This is a group work assignment, so I just need you to do my part. Our research is about the University Bus system, For example, should a large campus need to increase the number of bus routes and whether it has increased the number of campus shuttle buses? My part is Executive summary, one body and Conclusions. I will give you the details later.MEMORANDUM
UWP 104A-007 Business Writing Students
Ken Andersen, Instructor
Monday, January 13, 2020
Collaborative Research Project Assignment Prompt
For the collaborative research project assignment, you and your term-project teammates will define what
you believe to be a problem on campus or in the Davis community that needs to be addressed. To address
this problem, you will conduct primary and secondary research and write a recommendation report in
which you describe and interpret your findings, draw conclusions from your analysis of findings, and
make recommendations. You will tailor your report to meet the information needs of a specific decision
maker, and your goal in writing this report is to try to persuade that decision maker—your target reader—
to accept your conclusions and act on your recommendations.
The collaborative research project will consist of the following sequence of assignments:
1. Research proposal (addressed to your instructor)
2. Progress Report 1 (addressed to instructor)
3. Progress Report 2 (addressed to instructor)
4. Formal Report (addressed to target audience)
5. Team Presentation (addressed to your instructor/your classmates)
6. Rhetorical Analysis and Team Evaluation (addressed to your instructor)
This research project should represent your best research, writing, and editing skills; it should show off
the skills you have learned/honed in this course.
Research Problem Ideas
The following topics are meant to give you ideas for the kinds of problems that your team might research
for the formal report project. The problem that your team chooses to research, though, must be a real
problem in need of research and resolution. Ideal problems to research are those that you and your team
members can identify in the communities in which you work and live (e.g., UC Davis, a UC Davis
organization or department, the city of Davis, a Davis neighborhood or community organization). You
will need to identify a decision maker (audience) to whom you will address your report.
Here are some potential problems that may be in need of research:
The causes of students’ disinterest in campus activities
A comparative analysis of two or more product brands in search of the best brand to purchase to
meet a specific department’s or organization’s needs
A comparative analysis of two or more companies offering similar services in search of the best
service to purchase to meet a specific organization’s needs
The feasibility of opening a specific business in the Davis area
The feasibility of changing the way a center on campus serves students (such as the Student
Academic Success Center, International Learning Center, or Internship and Career Center)
The advisability of pursuing a graduate degree in your field instead of entering the workforce
with a bachelor’s degree
The problem with a current process, policy, or procedure in a local organization or department
and the feasibility of implementing a more effective process, policy, or procedure
The causes of students or members of an organization struggling to use a new software, service,
The problem with current training methods and ways to improve those methods
An analysis of campus cultural and entertainment activities, showing that some should be
eliminated, added, or both
An analysis of the job opportunities in a specific field (for example, law, finance, accounting)
(target audience might be a department chair)
For the formal report, you must conduct at least one interview with an appropriate individual and use
at least one other method of primary research, such as observation or a survey. You must also draw on
at least four secondary sources (others’ published work). At least two of your secondary sources must
not be published on the Web (see Web vs. Print Resources on page three of this prompt). Not meeting
these research requirements will result in a lower final-report grade.
In addition to interviews, other forms of primary research might include
• Your own special knowledge of a subject
• Observation of organization or community members carrying out a process or procedure, or
observation of organization or community members performing particular activities
• Analysis of a document or set of documents, product, service, or system
Forms of secondary research might include
• Web and media sources
• Government documents and reference materials
• Other documents (maps, pamphlets, special dictionaries)
• Business documents (annual reports, brochures, etc.)
• Professional publications and peer-reviewed journals (e.g., Consumer Reports, Psychology
Today, Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, American Behavior Scientist)
The university library (http://www.lib.ucdavis.edu/) has access to a wealth of databases with hundreds of
thousands of articles (many available in full text) on a wide range of subjects. The following library links
should lead you to some excellent articles for your research:
Finding an article: http://www.lib.ucdavis.edu/ul/help/findarticles.php
Searching databases for articles: http://www.lib.ucdavis.edu/ul/research/articles.php
Check with your instructor as well as your discipline’s librarians at any time for help.
Your report will include most of the essential components of a formal report, as outlined in the formal
reports entry in The Business Writer’s Handbook. A report is “formal” because it has parts that follow
specific forms. Thus, your report will likely contain the following parts:
1. Cover Memo or Letter—If you are addressing your report to an external audience, write a letter.
If you are addressing your report to an internal audience, write a memo.
2. Title Page
3. Table of Contents
4. Executive Summary
5. Introduction (the following components are typically addressed)
a. Definition of Problem
b. Helpful Background Information
c. Report Purpose and Significance
d. Overview of Objectives and Methods of Inquiry (briefly address the “what” and “how” of
e. Benefits (briefly highlight how the report benefits the target audience)
f. Limitations of Research Conducted (if any)
g. Report Scope (what it covers and what it does not)
h. Organization (how the report is organized)
6. Body (main body of report)
a. Describe and justify your research methods and any evaluative criteria that you used to
reach your ultimate conclusions. Clarify precisely what you were looking for in your
research and why.
b. You might find the following organization strategy helpful:
First Research Objective
1. Describe your objective
2. Describe how you researched this objective
3. List and interpret your findings (what did you find out and what does it
Second Research Objective
1. Describe your objective
2. Describe how you researched this objective
3. List and interpret your findings (what did you find out and what
does it mean?)
Third Research Objective (and so on)
a. Summary of Findings
b. Overall Interpretation of Findings—What do they mean?
9. Works Cited or References
10. Appendices (if any)
NOTE: You need to include at least two visuals in the body of your report: tables, charts, graphs, and
conceptual graphics work well to usefully display data and aid in readability and comprehension. These
visuals must be original and created by you. Visuals that are downloaded or copied from another
source will not be acceptable in the report body.
Web vs. Print Resources
Because many of you will find excellent secondary sources accessible on the Web or through an online
library database, we need to clarify what is considered a “Web” resource and a “Print” resource.
Articles from online library databases that have been peer reviewed and/or published in a newspaper or
magazine are, oddly enough, still considered “print” resources. “Print resources” is becoming a tricky
term. Many books, peer-reviewed academic journals, and magazines are now available as PDF documents
online. The library even collects “electronic journals” instead of “print journals” now. The only difference
is that the journal is available electronically as a PDF document instead of as a magazine on a library
shelf. Even Google Scholar provides access to an array of excellent “print” resources from respectable
publications. See http://scholar.google.com/.
Web resources are those that are published solely on websites. They include professional websites,
personal websites, blogs, wikis, and others. These resources need to be carefully evaluated because not all
of them are credible. They are not peer reviewed and they often contain opinions not based on extensive
research. Even some online newspapers and magazines are questionable, as some do not have official
editorial boards that review content for accuracy.
You may count resources from library databases as “print resources.” Be careful, though, because some of
the databases present a plethora of resources, from respectable studies to short opinion articles published
For this report, please use the formal report format we’ll be discussing in the coming weeks. Your report
should be single-spaced (double-spaced between paragraphs) and use headings, lists, visuals, graphs,
ample white space, and other layout and design elements as appropriate.
Your report will be as long as it needs to be to thoroughly and convincingly address each major report
component. Remember, your audience and purpose in writing the report should determine whether or not
your report has effectively accomplished its goal—to successfully convince your audience that your
conclusions are logical and your recommendations will most effectively address or solve the problem as
you have defined it. A well-written, persuasive, and thorough report with all of the components should be
12 to 15 pages in length (front and back matter will take a minimum of five pages and the report body
should take anywhere from eight to ten pages).
Each major assignment associated with this report will have its own specific due dates, which will be
listed in each assignment’s prompt. The rough draft and final draft of your team report are due at the start
of class on the following dates:
Formal Report Draft (3 hard copies per team for peer review): Monday, March 2, 2020
Formal Report Final Draft (1 hard copy per team): Monday, March 9, 2020
Your final formal report is worth 100 points. As stated in the course syllabus, your grade for formal
writing assignments will reflect the quality of writing and research, not the time and effort expanded, and
will be based on how you will be expected to write in a business context. In general, your instructor will
consider the kind and quality of research you have done, your interpretation and logical use of the data
you report, the persuasiveness of your arguments, and the organization/format/mechanics of the report.
For more specifics on the grading of this sizeable assignment, see the grading criteria below.
NOTE: Each team member will likely earn the same grade for this assignment, but please keep in mind
that you will have the opportunity at the end of the term to evaluate the performance of each team
member. These evaluations can have an impact on team members’ grades, particularly team members
who do not fulfill their responsibilities to the collaborative project. Be sure to work together all term.
Term Project Grading Criteria
The following are the grading criteria for the team term project.
Findings (and interpretation/evaluation)
(Grading criteria continued on the following page)
Use of visuals
No misspellings or typos
Correct grammar & punctuation
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