2 Basic FormatTotal pages, including appendices. No penalty for longer reports as long as appropriate writing style maintained.Single spaced, no indent, left justify onlyPage numbers in upper right corner1 blank line between new paragraphsFinal 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 othersThere 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 TransmittalAnnounce 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 organizationTeam name and team membersDate submitted (month/year)No page number on title page (page 1 is executive summary)
7 FINAL REPORT XYZ Corporation Jane Smith, VP Marketing Longhorn ConsultingBruce Springsteen, Faith Hill, Huey Lewis, Melissa EtheridgeApril 2006
8 Table of ContentsShow 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 parallelInclude major section headings and sub-headingsNo page number on TOC page
9 TABLE OF CONTENTSExecutive SummaryIntroduction Background Purpose Scope Research Questions Report OrganizationResearch and Analysis Methodology FindingsConclusions & RecommendationsAppendices 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 pagesOK to copy/repeat portions of report in E.S
12 IntroductionBackground: 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 AnalysisIntroductory paragraph for the section (this can also be used for executive summary)MethodologyFor all types of research provide:Goal for each piece of research (what is your question/hypothesis?)Data sourceFor surveys give # surveys distributed, how distributed, how population chosenFor observations give how, when, where observations occurredRefer to more detailed information in appendix
15 Research and Analysis Analysis/Research Findings Goal = supply proof for conclusionsDiscuss, 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 significanceProvide a final focus paragraph that relates recommendations back to SMART goal.
18 CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS 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 AppendixBegin section with a cover sheet that includes a list of all items in appendixItems 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 atInclude 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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