that illustrates correct report format, see the example in Workplace Communications, pp. 207-18.
Your long report will follow the design guidelines in Chapter 4 regarding type, margins, textual divisions, headings, and lists. Also note the following design requirements:
RESEARCH AND DOCUMENTATION
You must include information from at least three sources in your long report. These sources may be primary and/or secondary.
Secondary sources are sources already compiled by someone else (books, magazine articles, newspaper articles, websites, reports, product brochures, manuals, etc.). Primary sources are sources that contain information you gather yourself (interviews, surveys, experiments, etc.).
Workplace Communications discusses both MLA format
for documentation and APA format. You may use either format to provide the
bibliography and parenthetical citations for information you include from your
Your long report grade will be based on content, organization, tone, format, page design, use/documentation of sources, and correctness (grammar, sentence structure, punctuation, and spelling).
SAMPLE TOPICS AND AUDIENCES
Here are a few topics and readers students have chosen in the past. As some of the examples below illustrate, a “troublesome or unsatisfactory situation” doesn’t have to be extremely serious or complex. Of course, these are only provided as examples. Be observant. Be creative. If you have an idea, but you’re not sure if it will work, let me know.
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