|The Recommendation Report Assignment is the culmination of an eight-week long collaborative project in Professional Writing, an undergraduate course on workplace writing.|
The Recommendation Report may include information that was presented in earlier texts, including the Problem Definition, The Pitch, Research Proposal, and Progress Report Presentation. While you may recycle substantial chunks of your earlier work into your final report, it is imperative that you refine, revise, and edit this content carefully. After all, these documents serve very different purposes for different audiences and contexts: The recommendation report presents a summary and detailed discussion of work completed in the past. The research proposal presents a plan for doing work in the future.
Recommendation Reports are a genre of writing, a subcategory of formal reports. Often developed by teams, Recommendation Reports make recommendations to audiences based on textual evidence, empirical evidence, and rhetorical reasoning. Recommendation Reports tend to adopt a technical writing prose style.
|The Recommendation Report Assignment builds on all of the work you have done earlier in the process: defining problems and identifying stakeholders; engaging in primary and textual research to more thoroughly understand the problem; engaging empirical research to test the viability of proposed solutions|
Now that you’ve completed your research, you can turn your focus toward analyzing your findings, synthesizing them, and developing a set of recommendations for your client.
Student Learning Objectives
The Recommendation Report Assignment is designed to help you
- understand the role of Recommendation Reports in workplace settings
- develop interpersonal competencies
- explore the benefits of information design
- develop information literacy competencies
- develop revision and editing competencies based on critical feedback from their instructor, the collaborative efforts of their peers, and peer reviews conducted by other students in other teams.
You’ve completed all of the research you proposed and your team is ready to present your research findings and offer some recommendations for solving the problem.
- Audience: Client, instructor, and other stakeholders. Your audience is familiar with your past work pertaining to the Consulting Simulation
- Purpose: Make recommendations for solving a problem supported by research
- Genre/medium: Formal report with front matter, body, and back matter
- Length: 12-15 (group of 4 students) or 15 to 18 (group of 5 students) page report body with front matter, back matter, and supplemental material
Required Content: Front Matter
Prepare the font matter only after you have a complete draft of the report, and don’t prepare the table of contents until the end.
The report front matter will include:
- Letter of transmittal
- Title page
- Abstract, which is sometimes referred to as an Executive Summary
- Table of contents
- List of illustrations
Required Content: Report Body
The body of the Recommendation Report will have the following sections:
|Section||Answers the question||Notes|
|Purpose||What is the purpose of this piece of communication?||Focus on the purpose of this document, not the purpose of the project.|
|Organizational Summary||What content is included in the memo?||Provide a brief overview of the report’s main sections for readers who may only read the summary.|
|Introduction||What problem(s) does the report address? What is the context?||Revise, redesign, and edit the description of the problem that you wrote in your Client Proposal and Visual Progress Report. Provide all of the background and rationale for pursuing this study. Include subheadings and multiple paragraphs for: |
1. Summary of the report,
2. The purpose of the report,
3. The background,
4. The sources of information,
5. The scope,
6. The most significant findings & recommendations,
7. The key terms.
8. A visualization that provides an illustration of the central argument of the recommendation (e.g., statement of the problem, stakeholders, and potential solutions.
|Research Methods||1. What textual research or empirical research was done? How? Why?||Use task orientation, describe exact tasks performed, the rationale for each task. Demonstrates to the reader that you followed the plan outlined in the research proposal. If you made deviations, identify why.|
|Results (aka Findings)||What did you find out from your research?||From a task-orientation perspective, distinguish between primary and secondary research findings.|
|Limitations of the Study (optional)||What are the shortcomings of this study? What could we not study? Did anything go wrong?||Optional section. Include if you encountered any problems that might limit your recommendations|
|Conclusions (aka Discussion or Analysis)||What do your results mean?||Your research won’t “speak for itself” to the client. You have to tell the client what your results mean. Draw conclusions and implications based on what you have learned. Explain the relationships between pieces of data/information. Describe trends. If there are anomalies, explain what seems wrong or different from what was expected.|
|Recommendations||What recommendations can you offer based on your conclusions?||Tells the reader what steps, measures, actions they should take in light of the conclusions you have reached. Explain how the recommendations might be implemented.|
Required content: Report back matter
Collect material for the appendices as you go. The report back matter will include:
- Bibliography, which is sometimes referred to as Works Cited or References (Use a citation format appropriate for your field (APA, MLA, Chicago, IEEE, etc.)
- Appendices (e.g., letters of support, financial projections.
Required features: Formatting and design
- Page layout: Appropriate to audience, purpose, and context. 8.5 x 11 with 1-inch margins is a fail-safe default.
- Typography: Choose business-friendly fonts appropriate to your audience, purpose, and context; Arial for headers and Times New Roman for body text is a safe, neutral default.
- Headings and subheadings: Use a numbered heading and subheading system, formatted using the Styles function on your word processor.
- Bulleted and numbered lists: Use lists that are formatted correctly using the list buttons on your word processor with a blank line before the first bullet and after the last bullet
- Graphics and figures: Support data findings and arguments with appropriate visuals – charts, tables, graphics; Include numbered titles and captions
- Page numbering: use lower-case Roman numerals for pages before the table of contents, Arabic numerals; no page number on the TOC.
- Upload the Recommendation Report to the Course Learning Management System