Assignment 2: Informal Analytical Problem-Solution Recommendation Report
Individual or in pairs or trios, as instructed by your professor.
Due: beginning of Week 7 class via Dropbox and in hard copy as instructed by your professor
NOTE: Late assignments will not be accepted without prior arrangements. Assignments must be received on time in both required formats to avoid late mark deductions.
· Review the assigned learning materials to date (Modules 1 to 6).
· Choose a topic, or obtain topic details from your professor, as instructed. Topics will be problems that require solutions.
· Find at least three secondary sources that provide relevant, meaningful information about your topic, as follows:
o At least one scholarly article
o At least one valid and reliable web source (must meet the CRAAP test)
o At least one other secondary source (can be one of the types above or a book of some kind).
2. Report Content and Format:
· Create an informal analytical problem-solution recommendation report in memo or letter format (as instructed by your professor). Address your report as instructed by your professor.
· Follow all of the appropriate document formatting rules for the format chosen by your professor.
· Your report must include:
o a clear introduction, indicating the purpose and context of the report, as well as the methodology used to gather the information in the report;
o a clear exploration of both the problem and at least three potential solutions, including the pros and cons of each (to avoid bias);
o a clear, analytical conclusion of what you believe to be the best solution, with analysis of previously-provided details to support your opinion and summarize the report at the same time;
o clear, specific recommendations on actions needed in an introduced, numbered list of action steps (using imperative (command) verbs); and
o a courteous closing with next steps and contact information.
NOTE for working in teams: conclusions and recommendations cannot be written until the problem and solutions have been fully explored.
· Organize content in the report using a minimum of one descriptive headings (problem section), three functional headings (“Solution”, “Conclusion”, and “Recommendations”), and three descriptive sub-headings for the solution ideas. Additional headings (and sub-headings), including functional headings, may be added. Remember to provide text for every heading before the next heading (at any level). Remember also that informal reports do NOT include the heading “Introduction” before the first paragraph.
· Make sure the minimum of three secondary sources (outlined above) are integrated into your content and cited carefully using APA style.
· Proofread and edit carefully. Use of language, as well as tone/writing style, will be graded. Make sure the document reads as though one person wrote it (don’t simply paste separate parts together).
· Length: approximately 2 to 3 pages.
Best practice tip: work collaboratively on all parts of the report (vs. dividing it up). Together, you will likely achieve a better report than either of you working on parts separately would have (= synergy). If you cannot meet in person, use online collaboration tools such as the SLATE Discussion Board, OneFile, and Skype.
· As instructed by your professor.
· Your problem-solution report must include evidence-based FACTS about the problem and evidence-based FACTS about the potential solutions, including both potential pros and cons for each solution (in order to be as unbiased as possible. Your opinion should only be expressed in the Conclusion section. Be very careful with phrasing.
· Clearly acknowledge the source of evidence for ALL facts. Use APA style for all citations.
· If you include any visuals created by others, please cite them using APA style (a one-step process).
· The purpose of this report is to provide a persuasive conclusion and clear, relevant recommendations for improvement to a particular audience group (represented by the primary recipient) who would be able to act on the recommendations (such as employees, employers, government bodies, industry associations, etc.). Choose your organization and information to ensure anyone reading the report would be effectively persuaded that the conclusion you arrive at is the best one, and that the recommendations you propose would be the most effective ones, for the intended audience.
· Use a formal, professional tone (Formal Writing Style). Continue to apply the principles of business communication covered in Bus Comm, including you-attitude, positive emphasis, and writing concisely and clearly.
· See the rubric for full grading requirements.
Special note: the sample textbook Justification/Recommendation report (p. 330-331) is a good one, but please note the following changes you should make:
· Use formal language throughout (sample uses informal language in places)
· Use APA (not MLA)
· Use the document formatting instructed by your professor (not necessarily memo formatting as shown in the sample).
· Keep the discussion of problems and solutions completely separate (do not introduce the solutions section at the end of the problem section).
· Separate conclusions from recommendations with two separate headings (the textbook and PSR video explain how these are different). Make sure the recommendations are presented in an introduced, numbered list of statements, each beginning with a command (imperative) verb.
· Include a clear call to action with specific contact information in the final paragraph.
Topic ideas (you are NOT limited to these):
- Gender Discrimination: Compensation & Promotions
- The Gender Wage Gap in Canada
- Gender Discrimination: Recruitment & Selection
- Gender Discrimination: Dress Codes
- Age Discrimination: Recruitment & Selection (against both Baby Boomers and/or Millenials)
- Racial Discrimination: Compensation & Promotions
- Racial Discrimination: Recruitment & Selection
- Discrimination against Immigrants: Recruitment & Selection
- Discrimination against Immigrants: Compensation & Promotion
- Immigrants: Challenges Adjusting to the Canadian Workplace
- The Dangers of Technology in the Classroom
- The Dangers of Technology in the Workplace
- Sexual Harassment in the Workplace: Potential Negative Fall-out of the #metoo Movement.
- Data Privacy Danger: Technological Devices
- Age Diversity: Communication Gaps
- Gender Diversity: Communication Gaps
- Cultural Diversity: Communication Gaps
- Religious Diversity: Communication Gaps
- Gender Discrimination: Dress codes
- Preventing Human Rights Violations, Especially Overseas, by North American Companies
- Preventing Child Labour, Especially Overseas, by North American Companies
- Work/Life Imbalance
- Burnout: Information Overload from Technology
- Effects of maintaining an increasingly longer work week (without increased pay)
- Effects of precarious employment (on society and/or the economy)
- Health effects of sedentary work
- Unemployment and underemployment for post-secondary graduates
- Teamwork Challenges: Lack of Diversity
- Teamwork Challenges: Managing Diversity
- Making Teams Successful
- Communication Challenges in Virtual Teams
- Social Media: The Dangers to Employment (Recruitment and/or Job Retention)
- Improving Student Satisfaction with Post-Secondary Education
- Managing Varied Levels of Communication Ability Among Employees (especially by Human Resources)
- How to Understand the Importance of Communication Skills for Finance and Accounting Students
- Increasing Motivation and Accountability (Among Students and/or Employees)
- Improving the Effectiveness of Meetings (as Students and/or in the Workplace)
- Becoming Effective Leaders (in Student Groups and/or in the Workplace)
- Improving Work Flow (as Students and/or in the Workplace)