A successful report includes three main parts, they MUST be headers in your report:
� Introduction with the problem�discusses the current situation and clearly states the problem or need for change
� Purpose (which can include benefits)�presents goal and importance of your report. This section can also stress the benefits that influenced your decision to write on this issue
� Optional headings include the following: background, projected costs/budget, time line, technical details, undesirable consequences of not accepting the proposal, ethical dimensions (why is this the right thing to do?) or any other heading that makes sense with your topic. For example, if you are writing a report on the feasibility of legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states, some headings might include: Civil Rights for All Citizens, Monetary Gains and Ramifications to the State of California, The Religious Dilemma–Separation of Church and State. These would all be relevant to this issue and interesting to read
� Conclusion (which can include recommendations)�brief statement summarizing your report and extending goodwill to the recipient
Outside sources�you must use two outside sources for your report, but they must augment, not be the focus of, your report. A good outside source helps you explain some of the details of your report, but the outside sources are only there in a supporting capacity, and your report should make sense even without the outside sources. Your report will be graded in part on how well you analyze a problem and propose to solve it, and excessive reliance on outside sources will have a deleterious effect on your grade. Additionally, these outside sources must be scholarly in nature–a peer reviewed journal, book, etc …. You may use additional and “popular” sources, but two must be scholarly!
MLA and plagiarism�you MUST give credit for ideas, statistics, dates, or any other information you use that did not come from your brain. So, your opinion/analysis does not need to be cited, but if you read a 10-page article and explain your proposal in terms of that author�s thesis, you must cite that author as a contributing source. Likewise, if you learn from an article that nylon was invented in 1935, you must give credit to the article where you read that. If you don�t, you are stealing someone�s intellectual property and you WILL FAIL my class, guaranteed.
Length�your report MUST be 5 full pages in length, single-spaced with 1″ margins all the way around and using 12 point or smaller type. Each report will be graded according to how well it develops and analyzes the topic you have selected, but be advised that you should select an issue that will lend itself to robust development and discussion of a problem.
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