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Click on any  part or section below:

Part I. Basics/Process

  A. Chapters 1-6: Start

  B. Ch. 7-13: Organize

  C. Ch. 14-20: Revise/Edit

Part II. College Writing

   D. Ch. 21-23: What Is It?

   E. Ch. 24-30: Write on Rdgs.

   F. Ch.31-35: Arguments

  G. Ch. 36-42: Research

  H. Ch. 43-48: Literature

   I.  Ch. 49-58: Majors & Work

Part III. Grammar

 Study Questions




Introduction to Recommendation Reporting




This introductory page offers a simple, brief summary.  For more, go to "Basics" and to "Sample Papers" by students. If you understand this type of paper already or want to explore it in more depth, you might prefer to read "Advanced Methods."  All five web pages of this chapter are listed in the right-hand column--simply click on the page you want to see. 



Recommendation reports are different from proposals and simple reports. Proposals only suggest one product or action, and simple reports offer descriptions of details or progress. Recommendation reports, however, discuss differing solutions to a problem.

We can compare the three types of papers to a trip to a store. Simple reports are like going to the store and simply looking at what is there; proposals are like shopping for one product and buying it; recommendation reports, however, are like going to the store because of a problem, then comparison shopping for the best product to solve your problem.

When do you need a recommendation report? You need it when you have a problem or need, and the solution or answer is not simple. If there really is only one simple answer to your need or problem, you can easily express this answer by writing a proposal. However, if what you actually need is a thorough examination of several competing solutions, a recommendation report can help you and your readers sift through the evidence and make rational choices.


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Writer's Goal or Assignment

The Problem

In professional work, businesses and people must make changes and try new methods. However, in larger operations or in those in which a thorough review of several possibilities needs to be shown to a group of stakeholders, a method of evaluating multiple solutions needs to be used. 

The Assignment 

Recommendation something new--a real or imaginary project--that should be adopted by the audience. The audience for this proposal is a real or imaginary business, group, or supervisor who has the power to accept the proposal.

Discuss (1) the need or background in the business, (2) several possible solutions, (3) excellent criteria for evaluating the possible solutions, (4) the application of the criteria to the possible solutions, and the final choice(s).  Develop these parts with at least three four divisions of at least two paragraphs each.

The recommendation report also should have an introduction and a conclusion that summarize, should be written in standard essay or profesisonal letter form, and may or should include quotations, paraphrases, illustrations, graphics, et al.  Be sure to cite your sources for such details in your paper, and document them at the end in a bibliography (or in some systems, with footnotes or in-text notes).


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Summary/Outline of the Visual Structure

Here is a typical structure or organization for a Recommendation Report.  More development of this structure is shown in the "Basics" section.

Organization of a Recommendation Report

Unique Title 




(A Parag. Summary/Abstract
--and/or a Parag. on Final Recommendation--as Needed or Required)


Section 1: Problem or Need

Section 2: Possible Solutions & Evaluative Criteria

Section 3: Evaluation (Application of Criteria to Solutions)

Section 4: Final Choice 


(If needed: Your Credentials
 Expected Outcomes of Implementation)




Bibliography [if Needed]

Bitson, A.J. Book. et al.

Jones, D. L. "Chart," et al.

Smith, M. S. "Diagram," et al.

Zamura, R.F. "Personal Interview," et al.


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Focusing Methods

A "focus" in writing helps you at any given moment to concentrate on writing.  Here are several helpful, important focuses people use to develop a recommendation report. 


SUBJECT: For a recommendation report, brainstorm a list of background-information details so everything useful is included.  Also brainstorm a number of possible solutions, even unusual or strange ones.  And brainstorm a variety of evaluative criteria, as well.  It is better to start with too much and then delete some of it than to start--and keep--too little.  In addition, can you write about your subject fully and logically?  What is the specific method of problem  solving you propose?  Will your audience find your problem and solution appropriate and interesting? 

FIRST & SECOND DRAFTS: Start with one or two methods that work best for you, but develop the others in later drafts.

  1. Free-write: write as much as you can quickly on what you know or have collected about your subject or its parts. 

  2. Gather details: write descriptions or a list of the proofs you have for your materials--facts in the form of charts, lists, or diagrams; as quotations, and/or from reports of people's experiences that can be validated independently.

  3. Write for your audience: visualize it.  What facts and/or ideas is it willing to consider, in what style or tone, and with what kind of organizational presentation?

  4. Organize: make an outline using the structure above or whatever structure your instructor suggests.

  5. Research: if required, mix research of your paper with the above methods to develop a first draft before, during, or after your research. Be sure to use proper citation and documentation for every source, even for charts and diagrams, illustrations/images, and personal-experience anecdotes.

STYLE, TONE, and WRITER'S ROLE: Develop (in early or late drafts) a professional style and tone of efficient, interested, reasoned, fair logic.  In your role as a writer, you should sound business like and positive, and present potential or real problems constructively, discussing how they will be fixed.  

AUTHENTICITY: Be honest and provide as much full disclosure as possible about potential problems and needs; however, do not over-emphasize them nor discuss typical problems that are easily resolved.  It may be useful, even good, to mention at least one or two minor difficulties and how they are resolved; this is authentic in that it allows your readers to see that you have considered problems rather than avoided them. 

Otherwise, present your material with the clear intent to inform fully, realistically, and logically.  Consider your audience's needs and interests in order to serve them properly.  In addition, if possible, develop an interest in the project (if you have not already done so), such that it is a meaningful event in the company to you, even as you maintain a professional attitude about it.   


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Chapter 58. Recommendation Report:







Related Chapters/Pages:

Details & Images

Creating Websites

Leading Writing Groups


 Related Links in

  16. Research Writing

  17. Citation & Documentation

  18. References & Resources

  19. Visual/Multimodal Design

  20. Major/Work Writing


Updated 1 Aug. 2013

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1st through 5th Editions:: Writing for School & Work, 1984-1998;, 1998-2012.
6th Edition: 8-1-12, rev. 8-1-13.  Text, design, and photos copyright 2002-12 by R. Jewell or as noted.
Permission is hereby granted for nonprofit educational copying and use without a written request.
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Click here to contact the author: Richard Jewell.  Questions and suggestions are welcome.