Formal Report

Type: Group


Your team will identify and possibly partner with a small non-profit organization, for-profit business, or student group to help them solve a business challenge.  You will analyze a real business situation, research potential solutions and recommend an appropriate solution or solutions.  Working in a team, you will design, develop, and write a formal report for your “client” by the end of the semester.

The Rhetorical Situation :For the purposes of this report, you should find a situation in which you are writing the report to a primary reader who has the authority to reject or use your work. The primary goal of your report is to convince this reader to adopt your solution. Remember your report may also have secondary audiences, as well—for example, it may serve as a plan for the technical staff who will implement the solution and as an historical record of the decision-making process for future readers. Of course, your instructor will also read and evaluate your report.

The problem situation should be real. A real situation is one that you have actually encountered: it might involve a current or former employer, the university, your major department, or a service group to which you belong.


Your group will produce a formal recommendation report of 12-18 pages (including supplemental material).  Your report will include all of the following parts:

  • Cover Page
  • Title Page
  • Letter or Memo of Transmittal
  • Table of Contents
  • List of Illustrations
  • Executive Summary,
  •  Introduction, Body and Conclusion (including at least two visuals)
  • Bibliography
  • Appendix.

Evaluation Criteria

Content: The report introduces a focused, significant problem, analyzes criteria for a solution, analyzes at least one solution and recommends the best course of action. The report contains all the research necessary for a persuasive argument. The analysis is logical and complete. The audience is clearly identified and appropriate.

Prefatory and Supplemental Parts: The report contains all the required prefatory and supplemental parts. Each part is well-written, appropriate to the rhetorical situation and follows the guidelines set forth in the textbook and in class.

Organization: The entire report is clearly, obviously and effectively organized according to the rhetorical situation.

Readability and Design: The report is highly readable, utilizing effective headings, subheadings, lists, previews, reviews and other transition elements. The report is attractively and professionally designed.

Style: The report is well written. There are very few, if any, sentence-level or grammar errors. The report uses appropriate vocabulary and tone. Each sentence is clear and effective. Paragraphs are short, unified and coherent.

Visuals: The report contains visuals. The visuals are appropriate in content, type and emphasis. The visuals are incorporated correctly into the text, according to the guidelines set forth in the textbook and in class.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email