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Formal Report Formal Report Assignment Choose a topic or project that is program-related, and that involves a need/issue you

can describe, analyze and propose solutions for. You will be writing an external report, proposing a new service or product for potential customers. You may submit a formal report that you have written for another professor, as long as it corresponds to the requirements outlined in this document. Remember that your audiences needs are primary and your report format should always respond to those requirements.

The planning of every report begins with a proposal a statement of purpose explaining the goal, significance, and limitations of the report. Since this is a research document, consider topics where materials are readily available. As you acquire research materials, note the documentation information carefully, since this information will be incorporated in your report. This formal report is to be completed individually. Note about language: Remember to include the audience with you usage, to avoid passive language, and to avoid I (though we is acceptable in the recommendations content area of the report). The formal report is worth 30% of your grade for ENGL 250 Due Date: ______________________________________. Content/Length: The completed formal report will consist of approximately 10 computer-generated pages and will include the following (use headings and subheadings):

1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

Letter of Transmittal* Title page* Summary/Abstract* Table of Contents* Text (Introduction/Background, Discussion (findings), Conclusion/Recommendations at least 6 pages, including graphics) 6. List of References (minimum 3)* 7. Glossary 8. Appendix (maps, graphs, charts, diagrams, photographs, and other matter not appropriate for the text)* * Each of these information areas is a page of its own. The rest (text) is continuous. See next page for thumbnail template.

Formal Report

Report Format A. P. A. Guidelines Font: Font size: Line spacing: Paragraph: Arial or Calibri or Times New Roman 12, including all headings and subheadings. 2 (except for letter of transmittal and title page) Indent every new paragraph. The whole document is consistently double spaced; there should be no extra spaces between paragraphs within content areas. Although A. P. A. does not add an extra Enter between content areas (headings and subheadings), doing so is advised to make the document easier to read. Margins: Left, not justified; 1 all around Subordination: Heading (bold, centred, each word beginning in upper case, no period, first paragraph beginning on next line); Subheading (bold, L margin, each word beginning in upper case, no period, first paragraph beginning on next line); Sub-subheading (bold, indented one tab from L margin, only the first word beginning in upper case, period except for figures and tables, first paragraph continuing on same line except for figures and tables). Use talking headings for subheadings and sub-subheadings. Header: Insert page number; type key words of header, each beginning in upper case; add five character spaces between the header and page number. The header and page number are the same font and size as the rest of the text in the document. Pagination begins on the title page and continues through whole document, including references and appendices. Use only Arabic digits and no Roman numerals. Figure 1: Thumbnail Template
Your address Date Recipients address Salutation: Subject Line --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Sincerely, Presented by: Your Organization Contact info Title of Proposal Header 1 Summary ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Header 2

Contact: Your Names

Submitted to: Recipients Organization

Signature Signature Signature Table of Contents


Name Name Title Page Summary Table of Contents Introduction Purpose Statement Needs Analysis Proposal Project Description Benefits Staffing Budget Conclusion Recommendations References Appendix Name

Submitted: Monday, March 10, 2008 Header 3 Introduction 1 2 3 4 4 4 4 3 5 6 6 7 7 8 9 Purpose Statement ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Needs Analysis -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Proposal Project Description -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Time frame. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Header 4 References -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Header 8

Formal Report

Report Content Letter of Transmittal A letter of transmittal announces the report topic and explains who authorized it, if applicable. It gives a broad overview of report purposes and briefly describes the project and previews the conclusions. The letter usually describes the primary and secondary research. Such letters generally close by expressing appreciation for the assignment, suggesting follow-up actions, acknowledging the help of others, or offering to answer questions. The margins for the transmittal should be the same as for the report, but in all other areas, should follow conventional letter format. Letters of transmittal may contain personal pronouns and references to the writer. This letter may be attached to the report as the first page (not numbered), or be slipped under the front cover of the report. Title /Cover Page See thumbnail template above and full-sized electronic (Microsoft Word) template. Summary/Abstract The Summary gives the report reader an overview of what to expect in the report. As well, many abstract services supply only the summaries of technical reports for research purposes. Keep in mind that this section of the report will be read by a larger, lessinformed audience, and must be easily read and understood by that audience. The Summary (also known as Executive Summary, Synopsis or Abstract) of the formal report follows immediately after the title page but before the Table of Contents. It is always on a page by itself and is centred on the page. The Summary is the most important page in the report. It is placed first in the report, but it is written last. The content for the Summary comes from the Introduction (the purpose), the Discussion (highlights), and the Conclusions and Recommendations (outcome or results, and action). Keep the Summary as brief, concise and informative as possible. Leave out detailed support data that is best covered in the report. Data that is part of the main recommendation can be included in the summary/abstract. Instructions for summarizing your report:

1. Summarize the Introduction by restating your main idea and purpose. This
statement should be limited to 25 words.

2. Each headed section in the discussion probably contains one key idea. Find the key
idea in each section and summarize it in one brief sentence. Dont forget to include solutions. Limit this part of the summary to about 50 words. To reduce the length of your sentences, avoid all repetition, wordiness, and gobbledygook.

Formal Report 3. Keep the points in the summary in the same order as they appear in your report. 4. Summarize the Conclusions and Recommendations sections in about 25 words.

5. Edit the summary sentence by sentence. Eliminate fragments, run-ons, agreement

problems, and other fundamental errors. Check capitalization and punctuation, and spell-check the entire paragraph. To maintain cohesion, use transition words.

6. The Abstract or Summary should be listed in the Table of Contents.


Table of Contents The table of contents identifies the name and location of every part of the report except the title page and the table of contents itself. A template from your word processing program will enable you to generate a contents page automatically, including leaders and accurate page numberingno matter how many times you revise. If the table of contents and the list of figures for the report are small, they are combined on one page. Headings should be flush to the L margin, and subheadings indented one tab; it is not necessary to include sub-subheadings in the table of contents. The table of contents is consistently double-spaced. The List of Figures includes tables and figures in one list (unless otherwise indicated). The figure numbers, titles and pages are included. Introduction The introduction is the first component of the actual report. It details the circumstances leading up to the report and the reasons for the report. Use Introduction as the major heading for this main part. Divide the content into four parts under the subheadings Problem, Background, Purpose and Scope.

1. The problem (or needs analysis) focuses your report by presenting the topic,
pinpointing the approach, and letting your audience know exactly what the report will cover and what approach will be taken. This statement is like a thesis. State the topic that you will be dealing with and mention how you will address it and what the solutions are. Try to stay under 50 words, and use no more than two sentences.

2. The background section describes the project. The background lists the
circumstances leading to the present situation and why the project or study is necessary. Include any general information that might be needed to interpret your findings.

3. The purpose statement addresses the major factors that you had to keep in mind
and states what you will do in the report. This listing or description should be in the same order as the information is presented in the body of the report. You could mention how the main sections of the report are divided. Use specific verbs like describe, explain, analyze, present and recommend, to explain your actions.

Formal Report

4. The scope outlines the limitations such as cost, time and other factors to indicate
the circumstances that prevented you from getting information. This section can be included as part of your purpose or background section.

Discussion

1. This section should set out the technical data, graphs and details that support the

rest of your report. Be sure that it contains all of the pertinent information that will convince your audience to follow your recommendations. A good discussion section should be organized in easy to follow subsections that move from facts and data to the analyses of that data. Set out the information in such a way that your audience can follow (and hopefully, agree with) your analyses. talking subheading. Note: This is an A. P. A. guideline; often in business report writing, Discussion is not included as a heading. Instead, a descriptive talking heading is used.

2. Use the heading Discussion and then follow on the next line with a relevant

3. Organize the subsections in this part under separate subheadings. 4. Most data should be presented in paragraph form. Where listing is used, the list
must be introduced by a sentence.

5. Double-space all text except for items in a list.


6. Order your information in a recognizable patternchronological, special, cause & effect, classification, comparison, definition, process description, etc.

7. Incorporate illustrations into the report body to make technical information


accessible and easier to digest. - Refer to each figure or table in the text (as shown in Figure 3). - Place figures (illustrations) close to textual references. - Number each figure consecutively (usually at the top of the figure). - Include a title, legend (if required) and a source reference. - Ensure that all figures condense data or enhance the text.

8. Place supplemental detail in appendices.


Conclusions Long, complex reports usually have separate sections for conclusions and resulting recommendations. It is becoming more usual to combine sections under one heading.

1. Sum up the findings in the order they were introduced in the report. The conclusions
must present no new information and should start with the most important conclusion. Conclusions can be beliefs or opinions based on the findings of your report. If you are stating an opinion, introduce it like this In my opinion. . .

Formal Report Recommendations 1. Do not start a new page for this section. 2. Use this section to advocate any action based on your findings. 3. a) Introduce the list with a full sentence. b) List the recommendations. c) Begin with the most important recommendation first. Appendices

Extra information that might be included in an appendix is such items such as a sample questionnaire, correspondence relating to the report, diagrams, maps, other reports, and optional tables.

1. Each piece of supporting data is listed as a separate appendix. Essential information


will be in the body of the report. The appendices should be used only for information that has a specialized audience or that is not essential.

2. Appendix is the main heading for this major part. The word Appendix should be
followed by the capital letter indicating its rank (e.g. Appendix A).

3. Under the major heading place a descriptive subheading. If the material is taken
from a source, indicate the source in a note at the bottom. Documentation Include a References page if you use any secondary (printed) sources of information in the report. Source date should be acknowledged whether it is quoted or paraphrased. Refer to the L & C documentation guidelines for further details. For more information about, guidelines for, and examples of formal reports, refer to pages 195-205 of Workplace Communication: Process and Product. Also refer to pages 76-89 to learn about using graphics. References This information has been compiled from notes prepared by the English Department faculty as well as information contained in: American Psychological Association (2010). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Washington, DC: Author. Blicq, R. & Moretto, L. (2004). Technically write! (7th Canadian ed.). Toronto: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Formal Report Gerson, S. J., & Gerson, S. M. (2007). Workplace communication: Process and Product. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall. Guffey, E. G., & Nagle, B. (2000). The essentials of business communication (3rd Canadian ed.). Toronto: Nelson.

Report Writing Grading Scheme


Letter or Memo of Transmittal separately Correct format Complete content Title Page Title of Report Name of organization receiving the report Name of person and/or organization sending the report Date of the report Visual appeal Table of Contents Lists every major topic heading (and possibly minor headings) Topic headings match headings within the report Lists all appendices, illustrations, figures Paging is listed appropriately Visually appealing Summary/Abstract States purpose Gives highlights from the discussion States main conclusions & recommendations Conciseness Considers audiences needs/requests Considers scope of the project Introduction/ Background Circumstances/background that led to the project Purposewhat is to be achieved; significance Scope-clear limitations Discussion Understanding of topic/problem is evident Facts, research Findings Illustrations, graphs, tables-labelled & numbered separately) Informative headingsconsistency of degrees Information stated clearly, concisely Clear, logical development Analysis and details (relevant, complete) Proper documentation/citing of sources /25 /2 Marked

/3

/6

/6

/10 (Marked

Formal Report
Satisfies scope (addresses what the reader wants to know most) Numbered pages Conclusions Main points drawn from discussion Satisfies requirements established in Introduction Logically ordered Recommendations Strong statements advocating action Use active voice (verbs) Follow naturally from conclusions Descending order of importance/chronological order Usually numbered points References (APA) / Works Cited (MLA) List sources of information Alphabetical order Exact format/punctuation/spacing Citations within the paper Glossary /5 Appendices Ordered according to appearance/reference in report Assigned identifying letter (A, B, C) Visually appealing Overall Effectiveness* Challenging topic Thorough understanding of topic Enlightening for reader Professional presentation Useful topic Good understanding of topic Worthwhile reading for audience Clear, neat presentation Shallow/somewhat weak topic More development of topic needed Superficial reading for audience Adequate presentation /5 /4

/4

/5

/10 Excellent - 10

Very good 7-9

Satisfactory 5/6

Mundane topic Weak 0-4 Poor understanding of topic Unsatisfactory reading for audience Ineffective presentation ____________________________________________________________________________________________ Editing Skills (Grammar/Mechanics) 25% Runon/Comma Splice (-1 for each error) Fragment (-1 for each error) Verb errors (-1/2 for each error) Spelling (-1/2 for each error) Punctuation (-1/2 for each error)

Formal Report
Pronoun errors (-1/2 for each error) Modifier errors (-1/2 for each error) Parallel structure (-1/2 for each error) Diction (-1/2 for each error) Other (-1/2 for each error) Content Subtotal:________/75 Minus errors:____________/25 FINAL GRADE: ___________/100