Writing for Business and Industry



Textbook Recommendation Report

You have been assigned to a textbook review committee at ECU and you are charged with evaluating two textbooks and writing a formal report about that comparison. Remember that you are a part of the committee and you have been assigned the two books to review.


You will compare and evaluate two entry level textbooks in your major and make a recommendation for which should be used for a class. You must support your conclusions. You will discuss the textbooks in detail, establish criteria for judging them, explain how they compare, and justify your recommendation.

They must be two textbooks that can be used for the SAME course.

Ask a professor within your major for a second textbook to evaluate. They will have several. Also, use a real textbook sort of book; don't use a paperback book that was used for part of a class. Compare textbooks that can be used for the same class; don't try to compare textbooks for freshman versus junior level classes.

You must make use of styles. All elements should have style properly applied and they should be modified versions of Word styles. In other words, don't use the light blue heading 2 style or "list paragraph." Also, if you have indented paragraphs, you need a different style, they can't be Normal unless all of your paragraphs are indented. In other words, if the paragraph looks different, it needs a different style; you should not have to apply any specific formatting to the paragraphs

Do the analysis yourself. Do not make up data or fabricate a complex analysis of "A panel of six judges rated ..."

If you don't have two textbooks.

There are a bunch of online textbooks available for free. Pick two that could be used for the same class. Or use one that you own and pick one. Here's some online textbooks.





If you really have a problem with writing a textbook recommendation report, then you can propose a topic which which I must approve. (Believe me, the textbook report will be easier than picking your own.) A typical problem is that the topic is either too trivial or too big. .No, you can't recommend moving into one of two apartments or new tires for your car. Actually, no topic that is about you personally will be approved. You also can't make a recommendation for a new building at work....that simply can't be done properly in this length of report.

Turn in


You will submit a draft of your report that your assigned group and I will make comments on. The draft should be a final version of the report. It is not a couple of pages that you tossed together 20 minutes before submitting it.

Not turning in a complete draft is minus one letter grade.

You'll then be expected to revised the final report taking into account the comments from me and your group members. Ignoring the comments and turning in essentially the draft as the final will have a negative grade impact.

Be sure to use the report evaluation as part of your writing process.

The supporting document is not needed for the draft. If you submit one, I will not download it and it will not be considered when the final version is turned in.


Recommendation report (properly names) (8-10 pages, not counting front matter or appendix)

Supporting document. (properly names) 2 pages single spaced. No supporting document is minus one letter grade.

Be sure to use the report evaluation as part of your writing process.

8 Things to Check When Proofreading Anything


I will assign you to groups of three or four and you will be responsible for reviewing and commenting on all the reports in your group. Note the due date for returning your evaluations to the author and to me. The evaluation is part of your homework grade. How does it match up against the report evaluation and does it do it in an effective manner.

A late evaluation or a "looks great" evaluation shows a lack of professionalism on your part.

The purpose of reviewing a paper is not to say that there are a few copyedit issues, but to consider the more structural issues. Is the text effectively communicating what it wants to say? What are the problem spots? What can be done to improve it? Does the report conform to the report evaluation criteria? In freshman composition, you had to do peer reviews. You read over the paper, said it sounded great (what you actually thought of it was irrelevant), and then spent the rest of the review time talking about your plans for the weekend. Sorry, but that model doesn't work anymore. Likewise, a response of "I found a few typos, but the rest is great." doesn't cut it.

Review groups
Group 1 Jennifer Baker Justin Delise Matthew Mizelle
Group 2 Brenda Baker Harry Ellis Jennifer Nguyen
Group 3 Adam Bradford Brittany Green Corey Pierson
Group 4 Rosetta Caballero Seth Hardy Sierra Robison
Group 5 Roddy Chandler Avery Hargrave Michael Rudd
Group 6 Brian Cobb Shane Stevens Casey Imbasciani
Group 7 John Cronau Alexandria Martin Craig Wallace

Supporting document

Turn in a separate (not in the report file) single spaced 2 page report describing

a) the audience for your report and discuss the design decisions you made to support that audience.

b) why you designed the report as you did: font choices, page layout, graphic formatting, etc. Be specific: point sizes, font choice, leading, line spacing....

c) justify how each of your figures helps communicate the report's message and provides needed information to the audience (I've seen too many figures added just to have a figure.)

This is not a description of how you went about writing the report. The supporting document should explain your choices; in other words, show you are learning the concepts from the class. For example. Don't write:  “I used different sized text to show separation of topics as well as different font colors. I also used a serif font, which allowed the text to flow more smoothly.” Of course you will do these things, but you need to explain which fonts you picked and why they were the proper font choice. What fonts did you pick for the different headings and why? Why is your body font the proper choice? Why is your bullet list formatting the proper choice?

Things that that will hurt your grade on the supporting document

Examples of the recommendation report assignment

Commented sample1


Department committee.


Consistent problems

The problems that are listed in this document consistently appear in the reports when I grade them. Also, almost all of them are listed in the report evaluation form as something to not do.

Consistent problems


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