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Apr 16, 2024

Assignment Task

This memo explains your formal report assignment. Please ask for clarification if there is anything you do not understand. Your formal report will be written using Times New Roman,

The purpose of this assignment is to show your mastery of the principles of formatting, audience analysis, tone, and purpose. They all come together in this one assignment. It represents the culmination of all the lectures you have been listening to and the work you have been doing in this class. Make sure that you pay attention to your audience’s needs when you are preparing your final copy, and come see me if you need any help or just want me to look over the assignment before you turn it in.

Once you turn in your proposal assignment, you should consider your topic approved. If, at any time, your report takes a substantially different direction from that discussed in your proposal, you should discuss this with me.

I will upload a copy of the grading form to eCampus. Read it to familiarize yourself with the criterion your report will be graded on. Please ask questions about this assignment if you need to. Since this assignment constitutes 25% of your final grade it is imperative that you understand exactly what is necessary to make the best grade possible on this report. This assignment can be very intimidating, so I encourage you to ask any and all (even the seemingly embarrassing) questions and to read this handout carefully.

General Procedure

Keep copies of all of the graded assignments that led up to the formal report. These include your audience assignment and proposal, as well as the progress report, graphics, and chapter draft assignments you will be doing later in the semester. I prefer that you include the graded copies of these assignments to show that I have approved your report topic and focus.

Follow the order set out in this memo when preparing your formal report and bind the elements together in this order using a coil binding. A formal report must be bound to be considered complete and professional. Also use either a card stock or vinyl front and back cover.

Whenever possible, I have included a description of the information that should be included in each of the required sections.

Organize your report with the following elements in the following order.

  1. Memo of Transmittal to me. Use this memo to tell the purpose of the document, the problem were you trying to solve, any changes that have been made since the original proposal was submitted, and a final cost analysis (compare to original budget). Also indicate whether you will allow me to use your formal report as a class sample in the future.

  2. Letter of Transmittal to your client. Indicate the reason for the report, draw special attention to chapters if needed, give the reasons for format decisions (chapters, sections, divisions) and recommendations for use of the document. Also provide acknowledgements (if necessary) and indicate your availability to answer questions. Use the sentence “If I can answer any questions about the report, please call me at (XXX) XXX-XXXX.” Be aware of the punctuation of this sentence.

  3. Because the first impression that your report makes is important, try to give your cover some sort of visual impact. This does not mean that you have to provide a graphic, but think about the formatting of the information that is required for the cover. Try to avoid falling into the trap of placing all of the information at the top of the page, using Times New Roman.

  4. A descriptive abstract is a brief discussion of what the report topic is and the information contained in the report. It should also make a recommendation for how the document should be used. A descriptive abstract for a manual on CAD documents standards might read:

  5. This manual establishes a set of standards for use in the production of CAD documents. It is to be used as a guideline when working on CAD projects. It covers topics such as file structuring, text and line types, along with proper layer naming conventions. To insure that these standards are followed throughout the company, copies of this document should be distributed to all engineers.” of the report. It is up to you if you decide if you should include third level headings.

  6. List of Illustrations. This may be broken down into a List of Tables and a List of Figures if you have more than ten of each. If so, each becomes a separate page.

  7. Executive Summary. This is addressed to the client paying for your report. Tell your client something about the problem you hope to solve, why this recommendation report is the right solution, how the document should be used, and any other information you feel your reader needs to know. Preview any major conclusions and make recommendations on what the client should now do with this report. Much of this information may be taken from your proposal, but it should not be a direct cut and paste from the proposal.

  8. Introduction. This section begins the body of the report; it should be directed to the reader or audience who will actually use the information in the report (the primary reader/client). Introduce the topic and its importance to the reader and preview the chapters. Include the chapter number and title and explain what is discussed in each chapter.

  9. Body of the Report. Should be completely self-contained. Begins with the introduction, and the entire body of the report is addressed to the primary reader. You must break the body of the report into chapters and include chapters titled Background, Methods, Criteria, Evaluation, Recommendations, and Conclusions. Some of these chapters can be combined or renamed.

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