Report Step-by-Step Guidelines
Selecting a topic
Formulating a work plan
Collecting data through surveys and interviews
Composing a rough draft
Writing a proposal and tentative bibliography
Writing a progress report
Preparing a final report
Giving a presentation
Formulating a Work Plan
Work plans are often written in the form of memos written by you, the researcher. Work plans include:
A statement of the problem
An analysis of the audience
A statement of the purpose of the report
A description of the research methodology
Background information necessary for the audience’s understanding
A review of planned areas of research
A brief bibliography (a minimum of 10 varied sources, current and timely)
A schedule of when each task will be accomplished (fixed established due dates assigned by researcher and project authorizer)
Collecting Data through Surveys and Interviews
To begin this process of collecting primary data, determine the purpose of the survey/questionnaire. That is, what is the hypothesis and what types of data do you need to prove the hypothesis? Interview people who have the information related to the report topic. Also, remember the audience for whom you are preparing the report—written and oral (instructor and classmates). Who is your intended audience besides these two audiences? Determine their needs and concerns. Are you undertaking these report for another audience such as an administrator, manager, supervisor?
Composing a Rough Draft
In this assignment, provide a rough draft consisting only of the introduction, body, and conclusions and/or recommendations. In the introduction describe the problem, the purpose, the methodology used for research, and any background information necessary. In the body section, describe and analyze the results of the research. Don’t worry about formatting at this stage. Formatting elements are important but don’t focus heavily on mechanics at this stage. Concentrate on the report content.
Writing a Progress Report
The progress report should be a one page memo explaining what has been accomplished, what is currently happening, and what needs to be completed. Progress reports accomplish the following:
They provide information about the involvement of the researcher(s)
They give researchers an opportunity to fine-tune the whole process
They prepare researchers for ongoing evaluation during the report process and for self-assessment at report completion.
The purpose of progress reports in the business world is to give managers the information they need to make vital decisions. Progress reports are the equivalent of employee evaluations, which are expected to include both negative and positive assessments.
Preparing a Final Report
This section should include the following parts:
Professional looking cover
Table of contents
List of tables, illustrations (if more than 3 are provided)
Synopsis (executive summary, abstract)
Letter of transmittal
Introduction (statement of the problem, purpose of the report, scope and limitiations, methodology, background/historical information)
Chapter 2—Body of the report (Findings)
Research findings (documented and clearly cited. Remember, one expert does not warrant an analytical report. Use multiple sources which are clearly cited.)
Chapter 3—Terminal Section of the report
Summary of the findings, conclusions, and/or recommendations
Appendixes (copy of the survey, handouts used in the presentation, visual aids not appropriate for inclusion in the body of the report, and so on)
Bibliography ( a minimum of 10 sources from a variety of sources. Two articles from the same source will only count as one source. Strong research is conducted by exploring a multitude of sources and attempting to give all sides of an issue.
*The final report will be graded based upon an established set of criteria to be posted at a later date.