FORMAL REPORT: Due by Wednesday, JULY 28th, prior to midnight.
[Be sure to note that this is also a discussion forum — directions/deadlines for that are in #9 below.]
The next writing assignment is going to be a formal report that gives an overview of your field of study (or current professional field) and which pulls upon research. (You may recycle research or interviews from your professional articles, if it applies.) Your reading and discussion from last week was in preparation for this assignment.
You may deal with your field in a general sense (for example, “agriculture”) or more specifically—e.g. Ag. Dairy, Ag. Bus., or Ag. Eng. If you are seeking to narrow your field and are unsure, bounce your idea off of me.
You should start your research immediately, and you might also want to bounce drafts or sections off of me as you proceed. The reports will vary based on the topic and the approach, but here are some guidelines.
1) It should begin with an Executive Summary, which is an introduction that gives us an overview of what the report contains. It is usually 10% of the overall length. Our chapter in our book stressed the importance of introductions in technical reports.
Here’s a good description of an Executive Summary, especially in that it differentiates it from an abstract. There is also an example:
2) Use headings for every subject area—so Executive Summary would be titled just that, and Challenges Facing the Industry, for example, would be labeled that.
3) Some suggestions for headings. You may also want to come up with a few of your own, depending upon your field. Tailor this to your needs; you needn’t use all of mine if they don’t apply. Interpret them as you need to for your particular field. For example: for some fields, number VII may constitute the greater portion of the report. Other fields may find that VII is not that relevant; thus, it could be omitted.
I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
II. State of the Industry
III. Job Opportunities
IV. Salaries and Wages