I need help writing an assignment responding to the following prompt. Where do I start? From your own work experiences, select a topic and draft either a brief report or proposal, applying the...

I need help writing an assignment responding to the following prompt. Where do I start?

From your own work experiences, select a topic and draft either a brief report or proposal, applying the "Report and Proposal Contents."

Expert Answers
Lorraine Caplan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a good assignment to apply what you know of the work world to what you are learning in this course and vice versa. You will have to begin with some thought to your own work experience, of course. What do you or have you done at work that is worthy of writing a report or proposal about?  You may want to report on a recent project you have completed at work. You may want to propose some form of employee training that you think your company would benefit from. You may want to write a report on inventory turnover. Or you might want to propose that your employer instate a flex-time option.  Those are just a few ideas to get started with.

As you decide which it is that you want to do, a report or a proposal, bear in mind that a report is meant to inform but that a proposal is meant to persuade.  This will help you to focus your content so much better. In a report, you may be providing a discussion of activities and goals that were met or not met, while in a proposal, you are going to be providing motivations for your company to do what it is you want it to do.  

Either way, your introduction should provide a brief overview of the report or proposal, along with a thesis statement, just as you would for an essay.  For example, if I were writing a report, I might have a thesis statement like this:

The seminar was a successful one, with all of those surveyed satisfied with the content and committed to returning next year. 

Now the reader knows the main thrust of the report, and I can fill in the supporting details in my content.

But if I were writing a proposal, I might say this:

Flex-time would provide the powerful advantages of reduced absenteeism and tardiness, higher worker satisfaction, and greater flexibility in office coverage.

Now the reader knows what I wish to persuade him or her about and the reasons that I will use to support my proposal.

Your content will be highly dependent on the subject of the report or proposal, of course. For a report, you are going to inform the reader about the subject or activity, so that, for example, I might describe where and when a seminar was held, who put it on, who the attendees were, and the topic that were covered.  I might also include the costs associated with the seminar.  If I were writing a proposal, I would be including all the points necessary to persuade my audience to instate my proposed idea.  Since this is meant to be brief, though, I would probably use at most two paragraphs for my content in a report and perhaps only one in a proposal.

Your conclusion is meant to wrap things up for the reader by reminding the reader your purpose in writing and reviewing the points you have covered in the report or proposal.  This is what you would do in an essay or a speech, too, and it is a good habit to get into.  This is your last shot at the reader, so he or she should be reminded of what you have said or what you want. 

thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As you have not named the textbook to which you refer, I'll focus on some general principles regarding how to complete this sort of assignment. 

First, you need to think about some job or internship position you have held at some time. This could include either paid or volunteer work.

Next, decide whether you wish to write a report, in which you provide a summary of some task you have completed in the past, or a proposal, which would be a suggestion about something that the business could do in the future. 

This assignment appears to be a rough draft or an extended outline. This means that you should use a clear outline structure to give an idea of what the completed paper would look like so that your instructor can give you feedback before you write the final version. 

For example, imagine that you had worked in a retail store over the summer and noticed that elderly and disabled customers were struggling to reach certain items on the shelves. You might choose to write a proposal, organized as follows:

Introduction: This would provide an overall summary of the proposal, stating that you would cover the need for greater accessibility and offer possible solutions.

Body: You would divide the body in two parts, one detailing the need for accessibility, supported by anecdotes and demographic evidence, and the second part describing ways to address the need.

Close: The close should show how the solutions proposed in the body could lead to increasing a loyal customer base and thus improving sales. 

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