Topic: Progress reports, samples, and outlines
Summary: Write and submit a progress report, sample of your report, and outline.
A Progress Report is a self-defining term. Essentially, a progress report tells the reader what the project is, what has been done, and what still needs to be done. In this case, you will be submitting a report with three sections. The first reminds me of what you are writing about and the progress you’re making, the second shows me a sample from your final report, and the third is an outline of your final report.
I. PROGRESS REPORT
Following the time-line you created on the Proposal Document, the progress report should give a brief summary of the project, outline the work that has been completed and what still needs to be done, and touch on the research–primary and secondary sources. It should offer any revised time-lines, if necessary, and it should state in clear language any expectations of not completing the work on time and the reasons behind such news. If you are off-track on your plan it is not enough to simply say so — you must explain in detail how far behind schedule you are and how you plan to make up the work.
The progress report should be written in memo format. The purpose is to assess your work in progress. I will expect these reports to be thorough and error free.
For the format of this progress report, follow the example on page 419. This should be one to two single-spaced pages long.
II. SAMPLE OF YOUR FINAL REPORT
Submit a sample of your report for comment. The sample should
a. Be at a least two single-spaced pages long;
a. Include at least one page of text. More is fine;
b. Include at least one graphic, which is referenced in the text, numbered, labeled, and credited; read the sections in the book regarding visuals (and all the various kinds of visuals) and pay close attention to how and when to use them. It must convey information and not just fill space;
c. Include at least one in-text citation using MLA format. Just as I will expect all information in the final report that comes from your sources to be cited, all information in the sample must be cited to avoid plagiarism. So, while you must have at least one citation, any information, whether quoted, paraphrased, or summarized, must be correctly cited within the text itself for both the sample and the final report.
For your sample, do not submit the first page of your report, because it is more likely to contain a general summary and introductory information, and fewer hard facts, and I want to see how you use the information you are finding in your sources.
III. FINAL REPORT OUTLINE
Note: Reread the topic section on outlining in the book before doing this part of the assignment.
The sample allows me to see only a small fraction of your paper, so to help me understand how that sample fits into the overall picture (and to help you write the rest of the report), you need to submit an outline of your report. Although you may use your questions from the earlier assignment as a starting place, this should have more detail and more information than that, and should be about a page long.
While this outline does not need to follow a formal outline form, with Roman numerals and so on, it should give you a general idea how you plan to approach your paper, and it shouldn’t be in paragraph form. Why not use paragraphs? You have already done that in your proposal, so this assignment is meant to provide you with a visual guide you can use while writing your paper, a set of instructions to follow to be sure you do not miss anything important.
Although organizing may seem obvious, the book (under methods of development) explains there are many different ways to organize the information in a report. So, think carefully about what is the best organization for your topic, considering your audience and your purpose.
Also remember as you progress on your paper that an outline is a planning document meant to help you organize your information and reduce the likelihood of missing some key point, but it is not a contract — you can make adjustments to the paper as you go, without consulting me, so long as the topic and main thrust of the paper remain the same as what you have proposed and I have approved.
Submit everything (progress report, sample, and outline) as one document.
Length: The progress report should be one to two pages, the outline should be around one page, and the sample should be at least two pages long.
Format: The format of the outline should, not surprisingly, follow an outline format. The progress report should be in memo format. Both the progress report and sample should be single-spaced with 1-inch margins.
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