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Recommendation reports

are similar to informational

reports except they go
further, requiring the
writer to offer suggestions
about what the reader
should do next.
Recommendation as
questions (---)
Answers to questions can
range from do nothing to
study this some more to
take the following actions
immediately (Markel 513)
Recommendation reports can
ask many questions. Some
examples include:
What should we do about
Problem X?
Should we do Function X?
Should we use Technology
A or Technology B to do
function X?
We currently use Method A
to do Function X. Should
we be using Method B?
Recommendation reports often come after the proposal
and progress reports of a major project, but they can also
be standalone documents (i.e. if your company asks you to
recommend whether your company should offer
employment comp pay vs. overtime pay)-you would be
asked to research the subject and write a recommendation
This last report is also called a final report, a project
report, a completion report, or simply a report.
Most rec reports discuss questions of feasibility
Remember to always be honest in your report (even if the
results are disappointing)

Planning-Analyze your audience, determine your purpose,
and visualize the deliverable: the report you will submit.
Conduct appropriate secondary and primary research
Drafting-Write a draft of the report
Revising-Thing again about audience and purpose and
make necessary changes
Editing-Improve the writing in the report, start with the
largest issues of development and emphasis and working
down to the sections, paragraphs, sentences, and
individual words.
Proofreading-Go through the draft slowly, making sure you
have written what you wanted to write. Get help from
Identify the problem

Establish criteria for responding to
the problem

Determine the options

Study each option according to the

Draw conclusions about each option

Formulate a recommendation
What is not working?

i.e. any solution to our problem
must reduce defects by 50% and cost
under $50,000
List the possible courses of action

Analyze each option and ensure it
meets the criteria

Determine whether each option
meets the criteria

Based on the conclusions, present
Introduction-the introduction helps readers understand the
technical discussion that follows. Consider these questions:
What is the subject of the report?-if the report follows other
documents (proposals, etc.) you can copy this info from
one of those documents, modifying as necessary
What is the purpose of the report?-not the same as the
purpose of the project-this is about the report
What is the background of the report?-Include this info
even if you have presented it before because some readers
might not have read previous documents
What are your sources of information?-briefly describe
primary and secondary research to prepare your readers for
a more detailed discussion of sources in other sections of
the report
What is the scope of the report?-indicate the topics you are
including, as well as those you are not
What are the most significant findings?-summarize the most
significant findings of the project
What are your recommendations?-in a short report containing a
few simple recommendations, include those recommendations
in the introduction. In a lengthy report containing many
complex recommendations, briefly summarize them in the intro,
then refer readers to the more detailed discussion in the rec
What is the organization of the report?-indicate your
organizational pattern so that readers can understand where you
are going and why
What key terms are you using in the report?-the intro is an
appropriate place to define new terms. If you need to define
many terms, place the definitions in a glossary and refer readers
to it in the intro.
The methods section answers What did you do?
Consider your readers knowledge of the field, their
perception of you, and the uniqueness of the project
and their reason for reading the report. Provide
enough info to help readers understand what you did
and why you did it that way.
This section answers the question: What did you
see? Results are the data you have discovered and
compiled. Present the results objectively, without
comment. Consider how much your audience knows
about the subject.
Conclusions answer the question What does it
mean? They are the implications of the results. You
need to weigh the results carefully and decide if they
point clearly to a single meaning.

Recommendations answer the question, What should
we do? They do not always flow directly from
conclusions. Remember to always consider
recommending that the organization take no action,
or no action at this time.
Letter of Transmittal-This introduces the primary reader to the purpose
and content of the report-remember to include info about the project,
but you are primarily addressing the necessity of the report.
Title Page-Includes the title of the report, the name of the writer, and
the date of submission. More complex pages include a project number,
additional personnel who contributed to the report, and a distribution
list (a standard title page will suffice for this assignment)
Abstract-An abstract is a brief technical summary of the report, usually
no more than 200 words. It addresses readers who are familiar with the
technical subject and who need to decide whether they want to read
the full report. They often contain a list of half a dozen or so keywords.
There are two types of abstracts:
Descriptive-describes the kinds of info contained in the report. It does
not provide major findings (results, conclusions, or recommendations).
It just lists topics covered.
Informative-presents major findings.
Table of Contents-A guide to navigating the report. It
has two functions: to help readers find the information
they want and to help them understand the scope and
organization of the report. It uses the same headings
as the report itself. Sometimes you must be more
specific when making a table. For example, if you have
a methodology section that is ten pages long, it would
be a good idea to separate methodologies (see example
on next page)
List of illustrations-It is a table of contents for figures
and tables in your report
Executive Summary
Glossary and List of Symbols-A glossary is an
alphabetical list of definitions and is particularly
useful if readers are unfamiliar with the technical
vocabulary in your report. In the report, you can use
boldface in order to indicate to the reader that they
need to check the glossary (make sure that you
footnote to let the reader know that boldface indicates
a glossary definition). Is usually placed before the
appendix and references. A list of symbols defines
symbols and abbreviations rather than terms (will
likely not need this for your project)
References-comes after the glossary and before the
Appendix-They include extra info to help readers
better understand different parts of your report