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Presentation on theme: "FORMAL REPORT COMPONENTS"— Presentation transcript:


2 Basic Format Total pages, including appendices. No penalty for longer reports as long as appropriate writing style maintained. Single spaced, no indent, left justify only Page numbers in upper right corner 1 blank line between new paragraphs Final report must be bound, with loose letter of transmittal clipped to cover.

3 Headings Major section headings start a new page, 1 blank line after.
1 blank line before and after sub-headings. 3rd level subheadings must be easily distinguished from others There should be at least one sub-heading on each page (a whole page of text with no sub-heading will be penalized) No orphan headings.

4 HEADINGS Page 4 Sub-Heading
Note how easy it is to distinguish between the major, section heading and the sub-heading. Note that consistent spacing is used, skipping one line both before and after a sub-heading. Third-level headings. If used should be easy to distinguish from major, section headings and sub-headings.

5 Letter of Transmittal Announce the topic and explain who authorized it. Briefly describe the project and preview the conclusions – if the reader is supportive. Close expressing appreciation for assignment, suggesting follow-up actions, acknowledging the help of others, and offering to answer questions.

6 Title Page Balance the following lines:
Name of the report in all caps (e.g. Final Report) Receiver’s name, title, and organization Team name and team members Date submitted (month/year) No page number on title page (page 1 is executive summary)

7 FINAL REPORT XYZ Corporation Jane Smith, VP Marketing
Longhorn Consulting Bruce Springsteen, Faith Hill, Huey Lewis, Melissa Etheridge April 2006

8 Table of Contents Show the beginning page number where each report heading appears in the report (do not put page number range, just the first page number). Connect headings to page numbers with dots. Headings should be grammatically parallel Include major section headings and sub-headings No page number on TOC page

9 TABLE OF CONTENTS Executive Summary Introduction Background Purpose Scope Research Questions Report Organization Research and Analysis Methodology Findings Conclusions & Recommendations Appendices Appendix 1: Survey questions Appendix 2: Client proposal Appendix 3: PowerPoint slides

10 Executive Summary Include challenge statement (client focused)
a little background (type of organization, what they do, size, when established) SMART goal (team focused) a little research summary (techniques/sources used, research questions if have room) conclusions and recommendations (all, but summarized)

11 Executive Summary (cont)
This is first page of report (page 1) Typically 1-2 pages OK to copy/repeat portions of report in E.S

12 Introduction Background: Provide a full description of the client and the challenge. Purpose: Client’s perspective on the challenge/motivation for report (e.g. XYZ’s goal for this project is to....). Include significance of challenge (what difference will it make?). Scope: Clarify the scope and limitations of report. (include your SMART goal)

13 Introduction (cont) Research questions: from proposal – your broad, upper level questions/areas of investigation (NOT detailed survey questions). Must include benchmark question. Preview report’s organization. “The next section presents our research and analysis followed by our conclusions and recommendations.”

14 Research and Analysis Introductory paragraph for the section (this can also be used for executive summary) Methodology For all types of research provide: Goal for each piece of research (what is your question/hypothesis?) Data source For surveys give # surveys distributed, how distributed, how population chosen For observations give how, when, where observations occurred Refer to more detailed information in appendix

15 Research and Analysis Analysis/Research Findings
Goal = supply proof for conclusions Discuss, analyze, and interpret (don’t just give results, also say what they mean – particularly with benchmarking) Remember to report on all your research, including interviews with client and personal observations (discuss in methodology too) Support your findings with evidence (new) Provide summary paragraph of key findings and their significance at end of section

16 Research and Analysis Explain all graphs in writing
Arrange the findings in logical segments that follow your outline. Findings should be presented in the same order as discussed in methodology. Use clear, descriptive headings. Present “just the facts”, no opinions, no feelings. At end of section, introduce next section (conclusions and recommendations).

17 Conclusions/Recommendations
Conclusions: explain what the research findings mean in relation to the challenge. Recommendations: Start with a verb and suggest actions to address challenge. Enumerate conclusions and bullet related recommendations. Conclusion answers the question, “why will your recommendation work?” Conclusions are clearly drawn from the presented research (“based on....”) (new) Introduce section with challenge statement and significance Provide a final focus paragraph that relates recommendations back to SMART goal.

Based on our survey results and literature review, volunteer retention is increased when volunteers report feeling appreciated. Initiate a volunteer reward program to recognize hours of service and leadership (see appendix for an example from abc organization). Based on the experience similar organizations, volunteer retention is increased when volunteers report their skills are utilized and they feel part of the organization. Introduce an initial interview system to identify the skills of volunteers. Match new volunteers with a mentor to speed the volunteer assimilation.

19 Appendix Begin section with a cover sheet that includes a list of all items in appendix Items should be numbered and titled (e.g. Appendix 1: Volunteer Survey). If difficult to put a number/title on the appendix item, use a cover sheet with the item’s number/title. Include items of interest to some, but not all, readers (questionnaires, detailed budgets, etc). Include a reference list showing all the works cited and consulted arranged alphabetically by author/source. For help with reference formatting, you can consult the website EasyBib at Include signed copy of your client proposal. Include your PowerPoint slides. (new) Include your team agreement.

20 Format/Content Considerations
Use present or past tense except for conclusions/ recommendations, which may be future tense. Stay positive (no “problems”)! Any negative information should be “buried” in the findings section and reported briefly, factually. No “we feel” or “we think” outside of the recommendations – just the facts.


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