Question Description

Overview:

For this prewriting assignment, students will conduct the early research, organizing, and writing steps necessary to produce a high-quality report.

Students will:

  • Produce a template for their final document layout, format, and structure
  • Develop a structure for presenting case content
  • Initiate Content
  • Conduct research and develop a reference list

Step 1: Produce a template/shell for your final report

Report Template/Shell Exemplar.pdfPreview the document

For this part of the assignment, you will develop the layout, and format of your document (a template, or “shell”). You will develop a shell into which you can add the text of your document easily. Online tutorials, guides, and videos are widely available to help you quickly and easily complete the layout.

A note on resources: Google searches for various elements of the layout will result in a mix of resources that range from easy to follow and understand, to unnecessarily complicated and difficult to follow, so check out a few different resources before you start on each layout component. For example, I looked at 3 other useful but somewhat complicated tutorials before I looked at Linkedin’s “The Wicked Easy Way to Create a Table of Contents in Word” (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.and determined that their explanation was indeed wicked easy to follow and perfectly suitable for my needs for this assignment.

  • Determine fonts and font sizes to use. A standard for font and size for the body text of many business documents is Times New Roman 12 point font, but you may use any clean, easy to read serif font, 10-12 points in size. Titles may use the same font or a clean sans-serif font (Arial and Helvetica are often used). Title hierarchy should be visually emphasized. This means that section titles should grab your eye more than sub-titles. You may choose to use centering (more visually strong), One may increase in font size 1-2 points, or use a bold, italicized, or underlined font to do this. One example of title levels is used by APA (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. which must be used with the indented paragraph option below.
    • Select a paragraph style for the document. You may select one of two options
      • Indent the first line of paragraphs, and have no additional space between paragraphs.
      • The first line of a paragraph is not indented and there is a 12 point space between paragraphs.
  • Always justify body text to the left.
  • Sections and page numbers. Include page numbers on the required pages in the bottom right margin. You will need to know how to set section breaks, disconnect section headers and footers and set up custom page numbers. If you don’t know how to do these things, look for tutorials online.
    • Cover – no page numbers
    • Table of Contents – roman numerals (i, ii, iii…).
    • Body, Reference List, Appendix/Appendices – natural numbers (1, 2, 3…)
  • Headers and Footers. Put the title of your document in the Header, justified to the left. Put your name followed by Consulting, justified to the left in the footer and justified to the right the page number.
  • Table of Contents. You can use Styles in Word to set up the Table of Contents and the section titles, and subtitles in a way that will automate the page numbers listed in the Table of Contents. The table of contents should include Titles and subtitles used in your document with a page number for each justified to the right. Include the List of Tables and List of Figures after the Table of Contents, each as their own page as needed to list all tables and figures and their pages in the document.
  • The Executive Summary is the page following the table of contents.
  • Next, include the Introduction. You will include subsections for your background information and objective in this section.
  • Your Analysis comes next. You will develop a logical structure for this, and outline it using subtitles in your report shell.
  • After the analysis, you will include a section for your Recommendation and Conclusion
  • Starting on a new page, include your Reference List after the recommendation and conclusion.
  • Finally, include your Appendices

Step 2: Develop a structure for your analysis

You will develop a logical structure for presenting the information you need to make your case. You will build this structure into your report shell by including sub-titles. Titles and subtitles may all be changed or added to as necessary for the final report, but you are already able to build specific content sections into your report shell. There are a few things that you know already that you will definitely need to include as part of your analysis, and you are expected to determine and build an organizational structure for how you plan to present these aspects of your analysis into your report shell.

Step 3: Initiate Content

  • Develop a report cover. The minimum elements required for the report cover are a report title, who the report is prepared for, who the report is prepared by, and the date the report is delivered. Optionally, report covers may have some graphic blocks or lines to create an interesting layout. You may also choose to add an image that is relevant to the topic of the report. All cover blocks, lines, or graphics should be used in a way that does not overwhelm the text, and graphics should be clearly related to the report. The cover is its own page, and does not have a number.
  • Develop a table of contents including a list of tables and a list of figures. All titles and subtitles for every section after your table of contents must be included. Using the correct Word functions, you can generate a table of contents that automatically imports all of your section Headers (Header 1, Header 2, Header 3, etc.). If you use these functions, you will be able to easily update your table of contents as you fill in your report shell later on by using the “Update field” command. It is absolutely worth taking a few minutes to employ the correct Word functions at this point, as it will save you time and energy at the end of the assignment, which is usually the most stressful time.

Step 4: Conduct Research and Develop a Reference List

  • Conduct research to find at least 4 sources you will need to make your case.
  • Write an annotated bibliographyLinks to an external site.of your sources (this will not be included in your final report)