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Chapter 11

Planning Reports and Proposals


on 1 April 2015

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Transcript of Chapter 11

Up next, chapter 12!
Start Here for Reports & Proposals
Types of Reports and Proposals
Informational report: offer data without analysis or recommendations

Analytical report: offer both information and analysis, and can also offer recommendations

Proposals: structured persuasive messages
Any Writing Situation Requires....
Support Your Messages with Reliable Information
Secondary Research
Killam Library or Laredo Public Library are havens for

In-house resources:
knowledgeable librarians
newspapers and periodicals, books, directories, reference material, government publications, electronic databases

Online resources:
ubiquitous, but often not regularly evaluated, offer highly varied information, and may sometimes encounter inaccessible, hidden content
combat the above by looking into 1. web directories, 2. metasearch engines, 3. online databases
consider monitoring tools (p. 337) but make sure to optimize searches and interpret results appropriately and effectively
Primary Research
Provides, allots for filling in gaps in information, research, so consider using

SURVEYS: must be reliable, valid, and
carefully crafted
in order to provide it to and get it from a representative sample in order to make applicable to large groups

secures deeper, richer information
usually not available on surveys; highly regulated by demographics; offers verbal, written, and/or nonverbal information; analyze themes for important insights
Chapter 11
Planning Reports and Proposals
Seek to show understanding of
audience's challenges and an ability to contribute to organizational success.
Analyzing the Situation
pay attention to statement of purpose (explains why report is being written and what it's about)
set up a work plan to manage time allotted
Gathering Information
requires planning
may need to be a separate activity
get information needed to address purpose and audience's needs
address important information first
Selecting the Right Medium
review chapter 4 p. 102-5
reports and proposals may have specific media requirements; audience may have specific feedback requirements
determine if document needs to be updated over time
Organizing the Information
use direct approach for it saves time and makes for easier reading
Facing unsure audience?
use indirect approach
explain points first to convince
keep length in mind
utilize informative headings
Plan the Research

1. Get to better know the subject matter

2. Develop a problem statement (defines purpose)

3. Don't fall prey to ethical lapses (p. 330)

4. Follow research etiquette
Locate Needed Data and Information

1. Review secondary research

2. May, depending on gaps in information, need to conduct primary research
Process Located Data and Information
GOAL: Effectively evaluate gathered sources

-check reliability -check for bias -analyze material's purpose

-check author, source information credibility

-independently verify material -assure material is complete and current

-verify source claims are supported with evidence

-make sure sources stand up to logical scrutiny
Apply Findings Using Research Results

Analyzing Data: statistics at work here; consider mean, median, mode/determine trends
investigate causation and correlation

Q/P/S: "perfection"/ author's ideas, your words in about same number of words without changing meaning / author's overall ideas, your words

Drawing Conclusions: logical interpretation of fact and other information; reach conclusions based on evidence

Making Recommendations: suggests actions in response to provided information; describe steps needed to implement recommendations
Documenting Your Sources
Always credit someone else's ideas and/or words.
When in doubt, cite it!
Documentation styles (via in-text citations, parenthetical citations, and the reference page) serve as a way to avoid plagiarism.
"Plagiarism: How to Avoid It"
by Bainbridge State College
"10 Types of Plagiarism" by WriteCheck Videos
Planning Informational Reports
(Paraphrase p. 342)
These reports provide stakeholders with information that drives decision making, promotes action, and responds to internal and/or external organizational factors
(Bovee & Thill, 2015)
These reports monitor and control operations, implement policies and procedures, demonstrate compliance, or document progress.
Often presented using the direct approach and organized topically/rhetorically.
Organizing Website Content

Websites are a version of an informational report.
Websites must meet readers' needs by
a. making information easy to access, find
b. understanding monitor reading is tiring
c. anticipating audience movement throughout a page: address information architecture here (p. 345).
Planning Analytical Reports
These reports seek to better understand a challenge or benefit to a company, how it will be impacted, and to determine how it should respond.

Require reasoning abilities + persuasive skills + writing skills; conclusions and decisions reached can have far reaching consequences
Can focus on conclusions, recommendations, or logic
Focus on conclusions
Don't expect push back here,

so use direct approach.

To gain acceptance, your credibility matters most here.
Focus on recommendations
Establish a need for action
Introduce achievable benefits along with any risks
List steps needed to achieve benefits with action verbs
Fully describe, explain steps and how to minimize risks
Summarize recommendations
Focus on logic
Use when expecting a hostile, skeptical audience.

Use indirect approach
-2+2 approach (points become reasons behind conclusions/recommendations)

-yardstick approach (set of
criteria guide decision making)
Planning Proposals
Two major categories: internal (organizational decision making) vs. external proposals (request decisions to made from other entities)
Solicited proposals are provided through RFPs with specific information about what is needed. Here, an issue needs addressing.

Unsolicited proposals require an issue to receive consideration.
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