WRTG 394 students

WRTG 394 students,
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 recommendation.
The report will include the following components:
 executive summary
 letter to the decision-maker
 table of contents
 introduction
 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
interviews. 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
assignment instructions:
 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
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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. 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
your office.
 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.
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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 2200-3000 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.
Graphics:
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.
Due Date:
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 Assignment:
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)
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 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,
migraines)
 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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Assignment Rubric:
Length 2000-3000
words
1600-1999
words
1300-1599
words
1000-1299
words
Fewer than
1000
words
The essay meets the word count requirement given
in the instructions. 10 points 6 points 4 points 2 points 0 points
Executive Summary Excellent Good Fair
Does not
meet
expectatio
ns
Does not
pass
Is thorough — a busy executive understands the
problem and the recommended solution from the
executive summary
4 points 3.5 points 3 points 2.5 points 1 point
Is organized and uses headings to help the reader
navigate the executive summary 4 points 3.5 points 3 points 2.5 points 1 point
Demonstrates accurate grammar and punctuation 4 points 3.5 points 3 points 2.5 points 1 point
Transmittal letter to decision-maker Excellent Good Fair
Does not
meet
expectatio
ns
Does not
pass
Is written to a specific decision-maker or group or
decision-makers 2 points 1.5 points 1 point 0.5 points 0 points
Shows the specific problem and the specific
solution 2 points 1.5 points 1 point 0.5 points 0 points
Demonstrates accurate grammar and punctuation 2 points 1.5 points 1 point 0.5 points 0 points
Table of Contents Excellent Good Fair
Does not
meet
expectatio
ns
Does not
pass
Is formatted correctly with sections and page
numbers 1 point 0.8 points 0.6 points 0.4 points 0 points
Provides a clear orientation to the report by
indicating the sections and sub-sections 1 point 0.8 points 0.6 points 0.4 points 0 points
Introduction Excellent Good Fair
Does not
meet
expectatio
ns
Does not
pass
Describes the problem being reported on 4 points 3.5 points 3 points 2.5 points 1 point
Gives the recommended solution to the problem
that is identified 4 points 3.5 points 3 points 2.5 points 1 point
Demonstrates accurate grammar and punctuation 4 points 3.5 points 3 points 2.5 points 1 point
Continued on the next page…
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Body of the report Excellent Good Fair
Does not
meet
expectatio
ns
Does not
pass
Develops the problem that exists within the
organization, including incorporating research to
provide evidence for the problem
15 points 12 points 9 points 5 points 1 point
Develops the recommended solution to the problem
for the organization, including incorporating
research to show why it will solve the problem
13 points 10 points 8 points 6 points 1 point
Uses effective headings and subheadings 3 points 2.5 points 2 points 1.5 points 1 point
Integrates paragraphs that have a logical flow 5 points 4 points 3 points 2 points 1 point
Demonstrates accurate grammar and punctuation 10 points 8 points 6 points 4 points 1 point
Use of sources Excellent Good Fair
Does not
meet
expectatio
ns
Does not
pass
Sources listed in APA format 5 points 4 points 3 points 2 points 1 point
Sources cited in the paper in APA format 3 points 2.5 points 2 points 1.5 points 1 point
Sources are scholarly or appropriate for the report’s
message
4 points 3.5 points 3 points 2.5 points 1 point
Overall Score
Excellent
90 or
more
Good
80 or
more
Fair
70 or
more
Needs
Improvem
ent
60 or
more
Does not
pass
0 or more

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