Academic Writing Complete Guide
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How to Write a Recommendation Report
This report proposes solutions to a problem or evaluates possible solutions and recommends the most effective. However, before proposing or recommending a solution, you have to identify the problem first. This is built on detailed research that includes observations, client reviews, document analysis, surveys, and any other means of useful data collection. In most cases, a team of consultants who have undertaken full research to produce the report collectively prepares recommendation reports.
Typical organization of a recommendation report
Most of the sections and the structure of the recommendation reports take the typical organizational structure. However, the requirements of your project might not require some of these sections nor in the order in which they appear here. It is important to consult your professor if it is a class project. The fundamental principle is to provide not only recommendations, choice or judgment, but also the data and the conclusions that lead up to that recommendation. They readers will then be able to check your findings your logic and the conclusion to make an informed and different view. Most importantly, they are likely to be swayed by your research and documentation.
Factors to consider when writing your recommendation report
Before you start the writing process, you have to consider the following:
The target audience that you are addressing in your recommendation report will highly influence the contents and style that you use in preparing the report. If you have a prior understanding of the audience, you will be able to know the level of knowledge and facts to include in the report.
Headings and subheadings
The heading and subheadings that you use must be strong. In terms of the organization s structure, they help the audience to have a better understanding of the contents of your reports since he is able to see how every fact has been discussed.
The contents that you use in your recommendation report must ooze strength. This makes your recommendation report more effective and impactful.
When you are writing your report, ensure that you maintain a logical progression of information. Do not jump from one point to the next haphazardly, as that might lose the interest of the audience. The tone that you use in your report is also very important.
Do not use unnecessary jargon
Use a language that the audience can easily identify with. Using terms that are complex might not augur very well with the audience especially if they do not understand their meaning.
Make your report clear, informative, and succinct
You can use tables, figures, and graphs to expound on your numbers. This makes the information in your report easy to follow and understand.
Label all the tables, figures, or graphs that you use so that they can be understood even when they appear as stand-alone sections.
Practice on coming up with neat and effective recommendation reports. You can use word processors that will help you with spelling and grammar to make your report readable.
Structuring your recommendation report
This is how you structure the recommendation report
- Executive summary/The introduction
In this paragraph, you have to indicate that this is a recommendation report. It should state the problem with more background information. You have to give a summarized purpose for writing the recommendation report. You also need to establish the expectations of the audience in terms of what is to follow. It is also a platform for you to indicate the analytic approach to the problem at hand. It closes with some sort of description about every section in the report.
- Problem statement
Every recommendation report deals with a real and crucial problem. It is an articulation of the problem that provides a strong sense of need for the options that are being explored in the entire report. It is the platform for justifying the purpose of your report. In justifying your recommendations, you must have an understanding of the specific needs of the business, organization or the stakeholders that you are addressing. The problem statement serves as the introduction to the options that are discussed in the recommendation report.
- Description of options
This is the epicenter of your recommendation report. You now have to describe a specific number of solutions to the problem you indicated at the start of your report. Your ideas ought to be creative and well planned. Every option that you have must have a two-paragraph description which includes the following aspects:
- A cohesive and detailed overview of the option
- Information about how this option addressed the problem
- Specific details that talk about the implementation of this idea
- Justifications as to why this option is the best
Criteria of evaluation and the evaluation of each option
Once you describe your options, outline their evaluation criteria. This should hinge on the information that you have outlined in your statement of need. Once you list then justify the evaluation criteria, evaluate each option with regard to its ability to answer your criteria.
Category by category comparisons
You can also include the comparisons of the options in your recommendation study. It enables the readers to check your thoughts to infer different conclusions. Handle this section category by category instead of option-by-option. For instance, if you are comparing computers, you could have a section that compares their costs, another section that compares their functionality and so on. You will not have a section that discusses not everything about option A or another section that discusses option B. this would never be effective since the comparisons must be made somewhere. Every comparative section should close with a conclusion that state the option that is best placed in that category of comparison.
It will not be easy to state the winning choice since you have to qualify the conclusions in different ways, as well as providing multiple conclusions to different conditions.
Once you evaluate and describe your options, recommend the one that comes out as the most effective. Discuss why you have settled on those options and defend your recommendation thoroughly. However, you need to be alive to the fact that some of the audience members will skip the contents of your report and go straight to the recommendations. Give the most crucial conclusion that leads to the recommendation and then emphatically states the recommendation.
This should re-emphasize the final recommendation and give suggestions on how the audience can move forward with the implementation.
Recommendation reports mostly require in-depth research that ranges from conducting interviews, surveys and reading peer-reviewed journals and other related documents. This information ought to be cited to enhance the ability of the future audience to locate this information easily. The citation style should conform to the industry to which you are writing. For instance, medical professionals will look forward to an AMA citation; chemical industry experts will expect the ACS style, which l humanities audiences will expect MLA and APA for social sciences.
You can include further instructions, glossaries, samples, and diagrams in your appendices. Every information that you use for supplementary purposes must have its appendix.
Points of view in your recommendation report
Like any other professional report, the recommendation report ought to make use of a professional tone. Avoid using personal opinions and rely on the third person. For instance, you are supposed to say, “This report overviews three options…”
However, it is fine to use a collective first person sparingly. For instance,” We designed this report…”
One thing that stands out from these examples is that they are free of any opinion. They acknowledge that a real living person wrote the report and developed the options. Using the first person pronouns can only apply when it is used for rhetorical purposes.
Checklists for recommendations reports
As you read and revise your recommendation report, you have to look out for the following:
- Ensure that the introduction indicates the situation, the audience and an overview of the contents
- State the requirements that influence the decision of the choice of options that you have arrived at
- Every time you conclude a comparative section include the best choice that is based on those comparisons
- Demonstrate how you narrowed the field of options to the ones you are comparing
- Provide background information on the problem and what occasioned the need for the report
- Give a conclusion that shows the best option. Include a recommendation section for your recommendations and mention the major factors that influence the recommendation
When writing your recommendation report, itis important that you keep your objectives in mind. For instance, you cannot write about sailboard when your report is based on trucks. You also have to organize your facts before you start writing. Keep your language in good check and aim your report to your target audience especially if you have a good idea of who is going to read your report. If you use other people’s work in your report, ensure that it is well referenced and appropriately cited.