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The formal report

Good news! You are hired!

Your last and largest collaborative project of the term is to conduct the research outlined in your collaborative project 3 proposal and present your findings and recommendations in a formal report (a "recommendation report") of roughly 20-25 pages (including front matter and end matter). Obviously, to understand what a "recommendation report" entails, you will need to read Technical Communication chapter 18 before proceeding very far in the work.

Team leaders: We will keep the same two groups in place as with the preceding collaborative assignments, but I'm leaving it up to you to determine how you organize yourselves. If you want to work cooperatively without a designated "project manager" you can give it a try; if you want to draw straws to pick a team leader, that'll work; or if any of you want to volunteer or nominate a classmate for the job, that might do as well. Whether or not you designate an actual project leader beforehand, someone will still have to step up an initiate at least each group's first meeting.

Due date and submission: Friday, December 7th, by 11:00 a.m.; each of you, separately, should submit your group's final report in PDF form to the Formal Report dropbox in D2L.

Report composition: The final draft of the report should include each of the following, all carefully formatted, thoughtfully composed, and meticulously edited and proofread:

Title page
bulletAbstract (100-150 words)
bulletTable of contents
bulletList of tables and figures or other illustrations (if any)
bulletExecutive summary (300-350 words)
bullet12-15-page report body (the text of the report itself should be roughly 3500 words minimum).
bulletGlossary (if needed)

bulletBibliography (Works cited list in MLA style)
bulletAppendix(es) (if needed)

Separate from the report, but placed first in the PDF for final submission, include a transmittal letter addressed to Dr. Kevin Cantwell, Associate Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies.

Research help: Remember that you have access to great help from Graduate Studies Librarian Dana Casper (see her widget on our course's D2L homepage).

Process requirements: Include each of these elements in your project planning:

  • Weekly meetings, at least, via videoconference or telephone.

  • An audience and use profile sheet (modified version of the proposal's AUP is fine): post this item in the online workspace, though it doesn't need to be submitted formally with the finished product.

  • Complete an keep updated a project planning sheet in Google docs, as you have with other collaborations (include scheduled meetings).

  • Grant me access to your online workspace.

  • These five documents, composed separately but which form, collectively, Collaborative Project 4 (each submitted separately to D2L by just one team member):
Document (each longer than a single page) Due date
Project revision memo
(containing an updated or revised Research Methods, or "Proposal Tasks" section of your research proposal [Collaborative project 3], particularly if I suggested your rethinking of any of the proposed "tasks"; and an updated Gantt chart reflecting changes in tasks and updating actual dates for completion)

Wednesday, November 7th, 9:00 p.m.



Progress report 1 Tuesday, November 13th, 9:00 p.m.
Progress report 2 Saturday, November 17th, 9:00 p.m.
Progress report 3 Monday, November 26th, 9:00 p.m.
Meeting minutes
(from only the last of your weekly online meetings—videoconference or telephone)
Wednesday, December 5th at the very latest


Use me as a resource to help with any part of this report. Email me if you have questions or to set up a meeting or phone call if needed. And while you have free rein to contact anyone you like for the research, please do be respectful of university administrators' time. Especially with staffing questions, consider me your first resource.

Each of you, separately, submit the finished product, comprised of transmittal letter and the full report in a single PDF, to the Formal Report dropbox in D2L.