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The Comparative Analysis Report In the professional world, you will often be asked to gather information and present a recommendation to others.  This assignment follows that same philosophy. The purpose The purpose of this endeavor is for you to flex your research muscles and use your skills of effective technical communication. You will present your project in a document that takes into account the core concepts of technical communication and is, therefore, efficient and user-oriented. The explanation An comparative analysis report is a presentation and analysis of information obtained from sources and from your own expertise and experience. This is not an essay, but rather a report of some research (analysis) that you have done. It has specific sections, and each section has a specific purpose, including making a recommendation at the end. Course objectives The following course objectives are met by successfully completing this assignment: Develop a sense of how purposes, audiences, situations, technologies, and methods affect writers’ and users’ perceptions of written documents. Implement and demonstrate theories of document design (e.g. format, layout, graphics) in course projects. Understand the recursive nature of writing process in terms of researching, drafting, reviewing/testing, editing, and revising. Develop strategies for written and/or oral communication with peers, instructors, users, and/or clients that foster mutual respect and responsibility, including peer review and usability testing. Implement and evaluate a range of research methods and information resources to develop and produce ethically responsible professional documents. Create effective arguments in professional documents using discursive and visual information. Demonstrate awareness of how various media genres and technologies affect and are affected by users and readers and, thus, are integral to the writing process. Use and adapt various technologies, including MS Word, to produce attractive, persuasive, professional documents. The task You will write a comparative analytical report.  Choose a topic that you are interested in.  Please make your report a comparative analysis, that is, you will be comparing two or more items for a specific situation and then making a recommendation based on your findings.  Your book chapter on Recommendation Reports (Chapter 18) will be very helpful with this assignment. There are many topics that would work, and you are welcome to send me an email to work through possible topic choices, but what’s important is that you have two or three similar items that you or someone else might actually be choosing between in real life.  For example, it’s doubtful that someone would be choosing between a Toyota Camry and a Lamborghini Aventador.  Instead, choose two cars that are similar enough to compare against a common set of criteria. Popular topics include versions of these: Cell phones Computers Tablets Cars Colleges (for one particular major) Of course, there are many other options for topics.  What you want to remember, though is that you will need to have a set of criteria on which to compare the items you choose to compare (while comparing two domestic sedans, you might consider fuel mileage, price, horsepower, and several other criteria on which to compare your cars).  Read on for more details. The specs There are many requirements that your report must meet. Include at least one visual created by you (bare minimum to even be accepted). Graphs, tables, lists, and other visuals are easily created right in your word processor program.  To be successful with this project you will need several correct and effective visuals.  Remember that creating your own is often a great way to help assure that the visual is perfect. Use a minimum of five outside sources. Cite ALL your sources (any information you get from anywhere or anyone other than your own personal knowledge), including statistics, quotations, paraphrases, and visuals, in the report and accompany that with a properly formatted Works Cited Page. Include at least 7 pages of text to make up the report itself, not including large visuals or works cited pages. Even though seven pages is the minimum, exceptional analysis may yield larger reports. Submit electronically (as one file) on Canvas. An introduction chapter, including: Background information on the topic , setting us up for your research question Any definitions your audience needs for clarification before beginning the analysis Your research question A summary of your solution or recommendation that you will defend formally in the conclusion of your report. A chapter with detailed discussion of your research method This is where you explain to us how you decided on a topic, how and why you chose your research question, how you went about researching and analysis, and any other information pertaining to the processes you went through. This is a summary of what you did during the course of this assignment. A chapter with detailed explanation of your findings This is where you give us facts and summaries of what you found in your research. You are not telling us what it means yet or how one item compares to another, but you are simply telling us what you found—sort of like a book report. A chapter with detailed analysis of your findings Take those findings from the previous section and start analyzing what they mean to your project. This is where you work on answering your research question—comparing the items you set out to compare. A chapter with your conclusions and/or recommendations based on your analysis You’ve told us about the information you’ve found, told us what it means, and now you will tell us exactly what should happen based on that careful analysis. Based on your research, what should we do? Any appendices or back matter, such as a Works Cited page, a glossary, or any other information needed that are necessary, but wouldn’t be appropriate in the body of the text.  If you are using MS word effectively, it should be able to create your Works Cited page for you.   This does not count toward the 7-page minimum.    The evaluation criteria This report will be graded in the “major projects” category and will be worth 200 points (twice as much as the instructions assignment).  Your report will be graded on the following criteria: Audience awareness Definition of terms Tone Purpose Carefully crafted front matter Consistent use of correct and professional language Information Distinction between data and interpretation Extensive explanation in the body of the report Effective summarizing in the introduction and front matter Appropriate explanations and transitions between abstract and concrete information All source information cited correctly in the text and on a works cited page Visuals Tables present organized information for quick access Figures are accurate and useful interpretations of data for the user All visuals should be necessary, clear, and helpful Figures and tables presented and labeled correctly Formatting Margins Section and page breaks Font choice Use of color Front matter formatted correctly, including TOC and Letter of Transmittal Correct use of quotations, paraphrases, citations and works cited page (MLA, please) Previous Next

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