For this project, you will write a recommendation report. One way to think of a recommendation report is that it identifies a problem and proposes a solution to that problem. It analyzes and compares multiple solutions, but ultimately it forwards one solution as the best option based on its analysis of the information collected, and the criteria based on the audience’s needs.
For example: a student could write a recommendation report that attempts to address an office manager’s concern that the office is producing too much waste (garbage). After defining the problem by researching the current degree of waste produced by the office, the student then inquires into options for reducing this waste. This might include using different packaging for outgoing mail, reusing envelopes for internal communications, or utilizing digital documents instead of print documents when possible. The criteria used to determine whether certain solutions are viable could be such things as price, convenience, etc. Based on the information collected about the waste being produced, and research into strategies for reducing waste, this student would make some specific recommendations supported by the results of his or her research.
In some cases, it’s not a bad idea to write a recommendation report to yourself, choosing a major decision that you need to make and doing research to guide that decision. In the past students have used the recommendation report assignment as a way to help them make major decisions, such as what graduate school to go to, or what car to buy. Other students have been able to find real-world problems at work for which they were able to make recommendations. The problem or question that your recommendation report addresses is up to you, but you must have your topic approved. The instructor will read your report proposal memo and let you know whether your topic and approach are appropriate.
Components of the Report
Your finished report will be accompanied by a transmittal letter that can be saved in a separate file or placed within the report after the cover page. Although there are various formats for recommendation reports, the final report for this class should have the following sections (some of which will likely be broken into several subsections):
Cover Page – see the textbook for appropriate content and format
Transmittal Letter, on letterhead you design; this letter does 3 things: 1. lets the reader know what is being sent and why, 2. establishes goodwill with the reader, 3. provides expectations for response (i.e. “please call me by Next Tuesday . . . )
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations (if applicable), lists every titled chart or figure
Executive Summary, in which you summarize the rest of the report
Introduction, in which you describe the overall problem you will address and provide background information
Methods, in which you describe the research and analysis methods you employed to inquire into the problem and reach your conclusion; this should also address the criteria you apply to the information you collect in order to make your recommendation
Results, in which you present the results of your inquiries
Conclusions, in which you articulate what the results mean (i.e. you analyze the information you found)
Recommendations, in which you make your specific recommendations
Appendix, (if applicable) in which any supplementary documents are placed

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