The Progress Report

 

Format: This report is the only one in this class where you have a choice of formats.  Your audience is me.  The purpose is to tell me what kind of progress you have made on your proposed research for your final feasibility report.  Thus, you choose what info and in what order you would like to present it.  But remember to keep audience and purpose in mind.  I want to know that the credible person that I approved to research this project is truly doing his or her job, ie itís worth the time and money.  In this project, you are not trying to persuade your audience that there is a problem, like you did for your proposal.  Instead, you are persuading her that you are indeed the credible, qualified, timely person you said you were in your proposal.  The following is only a template, you donít have to follow it exactly. 

Introduction: This is a letter to me to inform me of your progress on research in your chosen project.  As such, your introduction will give a brief overview of the contents of the whole document and, as always, be centered on the audience.  The intro can set the tone for the rest of the report, so be sure to be confident, specific, and professional.   

Purpose statement: The purpose statement should offer an overview of the subject of your report.  This is an encapsulation of your problem statement, though not as detailed or as long.  This is simply a reminder to your audience of what led you to write a proposal in the first place.   

Research Completed: The research portion of your progress report serves to confirm that you are indeed doing what you proposed to do in your research plan/schedule previously.  Since you have already done this research, this will most likely be the most detailed portion of your report.  Although the main goal is to keep the confidence of the person reading the progress report, if there are problems, this is the place to discuss them.  The key in the research section is to be as specific as possible to boost your credibility. 

Current and Forecasted Research: As the name suggests, this is simply a plan of current and future research.  Tell what specifically you are doing and when you expect to finish it.  If, while researching sources that you listed on your proposal led to new sources, this is the place to tell your audience about them.  You may offer these together as one section or split them into two. 

Revised Schedule: The schedule in your proposal was a tentative one and has probably changed at least one time, if not more.  Also, there may be new items to add to a schedule.  Construct a schedule of research including completed research through forecast research.   

Conclusion: Summarize in a confident and audience centered closing.  Say thank you, give contact info, and sign with a complimentary closing.   

Outline of Feasibility Report: Attach an outline of your final report as an appendix and mention it within the text.  Though this outline is tentative, it should touch on the major points of your report, including criteria, solutions, evaluation of those solutions, recommendations, etc.  The more detailed, the better and easier it will be for you to craft your feasibility report. 

 

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