write and submit a progress (periodic) report on the research you have proposed and are currently working on. It should be directed to the same audience for whom you wrote your proposal. Leah Feldstein’s periodic report in Chapter 7 of your text (pp. 216-220) is a good example, but don’t be a slave to it, since it reports on a project that has been going on for some time and has a longer history of reporting than you have in your projects. Also note that headings and subheadings that Leah uses are pertinent to her project, not necessarily to yours. The idea of a “success rate,” for instance, has to do with a project that measures her clients’ movement away from drug use, certainly a pertinent topic in a project of the kind Leah is working on. But if there is no concern for any similar kind of success measure in your project, then the category shouldn’t be used. The idea of success, if it has to do with how well you have been able to proceed with collecting data for your projects, should be covered more generally under the heading of “Work Accomplished,” with any subheadings you think would be useful. Progress (periodic) reports usually run three to four pages. They can be longer than that, but I don’t think they should be much shorter in order to get the job done well.
As a requirement for English 402 students will produce original research from their individual fields of study or from fields they are knowledgeable about and interested in. These projects will take the form of an article intended for publication, a completion report intended for a sponsoring organization, or an informative, interactive website. Both primary (e.g. interviews, surveys, questionnaires) and secondary sources are required. All projects should be 8-10 pages long, double-spaced, and accompanied by bibliographies. (See below for a more detailed discussion.)
How the project will be evaluated:
The project will be evaluated on many things, but foremost among them are a demonstrated depth of research on and understanding of the subject area, a relevant and original study that is sufficiently narrowed and focused, appropriateness of tone, and writing quality. (Is the writing crisp, grammatically sound, and free of sloppy mistakes? Is the article or report well-organized and coherent? Is your piece creative and original enough to stand out in a stack of others with similar purpose?)
The final project is the culmination of the work you’ve done for this course over the semester, based on the topic of your research proposals. The final product will vary a bit for each of you, depending on the type of topic you chose and the work you have accomplished. Final projects should be solid 8-page reports or articles that are written well enough to be candidates for submission as articles in journals or appropriate magazines. Student who complete a website for their final project must also submit a written summary along with their website. Please take a little time to recheck the final project discussion from the introductory material, as well as considering the tips and outlines below.
Considerations of Audience:
Remember as you write your report or article to think about your audience. Do they understand all of the terms you are using? Are you speaking over their heads? Are you belittling their intelligence? Have you made it clear how the problem at hand affects them? Have you narrowed from the global to the local? Do the audience members understand the need as well as you do?
Few professional writers have to start entirely from scratch if they have planned their writing process and divided the work into chunks. You have already done this, and have what is called “boilerplate,” or already-existing text, to plug into the rough draft of the paper you are developing. For example, you have already summarized and/or evaluated some of your scholarly sources (in your annotated bibliography). In addition you have amassed some well-written paragraphs from your proposal that define and explain the nature of the problem and its background (in the problem statement) and the directions that researchers on the subject have taken (in the literature review). Tip: If you use your already-written text, be sure to revise it carefully so that it fits clearly and well into the new context. Some students make the mistake of lifting it as is even though the way it’s written does not fit well.
A Completion Report
You may choose to write a completion report about your research findings. If you decide to write a completion report, please consult the lesson on completion reports from Unit 6. The audience for your report is your funding source. Please make sure to review the Ch. 7 discussion in our textbook regarding completion reports. Students are welcome to use the two sample completion reports at the end of Ch. 7 as guides for writing the report.
Conventional Elements in Completion Reports:
1. Letter of Transmittal
2. Title Page
3. Table of Contents
• What is the topic of the report?
• What is the purpose of the report?
• How does the report affect the reader(s)?
• What is the background of the report?
• What follows in the report?
• How did you do the research or conduct the study?
• How did you gather the information that led to your conclusions and recommendations?
• What did you find out?
• What did you learn?
Conclusions/Discussion of the Results
• What do the results mean?
• Given the results and conclusions, what should occur?
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