Onsumer Spending: How it helps the Economy.

Instructions
WRITING ASSIGNMENT 8: RESEARCH-BASED PERSUASIVE REPORT

People in business and government write formal reports for many different
purposes: proposing, problem solving, recommending, informing, explaining,
describing, selling, analyzing, defending, protecting, reviewing.

For this class, write a 12-15 page, double-spaced, persuasive report for
decision and implementation. That is, show that a problem exists and propose a
solution to the problem, oppose someone elses proposal, suggest a change in
policy, or support a position on a debatable issue. Assume the audience to be a
decision maker who is your immediate supervisor or one level higher.

The workplace can be a fictional one, not your actual employer. Choose a topic
that requires research: printed books and articles or articles from databases
and websites. When counting 12-15 pages, dont count the prefatory material
(memo of transmittal, table of contents, list of illustrations, executive
summary) nor the bibliography, nor any appendixes.

The assignment gives you practice in gathering information, taking notes,
planning and focusing a large report for an intended audience, writing and
revising, and documenting sources.

This assignment also meets the objectives of several UMUC Core Learning Areas
as well as all the objectives of WRTG 394.

UMUC CORE
LEARNING AREAS WRTG 394 OBJECTIVES
Effective Communication
Demonstrate competence in effective writing:
” Meet the needs of readers
” Accomplish the writers purpose
” Adequately cover the subject
” Use expected conventions of format and organization
” Demonstrate credible reasoning and evidence
” Satisfy standards of style and grammatical correctness After completing this
course, you should be able to:
” plan, organize, and write a variety of workplace documents, including
business letters, memos, resumes, and reports
” revise documents to produce a clear, concise style appropriate to audience,
context, purpose, and writers role
” demonstrate correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, and mechanics, and apply
the conventions of business writing
” produce professional-looking business letters, memos, reports, and other
documents, following standard formats
” collect, select, analyze, interpret, and organize data, and use it
appropriately in business communications, including a long formal report
” integrate visuals, headings, and other graphics into business communications
Information Literacy/Research Competence
Demonstrate competence in information literacy standards:
” Identify an information need
” Articulate questions
” Gain access to a variety of relevant resources
” evaluate and organize the information found
” integrate the information into an existing body of knowledge
” use information effectively
Critical Thinking
Demonstrate the use of analytical skills and reflective processing of
information
” Determine the nature and extent of the information needed
” Evaluate information and its sources critically
” Incorporate information into ones knowledge base
” Support positions with credible reasoning and evidence
” Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose
” Use information ethically and legally
The assignment schedule guides your progress from the beginning of the semester
and sets deadlines.
Your report should contain the following parts (chapter 15):
Memo of transmittal (one page; can be single-spaced or double-spaced)
Title page
Table of contents
Executive Summary (one page; can be single-spaced or double-spaced)
Recommendations
Body (with separate introduction and discussion)
Bibliography in APA style
Addenda (appendixes if appropriate)


Minimum Requirements
1. Use at least five published or Internet sources. Or get my approval for
unique reports not based primarily on published sources.
2. Quote sparingly; paraphrase and summarize frequently.
3. Do not plagiarize--by not citing precisely or by half-copying.
4. Complete the Audience Profile and turn it in with your finished report.


In addition, on a separate page, complete the Audience Profile (below).




AUDIENCE PROFILE
INSTRUCTIONS: For the imagined audience of your researched persuasive report,
write full explanations/commentary for each item. In addition to supplying the
information for each item, consider the implications of your perceptions of
your readers. Include as part of your commentary how you plan to use your
perceptions of your readers in planning and writing the report. Your textbook
authors continually remind you of the need to tailor the content and tone of a
document to the intended audience; two such discussions of audience are on
pages 92-94 and pages 426-427.

Turn in this completed form as part of Writing Assignment 8.
Your audience profile will be graded according to how thoroughly you respond to
the items.

I. AUDIENCE IDENTITY AND NEEDS
Primary Reader(s) (name, title)
Secondary Reader(s) (name, title)
Relationship (client, employee, other)
Intended use/result of document
Barriers to understanding or acceptance?
Readers prior knowledge of topic (know/do not know background; experts,
novices, other)
Additional information needed
Possible questions/objections reader(s) will have
Audiences attitude toward topic (indifferent, skeptical, other)
Audiences probable objections (cost, time, other)
Audiences probable attitude toward this writer (intimidated, hostile,
receptive, other)
Organizational climate (receptive, repressive, creative, other)
Persons most affected by this document
Audience temperament (cautious, impatient, other)
Probable reaction to the document (resistance, approval, anger, other)
Risk of alienating anyone

II. AUDIENCE EXPECTATIONS ABOUT THE DOCUMENT
Reason document originated (audience request, legal requirement, other)
Acceptable length, amount of detail (comprehensive, concise, other)
Why this material is important to this audience (interpretations, costs,
conclusions, other)
Most useful organization pattern (problem-solution, proposal, other)
Appropriate tone (businesslike, apologetic, enthusiastic, other)
Intended effect on this audience (win support, change behavior, other)


Source: Modified from John Lannon (1996), Technical Writing, 7th ed. Reading,
MA: Addison Wesley.



GRADING CRITERIA: RESEARCH-BASED PERSUASIVE REPORT
CONTENT
1. Meets minimum requirements (see assignment instructions)
2. Shows skillful application of persuasive strategies
Audience is appealed to appropriately
Argument is developed well; relevant evidence supports your claims
Image of credibility is established
Objections are anticipated and responded to
ORGANIZATION AND COHERENCE
3. Each component contains required (see instructions) and appropriate
material; executive summary (one page) is a mini-version of the entire report
4. Purpose of each section is clear and supported well
5. Organization is clear
Follows problem-solution, proposal, or recommendation-support pattern, etc.
Separate ideas in separate paragraphs
Not organized serially by source
Contains useful headings
6. There are helpful transitions between and within paragraphs
PARAGRAPHS
7. Each paragraph has a clear topic sentence stating the main point and
focusing the material
8. Each paragraph fully supports its topic sentence with very specific material
appropriate for your purpose and audience: details, examples, reasons and
explanations, evidence
SENTENCE STRUCTURE
9. Sentences are well-written: emphatic, condensed, varied in structure, fluent
STYLE
10. Words are specific, precise, concrete, accurate; voice is consistent and
appropriate for audience
GRAPHICS
11. Graphics are designed well; data are relevant to recommendations
SOURCES
12. Sources are handled well:
sources are precisely cited in APA style in the paragraphs of the report
good selection of reliable material to support research issue
few direct quotes, accurate paraphrasing and summarizi