Workplace writing is most often done collaboratively. In this project, you will collaboratively compose a formal report that addresses a local, real-world problem and proposes one well-researched solution to said problem. This is an extended work of professional and technical writing that allows you to develop your collaborative skills and leverage team strengths to make a thorough, effective, accurate, and well-designed report.
- Understand and apply the conventions of a report
- Address a specific problem and develop one realistic solution to that problem
- Integrate evidence gathered from research to support an argument
- Use data visualizations to integrate data in support of an argument
- Apply the stylistic conventions of professional writing to craft an effective argument
- Apply principles of document design to create a visually appealing document designed for readability
- Use visual design principles to develop an appealing and appropriate visual presentation
- Practice effective presentation skills
- Effectively work as a team to collaboratively produce a successful formal report and presentation
Topics for the report need to be local, real-world problems (campus, local community). Ideally, the topic your team chooses will relate to your discipline. This makes the work of this report practical and applied. Local problems are place-based and local to where you are. They have to be current, ongoing problems, and they must be narrowed and focused enough to address within the scope of the report.
- Research the problem, including background, context, statistical data, and qualitative data (i.e., interviews, etc.), as appropriate
- Develop one realistic, actionable solution to the problem
- Develop explicit decision criteria (at least three) used to assess the feasibility of the suggested solution
- For more information about decision criteria: Choose the Right Decision Criteria
- Write a recommendation report that synthesizes research with decision criteria to prove why all solutions are feasible and discuss/evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each solution.
Note: The report should include data visualizations, like graphs and charts, to establish the scope of the problem and/or potential impacts/benefits of the solution.
In this project, you will work collaboratively to create a Recommendation Report. This report presents a detailed understanding of a local, real-world problem and then recommends a realistic solution to this problem. The recommendation report hinges on research. You will thoroughly research the problem and then effectively communicate this research in a way that persuades your audience that the solution you recommend is the right one for the given situation. Research for the recommendation report works to prove to the audience that the recommended solution is achievable, workable, and appropriate for the problem given the practical constraints (i.e., resources, budget, time, personnel, etc.). Recommendation reports address the following questions:
- What problem are you going to solve?
- How are you going to solve it?
- Is it practical to pursue this solution?
- What are benefits of the solution?
- How much will the work cost?
- When and how will you complete the work?
Again, the answers to these must be based on research. Thorough research gives the audience the information they need to fully understand the problem and assess your solution.
You will be asked to consider your work habits and the implications of those habits when working collaboratively. In teamwork, leverage team member strengths in the workflow and in assigning duties–i.e., math skills, attention to detail, writing skills, visual design skills, strong organizational skills. Also build into your workflow ways to negotiate work habits like procrastination or perfectionism to ensure that all team members complete work on time and up to the team’s specifications.
Sample Format for Recommendation Report
Letter of Transmittal
Table of Contents
- Context/Background Information
- Purpose statement and top-down strategy
- Explanation of problem or need
- Causes of problem or need
- Details of the solution
- Benefits of the solution
- Ways in which the solution satisfies decision criteria
- Decision criteria: Variables or characteristics that are important to the organization making the decision. (i.e., human resources, budget, real property issues, environmental issues, usability, cost, etc.)
- Schedule for implementing the solution (Consider including a Gantt chart)
Call to Action
- Underscore benefits of recommendation and ask reader to act
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