The Recommendation Report is your final project for this course. As such, you might think of it as a final exam—an opportunity to illustrate what you’ve learned throughout the semester. As part of this project, you must draw upon your ability to use and integrate writing, graphics, document design, research, persuasion, and, above all, clear thinking and expression of ideas. Your objective is to provide your client with a professional quality document that makes a persuasive recommendation based on the results and conclusions you’ve drawn from your research. You will describe your research methods, report the results, explain the conclusions you’ve drawn from those results, and present a recommendation. Above all, this project is an exercise in critical thinking and in-depth, creative problem solving. As you approach the final stage, you may want to refer to your notes and the text in order to review the strategies and concepts that we’ve covered throughout the semester.
Use the discussion in Chapter 19 for guidance in writing the report. Although your report should have a structure that is specific to your project, you should use the sample reports on Blackboard and in Chapter 19 to guide you. Be sure to adapt, for your own report, the strategies used in these samples. Figuring out the right approach is part of the assignment’s challenge. Although your project and tasks will differ from the samples, the basic structure of your report should be the same and include the following items in the following order:
Table of Contents
List (or Table) of illustrations *
All items are required except those marked with an asterisk (*).
Title page – Not to be confused with a report cover, this is the first page of the report document. Follow the example on page 533.
Table of contents – This section follows your title page and precedes your executive summary. Note that the language, hierarchy and formatting (fonts, sizes, etc.) of your table of contents should accurately reflect the headings and subheadings of the report body. List of illustrations and/or figures (optional) – Essentially a table of contents for illustrations or figures, you may choose to include this if you have four or more illustrations and/or figures. Executive summary – This is a one-page summary (roughly 300 words) of the entire report. Note that this section should provide a bird’s-eye view of your project. (Like an abstract, this is a brief overview; unlike an abstract, it is for readers who lack the technical or insider’s knowledge of the topic).
Note: You should not include a cover or an abstract.
English 393—Technical Communication
Introduction – Answers the question, What’s in the report? Includes the necessary background and context of the project, addresses the research and sources, identifies the scope, summarizes significant findings and recommendations, explains the report’s basic organization, and defines any key terms (or refers the reader to a glossary, if necessary). Research Methods – Answers the question What did you do? Explains your various tasks, why you did what you did, how you did it, and what you had hoped to gain. To whatever degree you carried out the tasks in your proposal, this is a discussion of those same tasks, but in the past (rather than future) tense. Be sure to include the What, Why and How.
Results – Answers the question What were the findings? Explains what the results of each task were. (Note: the purpose here is to objectively report the results of your study, not to interpret them. Save the interpretation for the “Conclusions” section.)
Conclusions – Answers the question What do the results mean? Note: Do not confuse “Conclusions” (plural) with the...
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