Business Writing 202D

Feasibility Report info


Visual Aid Information


Remember that visual manipulation can often be a helpful tactic in guiding the reader of your texts. To prove this point, just think of the document design issue for the ballots in Florida!! Do you need further proof?


Also, the visual aid is just that, an aid. A graph is intended to supplement your prose, not replace it.


Other Document Design Issues


The visual appearance, aside from visual aids, also can affect the way in which your reader processes your information. Consistency is key. If you choose to use headings (which I highly encourage), be careful about your style. If you choose to underline of bold-type the words- fine; just don't alternate between styles.


Pay attention to the margins on the document; if you find yourself leaving a heading at the bottom of a page, just skip a few extra spaces between the previous section, so the heading will appear on the next page, immediately followed by its text.


The presentation of bullets may be effective in manipulating the reader. However, one may also overuse bullets and ruin the intended effect (see example in course packet, pages 103-104).


Also, remember that form follows function I want these reports to look as professional as possible- I will be grading these as if you were submitting them to the business or organization itself! Manipulating the document design IS important, but being too creative can negatively affect your audience that is primarily concerned with the bottom line.


Spacing within the Document


For this project, there are multiple components, so things can get pretty confusing. To clarify- I want the Letter of Transmittal single-spaced. The Executive Summary may be spaced, if you are trying to get it to be under a page long. The Body of the document (Intro-Recommendation) should be double-spaced. This will make your prose easier on my eyes, since I'm not getting any younger.



In most cases, I can imagine the importance of an appendix for this project. You have really been working on the document all year, yet you certainly won't be able to present everything you've learned within the body of the document. Hence the usefulness of an appendix.


The primary function of this section is to give further grounding of your data. For example, if you interviewed someone (an employee in the business, a manager, a professor, etc), you probably took notes, right? Formally, we would refer to these notes as "minutes" for the meeting. You could then translate your notes into "minutes" and provide them in an appendix. In this example, you would head the appendix with a title ("interview with...," or "meeting about...") and then list the date and the persons present. After this info, you summarize the data that emerged from the meeting.


Another common appendix entry is the "sample survey." In this instance, if you obtained information from a "test group" of people, you could provide a sample of the types of questions you asked. This accommodates your audience by establishing the precise questions you imposed.


Other elements that could work as an appendix -memos you have received  -proposed designs of your solutions  -cost-benefit analysis  -budget information  -graphs/ graphics that may not fit into the body of your document


Evaluation Process


Just a little reminder- a written depiction of the "tough part" of the report.


If you are able to reduce your main argument into the following equation you may find the process easier to deal with:


X is/ is not a good Y This Solution is/ is not a Good Solution


The criteria, as you may recall, come from defining the second half of the equation. Exactly what makes for a "good solution" considering the context (the company's means). The evaluation (after the criteria are formed) then proceeds to take each possible solution and filter it through the criteria. Does it satisfy each critera? If it does, then it is a good solution; if not, then maybe something else will!



Handout Courtesy Doc Rissel