Recommendation Report Project Overview
In this project, you will work collaboratively to create a Recommendation Report. This report presents a detailed understanding of a problem that affects the USF community (however you interpret that “community”), and then recommends a solution to this problem. The recommendation report hinges on research. You will thoroughly research the problem and then provide research that persuades your audience that the solution you recommend is the right one for the given situation. Research for the recommendation report works to prove to the audience that the recommended action is an achievable, workable, and appropriate for the problem given the practical constraints (i.e., resources, budget, time, personnel, etc.). Recommendation reports address the following questions:
- What problem are you going to solve?
- How are you going to solve it?
- Is it practical to pursue this solution?
- What are benefits of the solution?
- How much will the work cost?
- When and how will you complete the work?
Again, the answers to these must be based on research, not imagination. Thorough research gives the audience the information they need to fully understand the problem and assess your solution.
- A research summary presenting your initial understanding of a problem impacting the USF community and some potential solutions you will explore as a team
- A team charter memo to the instructor
- An individual analysis of different kinds of reports and their common features
- A draft of a recommendation report
- A final recommendation report
- A team evaluation to let me know how everything went from your individual perspective
Sample Format for Recommendation Report
This format is simply an example. Each report might look very different, but this is a sample you can follow or adapt.
- Title Page
- Table of Contents
- If you’ve never used the automated table of contents feature in MS Word, this is an excellent opportunity to learn how. If you’re ever hitting the period (“.”) button over an over again to make the table of contents look professional, there are easier, quicker ways.
- Executive Summary
- There is a dedicated short assignment for this component to underscore its importance.
- Context/background information for the problem
- A brief summary of the proposed solution and its key benefits or features
- Explanation of problem or need
- Causes of problem or need
- Consequences of inaction
- Details of the solution
- Benefits of the solution
- Ways in which the solution satisfies decision criteria
- Schedule for implementing the solution
- You may not need one. If your conclusion is an especially clear statement of the report’s most important and compelling points, you may have just written a very good executive summary. For the professional proposals I consult on, I often recommend cutting the conclusion and using it as an executive summary. Look at how other recommendation reports end and see which strategy would work best for your report.
- I don’t care which citation format you use as long as you use it consistently. Some formats might be more appropriate to your subject matter than others. IEEE format is helpful for engineers in many disciplines. MLA format is helpful to fewer engineers.
How long should it be? I’m not trying to make this harder than it needs to be, so I will tell you that I imagine your report will be between 8 and 12 pages (or 2,000 to 3,000 words). Each report may vary significantly based on the amount of research you need to communicate and the technical complexity of the problem and solution. THERE ARE NO EXTRA POINTS FOR MAKING THIS REPORT LONGER THAN IT NEEDS TO BE. IN FACT, QUITE THE OPPOSITE. Strive, as a team, to write the shortest report possible that includes all of the necessary information a decision-maker would need, based on your research. The more quickly and easily I can read your report, understand your problem and solution, and arrive at a decision, the higher your grade will be. This is not a trick.
How many visual elements? Three (3) seems good to me, but really think about the points you’re trying to make and the data you’re presenting. Look for opportunities to strengthen the main points of the report with visual elements (charts, diagrams, tables, images, etc.). You are being graded on your ability to locate and exploit opportunities for visual elements and text to work together to achieve a common rhetorical objective. If you can do that at least three times, you satisfy this requirement.
As far as the overall design. The report should look professional. That means a lot of different things. If I were on your team, I would suggest a minimalist approach (like the one the Festo SmartBird report takes) and not try to get too fancy while still making use of color, section headings, etc. If someone on your team has strong design skills, by all means, get a little fancy.
Grammar/Spelling/Tone? The report should be error-free and appropriate in tone to your professional context. Focus on being brief and clear. Those are also the easiest kinds of sentences to check for errors.
So we should do exactly what’s written here? You can. Or you could try to impress me with the way your team develops an even more effective writing strategy for your report. Also, as your team progresses, you can run ideas by me (before or after the draft).
Please review the uploaded paper since it discuss the problem and possible solutions