ASSIGNMENT #1: EMAIL MESSAGE Due Date: Friday, October 10



 Send an email message introducing yourself to the class. Design your email using headings and subheadings that enable others to scan your document in order to read it quickly. Send your message to the class email address, and send copies to each member of your project group. To send copies to your group members, write their email addresses after Cc: from the email heading and put a comma (no spaces) between each address. In your message, include the following information:

  • Your name
  • The name you prefer others in this class to call you
  • Your BA 101, student group number
  • Your home country, state, and city
  • Your year in college (freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior)
  • Other colleges or universities you have attended, if applicable
  • Your declared or possible major
  • Your declared or possible minor
  • Your possible career interests
  • Your previous work experience if any
  • Your current work experience if any
  • A brief statement about why you are taking BA 101, Introduction to Business
  • A brief statement about your proficiency in languages other than English
  • A brief statement about your proficiency in written English
  • A brief statement that includes anything else you want your instructor and your group members to know about you. 

Process Requirements:

There are no process requirements or initial stages of this assignment that you need to submit with your final message. Still, you would be wise to proofread and edit your message. Show your document to another reader. Ask that person the questions listed below to determine if your message satisfies the minimum requirements for this assignment. 

Evaluative Criteria:

 To earn a passing grade for this assignment, the person who reads and grades this assignment must answer "yes" to each of the following questions:

  • Was the message delivered on time?
  • Does the message include all of the requested information?
  • Did the writer create a readable document design, using headings and subheadings?
  • Did the writer write in a business rather than an academic style. (For more information on this, please click here: Differences Between Academic and Business Writing.)
  • Did the writer send the email message to all of the required addresses?
  • Is it apparent that the writer edited and proofread the document in an attempt to make it easier to read?

NOTE: For more information about sending email, including format instructions, go back to the main page for the BA199 writing class, click on GENRES OF BUSINESS WRTING, and scroll down until you find the needed information.



Generally speaking:

 Organizations use email for informal and some formal, internal and external communications. As a medium, email is changing the way people write. Email messages range from being short and direct to chatty and conversational. Often, email systems will not include spellcheckers or grammar checkers, so informal email writers and readers often overlook errors more than they would in printed documents. It is very important to remember, however, that issues of clarity and correctness are just as important in formal email messages as they are in printed materials.

The Illusion of Privacy:

The illusion of privacy on email is just that – an illusion. Whenever you write email messages, and certainly whenever you write email messages in the workplace, remember that any number of people may have access to your texts.

Email Formats:

Email systems provide their own format, which resembles the format for a memorandum:

 Return-path: <rseverso@OREGON.UOREGON.EDU>

Date: Tue, 30 Sep 1997 09:57:28 -0700

From: ron severson <rseverso@OREGON.UOREGON.EDU>

Subject: formatting email messages




Attachment Converted: "c:\program files\eudora\attach\199F97.toc" 

[Type Message Here]

Suggestions for Formatting Email Messages in This Course:

  • Use the format your email system provides.
  • Make sure your name, in addition to your email address, appears in the heading.
  • Write the name of the assignment after "Subject."
  • Develop an address list for your group and type the list name after "TO:" or after the "CC:" to send copies, when required, to other group members.
  • Simply begin to type your message immediately under the heading. There is no need to include a salutation ("Dear so and so:") in formal email messages or memoranda, as you would in a letter – although you may choose to do so in less formal email messages.
  • Use subheadings to make the structure of your email message visible to your readers.
  • Do not add a closing ("Sincerely,") as you would in a letter.
  • Do not write your name at the end of your message unless the signature option on your email system automatically does this for you.


The structures, or sets of topics, that characterize email messages are infinite and depend upon the purpose for which your are writing and the needs of your readers. Use the ASSIGNMENT #1: WRITING EMAIL MESSAGES page to decide on a structure which best fits your rhetorical situation.


The design capabilities of email systems are very limited compared to word processing programs. Except for the first email message to the class, when you write documents for this class, always compose them within a word processing program to take advantage of the unique design features, then send them as attachments to an email file. Do not copy them into email or you will lose your document design features.



ASSIGNMENT #2: MEMO ..................................Due Date: Friday, October 17



Address your memorandum to me, Ron Severson, Coordinator of Business Communication at the Lundquist College of Business, advising me on ways to solve the problem described below. Send your final memorandum to the class email address: 


Many students from the Lundquist College of Business are awarded internships in private industry. Past employers of U.O. interns have commented that the students they hire do not write effectively in the workplace. I suspect that many of these student interns make the mistake of writing for their new employers as they would write for their professors.

I have decided to produce a quick reference guide to solve this problem. The guide needs to include the most important ways business writing differs from academic writing and convey this information in a way that users of this document can readily access. Please advise me on the following two questions: 

  • What information should this quick reference guide include?
  • How should I design this guide so that future interns can access the information quickly?

Important Note:

Email systems do not provide many design options. Business writers, therefore, often produce their documents in word processing programs (such as Microsoft Word) and then send them as attachments to email files.

We have not yet taught you how to send attachments to email files, so we do not expect that you send this assignment as an attachment. (If you already know how to do this, or if you want to learn how to do this by asking friends and/or lab advisors around campus, you certainly may do so.) Until we teach you how to send attachments, however, you may continue to write and send your documents as email files.

Even if you produce your memo in an email file, please demonstrate that you understand how to format a memo. For information about formatting memos, click here, GENRES OF BUSINESS WRITING, and scroll down to find the needed information (or simply scroll down past the Peer Review Worksheet on this page). In other words, even though the email provides its own heading, start your memo by writing MEMORANDUM at the top of the page and formatting a new heading. Then write your memo. This will appear to be a little redundant, but business writers often send hard copy memos within their organizations and therefore need to know how to make their own formats.

Process Requirements:

Step 1: Write a rhetorical plan to help this document achieve its purpose with its audience. Click here, Making Rhetorical Plans, for instructions about how to do this.

Step 2: Write a first draft of the document.

Step 3: Exchange rhetorical plans and drafts (in hardcopy or electronic form) with one other member of your project group.

Step 4: Using the peer review worksheet provided below, recommend ways your peer can improve his or her document. This is a very important part of the process of writing in business settings. Business writers always show important documents to others before publishing them and revise according to the feedback they receive from others. Expert business writers learn not only to recognize sound advice when they see it, but also to give sound advice to others to improve their documents. Please be responsible for helping one another.

Step 5: Summarize the most useful comments you receive from your peer reviewer, and write a revision plan adding these suggestions to a list of other ways you plan to improve your document.

Step 6: Revise the document.

Step 7: Send the final, revised document to the class email account.

Step 8: Save all the stages of your process -- your rhetorical plan, your first draft, your revision plan, and your final draft -- to submit in your portfolio at the end of the term. 

Evaluation Criteria:

 To meet the minimum requirements for a passing grade, your document must:

  • Be delivered on time.
  • Be formatted as a memorandum.
  • Use headings, subheadings and other design features to facilitate easy reading.
  • Be written in a business rather than an academic style.
  • Achieve the dual purpose of advising your audience, Ron Severson on both the content and design of the quick reference guide.
  • Cover the differences between academic and business writing most relevant to interns.
  • Show evidence that you revised, edited, and proofread your document for readability.


Instructions: When you receive a draft of this assignment from another member of your group, please respond using this worksheet. When you complete the worksheet, return it to the writer whose memorandum you read. Please respond candidly. You are responsible for helping your peer improve his or her document.


Document Name _________________________________________________

Name and Email Address of Writer________________________________________

Name and Email Address of Reviewer______________________________________


1) Is the memorandum formatted as a memorandum?



2) Does the first sentence effectively announce the purpose of the memo?



3) Are headings and subheadings effectively used to help readers scan the document for information?



4) Are other design features used to help readers retrieve information quickly?




5) Does the memorandum effectively cover the two, requested topics and make clear recommendations?



6) What information could be added or omitted?



7) Is the document written in a business rather than an academic style?



8) What further suggestions can you give the writer to improve this memorandum?



Generally speaking:

The memorandum is the genre of choice for daily, internal, office communications. Email correspondence, as described earlier, uses a memorandum format and, to a certain degree, is replacing the hard copy memorandum in organizations today. Still, the more important the document, the more likely it will be printed and sent to its readers as a hard copy memorandum. For all of its advantages, email technology still fails, at times, to deliver. Moreover, lengthier documents that require closer scrutiny may be sent as memos because it is difficult to read lengthy email messages. Finally, people can take memos to meetings as an aid to discussion, while email messages, until printed, stay on the screen.

Memo Formats:

Memoranda formats differ slightly from organization to organization. Some organizations always use letterhead for their memos. Others do not. Some put the name of the recipient on the first line of the heading while most put the date first.


September 30, 1997


[Type your message here.]


Suggestions for Formatting Memos in This Course:

1) Write "MEMORANDUM" at the top of the page, preferably centered and in a larger font than the rest of the memo.

2) Put the "DATE:" first, then:


("RE:" refers to "regarding." Type the topic or subject of your memo on that line.)

3) Add a "Cc:" line if you are sending copies to others. After "Cc" write the names of other recipients of your memo.

4) If possible, allign the information you include after each subheading in the address by pressing the "tab" key.

5) Otherwise, since the formatting requirements for memos are so similar to the formatting requirements for email, read the formatting information provided for the first email assignment. For example, please do not include a salutation (Dear so and so:) or a closing (Sincerely yours,) in formal memos.


Memoranda, like email messages, vary widely in their structures, which depend upon the purpose for which they are written and the needs of readers. Decide on a structure for your memo that fits the assignment and the needs/expectations of your audience.


ASSIGNMENT #3: PROPOSAL.........Due Date: Friday, October 31



Send a proposal to your BA 101 professor, Dave Dusseau, to gain approval for the group project you will complete over the course of the term. Use the problem outlined on the BA 101 Group Project Assignment page to help you define the purpose and scope of your proposal. Send your final proposal, together with the parts of the process requested below, to the class email address:

Below you will find a very brief description of the three problems designed for this course. Propose an approach to solving the problem listed under your group focus. 

Problem #1: Careers

Write a proposal to Dave Dusseau that outlines your approach to solving the following problem:

Faculty and administrators in the Lundquist College of Business are currently designing better ways to help LCB students choose careers and understand the instruments used by employers to hire new employees. Several screening instruments are available to help prospective employees and employers establish a good match. Your task as a group is to advise Dave Dusseau on the following two questions:
  • How can the Lundquist College of Business best help its students make career choices?
  • How can the Lundquist College of Business best prepare its students to perform well on the screening instruments employers use when hiring new employees?

Problem #2: Information Resources

 Write a proposal to Dave Dusseau that outlines your approach to solving the following problem:

Dave has been hired as a consultant by Digital Artworks, a Eugene firm that produces computer graphics for customers worldwide. Digital Artworks is facing increased competition within a rapidly expanding industry, and they have hired Dave to recommend whether the company should open a second office in Los Angeles. To form this recommendation, Dave needs to conduct an industry analysis, two competitor analyses, and an international development potential analysis. Since he does not have much time to conduct this research, he needs your help to screen the information resources available to him. Your task as a group is to advise Dave on the following two questions:
  • Which information sources should Dave consult and why?
  • Which information sources should Dave avoid and why?

 Problem #3: Business in Society

Write a proposal to Dave Dusseau that outlines your approach to solving the following problem:

Dave has been hired as a consultant for Ariel, a new shoe company based in Eugene that plans to compete worldwide with Nike. His job is to help Ariel avoid the negative publicity that companies like Nike and Reebok have received regarding working conditions within overseas factories, particularly in Southeast Asia. Four groups of company stakeholders – employees, managers, stockholders, and citizens of Eugene – have different interests related to this problem. Your task as a group is to advise Dave on the following two questions:
  • What do the different stakeholders identified above have "at stake" in this issue?
  • How can Ariel produce shoes overseas while avoiding the impact of negative publicity on these important groups of stakeholders?

Process Requirements:

 Step 1: Discuss this project with your group.

Step 2: Write a collaborative, rhetorical plan to make this document effective.

(See Making Rhetorical Plans.)

Step 3: Write an individual draft of the document.

Step 4: Exchange drafts with one other member of your project group.

Step 5: Using the peer review worksheet provided below, help your peer improve his or her document.

Step 6: Summarize the most useful comments you receive from your peer, and write a revision plan that incorporates adds these suggestions to other improvements you plan to make.

Step 7: Revise the document.

Step 8: Submit your final document to the BA 199 class email account.

Step 9: Save the stages of your process (your rhetorical plan, draft, and revision plan) to submit in your portfolio at the end of the term.

Evaluation Criteria: 

To meet the minimum requirements for a passing grade, your document must:

  • Be delivered on time.
  • Be formatted as a memorandum and structured as a proposal.
  • Use headings, subheadings and other design features to facilitate easy reading.
  • Convince your audience, Dave Dusseau, that you have carefully designed your project to meet his needs and that, as a group, you are capable of completing your project by the deadline.
  • Show evidence that you have revised, edited, and proofread your document for readability.
  • Show evidence that as peer reviewers, you have provided, listened to, and utilized constructive feedback to improve your documents. 



(Succinctly state what you propose to do.)

I propose to write you a message that will help you write a winning proposal for your group project in Dave Dusseau's BA101 class.


(Define the need or problem your proposal addresses.)

First, students interested in business need to know how to write proposals. Proposals drive many of the decisions made by business professionals, give direction to companies, and often win (or lose) valuable contracts for companies. All students, no matter what career they imagine for themselves, will someday work for an organization, and all organizations produce internal and external proposals.

Internal proposals include project proposals, strategic plans, business plans, marketing plans, proposals for reorganization, etc. External proposals include bids, grant proposals, bids for projects, stockholder initiatives, proposals to establish strategic alliances, etc.

Secondly, a few students have recently sent emails and visited a tutor to request assistance. These students have expressed their needs for models of proposals and for answers to questions such as: "How long does it need to be?" "How can I keep from repeating myself in each section of the proposal?" "How do objectives differ from the product description ?" "Is the proposal an individual project or a group project."

Third, the proposal is due tomorrow, so the need is imminent.


(List the outcomes that any solution must achieve to meet these needs.)


(Describe, in detail, the product or service you propose to deliver.)

I propose to add critical information to the "news" page of the BA199 home page. That way students will get the news as soon as they open the home page and will not need to hunt for it.

Additionally, I propose to structure the critical information in the format of a proposal, to provide students with an example of a proposal. This will answer many of the questions listed above that students have posed, such as, "How long does the proposal need to be?"

Besides posting this information on the "news" page, I will also make a copy of this proposal and bring copies of other proposals students have written in business writing courses at the Lundquist College of Business, to the BA199 class session held today from 4:00 to 4:50 in 138 Gilbert. To make these copies more accessible for students, I will reproduce them as overhead transparencies.

I will also make sure that the newly hired tutors have several examples of proposals, including this one, so they can give much needed advice to all self-motivated students who visit them.

Finally, (and I really hate to say this) I will lower expectations slightly for the proposals students submit tomorrow.

(Note: Proposals are indeed difficult to write because students are not used to having to invent solutions to problems themselves. The structure of our education system has taught students that teachers solve problems, and students learn from teachers. Of course, it doesn't work that way in the world of business, where everyone is expected to propose solutions to problems and where teachers, at least in the traditional sense, no longer exist. Do your best by tomorrow. You will have another chance to revise the proposal before you submit the final portfolio for this class.)


(Describe your methods for delivering this product or service. Include sections describing: the steps you plan to complete this project, your qualifications to complete this project, your division of labor and the qualifications of your group members if you are dividing the tasks among yourselves in your group, and a timeline for completing the tasks.)

(Special Note: Your description of methods will be longer than my description of methods. My entire project will be completed within a day. Your project will require more steps, which you must imagine and outline in this section.)

To complete this project I will:


I am qualified to complete this project because I am the instructor, have experience writing proposals both in business settings and in academic settings, and have the technological access and knowledge required to communicate this information to students.


Primarily, I will complete this project on my own. However, Dave Dusseau will speak with me on the telephone, provide the html address for this web page, and visit me in my office to offer encouragement. In addition, tutors will provide me with timely information and students have provided all of us with excellent questions. All persons listed above, will continue to do their part. In particular, more students will take an active role in this process as time progresses.


(Special Note: I will not reproduce a timeline here. Tables take some time to construct in html -- webpage language. To construct your timeline, however, simply take the tasks listed in the methods section of your proposal, list them on the left margin of the page, tab over a couple of times, and list the date you plan to complete that task. If your group is collaborating to share responsibilities for tasks, you could add a third column listing the person's name who is responsible for each task. )

(Special Note #2: Those of you who like using technology to make your jobs easier, check out the MSPROJECT or MACPROJECT programs that convert the information described above into a nice chart called a "Gantt Chart.")


There are several kinds of cost associated with this project.

Monetary Costs:

Labor Costs:

Opportunity Costs:

Personal Costs:

(Note: Convert costs to dollar amounts if you can. Total the amount as the amount you will bill your client, Dave.)

A Final Reminder:

There are only two kinds of proposals in the real world -- those that are accepted, and those that are rejected. Make decisions in your writing that will convince your client to accept your proposal. Winning proposals define or redefine projects in ways that meet the clients' needs better than even they imagined. This is just a proposal. It's a plan, a promise to do certain kinds of work for your client. Take risks. Imagine the possibilities. Define the project in a way that interests you and meets your client's needs.


Instructions: When you receive a draft of this assignment from another member of your group, please respond using this worksheet. When you complete the worksheet, return it to the writer whose proposal you read. Please respond candidly. You are responsible for helping your peer improve his or her document.

 Document File Name _________________________________________________

Name and Email Address of Writer_______________________________________

Name and Email Address of Reviewer_____________________________________


1) Is the proposal formatted as a memorandum? Yes_____ No ______


2) Does the structure follow the logic of a proposal? Yes ______ No _______


3) Do appropriate headings and subheadings make the structure of the document visible to the reader? Yes ______ No _______



4) Are other design features used to help readers retrieve information quickly?

Yes ______ No _______



5) Does the first section of the proposal effectively define the problem?

Yes ______ No _______



6) Do the remaining sections of the proposal concisely map out a process for solving this problem? Yes ______ No _______



7) If you were Dave Dusseau, would you find the writing style and language of this proposal convincing? Yes ______ No _______



8) Could any information be added or omitted? Yes ______ No _______



9) Could the writer conceive of the project differently in a way that could improve the proposal? Yes ______ No _______



10) What further suggestions can you give the writer to improve this proposal?



Generally speaking:

Business writers write proposals of various kinds to solve problems and provide direction for their companies. Business proposals often go by other names, such as "business plans," "marketing plans," "white papers," "financial plans," "strategic plans," and "project proposals" but they share a common logic or superstructure outlined below:

 "Proposals are documents that anticipate the future."

Writing proposals can be difficult because proposals, by nature, are anticipatory. Writers begin by defining a clear problem, need, or opportunity that currently exists within an organization, but then anticipate the best solution to this problem and the methods of solving this problem. The process of anticipating, of planning something that does not yet exist, requires both analytical and imaginative skills. Plans rarely turn out exactly as anticipated, although to maintain your credibility as a company, the product or services you deliver must closely resemble what you originally proposed to deliver.

When you write your proposal for this class, some of you will experience the difficulty described above. Some of you will want to know exactly what you are supposed to write, even though no one, except you and your group, has yet solved this problem. No one can tell you what to write.

 "Additional advice about writing proposals:"

Any proposal writer will tell you that writing an effective business proposal begins by defining the problem, need, or opportunity you are addressing in a way that points to its own solution. Everything follows from there. If you are clear about the problem you are trying to solve, your objectives, your product, your method, and the costs will emerge more clearly as well. My best advice to you, once you have crafted a generative problem statement, is to trust your own judgment and the judgment of others in your project group. No one can tell you exactly how to solve the problem given to you. That’s the whole point of writing a proposal. Your purpose is to make the proposal you do write credible to your audience, Dave Dusseau. After that, if things work out a little differently than you anticipated, for reasons beyond your control, your audience or client will be more inclined to accept the necessary adjustments.

Proposal Formats:

 Business proposals are formatted in many different ways. Often they are formatted as memos, and follow the format guidelines for memos provided above. Just as often, they are formatted as formal reports and include the sections listed below in addition to the body of the proposal itself:

Letter of Transmittal
Title Page
Executive Summary
Table of Contents
The Proposal Itself

Addtional Suggestions for Writing Proposals in this Course:



Even though business proposals generally follow the logic or superstructure outlined above, you will rarely find a proposal written within a real business that is structured exactly according to this logic. For the purposes of this assignment, however, please use the logic or superstructure for writing proposals provided above as a general map for your proposal. You will need to add sections or make minor changes, in some cases, depending upon the specific nature of your group project.



This proposal represents the first, longer document (3 or 4 pages) you have written for this class. It is a very important document both for you as a group and for your client Dave Dusseau. For your group, the proposal carefully defines the scope of the project and the tasks each of you must accomplish to complete the project. For your client, the proposal works as a kind of contract that obligates you to deliver a product by a certain time.

Any transactional document – that is any document that will produce actions within an organization– must be clear to all readers. To improve the readability of your document and to insure that your readers can scan your document quickly to acquire they information they need, you will need to design your document creatively. Incorporate the following design options into your document to make it more readable:


When writing longer, business documents, students often inappropriately revert to an academic writing style. They suddenly begin to write longer, more complex sentences and develop dense paragraphs packed with information. Or, they forget to use active verbs, parallel structure, and verbal rather than nominal style. Avoid these tendencies at all costs. Write concisely.

(For more style options, and for explanations of the above options, refer to the page, STYLE IN BUSINESS WRITING, from the BA 199 home page.)


Your word choices (diction) will determine the tone of your document. In a proposal, you want to choose words that increase your credibility with your client to complete this project competently and professionally. Winning proposals develop a confident, professional, reliable tone.

ASSIGNMENT #4: REPORT..........Due Date: Monday, November 17


Write a report to Dave Dusseau, with an executive summary and recommendations, advising him on actions he should take regarding the problem you and your group identified in your project proposal.



To meet the minimum requirements for a passing grade, your document must:


Instructions: When you receive a draft of this assignment from another member of your group, please respond using this worksheet. When you complete the worksheet, return it to the writer whose report you read. Please respond candidly. You are responsible for helping your peer improve his or her document. This step in the process also trains you to review and improve documents -- a very significant function of managers within organizations.

Document File Name ___________________________
Name and Email Address of Writer_________________
Name and Email Address of Reviewer_______________

 1) Is the document formatted as a report? Yes__No __


2) Does the structure follow the logic of a report? Yes ___No ___


3) Does the executive summary effectively and concisely summarize the recommendations and supporting sections of the report in a way the reader can read very quicly? (In this case, probably a half a page or less.) Yes___ No ____


3) Do appropriate headings and subheadings make the structure of the document visible to the reader? Yes ___No ___


 4) Are other design features used to help readers retrieve information quickly? Yes __ No __


 5) Does the first section of the report effectively define, and perhaps redefine the problem?

Yes ___ No ___


 6) Do the sections reporting Methods, Findings, Analyses, Conclusions, and Recommendations, clearly address and solve the problem defined? Yes __No __


 7) Do each of the sections listed above follow logically from one another? In other words, are the conclusions and recommendations clearly linked back to specific analyses, themselves clearly linked back to specific findings, themselves linked back to the methods, and the problem definition? Yes___ No ___


8) Do the recommendations at least begin to describe ways Dave can implement them? Yes___ No___


9) If you were Dave Dusseau, would you be convinced to act on the recommendations provided in this report? Yes __ No __


10) Could any information be added or omitted? Yes __ No __


11) What further suggestions can you give the writer to improve this report?


Generally speaking:

Business professionals write reports for three primary reasons:

1) Communicating Information:

Complex organizations often have difficulty ensuring their members are working with the same information. If you imagine the child's game "telephone," where one child whispers a sentence into the ear of another child and each successive child repeats the process around a large circle -- then amplify size of the circle hundreds of times -- you can begin to imagine the communication problems companies experience. Therefore, persons within complex organizations write and distribute reports as an attempt to stabilize information and control the damaging effects of misinformation. Reports that serve this organizational purpose are often purely informational in nature. That is, they "report" information without analysis or recommendations.

2) Maintaining Accountability and Producing an Organizational Memory:

Within complex organizations, every person has distinct responsibilities, yet there are few ways to account for the production of individuals, teams, and (on the largest scale) the productivity of the organization itself. As you saw when you read the web pages on total quality management, every phase of the management of quality within organizations results in the production of a report. These reports are used to refine and improve processes, to encourage and reward productivity, and to evaluate performance.

Organizations, as they are at least in part composed of persons, also have memories. Yet we all know that what people remember and what they forget varies widely. If organizations depended upon the memories of their members, they would soon find that they have no coherent history. Organizations lacking a memory tend to waste their resources by continually "reinventing the wheel" -- solving the same problems over and over again. Furthermore, individuals within organizations come and go, and organizations with long histories outlive individual persons. Therefore, persons within complex organizations write and distribute reports to create a memory the organization can pass on to others.

3) Recommending Solutions and Courses of Action:

Organizations are always in the business of not only gathering, but also interpreting and acting upon information. In this sense, information is truly a "resource." While organizational and economic analysts once concluded that "natural resources," "labor," or "technology" consitituted the primary resource through which companies produce additional value, many analysts today conclude that "information" itself constitutes the primary resource for producing other forms of value. When you consider "information" as a resource, it becomes much easier to understand why reports often make something out of the findings they report. They do this by analyzing the findings and generating conclusions and recommendations from their analyses. In this class, you are writing a report that moves beyond merely "reporting" information to your reader.


Business reports are formatted in different ways: sometimes as memoranda, sometimes as short reports, and sometimes as lengthy, formal reports.

1) Memo Format:

You already understand this format. (See Assignment #2: Memo.)

2) Short Report Format:

3) Lengthy, Formal Report Format:

Formal reports often include additional subsections within the body of the report as well as additional materials that precede and follow the report itself, including:

Please format your report for this class as a SHORT REPORT as described above. Do not include the additional materials often included in lengthier, more formal reports. For more information about what to write in each section of your report, see below.



Unless you have had success sending attachments in this class, please send your report as an email. Besides the heading already provided by the email itself, please begin by writing a title for your report:



SUBMITTED BY: (your name, or the names of all group members)

November 17, 1997

Then, structure the various sections and subheadings of your report as follows:



Executive Summary:

1) Executive summaries always appear first in reports but are always written last. You cannot write an executive summary until after you have a report to summarize.

2) Executive summaries provide readers a way to read the report at a glance. In length, they rarely exceed a page. For short reports, a half a page will suffice.

The executive summary includes:


In the introduction, redefine the problem in a way that matches the recommendations in your report. Start by reviewing the problem statement from the BA 101 homepage. Then review the problem statement you wrote on your proposal. Then, in your introduction to your report, explain how and why you narrowed (or expanded) the focus of your project. The recommendations you provide in this report must solve the problem redefined in your introduction.


In this section, list the methods you actually used to investigate this problem and potential solutions. These may differ somewhat from the methods you proposed. That's ok.


Use subheadings within this section for each major step of your methods. Under that subsection, list the particular findings generated by that step in your methods. Include all findings that are relevant for understanding the problem and for the analyses, conclusions, and recommendations that follow. Omit all irrelevant findings.


In this section, group your findings around topics rather than methods to help you interpret them. Subheadings such as the following can help you demonstrate the significance of your findings to your readers:

(Please note that this example will not necessarily work for you, and I do not provide it here to suggest that you should use it if you are in the Business in Society group. You need to invent subheadings for analysis that fit your focus, findings and recommendations.)


In this section, draw general conclusions that guide the recommendations you will provide in the next section. For example:

To adequately advise Digital Artworks, you must use resources that fit the following criteria: (Then list the criteria.) Clearly, some resources available on campus and on the Internet meet these criteria, but you will also need to consult certain resources that go beyond these to advise your client.

(Again, I intend this only as an example, not as a recommended conclusion for your project.)


In this section do two things:

For example:

Sponsor a panel presentation, once a year, within each department, for graduates to present and discuss their career decisions and experiences.

To implement this recommendation, departments will need to keep better lists of alumni and track their success finding employment after graduation. The Career Center could hire one staff member responsible for helping departments create and maintain lists for this purposel

(Again, this is only an example to help you write recommendations more effectively, not a suggestion for Careers project group members to use, necessarily.)


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Assignment #5: Performance Evaluation


Using the criteria outlined on the assignment sheet, write a performance evaluation in two parts. In the first part, evaluate your own performance over the term both in BA 101 and BA 199. In the second part, evaluate the performance of other members of your group on activities directly related group work both in BA 101 and BA 199.


Assignment #6: Portfolio


Using the table of contents outlined on the assignment sheet, submit a portfolio of the writing you produced this term. As directed, show the process you used to complete each assignment. You may revise any of the documents you produced before submitting it for this final evaluation.