Complete the formal analytical report that you described in Project 2, your topic-approval proposal. The report must do the following:
define a problem,
analyze the criteria for a satisfactory solution,
propose one or more alternative solutions, and
argue for the solution that satisfies the criteria best.
The problem may involve an institutional, technical, or public policy issue that you are working on or have worked on in your other courses; or it may be something related to an organization to which you belong; or it may be related to a job that you’ve held or now hold; or it may be a new area that you are interested in.
The solution to the problem may involve coming up with an original design, choosing between available alternatives, or providing needed information. See this report as a kind of “final exam” for our course-a place to demonstrate everything that you’ve learned about writing in this course.
The Rhetorical Situation
For the purposes of this report, you should find a situation in which you are writing the report to a primary reader who has the authority to reject or use your work. So the primary goal of your report is to convince this reader to adopt your recommended solution(s). The report may also have secondary audiences as well, for example, it may serve as a plan for the technical staff who will implement the solution and as an historical record of the decision-making process for future readers.
The problem situation should be real. A real situation is one that you have actually encountered: it might involve a current or former employer, a specific office or department within the University, or a service group to which you belong.
Audience and Style
Your report should be written directly to a person within your real situation who has the authority to decide whether to accept your recommendations. Your tone should be appropriate to the situation–in most cases it will be fairly formal.
Body of Report
All reports should introduce a problem, analyze criteria for a solution, evaluate several solutions against the criteria, and recommend the best solution.
Front and End Matter
Your report should include the following:
a letter or memo of transmittal
a cover/title page
an executive summary (An executive summary is the entire report in a “nutshell.” That includes problem, methodology, conclusion(s), recommendation(s.) Plan on preparing one page and use single spacing, short paragraphs, headings, and bullet points or numbered lists just as you will do in the body of the report.)
a table of contents
at least one or two visual aids
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