The Technical Report
- Technical reports come in many different formats. For a passing grade, follow the technical report format presented here.
- Your paper must include a graphic–a table, a chart, a picture that helps readers to understand better the thesis of your paper. For example, a diagram of the skeletal structure of a horse, properly labeled, and referenced and explained in the paper itself, might help a reader better understand chiropractic manipulation on horses. A picture of a smiling horse will not help readers to understand this idea better. Therefore, a picture of a smiling horse will not count as a graphic in your technical report. You will address the graphic in the text of your paper before you present the reader with the graphic. It will be properly labeled, as we learned in our graphics chapter. If you got the graphic OR the information to create the graphic from a source other than your own head, it must be cited properly in the text and documented on your works cited, references, or bibliography page. No graphic, – 2 letter grades.
- Save yourself a lot of work and move through the “Using Styles” videos offered by Microsoft Office (https://support.office.com/en-US/Article/Using-Styles-in-Word-9db4c0f4-2754-4294-9758-c14a0abd8cfa). The 30 minutes you spend looking at that information will pay for itself repeatedly as you learn to make your document create the table of contents–and update it–automatically with the click of a button.
- Create and update your table of content automatically: https://support.office.com/en-US/article/create-a-table-of-contents-or-update-a-table-of-contents-1bee8114-2c58-46fb-a884-64c6dfecaeca#__toc287271760
- With MS Word 2013, you can automatically format works cited/references/bibliography pages. Remember, you are responsible for the correctness of your pages: https://support.office.com/en-US/article/APA-MLA-Chicago-Automatically-format-bibliographies-733EF2C2-FB65-4641-B3E6-91B9CC92085F
Your paper has five sections: front matter, introduction, detailed discussion, terminal section, back matter.
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Front Matter (no 1st level heading required in front matter):
There are four required sections in this part.
- Letter of Transmittal see p. 532 (You don’t have to have a fancy header. Your letter of transmittal should be in formal letter format–see pages 378-379. You are addressing your letter to Dr. Tamara Powell, CHSS Director of the Office Distance Education, Kennesaw State University, 402 Bartow Avenue NW, Kennesaw, Georgia 30144.)
- Title Page (the title must include the words “Recommendation Report”) see p. 533
- Abstract (should be an informative abstract and please list about five key words) see p. 521 There is no executive summary for this assignment.
- Table of Contents see p. 535
Introduction (1st level heading)
There are five required headings in this part. The Introduction section is divided into four subheadings.
Introduction (Major headings can fancy, refer to your style guide or MS Styles preferences; page 1 begins here.)
NOTE: “Nature of the Problem” etc. are subheadings that MUST be included in your technical
report in the introduction. Failure to include the four headings below will result in a loss of 80
points from your paper.
- Nature of the Problem (second level heading)–who, where, how, what, why, when
- Significance of the Problem (second level heading)–sell the reader on the ultimate meaningfulness of your research.
- Scope of the Report (second level heading)–boundaries, what considerations are included and what must be ignored for the sake of practicality and sanity. For example, if you are studying font choices for a brochure, you might explain that you are limiting your selection of fonts to consider to 1) Roman alphabets, and 2) fonts commonly found on American computers. If you are examining studies of television viewing habits, you might say you are limiting your research to 1) American families, 2) peer-reviewed, scholarly studies performed in the past five years, and 3) network and cable viewing, not Netflix or other non-network and cable viewing habits.
- Organizational Plan (second level heading) –(choose from chronological, spatial, functional, order of importance, elimination of poor solutions, general to particular, particular to general, simple to complex, known to unknown, pro and con, cause and effect. This section is simple. You will state, “I am using the organizational plan of _____________ to organize my report.” If you use a combination of organizational plans, then tell which one you will use in each section. You might also give a rationale.)
The purpose of the detailed discussion is to elaborate on the introduction. You have already stated your main points. In the detailed discussion, you want to present those main points again and support them with your data, examples, logic, and clear arguments to show that your ideas are sound and correct.
Headings are required in this section, but there are no specific, required headings because only you know what your headings will be labeled.
This part of your paper is a lot of work–you want to slow down and really provide clear links among your assertions, your data, your explanations, and your main points. In your proposal, you created the outline of your detailed discussion. Here is the place to flesh out that outline. Provide interpretations of data–explain how you know your solution to this very significant problem is the correct solution, how this approach and this data lead to these conclusions and recommendations. People usually choose to put their graphic for this paper in the detailed discussion section.
At the end of your detailed discussion, you will have two additional sections:
Conclusions: In this section, you will write out in paragraph form your conclusions.
Recommendations: In this section, you will write out in paragraph form your recommendations.
The terminal section has two parts: the conclusions and the recommendations. Each part has a required heading. The required heading for the conclusions section is Conclusions. The required heading for the recommendations section is Recommendations.
Conclusions-number and list them. This is a numbered list of the conclusions at the end of your
detailed discussion. These are the same conclusions from your detailed discussion section. However, they are now in numbered form. .
Recommendations-number and list them. This is a numbered list of the recommendations at the end of your detailed discussion. These are the same recommendations from your detailed discussion; however, now they are numbered form.
The Back Matter
The back matter contains one and possibly two sections. The Works Cited, References, or Bibliography section (depending upon the style of documentation you use) is required. Please remember that you are required to use at least six scholarly sources. Everything you list in your Works Cited/References/Bibliography section is required to be used in your paper–cited at least once! And everything cited in your paper is required to be listed on your Works Cited/References/Bibliography page.
Works Cited, References or Bibliography–be sure and use a variety of scholarly sources, enough to support your point. You must use at least six scholarly sources. Also, be
sure and indicate what documentation style you are using-APA, MLA, CBE, Chicago, etc. See p. 670 and p. 556 in Markel (APA format), 695 (MLA).
Appendices–An appendices section is only required if you conducted interviews, conducted a survey, or have other information that needs to be included in the paper to support your claims. You can read more about appendices on page 534.
Here are two good sample reports for you to look at. Thank you to Ms. Carrie Pietzyk and Ms. Priya Ramani for giving me permission to share these reports with you.
There is an error on the rubric, below. Your technical report only requires six scholarly sources–presumably the same six, scholarly, peer reviewed, academic journal articles you used in your proposal revision.
Technical Report Grading Rubric