Informal Report

The purpose of this assignment is twofold:

  1. Demonstrate you know how to put together a well-researched, impeccably crafted report that follows all the elements of effective business communication we have learned this semester.
  2. Allow you to put into practice in your own life what you have learned in this class.

In preparing an informal report, you will apply—and be graded on—many of the skills we have practiced during the semester:    • format (memo or letter, headings and subheadings, continuing-page headings, etc.) • information based on your analysis of your readers’ reaction and adapted to your readers’ needs • critical thinking and analysis, as well as persuasive techniques • grammar/mechanics (correctness, conciseness, etc.)

Because reports must be well-organized and researched, their success depends on careful analysis of the reader, the problem, and the proposed solution.  This report will also contain the added dimension of a proposal.   Therefore, this assignment includes two parts:

  1. A memo report to me in which you concisely describe the report and the reader 50 points 2. An informal report/proposal to this person, 100 points.

Getting Started

To get started, choose a real problem or situation: • for which you are qualified to propose a plan of action for a solution (i.e. you already have the   knowledge and experience or are willing to acquire the knowledge) and  • for which a written and well-researched report is appropriate (the solution benefits the reader, the reader is not a family member, etc.).

This situation must be real, not hypothetical, you must be able to research the situation and possible solutions, and the feasibility of your solution/plan of action must be based on facts, not just your opinion.

BCOM 3113 Students 2 November 13, 2017

The problem or situation can relate to: 1. your job 2. an organization you are part of 3. an area of life at OSU (academics, sports, campus life, etc.) for which you already have or will acquire the expertise and credibility to propose a detailed plan of action.

*Note:  Experiencing a problem is not the same as having the knowledge and the credibility to propose a solution to it.  The problem should not be a major one; you should be able to present the complete plan of action for the solution in 2-4 pages.

I want this report to have utility for you, so pick something that you can actually use.  If you are not involved with any organization, athletics, or currently employed, try to pick a situation related to your community or classes you have taken while at OSU.  If you still struggle finding a topic, email me as soon as possible to discuss your options.

The next step is to find out who has the power to accept or reject your idea. You will write your report to the person whose approval is necessary, not to me.  If I need information that your intended reader does not need (to help me understand the situation), write it in the memo to me.

Memo Report (Part 1 of the Assignment)

In a short memo report to me, include the following information:

  • the problem • your solution • your analysis of the person to whom the proposal is addressed (his/her relationship to you, interest in the problem, anticipated reaction to your solution, etc.) • your qualifications to propose the solution (not just to understand the problem) • what type of research you will need to conduct to find a satisfactory solution • any background information I may need to clearly understand the proposal.

Informal Report Format and Content (Part 2 of the Assignment)

Because this report is short, perhaps 2-4 pages, it is considered informal and will be presented in standard memo (for an internal proposal) or letter (for an external proposal) format.  Be sure to include continuing-page headings as well as content-specific headings and sub-headings. Use visuals (tables, figures, lists) when they will help you emphasize/summarize/clarify important information for the readers.

Your report may include the following information as appropriate for your situation. For example, if the report is solicited, your reader already knows about the problem, so that section will be very brief.  If the report is unsolicited, the reader may not believe a problem exists and you must begin by persuading him or her that it does.

Purpose/Need/Problem to be solved Background/Need for action Plan of action Description of the action, including discussion of alternatives if appropriate Schedule (Timetable) Staffing (qualifications)/Supplies Budget

BCOM 3113 Students 2 November 13, 2017

Conclusion/Request for approval

Adapt the information for your reader and your situation.  Change these generic/descriptive headings to informative/content-specific headings whenever possible.

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