Writing for Business and Industry



Recommendation reports


Week 1 -- Reports readings

Week 2 -- Reports readings

Week 3 -- No readings. Work on your report

Extra reading

Houp. Empirical reports


Write a recommendation report


Complete the Report quiz in Blackboard. The quiz is open book (the browser is not locked down), but you can only take it once. The quiz closes at 11:00pm on the due date listed on the schedule. Don't ask me to reopen it.



Email me your response to these three questions. Put all your answers in one Word document and make it easy to read.

A. What is the common order in which a person reads the sections of a proposal or recommendation report?  How does that reading order affect the content you put into each section of the report?

B. Executive summaries

C. Defining criteria

Discussion questions

Week 1

Typically reports deal with topics that require a decision and which do not have yes/no answers. They deal with complex problems that have multiple correct answers and multiple paths to accomplishing the end goal. However, you as the report writer, would get hopelessly bogged down if you tried to present the entire list of possible solutions (which it can't be defined anyhow). The context of the information (such as corporate culture, economic environment, and access to suppliers/customers) all drive what information a decision maker needs when reading a report.

The readings list a six step process (below) for writing the report, but just saying "I'm going to follow these steps" does not accomplish handling the complexities. They are almost like a list for apartment hunting of (1) Determine what you want (2) list all apartments that meet your needs (3) visit them .... Things you should do, but they don't address the nitty gritty of actually handling the issues of apartment hunting (or report writing).

So how to you, as the writer, handle these complexities within the report?

Weak answer: You can help manage the complexities within a report by organizing and planning the report initially that will help take out solutions that are less useful and leave you with a few viable options. There is method with six steps that will help in narrowing down possible outcomes to make the best decision possible. They are: .... (list the six steps).

Week 2

Your company has been hired by a different company to evaluate different methods of preventing flooding in their parking lot. After the analysis, you are assigned to write the recommendation report detailing the four methods that were analyzed.
Explain why and how that drives the design decisions and what specific design and content choices you need to make to allow for it.

a. How you need to consider the audience in the design of a recommendation report.Who is the audience? How many groups and how do there needs differ?  Your boss is not part of the audience; why not? (Note: this is not a 1 sentence answer that “audience is important”) 

b. How the executive summary and body of the report have different audiences (and there may be more than 2) and how can you write the report to address all audiences. Writing a separate section of the report for each audience is not a valid option.

weak answer: This type of report would be considered a recommendation report. It should begin with the need to address flooding, which the company has already defined. The purpose of this is to clearly define the criteria and circumstances involving the flooding and make recommendations on how to fix the problem of the flooding parking lot. The first part needs to be the executive summary. The executive summary is generally helpful to all readers of the report, as it gives a broad overview of the problem and recommended solutions. The body of the report will be helpful in guiding those with technical knowledge in implementing the plan. This section can also be used in helping lower level managers guide executives in their decisions. Ensuring that you use appropriate language that is understandable by management while still being instructive/informative to the technical user.

Week 3

No discussion questions. Work on the draft of your report.





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