PLEASE FOLLOW GUIDELINES
Your last writing assignment will be a report to a decision-maker on a problem and solution
in an organization or community.
In the report, you will do the following:
define the problem persuasively and accurately
propose a solution or solutions to the problem or issue
present that solution to a decision-maker or group of decision-makers who can implement
The report will include the following components:
transmittal letter or memo to the decision-maker
table of contents
body of the report to include headings and subheadings
conclusion stated as a recommendation for implementation of the solution
References page, with references listed in APA format
o Instructions on how to list an interview in APA format can be seen at the
following url: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/11/
The complete report should be 2200-3000 words, not including the list of references.
The complete report should also cite at least seven sources. At least three of them should
come from peer-reviewed, scholarly journals. As noted above, your sources can also include
The sources will be integrated into the paper to explain the problem, provide
evidence of the problem, and support the solution.
You might have taken WRTG 393 at UMUC. In WRTG 393, the final paper is a white paper.
This assignment is different from the white paper in WRTG 393. In this paper for WRTG 394,
you are writing to a specific decision-maker about a specific problem in your workplace or
community. The audience is much more focused than that for the white paper in WRTG 393.
Defining the Specific Problem
In preparing to write this assignment, please be aware of the following cautions in fulfilling the
If you write a report to your manager at work suggesting that more teleworking options
be given to employees at your workplace, you cannot simply prepare a report on
teleworking. You must show that teleworking will solve a specific problem or problems
in your organization.
If you are proposing that email be used less frequently for communication at your
workplace and that another application be used to improve communication, you cannot
simply write a report on the problem with having too much email.
You must show that
the use of email at your current workplace presents problems and that the use of another
means of communication would solve the problem.
If you write a report to your manager at work suggesting that your office become
paperless, you cannot simply prepare a report on the benefits of a paperless office. You
must show that your specific office can go paperless and indicate the benefits of your
specific office going paperless.
If you write a report to the board of directors at your townhouse community to argue that
the playground area in your community should be renovated, you cannot simply prepare a
report on the benefits of a playground for a neighborhood. You must show that your
specific neighborhood will benefit from renovations in its playground.
If you write a report to the manager of your unit at work noting that recycling facilities in
the workplace should be improved, you cannot simply prepare a report on the benefits of
recycling or of good recycling facilities in offices. You must show that your specific
work environment lacks adequate recycling facilities and show how it will benefit from
improved recycling facilities.
A Reminder about the Role of Primary Research in Supporting the Argument
For your report, you will very likely find it beneficial to conduct some primary research. Please
refer to the material from Markel and from Bovee and Thill for strategies in conducting and
including primary research.
For writing assignment #3, you gathered some primary research. For writing assignment #4, you
want to fill in any gaps needed by conducting additional primary research if necessary. Some
suggestions for primary research were given in the instructions for writing assignment #3.
They are as follows:
For a report on teleworking, you might conduct interviews with fellow workers on the
topic to see how and why they might benefit from teleworking.
If you are proposing that email be used less frequently for communication and that
another application be used to improve communication, you might interview fellow
employees on the situation, and you might take screen captures of alternative
communication tools to illustrate how they work and would improve communication in
For a report on transitioning to a paperless office, you might take pictures of your office
environment showing the clutter or unsafe environment that hard-copy files create.
For a report on building a playground area in the community, you might take pictures of
the community area to show where such a playground could be built, and you might
interview residents who have children.
For a report on recycling facilities, you might take pictures of the office environment to
show that current recycling facilities are inadequate, and you might interview fellow
workers about whether they find it easy to recycle materials at your office.
Please note that, if you interview people for your research, you must cite the interviews in your
paper. In the paper, you cannot simply write that you spoke with employees. A url on how to
cite an interview in APA citation style is provided in the list of components for the report.
Length of your paper:
Your report should be 2400-3500 words in length. Again, you are required to use at least seven
sources, with at least three of them being acquired through UMUC Library OneSearch.
Your report might benefit from graphics. As mentioned above, pictures of your workplace or
community situation might help illustrate the problem you are trying to address. Graphs, tables,
or charts might help show trends that will persuade your decision-maker that the problem exists.
Please do not incorporate a graphic for the sake of incorporating a graphic. Include a graphic
only if it helps communicate a message in your report.
Your instructor will notify you of the due date. You will write a first draft, your instructor will
comment on the first draft, and you will submit a second draft using the comments as your guide.
Strategies to Consider for this Assignment:
Victoria University of Wellington has a thorough outline and review of the components
of this type of business report.
Queen Margaret University has an excellent guide for this type of report.
Murdoch University has an excellent guide for this type of report.
Colorado State University presents excellent tips in organizing the report.
Topics to Help You Come Up with Ideas on this
Some possible workplace research topics are the following. These are examples to help you get
started. Please contact your instructor to have other topic ideas approved.
Going to a wireless network
Going to a paperless office
Switching from Windows to Linux (or other similar switch)
Installing/upgrading company firewall
Establishing a drug policy
Establishing an employee leave donation program
Establishing an equipment donation program for used computers, etc.
Establishing a company recycling program (paper, etc.)
Education/retraining for your employees
Establishing a program for millennial workers (e.g., training on certain aspects of
etiquette, on understanding other generations, etc.)
Designing a training program for workplace safety issues
Redesigning employee performance evaluations
Developing a work-at-home (telecommuting) policy
Developing a flex-time policy
Establishing on-site day care or providing other child care benefits
Providing gym membership or creating an on-site workout facility
Creating or revising a charitable contribution policy
Creating or improving a tuition assistance program
Accommodations needed for employee/s with specific health issues (for example,
Establishing a Habitat for Humanity (or other group) chapter at your organization
Some students have chosen topics outside of their workplaces, such as the following:
Starting a neighborhood watch program
Starting a mentor program at your place of worship
Getting additional lighting in the neighborhood
Changing traffic patterns around your child s school
Starting a PTA website for your child s school
Installing a tot lot in your neighborhood
Constructing a crying baby room at your place of worship
Offering ESL courses at your church
Increasing participation in a military Family Support Group
Introducing a youth sports program to a school or community
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