FormalRpt Assignment Case

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					                                   FORMAL REPORT ASSIGNMENT
                                       BEIT 336 – WILHELM
Introduction and Objectives

In business, you will write mostly short reports, but at times, you may be required to write a longer, more formal
report. Therefore, it is important that you be prepared to tackle such a task. We will approach the longer, more
formal report as a logic problem. You will learn how to approach a more complex problem in a logical, organized
manner by defining the problem, gathering data, organizing data, summarizing the data, drawing conclusions, and
offering recommendations. You will gather data for the assignment, and you will write the results of your research
formatted as a formal report in the indirect order. Therefore, at the completion of this assignment, you will be able
to plan an organized, logical procedure for approaching a problem-solving situation, gather data, draw conclusions
and recommendation, and write a formal report.

Assignment Overview

Your assignment is to write an individual (not a group report) formal report based on a case you will be given. You
will be given some data in the case, and you must gather additional data. While you will write an individual report,
you will be working with your group in developing the research plan. In addition, you and your group will work
together to collect (and share) secondary data.

Assignments Review

         Review Chapters 5, 19, 8, 9, and 10 in the Business Communications textbook.
         Read and study the following handouts:
                 Formal Report Case
                 The Analytical Report Process

Research Plan and Outline

         Work with your group to (1) develop the research plan for the formal report assignment case and (2) collect
         (and share) secondary data. While Business Communications provides an outline for the research plan (see
         Business Communications, chapter 5, pages 87-88), we will modify that outline for your assignment.
         Include the following information in the research plan: problem statement, factors, limitations (if any), and
         how the group plans to conduct the data gathering (include specific assignments and deadlines). Bring
         your individual outlines to class on Tuesday, March 16.
              Organize your team to work on the tasks by
              1. Selecting a project leader, and identifying the project leader to your instructor.
              2. Determining the method of group communication (email, phone, etc.).
              3. Determining and assigning the tasks for the project (remember to assign proofreading and editing).
                  A good suggestion for task #2 is to assign each group member the task of collecting (and sharing)
                  information on a particular factor, and assign the number of articles each team member is
                  responsible to collect for that factor. Each team member should give other group members the web
                  site address or other citation information such as author, journal, date, issue/volume number(s) for
                  each source, and other information required by APA.
              4. Setting deadlines.
              5. Requiring and accepting participation from each group member.
              6. Writing a draft copy of the research plan. Each group member should make substantial
                  comments/revisions to the draft.
              7. Complete, proofread/edit, and submit the final copy individually.
Gathering Secondary Data

         Continue working with your team to gather secondary data for the formal report topic after you receive
         word from your instructor that your problem statement and factors are appropriate. Use the ISU Library
         Research Guide on the class homepage to access several databases to obtain relevant journal articles. Start
         analyzing data and prepare for writing the report.

         Review The Analytical Report Process handout. Review textbook and Study Notes material assigned
         related to organization and analysis of information.

Analyzing Data and Writing Your Drafts

         Complete data gathering, analyze the data, and start writing the report.

         Read Chapters 10, 12 (pages 244-253 only), and 13 (pages 255-257 only of the Business Communications

         Read the handout, Formatting and Writing the Formal Report

         Follow the guidelines for APA (Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 5 th
         edition) reference citations discussed in class and shown at the Online Writing Lab Web site:

Use the grade sheet (attached) as your check sheet.

                                            FORMAL REPORT CASE

Formal Report Case

By reading articles and considering employment statistics, Mark Hudson, President of Madison Supply Company
(368 County Road, Terre Haute, IN 47810—manufacturer of plastic cooking supplies employing 2000 people) is
aware of the problems facing employees. He has noticed more articles on flextime scheduling recently and wonders
if flextime scheduling might improve his company’s financial statistics and help employees. He is concerned about
the performance of his employees—absenteeism, turnover, and productivity. In addition, he is concerned about
employee morale. Therefore, he asked the Director of Human Resources to investigate flextime scheduling and to
prepare a report outlining the facts, conclusions, and recommendations on whether the company should implement
flextime. As a member of the Human Resources staff, you have been assigned the task.

You and your team will conduct primary and secondary research. To gather primary data from our employees, you
and your team developed and distributed a questionnaire on flextime (assume the questionnaire was developed after
secondary data were gathered). The results of that survey are attached. You and your team will conduct secondary
research by using the database at a local university to acquire relevant articles on the topic of flextime, and
determine the benefits and potential problems that companies employing flextime scheduling have experienced.

IMPORTANT NOTE: The questionnaire on the next page contains the percentage responses (results) that were
gathered highlighted in yellow. While you can use the next page as the template for developing the BLANK
questionnaire that will become your appendix, you must add an introduction, remove the percentages, and format it
as a blank questionnaire used to gather these data. Be sure to go back and review the PowerPoint lecture Primary &
Secondary Data – especially the last few slides – so that you can prepare a blank questionnaire to insert into your
formal report as your appendix.

                                         MADISON SUPPLY COMPANY
                                          2009 EMPLOYEE SURVEY*

Please respond to the following survey items by checking the appropriate response.

    1.   Have you had difficulty handling family responsibilities or personal appointments/tasks with the current
         fixed work hours?

         ____ Yes 95%                        ___No 5%                            ___ Uncertain 0%

    2.   Have you been absent from work in the last year because of family responsibilities or personal

         ___Yes 65%                          ___ No 30%                          ___ Uncertain 5%

         If you responded “No” to question 2, please skip to question 4

    3.   Approximately how many days have you been absent from work in the last year because of family
         responsibilities or personal appointments?

         ___0-10 days 75%                    ___ over 10 days 4%                 ___Uncertain 21%

    4.   Have you been late to work in the last year because of family responsibilities or personal appointments?

         ___ Yes 70%                ___ No 5%                  ___ Uncertain 25%

         If you responded “No” to question 4, please skip to question 6

    5.   Approximately how many days have you been late for work in the last year because of family
         responsibilities or personal appointments?

         ___ 0-10 days 95%                   ___ over 10 days 4%                 ___ Uncertain 1%

    6.   Would a flexible work schedule change your attitude and performance as an employee?

         ___ Yes 90%                ___ No 5%                  ___ Uncertain 5%

         If you responded “no” or “Uncertain” to question 6, thank you for completing the questionnaire.

         If you responded “Yes” to question 6, please continue to question 7.

    7.   How would a flexible work schedule change your performance as an employee?

         ___ Improve performance 93%
         ___ Hinder performance 5%
         ___ Uncertain 2%

    8.   Would you prefer flextime scheduling over the present 8 a.m to 4:30 p.m. fixed work hours?

         ___ Yes 95%                ___ No 3%                  ___ Uncertain 2%

Thank you for completing the questionnaire. Please place the completed questionnaire in a box marked “Child-care
Survey” located at the factory time clock or at the entrance to the main offices.

* The survey was distributed to all 2000 employees and 1500 responded.
    The formal report assignment is due at the beginning of class on Tuesday, April 13. One copy must be spiral
    bound, one copy must be stapled, and one copy must be submitted through Turnitin (see class Blackboard
    site to submit).

   Grading for Formal Report (depth of content, writing techniques, and format)
          Section                                        Parts                                     Points   Your
Preliminary           Letter of transmittal (block style)                                           6 pts
25 pts.               Title page                                                                    3 pts
                      Table of contents (use 1st degree heading)                                    4 pts
(Content, format,     List of illustrations (use 1st degree heading)                                2 pts
writing techniques)   Executive summary (use 1st degree heading)                                   10 pts
                      Deficient (0-14)… Developing (15-18)…Satisfactory (19-22)…Superior
Body                  Overview: 20 pts. Total (use 1st degree heading)
87 pts.               (Section content—no heading)
                               Background                                                           5 pts
(Content, format,              Problem statement                                                    3 pts
writing techniques)            Scope (factors with depth)                                           5 pts
                               Sources and methods of Collecting Data                               4 pts
                               Report Preview                                                       3 pts
                      Deficient (0-11)…Developing (12-14)…Satisfactory (15-17)…Superior
                      Discussion of factors: 48 pts. Total (use 1st degree heading; sub-sections
                      under each factor use 3rd degree headings)
                          Content and writing                                                      40 pts
                          Graphic aids                                                              4 pts
                              Pie or Bar Chart:                                                     4 pts
                      Deficient (0-28)…Developing (29-35)…Satisfactory (36-42)…Superior
                      (43-48)                                                                       8 pts
                      Report Ending (14 pts. Total)                                                 6 pts
                          Summary & Conclusions (use 1st degree heading)                                    ______
                          Recommendation (use 1st degree heading)
                                                                                                    5 pts   ______
                      Deficient (0-7)…Developing (8-10)…Satisfactory (11-12)…Superior (13-
                      In-text Citations (5 pts.)
Supplementary         References page
13 pts.                    10 Secondary references (APA style)                                     10 pts
(content, format)                Rubric for both In-text Citations & References Page                        ______
                      Deficient (0-8)…Developing (9-11)…Satisfactory (12-13)…Superior (14-
                                                          15)                                       3 pts   ______
Misc.                 Organization & Pagination                                                     6 pts
10 pts.               Headings                                                                      4 pts
                      Deficient (0-5)…Developing (6-7)…Satisfactory (8)…Superior (9-10)

   Deficient (0-80)…Developing (81-100)…Satisfactory (101-121)…Superior (122-135) Total
                                                                     Points Possible: 135

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