Guidelines for Preparing Your Executive Report
Title Page: the title should clearly and succinctly communicate the central focus of the paper. The name of every person who is to receive credit for the project must appear on the title page. No name, no credit. 2.
Table of contents: List of each of the major sections, including references and appendices, and specify the page on which they begin. (-5 points) 3.
Executive Summary: Provide a 100-150 word summary of the purpose and outcome of the project. This goes on a separate page that follows the table of content. Bullet points can be highly effective to summarize findings. (-5 points) 4.
Body: The structure for the body of the report is described in detail below. 5.
References: Whenever you use someone else’s idea or work in developing an argument or providing an explanation, you must cite the author(s). To do otherwise is plagiarism. You can impress yourself, your instructor and client by citing material from CMST 311. (-5 points) 6.
Tables and Figures: You may have numerical data or illustrations that you need to present. If so, these things go after the references; tables first, figures second. If it has numbers on it, then it is a table. If it is a graphical illustration, then it is a figure (e.g., pie chart). Number and title each table/figure so that you can easily refer to them in the text of your paper. For example, “As Table 1 shows…” 7.
Appendices: This is where all of the materials that you used in your project should go. Add appendices as you need them, organizing them topically. For example, your print message might go in the first, the text of your public presentation in the second one, and the data from your evaluation research in the third one. They should be designated A, B, C, etc. (-5 points)
Your report should be typed using APA style. It should demonstrate proper grammar, punctuation, spelling, and clear exposition. This is a technical report, not a poem; write accordingly. Strive for clarity first and for elegance second. For further advice, take this assignment to the Write Site (Lommen Hall across from our classroom).
Packaging the Report
Please avoid those annoying plastic folders—save your money. They do not hold the individual sheets of paper together well and, as a result, reports that use these folders often end up spread out all over the office, the stairwell, or campus. Much better that you use a giant staple or one of the large, sturdy metal clips (available at the bookstore).
The Body of the Report
Please USE the following headings to identify the sections of your report. The point value of each section appears in parentheses at the end of the section descriptions. Points will not be given for sections that are NOT identified.
This section is an overview that takes the reader from knowing little or nothing about your project to an understanding of its significance and logic. To create the text for this section, you should feel free to steal from your first group assignment (problem statement). A.
Problem Statement: This concise, paragraph-length section should acquaint the reader with your topic and focus the reader on the problem. “The problem” is something that exists in society or in the world, not in your group/sample. A good problem statement might look like “Meritcare does not have enough volunteers.” The following is a bad problem statement: “Our problem was to convince prehealth majors to volunteer at Meritcare.” (10 points)
Problem Analysis: Elaborate the issues that compose your problem. Demonstrate that you have expert knowledge of your topic. Cite the research that discusses the severity and incidence of the problem with which you are working. Show how existing work has shaped your thinking and your project. For example, if your campaign aims to convince eager middle schoolers to use the MPL, you might review literature from the MPL that tracks use of the library by this...
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