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Technical Report

Page history last edited by Jared 9 years, 6 months ago

Collaborative Technical Report


Rationale.  Reports are one of the most common and important technical documents in the workplace and are often researched and written by teams.  Reports provide information and recommendations in order to help organizations solve problems.  A well-designed and written technical report is informative and persuasive, often to multiple audiences.


Assignment.  For this assignment, your audiences will be the ones specified in your Research Plan (see Assignment 3a:  Collaborative Research Plan).


Working in teams (roughly of 3-4 students), write a technical report complete with front matter from 12-16 single-spaced pages in length, excluding the front matter.  Minimally, the front matter will comprise a title page as well as an executive summary.  The executive summary should be written for the primary audience of decision-makers.  The Discussion (addressed to the secondary audiences) should include an introduction.   Your technical report must include a title page, at least 1 visual per researcher, one primary and one secondary quote per researcher and at least one appendix.  


Process.  Your report should be written in response to a problem that your team will research, discuss and solve.  Try and choose topics that align with your teams’ disciplines.  Choose a topic of appropriate complexity, but the topic should not be so complex that undergraduate students might not be able to research and resolve it.  Some examples of appropriately complex topics might be retention in the College of Engineering, enrollment in the College of Engineering, how to increase the exposure of organizations within the College of Engineering.  Other topics might include urban farming, green roof initiatives, LEED certification of buildings, better lighting on campus or in buildings, campus safety issues, etc.  Remember your instructor must give final approval for your topic via the Research Plan.


Your team may write either a Proposal, Empirical Research Report, or a Feasibility Study for your technical report project.   Whichever kind of report your team decides to write, closely follow the outlines provided in the chapter.


Based on your research plan, your technical report will be divided into two parts:  you will first write a draft of the Discussion segment of the report, including a fully developed introduction, and second, you will write an Executive Summary for your report.


Teams may divide responsibilities however they want, but each team must select a team leader whose responsibilities include guiding the team through the successful completion of the project.  Teams might consider having team leaders responsible for creating front matter, including cover pages and executive summaries.  Team leaders might also be responsible for the Introduction to the Discussion and the Conclusion.


Researchers, then, could divide the remaining writing responsibilities.  If a team is writing a feasibility study, one researcher might be responsible for the current situation---why is this a problem---, one researcher might be responsible for investigating the feasibility of one solution and the remaining researcher might be responsible for investigating another.  Remember to maintain a descending order of priority throughout the report, where the most important and relevant solutions are discussed first.


If a team is writing an empirical research report, the same strategy might be followed, but instead of investigating the feasibility of an alternative, the team might just be focused on a discussion of the results of a particular research project.



Research.  See Research Plan, Assignment 3a.


Format.  Your page design should be appropriate to each section of the report:  use headings, lists, parallel structure, white space, and visuals to present and interpret information and to make conclusions and recommendations.


Technology.  See Research Plan, Assignment 3a.


Required Draft Review.   A full draft of your report must be submitted to your instructor prior to completing your final version.  Your instructor will not edit your draft, but will review its primary components in order to comment on how well your draft meets the requirements established by the evaluation rubric and make general suggestions for revisions.


Learning Outcomes.


  • Writing and Designing

  • Reading and Analyzing

  • Researching and Documenting

  • Using Technology and Media


Technical Report ENG 3050 Rubric




General Description

Assignment Specific


Audience & Purpose

How well did you analyze the likely audiences for this communication? How well did you tailor this communication to that audience?

Is your document useful and persuasive for these intended audiences?

The Executive Summary is written concisely, clearly, and persuasively for the decision-makers?

The Discussion provides sufficient and persuasive information and interpretation for the implementers?




How thoroughly did you investigate the subject(s) of this composition?  

Did you select an appropriate and ethical research method?

Do you show the results of that research in this text?

The technical report is solidly based on adequate research?

Research includes information from primary and secondary research?



Content & Organization

Does your content support your claim / purpose, and is it usable for your audiences?

Do you employ the appropriate superstructure for this audience and purpose?

Do you employ standard forms of technical organization (i.e., moving from general to particular, writing in a descending order of priority)?

The Executive Summary highlights the problem and solution?

The Discussion section is a well-organized presentation and interpretation of information in support of the conclusions and recommendations?

The sections of the Discussion move from general statements to particular details, thereby maintaining a descending order of priority throughout?




Format & Design

Is this document usable, attractive, and easy to navigate?

Do you make effective and persuasive use of relevant visuals and graphics (labels, captions, color choice, etc.)?

Do you make effective and persuasive use of page design (e.g. white space, quadranting, headers, etc.)?

The report exhibits good page design in all sections?

Visuals are well-integrated with text in the sections of the report?

Sources are properly cited and documented in APA style?



Grammar & Style

Do you write in an effective and efficient technical prose style (e.g. spelling, grammar, concision, tone, accuracy, etc.)?

Grammar and mechanics are perfect, and style is appropriate to a professional audience?




Points Possible


Total Score



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