Seeking permission to begin a project
• Purpose: to suggest a solution to a problem.
You’re writing to your supervisor (in some cases,
me) to request that you be the person to do a
formal report on a specific topic. Your aim is to
get your audience to agree that you should work
on your chosen topic.
• Format: use memo format for this document
since this is an in-house assignment.
• Provide a full explanation of the topic for your
report, the audience/purpose, literature review,
and the scope (what you will and will not cover
in the report), the same information that will
appear in the report’s introduction.
• Give your audience enough information so that
he/she can decide to allow you to go ahead with
• Explain what type of formal report you wish to write.
• Feasibility study: you investigate a specific solution to a
problem or an opportunity and relate whether it is
• Process report: you explain how to do a specific task
or sets of tasks.
• Proposal report: you persuade your audience to okay a
• Information report: you provide your audience with
information that they need.
Examples of Formal Reports
• Here are links to excerpts from the different
types of formal reports on the Course Materials
• Feasibility study on use of synthetic oil
• Information report on tornadoes for new home
buyers in Tornado Alley
• Proposal on adding catering to a restaurant
• Process manual on floor maintenance
• Mandatory elements:
• Basic organization of the contents:
introduction, body, and conclusion
• Headings required for all major sections
• Use this section to provide a frame of reference
for your audience.
• Explain what the topic will be for your formal
report and what kind of report you will write.
• Include the audience/purpose, literature review,
• Discuss your topic in some detail. Remember
that your audience needs to know enough about
it to decide if you’re the person to compose the
report. For instance, if you’re doing a
problem/solution formal report, explain in detail
what the problem is.
• Include the benefits that the report will bring to
the company: it will save money; it will make
the work environment safe, etc.
• Give your audience an idea of the results that
you hope will come from the report and a sense
of what you will recommend to your audience.
• Include a bibliography of your primary and
secondary source material.