Technical Reporting Online


Description: This is a short, business-like proposal in a memorandum format. It kicks off a semester-long research and writing project that will result in a formal recommendation report.
Due: September 10, End of Day
Length: 2 -3 pages
Points Possible: 5
Submission: Blackboard
This assignment has five purposes:
1. To discover viable cutting-edge topics for a longer, research-supported report which will be beneficial to the future career of the writer.
2. To promote a better understanding of the kinds of research tactics that will be necessary for writing a cutting-edge report.
3. To initiate writing reports with good page design traits.
4. To install the use of memorandums for reporting.
5. To begin improving stylistic choices for technical writing.

Review pages 376-377 in the text on Writing Memos. Use the Sample Memo 14.10 as a model for this assignment. Note, this sample in the text is different than the sample below in this assignment. Either model will work.
1) Review Chapter 6, Researching Your Subject, starting page 116.
a. Be sure to understand the distinction between primary and secondary research. Review the methods sections associated with both Secondary and Primary Research.
b. An inclusion of primary research is a requirement of the recommendation report.
c. Begin planning what you can do, would like to do, and what you need to do for research.
d. Consider opening a new folder for organizing and conducting research for the coming Recommendation Report Project.

Writing Instructions:
Propose three possible topics which are about cutting-edge developments in your field of study. Using a memorandum format (pg. 376-377 in textbook), write a short proposal for an upcoming formal recommendation report to a specific organization.

Note: At this point, it is not necessary to know which company you would send your recommendation report to. Soon, that will be relevant. Keep your mind open for an idea of not only what subject you would like to be researching and writing about, but also who might use a recommendation report on that topic.

Note: memorandums are intended to be inter organizational communications, which are not distributed to outside readers. For that, business letters, newsletters, and advertising brochures are used.

Page Design
Include a logo in the upper left corner. Below that, well separated vertically, title the document: Memorandum (centered and the largest print size of the document.
Note: You can create your own logo or borrow the one below. You may also modify that logo. Do not use an actual logo from an organization.
Note: Don’t crowd the graphic and the heading.
Font, Point Size, and Line Spacing:
For a font, something business-like, but not an overused default font. For point size, nothing so small that an older reader will have to squint—usually 12 pt. works well, but that depends on the font. For line spacing: 1.5. Double spacing is acceptable.

Titles and Subtitles: A title below the heading is not necessary. The title will simply be the word, Memorandum. The subject line of the heading is enough indication of what the memorandum is about. Use subtitles in bold for these sections of the memorandum: Introduction, Summary, subjects within the body (3), and recommendations.
Page Numbers:
Use the same font as the rest of the report. For the header: top of page, right, last name of the person the memorandum is directed to (in this case, Magruder) before the page number.
Page Breaks:
Avoid separating vertical lists by page breaks. Avoid leaving a section title at the bottom of a page, separated from its narrative. Use page breaks to ensure a section title stays with its body, even if that means extra white space at the bottom of the page.

Memorandum Format
Memorandum heading (bold face, all caps, centered)
To: Jim Magruder, Managing Editor
From: (your name), Consultant (note: you’ve been promoted)
Subject: Proposed topics for a formal recommendation report
Date: (variable, written out)
Explain the purpose and context of the memorandum. No subtitle is necessary for this section.
Briefly, what will be found in the memorandum. Use a subheading: Summary.

Use paragraphing to separate the elements of the body and begin each topic with a subtitle; then write a paragraph-length explanation of a cutting-edge topic in your field which you want to research and write about in depth.
Follow each topic proposal with a bibliography of two resources that will provide content for your report. Put the resources in IEEE documentation format (pg. 646 in the text). Title each paragraph: Discussion of …
End with a recommendation that orders your proposed topics according to your first, second, and third preferences. Subtitle this section: Recommendation.

Point of View:
Avoid overusing the first-person narrator: I, me, my. While it is appropriate at a couple of places in this report (at the beginning and at the end), it should be eliminated when writing the body of the report. For some people, the first-person narrative is all they ever write. If that’s your case, it’s time to break that habit. Also avoid the informal and often abused second person point of view: You, we, us.
Example: You drive down that road and you find your post office box shaped like a chicken, and you take a left.
Sentence Pattern Variety:
Writers usually have a few sentence patterns that they repeat over and over. Often, they repeatedly write sentences with long introductory phrases of the same kind, or repeatedly use complex sentences that have both a subordinate clause and a main clause. For technical writing, make the shorter, straightforward assertion a bigger part of your stylistic arsenal. Use shorter assertions for your introductions to set a tone.

Magruder 1

To: Jim Magruder, Managing Editor
From: (your name), Consultant
Topic: Research Proposals for Automation and Robotics
Date: September 10, 2022
Introduction: The purpose of this memo is to present three topics for a recommendation report.
Summary: Below, are three cutting-edge developments in the automation and manufacturing industry: robotic laser cutting, automation challenges for the workforce, and factory robotics.
Robotic Laser Cutting: Shape process automation recently released a new robotic laser cutting device. This device cuts many different shapes at speeds, accuracy, and efficiency that have never been seen before. This machine is important because it can produce these shapes more than twice as fast as automation today.
1. “Future Factory: How Technology Is Transforming Manufacturing.” C B Insights Research, 3 July 2019,
2. “The Futuristic Manufacturing That Open Innovation Accelerates.” OMRON EDGE&LINK Discover the Future, 24 Jan. 2019,

Magruder 2
How automation is changing work: Currently, robots can produce outputs much faster and cheaper than having humans do it. For a production company, an investment in robots, instead of manual labor can be faster, more precise, and cheaper. However, a more technically trained workforce is required for installing, operating, and maintaining intelligent machines.
1. Gerber, Scott. “13 Cutting-Edge Tech Trends Industry Insiders Intend to Leverage (and How You Can, Too).” The Next Web, 11 Oct. 2018,
2. Philips. “7 Surprising Companies Where You Can Work on Cutting-Edge AI Technology.” Medium, 18 Feb. 2019, dge-ai-technology-93aca07df75.
Factory Robots: Robots are now taking over factories because they are much more efficient than humans. They are able to run 24 hours seven days a week, while doing the work faster than humans. These robots are a cutting-edge development in helping the manufacturing industry.
1. “Pushing the Cutting Edge of Robots and Drones.” Pushing the Cutting Edge of Robots and Drones | Automation World,
2. Segal, Michael. “How Automation Is Changing Work.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 28 Nov. 2018,
Recommendation: The proposal topics have been placed in the order of my preferences. Each topic will contribute to my advancement in my career plans. I look forward to hearing what you have to say in guiding this project.