Summarize and/or paraphrase the information instead of simply copying and pasting it.


Some of the most valuable skills you can have for both upper level education and the workforce are the abilities to
identify a problem, recommend a solution, conduct research, and prepare a report. There are many different types of
reports – informational, analytical, feasibility, recommendation, progress, and so on.

For this assignment, you will be writing a memo report wherein you gather information and present facts that help
readers understand a problem and suggest a solution or solutions to the problem. You will be using your problem solving
and critical thinking skills for this assignment. You will be practicing 4 types of skills common in technical
communication – analysis, proposal, instruction, & use of graphics. You will analyze a problem, propose a solution,
instruct the implementation of the solution, and choose & incorporate graphics related to the topic.


TOPIC: This report will be based on the topic that was approved from Exercise 1 – Proposal. If you don’t complete
Exercise 1, you still MUST get my approval of your topic before proceeding. Below are the guidelines for writing and
formatting this report. You are allowed to make up any reasonable details about the employer and the situation, but the
problem, solution, and research must be real; however, I realize that once you begin writing the report, it may be
necessary to make some changes to the information presented in exercises 1 & 2 as long as the new information follows
the same guidelines from those exercises. You absolutely cannot make up any research sources.

· Length: 1,500 words (+ or – 100 words) including the works cited page; points will be deducted for going
under or over
· Font: Use Times New Roman 12 font style for the body; use Times New Roman 14 for the titles and headings.
· Spacing: Technical reports are always single-spaced within sections. Double-space between sections.
· Sections: Use headings to divide each main section; use sub-headings if necessary. NOTE: don’t
automatically copy the wording of the headings from my sample or the textbook sample; tailor your headings to your
· Page numbering: number each page at the upper right hand corner (insert page numbers via the computer
program; don’t type them in manually)

ORGANIZATION & CONTENT OF THE REPORT: See the sample report about “Sick Building Syndrome” that is posted in this
assignment folder. It will give you the basics for the formatting and organization of the report. Follow this basic
organization and USE SECTION HEADINGS. Since this is an internal report, it will be formatted as a memo, so make sure
you follow proper memo guidelines.

NOTE: Chapter 19 in the textbook explains elements of this type of report, but it is far more extensive than I am asking
for, so follow my sample and the below sections and not the textbook sample. Chapter 14 will help you with memo

· Company name & logo: use the same company name as you did in Exercise 1. Include a simple company logo.
· Memo Heading: use standard memo headings – To, From, Date, Subject. Put your names and titles & “sign”
your initials after your name & title.
· Purpose statement: give a 1 or 2 statement reminding the reader of the purpose of the report and a very short
overview of the report’s contents.
· Problem: Identify & explain the problem; use your research to support your findings and claims
· Solution(s): Explain the solutions (there could be 1 or more than 1 depending on the problem)
· Conclusion: give an overall summary of your memo and any follow up comments.
· Works Cited: in addition to in-text citations, create a full formatted MLA style works cited page.

RESEARCH & DOCUMENTATION GUIDELINES: Consult Exercise 2 specifications for details about the research & the sources for
this report; below are basic format guidelines for the report.
· Use 3-4 sources in the report with a good comparative usage of the sources; in other words, don’t rely too
heavily on only 1 source.
· All sources must be documented and cited according to MLA style (see the MLA Appendix beginning on page 665
in the textbook; you can also consult this resource:
· Use in-text citations (parenthetical references) after each cited paragraph. It is important to demonstrate
to the reader just how you used the research. Using signal phrases is a good way to do that; for instance, you could
write, “According to the James Jones, security expert….” (followed by a quote or a summary of the research).
· Research is your back-up; it is there to prove to your reader that you consulted with experts when presenting
· I expect you mainly to summarize and/or paraphrase the information instead of simply copying and pasting it.
Statistical information, of course, can be duplicated as found.
· You will be submitting the report to Turnitin to make sure you are not borrowing too closely or using exact
words too much.
· A final report with a Turnitin match above 50% will earn 0 points (that’s an F) on the final report and a
report of over 20% will receive a 1 point deduction per each % over 20.

GRAPHICS: This report requires the use of graphics, which can vary depending on your topic. Check Exercise 3 for
feedback on your choice of graphics.
Follow these rules for incorporating graphics (see Chapter 12 (particularly page 310) for further information about
using graphics):
· Place the graphic in an appropriate location
· Introduce the graphic in the text
· Explain the graphic in the text
· Make the graphic clearly visible
· Make the graphic accessible

REPORT DRAFT: If you want to submit a draft to check your source matches, I will create a draft Turnitin dropbox for
that. If you want me to review your draft, email me and ask me to; I will review a draft up to 48 hours before the
on-time deadline.

· You are allowed to submit the research report late with no penalty if submitted within 2 hours of the on-time
· Late research reports will be accepted up to 5 days late with a 15 point per day (24 hours) late penalty.
· If the research report is submitted after the 5 day late period, it will earn 0 points, which is an F.
Clearly, not submitting this report will result in an F for your final grade since it is weighted at almost 50% of your
course grade.


Your final formal report is worth 190 points and will be evaluated based on the following general criteria:

· Report has a clear statement of purpose (reason for the report)
· A clear explanation of the problem with research to support any claims
· A solution or solutions that fully address the problem; implementation & benefits are fully & clearly
· Data is accurate, reliable, and fully interpreted from appropriate & credible sources
· Logical, coherent, and easy to follow organization with appropriate section headings
· Use of appropriate, clear, & well integrated graphics.
· Information that is largely summarized or paraphrased, not copied (no more than 20% exact match with
· Sources are appropriately cited according to MLA formatting
· Follows required formatting specifications as outlined above
· Free of major grammar or style errors
· Direct, concise, & precise writing and language usage
· Submitted by the specified deadline date

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