Designed Report

DESIGNED REPORT NEEDED, REPORT ALREADY WRITTEN IN NEED OF FIGURES AND COMPOSITION OF DESIGNED REPORT

REQUIREMENTS

Content

  • Content for the Designed Report should reflect the content of the Revised Long Report completed in this class — including the introduction, body, conclusions, and documentation of sources.
  • Designed Reports that contain dramatically different content than the Revised Long Report may not earn credit, so consult with the instructor if you plan to make a significant change to your topic.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to make improvements to the content of the Revised Long Report — especially if any requirements were rated developing, needs significant revision, or missing in the grading rubric.
  • Improvements to the content of the Revised Long Report that do not reflect a dramatic change to the topic do not need instructor approval.

Components

  • Cover Letter (Links to an external site.): intended to be attached to the outside of the report. A standard business letter (Links to an external site.) from you (the report writer) to the recipient (your executive audience). It explains the context that brought the report about and contains information about the report that does not belong in the report. The first paragraph cites the name of the report in italics. The middle paragraph(s) focus on the purpose of the report and gives a brief overview of the report’s contents. The final paragraph encourages the reader to get in touch for a follow up and closes with a gesture of good will, expressing hope that the reader will act on the information in the report.
  • Cover Page: the top page of the report, including a label (Links to an external site.) (the report title, your name, date) and an image (Links to an external site.).
  • Title Page with Descriptive Abstract (Links to an external site.): the first page inside the report, following the cover page. Notes the title of the report, recipient, date, and writer. At the bottom of the title page is the descriptive abstract, providing an overview of the purpose and contents of the report.
  • Table of Contents (Links to an external site.): a list of items included in the report are left aligned — corresponding page numbers are right aligned. Lower case roman numerals are used for the list of items that reference visuals (often called figures, tables, charts, or graphics). Arabic numbers are used for pages in the text of the report and thereafter. The cover and title page are not included in the table of contents. A simple version is encouraged (including the roman numerals on the right side is optional).
  • List of Figures: readers use the list of figures to quickly find the illustrations, diagrams, tables, and charts in your report. This page is separate from and follows the table of contents. An ordered list of the numbered figures included in the report are left aligned — corresponding page numbers are right aligned. The examples of long reports included in the resources section provide strong models.

Visuals

  • Choose an engaging image for the cover page that connects with the content of the report — this is the one visual that does not need to clarify information in the report. It is decorative. Consider using Adobe Stock (Links to an external site.) with proper attribution.
  • Use all other graphics (tables, charts, maps, lists, etc.) to clarify information within the report — making sure your graphics are appropriate to your audience and purpose. Minimum requirement is 2, which does not include the cover image.
  • Introduce graphics within the report by referring to information in the visual in the paragraph preceding it. After the graphic, offer an interpretation or a final comment about the implications of the information visually displayed on the page.
  • Intersperse graphics and text on the same page — don’t put graphics on pages by themselves.
  • Make sure graphics fit within normal margins — leaving at least one blank line above and below graphics.
  • Give all graphics within the report a name (e.g., “Table 1” or “Figure 1”) and include identifying detail within the graphics (illustration labels, axis labels, keys, etc.). Provide source information at the bottom of the graphic.
  • Cite borrowed graphics and extracted subsets of data — applying academic integrity standards that are also used for written texts.

Readability and Style Continuity

  • Design a report that effectively applies contrast, repetition, alignment and proximity (check for CRAP (Links to an external site.)).
  • Choose a citation style — MLA (Links to an external site.)APA (Links to an external site.), and Chicago (Links to an external site.) are acceptable.
  • Focus on readability (Links to an external site.) by strategically including design and typographical elements like font choice, headings, bolding, negative or “white” space, and bullets.
  • Apply color in a consistent and meaningful way to help draw readers to the most important points. It shouldn’t be a distracting decoration, so use it sparingly. The cover page and visuals will benefit the most from the use of color.
  • Use primarily black text on a white or light background for areas of dense reading.
  • Keep pages uncluttered and remain consistent in all design choices.

(Links to an external site.)Editing and Proofreading

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