Formal Written Report Assignment Sheet
Choose a subject from a technical, scientific, or in some cases business field, which interests you and/or pertains to your career. (Note here that it is vital that you choose something that is interesting to you. If you are bored with your topic, then you won’t want to read the research or write the report. If you choose something that is really interesting, then you’ll enjoy reading the research, and it will be easy to write the report.)
Narrow the focus of this subject to some problem or opportunity, thus aiming your report toward an analytical or recommendation report.
You will be conducting secondary (library) research using books, journals articles, and perhaps a few popular magazine articles from reliable sources such as Time, Newsweek, Scientific American, Natural History, and Popular Science. You may also consider conducting primary research such as interviewing scientists, technicians, professors in your field; composing and administering surveys, questionnaires; and/or performing site visits.
Using your problem definition, opportunity identification, or research question, and your preliminary research, compose a proposal for a research project. (Separately graded assignment; see handouts for models.)
Outline the report and plan its graphics. Three graphics are a minimum requirement. Two graphics may be borrowed (and cited!), but one must be made by you. Think about using Excel’s Chart Wizard tool or another tool that is easy to use.
Thoroughly research the issue and come up with feasible solutions. You will then write a Formal Written Report that is 7-10 researched pages (this includes everything listed in the Body (see below) of the report), plus additional pages of front and back matter (again, see below). Your entire paper including front and back matter should be 12-25 pages long.
This is a big project, so begin on your research early. You will need to submit a project proposal (see additional instructions under Proposal in this module) to me by the due date on the syllabus to ensure that you have chosen an appropriate topic to research.
This project utilizes TechComm Ch. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 18.
Format your research paper as a formal report. This means you will include:
Table of contents
List of figures/tables/illustrations (if applicable)
List of abbreviations and symbols (if applicable)
Text (including headings)
Explanatory notes (if applicable)
References (or Works Cited)
Appendixes (if applicable)
Glossary (if applicable)
Refer to the Handbook of Technical Writing for further elaboration on each element listed here (everything is listed under the entry for Formal Report).
Throughout the course, you have been reading about the importance of visuals and headings in a technical document. Your Formal Written Report must be broken down into appropriate headings in order for your audience to find pertinent information easily. You must also include appropriate visuals. Do not place clipart into your report and think that it will count as a visual. Make your visuals relevant and remember to call them out in the text of your document (e.g. “Figure 1 shows the increase in teen pregnancy. . . “). Remember that you must have a minimum of three visuals and that at least one of them must be one that you have created.
The above attachment has detailed information regarding this assignment. Below is a summary of the required formal elements that make this a formal report:
• Cover Page (optional–the only place where clip-art might be acceptable; understood page zero)
• Title Page (understood page i)
• Abstract (page ii)
• Table of Contents (page iii)
• List of Figures & Tables (required separate page, page iv)
• Executive Summary (page 1–notice the change from Roman numerals to Arabic numbering)
• Body (the actual report, 7-10 pages of double-spaced text, with at least two levels of headings. Paginated with Arabic numerals.)
• Works Cited page (MLA) or References page (APA)
Your report might need a glossary or appendices, depending on the topic and the audience and the purpose and the scope.
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