Recommendation Report

I. GOALS

For the Final Project, you will compose the document you introduced and outlined in Proposal – Final Submission. Based on the feedback I provided you, in addition to the additional primary and secondary research you accomplished, you will compose a report that attempts to solve/meet the knowledge, training, or other gap within the accessible context you’ve chosen.

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The Final Project is not only the report itself, but all of the pieces one might include to provide a complete and credible submission that a gatekeeper and primary audience members. In more informal professional/academic environments, some of these items might not always be required (indeed, every context will likely be different in one way or another), but for this assignment everyone will provide all of the pieces listed under the Requirements section below.

II. REQUIREMENTS

For the final project you will be creating a recommendation report, according to the general format provided here (Links to an external site.).
The final project should be double-spaced and, at minimum, 2,500 words (EXCLUDING the FRONT and BACK matter items mentioned further down the page).
The final project should be completed in MLA format:
MLA Formatting and Style Guide (Links to an external site.)
MLA Formatting Youtube Videos (Links to an external site.)
Sample Annotated Bibliography Entries
As detailed, the main sections of your report (with a 2,500 word minimum) will include:
Introduction
Like the Introduction and Context section of Proposal – Final Submission, here you are identifying the problem for your intended audience and explaining the reason behind the document you are creating.
IMPORTANT: The audience has changed. Your instructor and class are no longer the intended audience of this document (though of course we will be reviewing during the drafting process). Therefore, while some of the points you raised and sources you used in your proposal might be the same, your audience’s needs and expectations have changed. It is up to you to determine what approach will be most effective. In this case, simply copying and pasting your proposal into this section won’t be appropriate.
Summary
If you are writing on a highly technical subject (such as equipment or procedures in a research lab), potentially there is a great deal of relevant background research that needs to be provided for your audience to serve as a foundation for moving forward with your document.
For other writers, this section might be the place where you provide all of your secondary research as a means to establishing your problem. This won’t always be the case, as discussed below, in which case you may determine that a Summary section is unnecessary for your project.
Methods
As mentioned, a recommendation report like we are writing can be considered a process document, similar to a lab report, in which much of what you are doing is explaining to the reader the steps you took to arrive at your final conclusions and recommendations. In Methods, you are providing a short overview of the types of research you did to conduct your study.
Each of you will mention your various Primary Research Activities.
Many/most of you might also decide to include your secondary research methods. If secondary research helped you to determine your potential solutions, which then helped you arrive at your final recommendation, then you will want to discuss your secondary research approach as well.
Primary research results, as mentioned later, should appear in separate appendices, not the bibliography. When referencing your primary research throughout the text, include, for example “(Appendix A)” or “(Appendix I)” at the end of the relevant sentence, just like other citations.
Results
If you have both primary and secondary research approaches, you will first want to determine what order to present them. If secondary research was conducted before you approached your primary research, then mention them in this order in Methods, and then present the results in that order here.
For both primary and secondary research sections, you will likely find it beneficial (and more reader-friendly) to break into additional sub-sections (Survey 1, Interview 1, Case Studies, etc).
The point here i to highlight the most important results from your research which will then serve as a foundation for your future sections. Interpretation and discussion will come later.
Discussion of Results
In this section, your goal is to arrive at the various potential solutions that will be under consideration for the final recommendation(s).
As the next logical step in the process, you are saying that based on the primary and secondary research discussed in the previous sections, you have identified a,b,c (and x,y,z) options.
Here you may further describe and consider the pros and cons, and anything else, about each item independently. In the next section you will compare/contrast the actual options.
Conclusions
In most papers you’ve written, the “Conclusion” is the final section. Here, “Conclusions” (with an “s”) is somewhat different.
Now that you have described your process to your reader, given your results, and identified potential options, now your goal is to compare and contrast those various options based on the most important criteria you’ve determined.
In this final analytical section, you are finally putting everything together, showing the reader the logical progression in solving the problem you identified at the beginning.
When many options and criteria are under consideration, many writers like to introduce a decision matrix, as described here (Links to an external site.).
Recommendations
Based on all of the research and analysis you’ve conducted, here you arrive at your final recommendation(s). Here you describe what your intended readers should do, how they should do it, and steps for accomplishing them.
REMINDER:

As discussed in LM7: Primary Research, you must have a minimum of two forms of primary research (using interviews and/or surveys), an explanation and the results of which must appear in separate appendices at the end of your document (examples here (Links to an external site.)).
The following items ARE NOT included in the 2,500 word minimum mentioned above.

Front Matter (in this order; see below for more details on each item):

Memo addressed to me
Audience analysis including descriptions of gatekeeper, primary, secondary, and tertiary audience members. Also include Social Media Infographic – Final Submission
Cover Letter addressed to your gatekeeper
Cover/Title Page
Table of Contents
Back Matter (following the report):

Works Consulted List (a bibliography of 10+ sources)
Appendices including Final Project Primary Research Submission: Screen shots of email exchanges, Interview Transcripts, Tabulated Survey Results
Relevant, Audience-Appropriate Graphics, including data tables, charts, graphs, maps, and blueprints (if available)
Glossary of Terms (if necessary)
Anything else to support your recommendations to your audience (if necessary)
Explanation of Addendum

Memo (Minimum one page, single-spaced): Here you will describe your goals for the final project, highlighting your experiences and providing analysis of peer review, your visit to the Writing Center, and conferences (if you attended). You should update me on any changes made to or information learned about the problem you’re addressing, your audiences, or anything else relevant, since the Proposal assignment. Be as detailed as possible while explaining the decision-making process that went into your final submission.

At the end, please also provide more general comments about your experience in the course overall.
Audience Analysis: this is the same information provided at the proposal stage. For many of you, the information you provide here regarding your gatekeeper, primary, secondary, and tertiary audiences will remain exactly the same (though you still might benefit from adding slightly more information). For others, because your projects have changed,or other issues have come to light, this analysis will contain all new information. Regardless, here you want to provide as much specific detail about your audience members, including names, titles, relationship to you, and relationship to the problem being discussed. Also, remember to include Social Media Infographic – Final Submission.

Cover Letter (or Letter of Transmittal): Your cover letter will be addressed to your gatekeeper. It will introduce your credentials, and serve as a pitch – a brief, attention-grabbing description – of your final project. You will likely use a three-paragraph structure. Introduce yourself, give a brief summary of the project, and thank the reader. One page max.

Cover Page: A one-page document with your project title (a title that clearly and succinctly identifies the topic of the document as well as the document type), your primary audience’s name, and your name. You may add other essential information you find necessary.

Table of Contents: This should include all Report sections appearing after the table of contents.

Glossary of Terms: You may find it useful to include a glossary for terms that may be unfamiliar to any members of your gatekeeper, primary, secondary, or tertiary audiences, as well as incidental audiences (mainly, me).

Citations: When using specific evidence and information from other people’s work, you must provide in-text citations in MLA format (Links to an external site.).

Graphics: Some of you will want to include charts, graphs, images, or other supporting visual data appropriate for your audiences’ needs. While some may fit directly into the text of the report itself, others might be better placed in there own appendix at the end.

II. FURTHER GUIDANCE

You must use page numbers.
You must fulfill all components of the assignment to receive a passing grade.
You’ll be graded not only on the scope of your research, your attention to your audience’s needs, the feasibility of your solution, and the tangible results of your work, but also on overall organization, clarity, and cohesiveness. This includes using correct grammar and carefully proofreading all documents.

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