● Understand and apply the conventions of a report
● Address a specific problem and develop realistic potential solutions to that problem
● Integrate evidence gathered from research to support an argument
● Use data visualizations to integrate data in support of an argument
● Apply the stylistic conventions of professional writing to craft an effective argument
● Apply principles of document design to create a visually appealing document designed for readability
● Use visual design principles to develop appealing and appropriate slides
● Practice effective presentation skills
● Work as a team to collaboratively produce a successful formal report
In this project, you will work collaboratively to create a Recommendation Report. This report presents a detailed understanding of a problem, 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. Thorough research gives the audience the information they need to fully understand the problem and assess your solution.
A persuasive presentation is key to making a successful recommendation that would result in action. Presentations can be given in the final week of the semester. Student teams should create and present a final presentation that outlines their report, including a description of the problem, description of the solution, and plans for implementation. The presentation format would follow the format of the written report with rhetorical choices to edit content and facilitate maximum audience impact.
Successful collaborative writing is a major objective of the project. You will be asked to consider your work habits and the implications of those habits when working collaboratively. In teamwork, leverage team member strengths in the workflow and in assigning duties–i.e., math skills, attention to detail, writing skills, visual design skills, strong organizational skills. Also build into your workflow ways to negotiate work habits like procrastination or perfectionism to ensure that all team members complete work on time and up to the teams specifications. The initial memo deliverable includes a Team Charter that asks you to be both critically reflexive and honest with the team about your work habits, and to think through how the team will work together. Collaborative skills are further developed through regular Team Progress Reports. The efficacy of the team’s collaborative efforts is reflected in the Individual Team Evaluations submitted at the end of the semester.
You will have several components to the team project:
● Memo to the Instructor
○ explains the team’s planned course of action for the project
○ Includes Work Plan and Team Charter (if teams were changed)
● Formal Recommendation Report
● Progress Reports
● Self and Team Evaluations
Sample Format for Recommendation Report
● Letter of Transmittal
● Title Page
● Table of Contents
● Informative Abstract
○ Context/Background Information
○ Purpose statement and top-down strategy
○ Explanation of problem or need
○ Causes of problem or need
○ Details of the solution
○ Benefits of the solution
○ Ways in which the solution satisfies decision criteria
○ Schedule for implementing the solution (Consider including a Gantt chart)
○ Personnel and assigned duties of each member of the team
● Call to Action
○ Underscore benefits of recommendation and ask reader to act