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Business Communication Today, 12e (Bovee/Thill)

Chapter 14 Planning Reports and Proposals


1) The basic purpose of informational reports is
A) to persuade the audience to act.
B) to present recommendations and conclusions to a superior for how to solve a particular
problem.
C) to present data, facts, feedback, and other types of information, without analysis or
recommendations.
D) to convince the reader of the soundness of your thinking.
Answer: C
Explanation: C) An informational report is purely informational. It provides facts and data, but it
doesn't analyze, draw important conclusions, or make recommendations.
Diff: 1
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
2) In addition to offering information and analysis, ________ can also include recommendations.
A) indirect reports
B) analytical reports
C) informational reports
D) directive reports
Answer: B
Explanation: B) Analytical reports offer both information and analysis; they can also include
recommendations.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
3) When you're outlining your report, using ________ requires you to really think through the
content, whereas using ________ simply requires you to identify topic areas.
A) prescriptive headings, parallel headings
B) effective headings, ineffective headings
C) informative headings, descriptive headings
D) multilateral headings, unilateral headings
Answer: C
Explanation: C) In order to create informative headings, you have to think about your content,
rather than simply identifying general topic areas.
Diff: 3
Skill: Critical Thinking
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
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4) When you're preparing a formal work plan, include a ________ to clarify the problem you
face and a ________ to describe what you plan to accomplish.
A) statistical analysis, hypothesis
B) problem statement, purpose statement
C) yardstick, problem statement
D) descriptive standard, goal analysis
Answer: B
Explanation: B) The problem statement clarifies the challenge you face, and the purpose
statement describes what you plan to accomplish.
Diff: 3
Skill: Concept/Application
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
5) With an internal audience for your report, you
A) must avoid discussing sensitive information.
B) are more free to discuss sensitive information.
C) must avoid analysis.
D) must include analysis.
Answer: B
Explanation: B) With an internal audience, you are more free to discuss sensitive topics and
problem areas for your company. The same issues might be avoided with an external audience
that might interpret company problems as a sign of company weakness.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
6) The best way to phrase the purpose statement of a report is with
A) complex language.
B) an infinitive phrase.
C) a controversial statement.
D) jargon.
Answer: B
Explanation: B) Infinitive phrases such as To identify, To summarize, To discover, and so on,
work well for purpose statements. For example, an analytical report might have the purpose
statement: "To analyze sales data to see if the company met its quarterly goals."
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports

7) All of the following except ________ are elements in the planning phase of the three-step
writing process.
A) analyzing the situation
B) adapting to your audience
C) gathering information
D) selecting the right medium
Answer: B
Explanation: B) In the three-step writing process, planning consists of the following: analyzing
the situation, gathering and organizing information, and selecting the right medium.
Diff: 2
Skill: Application
Objective: 1
AACSB: Analytical Skills
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
8) Which of the following is the least clear statement of purpose?
A) "To determine which of four alternative investments will have the highest return."
B) "To analyze four potential investments."
C) "To answer the question, 'Which of four investments will provide the highest return?' "
D) "To evaluate and make recommendations based on data."
Answer: D
Explanation: D) A statement of purpose must be specific enough to give the reader a sense of
what the report is about. "To evaluate and make recommendations based on data" is vague. The
phrase doesn't tell what the report will evaluate, what it will make recommendations about, and
which data it will use to make those evaluations and recommendations.
Diff: 3
Skill: Critical Thinking
Objective: 1
AACSB: Analytical Skills
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
9) All of the following except ________ are categories of informational reports.
A) reports to monitor and control operations
B) reports to demonstrate compliance
C) reports to document progress
D) reports to assess opportunities
Answer: D
Explanation: D) Information reports are used to monitor and control operations, implement
policies and procedures, demonstrate compliance, and document progress.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 2
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports

10) When you're writing a business plan, you must include a ________ section to explain the
purpose of your business and what you hope to accomplish.
A) mission and objectives
B) design and development
C) products and services
D) financial projections and requirements
Answer: A
Explanation: A) The mission and objectives section of a business plan explains the purpose of a
business and what that business hopes to accomplish.
Diff: 3
Skill: Concept
Objective: 2
AACSB: Communication Abilities, Analytical Skills
Learning Outcome: Discuss the challenges and importance of business communications
11) A writer who wants to use a ________ to build an informational report can choose from a
number of arrangement patterns, such as geography, sequence, chronology, category, or
importance.
A) talking pattern of organization
B) topical pattern of organization
C) demonstrative pattern of organization
D) representative pattern of organization
Answer: B
Explanation: B) A topical organization is built around the content itself, using such arrangements
as comparison, importance, sequence, chronology, geography, or category.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 2
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
12) A formal work plan includes all of the following except
A) a statement of the problem or opportunity addressed in your report.
B) plans for what will happen if funds for the project are cancelled.
C) plans for following up after delivering the report.
D) a statement of the purpose and scope of your investigation.
Answer: B
Explanation: B) A work plan maps out what will occur if all goes according to schedule. A work
plan does not try to anticipate highly abnormal events, such as the cancelling of your project.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 2
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports

13) Which of the following is not a typical element in a formal work plan?
A) Statement of purpose
B) Statement of the scope of the investigation
C) Discussion of tasks to be accomplished
D) Conclusions and recommendations
Answer: D
Explanation: D) A work plan maps out tasks for the solving of a problem or implementation of a
project. A work plan does not engage in analysis. For that reason, you don't expect a work plan to
draw conclusions or make recommendations for the future.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 2
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
14) When selecting the right medium for a report
A) you should choose the ones that are most convenient.
B) you should choose the ones that are most economical.
C) your decisions should reflect your audience's expectations.
D) you should always present your report in writing.
Answer: C
Explanation: C) The best medium for your report is largely based on your audience's
preferences. If your audience expects a routine text document with no bells and whistles, that is
what you should give them. If your audience prefers to see graphs, charts, photos, and other
visuals, you should provide those things for them.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
15) Answering the question, ________, will help you define the problem that you need to
address in an analytical report.
A) What needs to be determined?
B) Why is this issue important?
C) Who is involved in the situation?
D) All of the above
Answer: D
Explanation: D) You can clarify the problem in an analytical report by determining what you
need to analyze, why the issue is important, who is involved, where the trouble is located, and
how and when it started.
Diff: 2
Skill: Application
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities, Analytical Skills
Learning Outcome: Describe strategies for developing persuasive business messages
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16) When outlining the content of your report


A) it is preferable to use informative headings as opposed to descriptive ones.
B) you should use complex language for all headings.
C) keep in mind that you will have to use this same outline for your final report.
D) do all of the above.
Answer: A
Explanation: A) Informative headings help you think through the topic constructively as you
write the report. For each constructive heading you need to ask yourself such questions as, "What
is the point of this section?" or "What are we trying to accomplish in this section?"
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
17) Which of the following is not a useful strategy in preparing business reports?
A) Understand and meet audience expectations.
B) Use the same format for reports, regardless of topic.
C) Keep your report as short as possible.
D) All of the above are useful strategies.
Answer: B
Explanation: B) Different report topics require different formats. Compliance reports, for
example, require specific formats that would not be appropriate for other types of report. With
regard to formatting, always try to match your format to goals of your report.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
18) An employee who describes the data she collected from six different plant managers without
drawing any conclusions is preparing
A) an analytical report.
B) an informational report.
C) a proposal.
D) a work plan.
Answer: B
Explanation: B) An informational report focuses on providing information only. This report
presented data without attempting to draw any conclusions. Therefore, it is an informational
report.
Diff: 2
Skill: Application
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports

19) The CEO of a pharmaceutical company asks you assess the company's adherence to laws
governing television ads for prescription drugs. The CEO has requested a
A) personal activity report.
B) work plan.
C) compliance report.
D) policy report.
Answer: C
Explanation: C) A report that verifies whether or not a company adheres to government rules
and regulations is called a compliance report.
Diff: 2
Skill: Application
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
20) Compliance reports are generally required by
A) parent companies.
B) accounting departments.
C) government agencies.
D) marketing departments.
Answer: C
Explanation: C) All businesses are required to demonstrate that they are in compliance with
regulations and rules for their particular form of business. Since the government writes and
administers the laws that businesses are required to follow, compliance reports are submitted to
the government for examination.
Diff: 1
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
21) A public corporation filing a quarterly tax report would be providing
A) a progress report.
B) a compliance report.
C) a justification report.
D) a periodic operating report.
Answer: B
Explanation: B) Federal taxes are government rules that businesses and corporations must
comply with. Therefore, a tax report is a type of compliance report.
Diff: 2
Skill: Application
Objective: 1
AACSB: Analytical Skills
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports

22) A contractor submitting a weekly report on work done to date would be providing the client
with
A) a progress report.
B) a compliance report.
C) a justification report.
D) a periodic operating report.
Answer: A
Explanation: A) A progress report is an update on how well the company is doing with regard to
specific goals, targets, and deadlines. Progress reports can be simple or comprehensive. A
comprehensive progress report would feature extensive data showing how targets and goals are
being met (or not met).
Diff: 1
Skill: Application
Objective: 1
AACSB: Analytical Skills
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
23) Topical organization strategies for informational reports include all of the following except
A) complexity.
B) sequence.
C) importance.
D) comparison.
Answer: A
Explanation: A) Informational reports typically focus on comparing two or more entities,
identifying the steps in a process (sequence), or ranking entities (importance). Reports do not
typically focus on measuring complexity.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 2
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports

24) A business plan


A) is useful only before a company is launched.
B) always contains the same elements.
C) should not identify risks and problems, since these might discourage potential investors.
D) is sometimes prepared after a company is up and running.
Answer: D
Explanation: D) Surprisingly, many companies do not write out a business plan until they are
already operating. Many new companies start out with just a few people who do everything and
don't require formal plans. When these companies grow, they often see the need to create a
business plan, mostly as a way to monitor and guide the growth process as they continue to
expand.
Diff: 2
Skill: Application
Objective: 2
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
25) A ________ outlines an organization's official position on issues that affect its success.
A) policy report
B) position paper
C) feasibility report
D) business plan
Answer: B
Explanation: B) Position papers outline an organization's official position on issues that affect
the company's success.
Diff: 1
Skill: Concept
Objective: 2
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Discuss the challenges and importance of business communications
26) As it relates to a formal business plan, the ________ defines how the company will generate
revenue and produce a profit.
A) marketing strategy
B) business model
C) action forecast
D) financial projection
Answer: B
Explanation: B) The business model defines how a company will generate revenue and produce
a profit.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 2
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Discuss the challenges and importance of business communications

27) Unlike proposals, justification reports


A) are designed to affirm decisions after they have been made.
B) are internal as opposed to external reports.
C) are always in memo format.
D) do not require a great deal of supporting data.
Answer: A
Explanation: A) A justification report makes the case after the fact that a particular decision was
justified. For example, if the CEO of a company sees a sudden acute danger ahead and pulls the
plug on a project abruptly, she might order a justification report to account for her action after the
fact.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
28) The problem-factoring process involves
A) looking at a problem from multiple perspectives.
B) considering how to allocate blame for a problem.
C) creating problems instead of solving them.
D) dividing a complex problem into a series of logical, connected questions.
Answer: D
Explanation: D) Use problem factoring to divide a complex problem into more manageable
pieces.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities, Analytical Skills
Learning Outcome: Find and evaluate data to support business messages
29) Analytical reports for skeptical audiences should generally follow the ________ approach.
A) direct
B) indirect
C) hypothetical
D) aggressive
Answer: B
Explanation: B) When the audience is hostile or skeptical, you need to build a case to convince
the audience to accept your conclusions. The indirect approach uses logic and evidence to lead
the audience to a conclusion gradually, allowing time for ideas to be considered and accepted.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 3
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports

10

30) Which of the following is not a common organizational format for analytical reports?
A) Focusing on conclusions
B) Focusing on recommendations
C) Focusing on information
D) Focusing on logical argument
Answer: C
Explanation: C) A report that merely provides information is likely to be an informational report.
An analytical report does more than focus on information. It takes information and uses it to
draw conclusions and make recommendations.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 3
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
31) One potential drawback of focusing immediately on conclusions in a report is that you may
A) reveal information you know about that has not been included in the report.
B) make everything you say seem too simple.
C) offend your audience.
D) do all of the above.
Answer: B
Explanation: B) An immediate focus on conclusions can make your report sound as if you didn't
consider all of the options. This is the risk you run of using the direct approachthe impression
that your conclusions are oversimplified.
Diff: 3
Skill: Concept
Objective: 3
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
32) A report focused on recommendations should
A) first establish or verify the need for action.
B) not include conclusions.
C) avoid mentioning any potential risks.
D) outline costs, but not in detail.
Answer: A
Explanation: A) Recommendations must specify some kind of action. In some cases, such as
when circumstances are murky or unclear, it is best not to take action. So if you are going to
make recommendations, you must first make your case that the situation actually requires action.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 3
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports

11

33) If the audience for your report is likely to accept what you have to say, focus on
A) the logical arguments in your report.
B) your conclusions and recommendations.
C) the benchmarks used to compile your results.
D) the criteria used in your decision-making process.
Answer: B
Explanation: B) When you expect your audience to agree with you, be direct and focus on your
conclusions and recommendations.
Diff: 2
Skill: Application
Objective: 3
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Describe strategies for developing persuasive business messages
34) If your readers will want to know what they ought to do in a given situation, then your report
should focus on
A) your conclusions.
B) your writing process.
C) your recommendations.
D) your sources of information.
Answer: C
Explanation: C) When your readers will want to know what you think they should do, organize
your report to focus on recommendations.
Diff: 2
Skill: Application
Objective: 3
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Describe strategies for developing persuasive business messages
35) A group of managers who must make an important decision can request a ________ to
explore the implications of that decision.
A) failure analysis report
B) due diligence report
C) market analysis report
D) feasibility report
Answer: D
Explanation: D) Feasibility reports are called for when managers need to explore the
ramifications of a decision they're about to make.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 3
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Discuss the challenges and importance of business communications

12

36) Any risks involved with your recommendations should


A) not be addressed, since they may discourage your audience.
B) be discussed in your report, but only in vague, general terms.
C) be addressed clearly in your report.
D) be outlined before you reveal the benefits that can be achieved.
Answer: C
Explanation: C) Addressing risks does two things. First, it is the ethical thing to do. Failing to
reveal risks that could jeopardize others is irresponsible and wrong. Second, addressing risks also
provides you with protection if things do go wrong.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 4
AACSB: Ethical Understanding and Reasoning Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
37) A ________ suggests an individualized solution for a potential customer and requests a
purchase decision.
A) grant proposal
B) sales proposal
C) solicited proposal
D) project proposal
Answer: B
Explanation: B) Sales proposals suggest individualized solutions for potential customers and
request purchase decisions.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 4
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business proposals
38) Unlike reports focused on conclusions or recommendations, reports focusing on logical
arguments
A) use an indirect approach.
B) are not very convincing.
C) emphasize the positive.
D) do not include outside evidence.
Answer: A
Explanation: A) If the report focuses on logical arguments, you are putting all of your effort into
building a case that your audience will accept. Whenever you build a case rather than state things
up front, you are using an indirect approach.
Diff: 3
Skill: Concept
Objective: 3
AACSB: Communication Abilities, Analytical Skills
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports

13

39) Which of the following is not a strategy for structuring reports focused on logical arguments?
A) 2 + 2 = 4 approach
B) Direct approach
C) Yardstick method
D) An approach that compares a solution to a set of predetermined standards
Answer: B
Explanation: B) A report that focuses on logical arguments by definition is using some kind of
indirect approach of building a case rather than stating conclusions up front. Therefore, "direct
approach" is the only model that doesn't work for a report that focuses on logical arguments.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 3
AACSB: Communication Abilities, Analytical Skills
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
40) The 2 + 2 = 4 approach
A) generally works only with lengthy, nonroutine reports.
B) is the first logical argument strategy to try.
C) is far more complicated than any other organizational strategy.
D) is the only approach that is appropriate for any business report.
Answer: B
Explanation: B) In the 2 + 2 = 4 approach, your goal is to show how everything adds up to a
single conclusion or plan of action. If this approach seems like it can work, it is the first thing to
try when you need a logical argument strategy.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 3
AACSB: Communication Abilities, Analytical Skills
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
41) Because of its natural feel and versatility, the ________ approach is generally the most
persuasive way to develop an analytical report for skeptical readers.
A) 2 + 2 = 4
B) yardstick
C) direct
D) hypothetical
Answer: A
Explanation: A) When it is appropriate, the 2 + 2 = 4 approach can make a complicated
argument look simple. For example, to convince your readers for the need to build a new plant,
you might say: (1) We have more customers than we can provide for, and (2) We are working at
full capacity, so (3) Building a new plant is the only way we can get that extra capacity.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 3
AACSB: Communication Abilities, Analytical Skills
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
14

42) One drawback of using the yardstick approach to structure business reports is that
A) you must discuss all the alternatives, even if many of them turn out to be irrelevant and/or
unproductive.
B) this approach is generally considered old-fashioned.
C) it forces you to ignore the fact that the problem may have multiple causes.
D) it is impractical in most business settings.
Answer: A
Explanation: A) The yardstick approach works well when options are limited. When you have a
large number of options, going through the yardstick process can be tedious and time-consuming,
as each option needs to be evaluated.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 3
AACSB: Communication Abilities, Analytical Skills
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
43) You're writing an analytical report outlining the benefits of starting a recycling program. You
need to explain how the program meets numerous criteria including reasonable cost, ease of
implementation, and long-term impact. The ________ approach will probably be the best way to
organize your report.
A) 2 + 2 = 4
B) scientific
C) direct
D) yardstick
Answer: D
Explanation: D) In the yardstick approach, you try to convince your audience that your solution
to a problem is correct by showing how your approach meets several prearranged standards. For
a recycling program, the standards might include: Does the program meet state and federal
guidelines? Is the program cost-effective and does it actually make a profit? Does the program
meet the needs of our community? Does the program create jobs? Does the program require the
purchase of new equipment? If the program meets all of these (and other) requirements, you
conclude that it is successful.
Diff: 3
Skill: Critical Thinking
Objective: 3
AACSB: Communication Abilities, Analytical Skills
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports

15

44) A contractor receives a request from the owner of a company to bid on a large-scale
construction project. The contractor will prepare a(n)
A) unsolicited proposal.
B) solicited proposal.
C) blind proposal.
D) request for proposal.
Answer: B
Explanation: B) When the organization that needs something done requests that a contractor
make a bid on a proposal, the organization is soliciting the proposal.
Diff: 2
Skill: Application
Objective: 4
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business proposals
45) If you're writing an unsolicited proposal, you may have to
A) convince readers that a problem exists that must be addressed.
B) analyze the client's business in light of the competition.
C) use a style approved by the American Association of Business Writers.
D) enumerate the client's options regarding such business decisions as product-line expansion.
Answer: A
Explanation: A) In some cases, the party receiving the proposal is aware of the problem. For
example, a business with obvious roof damage knows that the roof needs repair. In other cases,
the party receiving the proposal may not be aware of its problem. In that case, the company
submitting the proposal needs to first identify the problem (e.g., your roof has clear signs of
structural damage that you may not see) and then convince owner of the building that it has the
right solution to the problem.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 4
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business proposals
46) An analytical report often ends by presenting a recommendation.
Answer: TRUE
Explanation: An analytical report requires analysis, and part of analysis involves drawing
conclusions. Whether or not recommendations are added to those conclusions is optional for an
analytical report. However, many analytical reports conclude by making specific
recommendations based on conclusions drawn.
Diff: 1
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports

16

47) Internal reports are more likely to be misinterpreted than external reports.
Answer: FALSE
Explanation: Internal reports can be written with more candor and freedom than external reports.
With external reports, the author needs to be more careful to make sure that no information gets
out that could be interpreted in a way that is damaging to the company.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
48) The statement of purpose for a report is always presented as a question.
Answer: FALSE
Explanation: The statement of purpose is usually stated using infinitive phrases rather than
questions.
Diff: 2
Skill: Application
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
49) The statement of purpose for analytical reports will usually need to be more comprehensive
than one for informational reports.
Answer: TRUE
Explanation: An analytical report aims to do more than merely inform its audience. Therefore,
analytical reports typically require a purpose statement that includes both what information the
report will include and what kinds of conclusions and/or recommendations the report proposes to
make as a result of analyzing that information.
Diff: 1
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
50) Very few reports require a work plan.
Answer: FALSE
Explanation: Many reports require work plans. Any time a project is proposed that will involve
multiple team members carrying out different tasks all working toward a single goal usually
requires a work plan.
Diff: 1
Skill: Concept
Objective: 2
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports

17

51) When writing a work plan, it's important to begin by developing a problem statement.
Answer: TRUE
Explanation: Almost all work plans, whether formal or informal, require a clear statement of the
problem or opportunity involved. A good problem statement helps keep all individuals involved
in the work plan focused on core issues and project goals.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 2
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
52) An executive dashboard is a customized online presentation of highly summarized business
information.
Answer: TRUE
Explanation: An executive dashboard is essentially a report on the status of various company
activities expressed as easy to read meters and graphs. Using the dashboard, the executive can
see at a glance which problems need to be addressed right away and which problems can be
addressed with a long-term approach.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Find and evaluate data to support business messages
53) The direct approach is the most popular strategy for business reports.
Answer: TRUE
Explanation: The direct approach is the simplest and most efficient way to convey information.
The indirect approach is typically used only for skeptical or hostile audiences, or writers who
lack the status to state their conclusions openly and without explanation.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
54) For long, complex reports, the indirect approach tends to be less effective than the direct
approach.
Answer: TRUE
Explanation: Many readers get impatient with the indirect approach and cut to the
recommendations section of the report prematurely. In that case, it would have been better to
have used the direct approach to save time for both readers and writers of the report.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 2
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
18

55) In business reports, it is never appropriate to combine the direct and indirect approaches by
revealing conclusions and recommendations as you go along.
Answer: FALSE
Explanation: There is no hard and fast rule that recommendations must appear at either the
beginning (direct) or end (indirect) of a report. Some writers state recommendations as they go
along, combining both direct and indirect approaches.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 2
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
56) A primary goal in preparing monitor/control reports is to emphasize the good news and hide
the bad news.
Answer: FALSE
Explanation: Hiding bad news and emphasizing good news serves no constructive purpose for
the organization. Sooner or later the truth will come out. If you were guilty of hiding the truth,
you will be blamed for problems that arise later as a result of your failure to be forthcoming.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Ethical Understanding and Reasoning Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
57) An email summarizing an employee's trip to a trade show would be an example of a personal
activity report.
Answer: TRUE
Explanation: A personal activity report's main goal is to justify the activity of the person and
make use of what was gained from the activity. If important things were learned at the trade
show about, for example, rival products, that knowledge should be put into use so the company
can gain from it.
Diff: 2
Skill: Application
Objective: 1
AACSB: Analytical Skills
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
58) Sales call reports are a type of compliance report.
Answer: FALSE
Explanation: A compliance report provides information about the company's ability to comply
with government regulations and policies. Reports on sales have nothing to do with government
compliance.
Diff: 2
Skill: Application
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
19

59) Operating reports establish expectations and guidelines to direct future action.
Answer: FALSE
Explanation: Operating reports provide information about how a company is doing with regard
to such basic things as sales, inventories, expenses, and shipments.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
60) Progress reports are never more than updates in memo or email form.
Answer: FALSE
Explanation: Progress reports can be brief or detailed. In some cases, a progress report can be
extensive as it describes progress being made in various divisions of a company in depth, using a
great deal of facts, figures, and data.
Diff: 1
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
61) Reports that examine the financial aspects of a proposed decision, such as acquiring another
company, are called due diligence reports.
Answer: TRUE
Explanation: The concept of "due diligence" requires that a company do its homework with
regard to the financial aspects of an opportunity, transaction, or investment. Specifically, what
are the risks, possible gains, likely outcomes, obligations to others, tax exposure, and so on to the
company? A responsible company or individual is expected to carry out due diligence for all of
its financial decisions.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports

20

62) Whereas troubleshooting reports deal with problems as they occur, failure analysis reports
seek to prevent problems before they happen.
Answer: FALSE
Explanation: Failure analysis reports analyze a situation in which a failure occurred and look for
things that can be learned from the failure. For example, if a new product failed to sell, the
company might commission a failure report to find out why it failedwas it due to faulty
marketing, poor support, stiff competition, bad timing, poor quality workmanship, or some other
reason?
Diff: 1
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities, Analytical Skills
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
63) A justification report is an internal report designed to persuade top management to approve a
proposed investment or project.
Answer: FALSE
Explanation: A justification report is designed to justify an action that has already been
committed or a decision that has already been made.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities, Analytical Skills
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
64) Focusing on conclusions in an analytical report involves using the direct approach to report
organization.
Answer: TRUE
Explanation: A focus on conclusions cuts "straight to the chase." The report keys on conclusions
drawn from the information at hand. Reasons and explanations for the conclusions are
documented only after the conclusions are stated.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 3
AACSB: Communication Abilities, Analytical Skills
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports

21

65) In reports focused on recommendations, it is best to avoid the direct approach.


Answer: FALSE
Explanation: A report that focuses on recommendations is the most direct kind of report. It states
its remedy for the situation right up front, trusting that its audience will find the
recommendations credible. This approach works well as long as the audience has faith in the
person writing the report.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 3
AACSB: Communication Abilities, Analytical Skills
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
66) The yardstick approach is best for organizing reports when you and your audience do not
agree on the criteria you're using in your analysis.
Answer: FALSE
Explanation: The yardstick approach involves comparing your solution to a problem to a set of
predetermined criteria or standards. The approach can work well as long as there is no
disagreement about the validity of criteria. If the party submitting the report and the party
receiving the report disagree about criteria, the approach is not likely to be successful.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 3
AACSB: Communication Abilities, Analytical Skills
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
67) The primary purpose of an internal proposal is either to request funds and management
support for new projects or to obtain permission to take action on specific projects.
Answer: TRUE
Explanation: Internal reports typically request decision makers to approve new plans or
resources to support existing plans or operations.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 4
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business proposals
68) Proposals are classified in two ways: internal versus external, and solicited versus
unsolicited.
Answer: TRUE
Explanation: Internal reports are submitted within the company; external reports go outside of
the company. Solicited reports have been requested by the party receiving the report. Unsolicited
reports are submitted to the receiver without a request.
Diff: 1
Skill: Concept
Objective: 4
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business proposals
22

69) "RFP" stands for "ratified final proposal."


Answer: FALSE
Explanation: An RFP is a request for a proposal. An RFP is an invitation from a business or
individual to a contractor to submit a proposal for work that needs to be done. Receiving an RFP
means that the party contacting you has confidence that you can successfully carry out the work
they need done.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 4
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business proposals
70) A landscaper bidding on a job at the request of a general contractor would submit an external,
unsolicited proposal.
Answer: FALSE
Explanation: If the bid has been requested from the contractor, it must be considered a solicited
proposal.
Diff: 2
Skill: Application
Objective: 4
AACSB: Analytical Skills
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business proposals
71) Whereas ________ reports focus on facts, ________ reports offer interpretation and can also
include recommendations.
Answer: informational; analytical
Explanation: Informational reports provide facts, data, and other forms of information that
readers of the report can use to draw conclusions. Analytical reports supply information and
draw conclusions and make recommendations based on that information.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
72) The statement of ________ defines why you are preparing a report.
Answer: purpose
Explanation: A statement of purpose is a brief statement or set of statements that expresses why
the report is being done.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports

23

73) Report writers often combine the ________ and ________ approachesrevealing their
conclusions and recommendations as they go along instead of putting them first or last.
Answer:
direct, indirect
Explanation: In some cases, rather than put recommendations and conclusions at the end of a
document (as in an indirect approach), or at the beginning of the document (as in a direct
approach), writers distribute recommendations and conclusions in various places throughout the
document.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 2
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
74) When a business plan is written after a company is operating, it tends to serve as a ________.
Answer: monitor-and-control
Explanation: Since the company is up and running, the business plan does not guide its origins
and initial operation. Instead, the business plan can be used to monitor how well the company is
meeting its goals, and control how well it sticks to its intentions.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
75) All ________ reports are written in response to regulations of one sort or another.
Answer: compliance
Explanation: Compliance reports collect data to make sure that the company is following
government regulations of some type, such as taxes or environmental regulations.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
76) A(n) ________ report is written to validate a decision that has already been made.
Answer: justification
Explanation: The requirement for a justification report is that it is done after the fact, after a
decision has been made. A justification report seeks to find evidence that the decision already
made was correct, given the circumstances at the time.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Describe strategies for developing persuasive business messages

24

77) ________ ________ reports study events that happened in the past, with the hope of learning
how to avoid similar failures in the future.
Answer: Failure analysis
Explanation: A failure analysis report is an attempt to learn from mistakes. If mistakes already
committed go un-analyzed, the company is likely to commit the same mistakes in the future. If
the mistakes are examined, the company can learn to avoid the same kind of mistakes in the
future.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Describe strategies for developing persuasive business messages
78) Breaking down a problem into a series of specific questions is called problem ________.
Answer: factoring
Explanation: Problem factoring involves asking a series of questions to get at the cause of the
problem and find a way to remedy the problem. For example, if the bread you are baking fails to
rise, you might ask: "Did I add yeast to the bread?" "Was the yeast a living culture?" "Did I kill
the yeast by mixing it with water that was too hot?" "Did I fail to activate the yeast by mixing it
with water that was too cold?" Using these (and other) questions you can develop a hypothesis
that you can test that will help you solve your problem.
Diff: 3
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities, Analytical Skills
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
79) When you speculate about the cause of a problem, you are forming a(n) ________, a
potential explanation that needs to be tested.
Answer: hypothesis
Explanation: A hypothesis is a working explanation for a problem that can be tested. The ability
to test is the key to a true hypothesis. You may suspect, for example, that X causes Y, but you do
not have a true hypothesis unless you can actually test to see if X causes Y.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities, Analytical Skills
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports

25

80) The ________ approach is often the most persuasive and efficient way to develop an
analytical report for skeptical readersit's the approach to try first.
Answer: 2 + 2 = 4
Explanation: The 2 + 2 = 4 approach is the simplest indirect approach. Using the 2 + 2 = 4
approach you simply build a case to show that all factors add up to a specific conclusion.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 3
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Describe strategies for developing persuasive business messages
81) With the ________ approach to structuring analytical reports, you begin by discussing the
problem, and then list the criteria that will guide evaluation of possible solutions.
Answer: yardstick
Explanation: Using the yardstick approach you need to evaluate the situation by comparing your
solution to the problem to various predetermined standards. Doctors use the yardstick approach
when diagnosing an illness. Does the patient show symptom A but not symptom B? Does the
patient respond to treatment A but not treatment B? In the yardstick approach you add up
determinations like these and come to a conclusion.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 3
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Describe strategies for developing persuasive business messages
82) Whereas ________ proposals are used to request decisions from managers within an
organization, ________ proposals are directed to parties outside the organization.
Answer: internal; external
Explanation: Internal proposals can be more candid and free with facts. External proposals need
to look out for possible misinterpretation of information by people outside of the company.
Diff: 1
Skill: Concept
Objective: 4
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business proposals
83) ________ proposals are initiated by a company that is trying to obtain business or funding on
its own, without a specific request from a client.
Answer: Unsolicited
Explanation: When a pavement contractor knocks on someone's door and asks them if they need
their driveway re-paved, the contractor is making an unsolicited proposal.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 4
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business proposals
26

84) A formal invitation to bid on a contract is called a ________ for ________, or RFP.
Answer: request; proposals
Explanation: Typically, a company that is familiar with your work sends an RFP to invite you to
bid on a project. The fact that the RFP has been made indicates that the company considers you a
serious candidate for the job.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 4
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business proposals
85) In a(n) ________ proposal, the author must convince readers that a problem or opportunity
exists before providing a solution or plan of action.
Answer: unsolicited
Explanation: In a situation in which the proposal has not been solicited, the writer must often
spend considerable time and energy establishing that a problem exists and must be dealt with.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 4
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business proposals
86) Briefly explain the primary function of a statement of purpose, then indicate the most useful
way to phrase one.
Answer: A statement of purpose defines why you are preparing your report. The best way to
phrase a purpose statement is to begin with an infinitive phrase, such as "to analyze."
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
87) You have been asked to help a company find ways to reduce the amount it spends on
employee health and dental benefits. Write a purpose statement for the report you will produce.
Answer: To analyze the current costs of employee health and dental benefits and suggest ways
to reduce expenses. (Answers will vary.)
Diff: 3
Skill: Critical Thinking
Objective: 1
AACSB: Analytical Skills
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports

27

88) List three types of reports commonly used to monitor and control operations in business.
Answer: (1) Plans, (2) operating reports, and (3) personal activity reports.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
89) Provide at least five examples of topical organization strategies for business reports.
Answer: (1) Comparison, (2) importance, (3) sequence, (4) chronology, (5) spatial orientation,
(6) geography, and (7) category.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 2
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
90) What is the primary difference between a feasibility report and a justification report?
Answer: Whereas a feasibility report studies proposed options, a justification report is written
after an action, to justify what was done.
Diff: 3
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
91) Give three reasons why writing analytical reports presents a greater challenge than writing
informational reports.
Answer: Analytical reports challenge (1) the quality of your reasoningyou're doing more than
just delivering information; (2) the quality of your writingyou need to present your thinking in
a compelling and persuasive manner; and (3) your ability to take the responsibility that comes
with persuasion.
Diff: 3
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Describe strategies for developing persuasive business messages
92) Briefly explain problem factoring.
Answer: Problem factoring helps report writers identify cause and effect by breaking down the
defined problem into a series of logical, connected questions.
Diff: 3
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Describe strategies for developing persuasive business messages
28

93) List the three most common strategies for structuring analytical reports.
Answer: (1) Focusing on conclusions (direct), (2) focusing on recommendations (direct), (3)
focusing on logical argument (indirect).
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 3
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Describe strategies for developing persuasive business messages
94) Briefly describe the circumstances in which the yardstick approach would be particularly
useful for organizing your proposal, and provide an example of a report that would benefit from
this organizational approach.
Answer: The yardstick approach is useful when you need to use a number of criteria to evaluate
one or more possible solutions. It is also tailor-made for situations in which the audience has
provided a list of criteria the solution must meet. One example would be a bid on a government
building project. (Answers will vary.)
Diff: 3
Skill: Critical Thinking
Objective: 4
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Describe strategies for developing persuasive business messages
95) List and describe the seven elements that usually are part of a formal work plan.
Answer: (1) Statement of the problem or opportunity: This clarifies the problem you are
addressing and helps you stay focused on the goal. (2) Statement of the purpose and scope of
your investigation: This describes what you plan to accomplish and the boundaries of your work.
It states what you will and will not cover. (3) Discussion of tasks to be accomplished: This
includes the things to do, the amount of time needed for each task, the research necessary, and
any constraints. (4) Description of any products that will result from your investigation:
Sometimes this will consist only of the report. In other cases, there may be additional
deliverables. (5) Review of the project assignments, schedules and resource requirements: Who
will be responsible for what? When will tasks be completed? Who will coordinate the process?
How much will it cost? (6) Plans for following up after delivering the report: Follow-up helps
make sure that the information gets to the right people and shows you care about your work's
effectiveness. (7) Working outline: This is an initial outline of the report you will produce.
Diff: 3
Skill: Concept
Objective: 1
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports

29

96) What are the four general categories of informational reports?


Answer: Informational reports can be grouped into four categories: (1) reports to monitor and
control operations, (2) reports to implement policies and procedures, (3) reports to demonstrate
compliance, and (4) reports to document progress.
Diff: 2
Skill: Concept
Objective: 2
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
97) Describe several benefits and one potential drawback of organizing business reports using
the direct approach.
Answer: The direct approach is the most popular and convenient format for business reports
because it saves time and makes the report easy to follow. It produces a more forceful report, and
you sound sure of yourself when you state your conclusions confidently at the outset. In some
cases, however, that confidence may be misconstrued as arrogance. Depending on your
relationship with your audience and on their probable reaction to your report, the indirect
approach may be more appropriate.
Diff: 3
Skill: Concept
Objective: 2, 3
AACSB: Analytical Skills
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
98) Describe the elements of a formal business plan.
Answer: At a minimum, a formal business plan should describe the basic concept of the business
and outline its specific goals, objectives, and resource requirements. A plan to be submitted to
banks or investors should include a summary of the business concept (including your product or
service and its market potential). It also explains the mission and objectives of the business and
provides full background information on the origins and structure of your venture.
The plan should also provide a complete but concise description of your products or services,
along with data on your market and competition that will persuade investors that you can achieve
your sales goals. Another objective of the plan is to summarize the background and qualifications
of the key management personnel in your company. Your marketing strategy should also be
described (including projections of sales and market share), and if your product requires design
or development, you should explain those plans, as well. You should provide an operations plan
that outlines the facilities, equipment, and labor needed for your business, and clearly identify
any critical risks and problems associated with your plan. The plan must also include detailed
financial projections and requirements (for the first three years of operation), and an exit strategy
that explains how investors will be able to profit from their investment.
Diff: 3
Skill: Concept
Objective: 2
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business reports
30

99) What is the difference between a solicited and an unsolicited proposal?


Answer: The most significant factor in planning any proposal is whether the intended recipient
has asked you to submit a proposal. Solicited proposals are generally prepared at the request of
external parties that require a product or a service, but they may also be requested by such
internal sources as management or the board of directors. Unsolicited proposals are created by
organizations attempting to obtain business or funding without a specific invitation from a
potential client. Such proposals may also be initiated by employees or managers who want to
convince company insiders to adopt a program, a policy, or an idea. In other words, with an
unsolicited proposal, the writer makes the first move.
Diff: 3
Skill: Concept
Objective: 2
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Apply the writing process when writing business proposals
100) Explain the three basic categories of analytical business reports and provide at least one
example of each type.
Answer: The first category includes reports written to assess opportunities. One example of this
type is the market analysis report, which judges the likelihood of success for new products or
sales initiatives by suggesting potential opportunities in a given market and identifying
competitive threats and other risks. Due diligence reports, which examine the financial aspects of
a proposed decision, are also in this category. The second category includes reports written to
solve problems. Examples are troubleshooting reports (which managers assign when they need to
understand why something isn't working properly) and failure analysis reports (which study past
failures in an effort to avoid similar ones in the future). The third category of analytical business
reports includes reports written to support decisions. Feasibility reports are one type in this
category. They are called for when managers need to explore the ramifications of a decision
they're about to make. Justification reports (written to justify decisions that have already been
made) also fall into this group.
Diff: 3
Skill: Synthesis
Objective: 3
AACSB: Communication Abilities
Learning Outcome: Describe strategies for developing persuasive business messages

31