Should the federal government legalize the use of ...

project description

1. What research problem or question do you intend to address?
Should the federal government legalize the use of marijuana?
People in business and government write formal reports for many different purposes: proposing, problem solving, recommending, informing, explaining, describing, selling, analyzing, defending, protecting, reviewing. For this class, write a 12-15 page (longer is OK), double-spaced, persuasive report for decision and implementation. That is, show that a problem exists and propose a solution to the problem, oppose someone else’s proposal, suggest a change in policy, or support a position on a debatable issue. Assume the audience to be a decision maker who is your immediate supervisor or one level higher. The workplace can be a fictional one, not your actual employer. Choose a topic that requires research: printed books and articles or articles from databases and websites, or possibly in-house documents (consult with me if you plan to use in-house documents). When counting 12-15 pages, don’t count the prefatory material (memo/letter of transmittal, table of contents, list of illustrations, executive summary) nor the bibliography, nor any appendixes. <br />
The assignment gives you practice in gathering information, taking notes, planning and focusing a large report for an intended audience, writing and revising, and documenting sources.<br />
<br />
Your report should contain the following parts (chapter 11, p. 295): <br />
Memo or letter of transmittal (one page; can be single-spaced or double-spaced)<br />
Title page<br />
Table of contents<br />
Executive Summary (one page; can be single-spaced or double-spaced)<br />
Recommendations<br />
Body (with separate introduction and discussion)<br />
Bibliography in APA style<br />
Addenda (appendixes if appropriate) <br />
Minimum Requirements <br />
1. Use at least five published or Internet sources. Or get my approval for unique reports not based primarily on published sources. <br />
2. Quote sparingly; paraphrase and summarize frequently. <br />
3. Do not plagiarize–Cite in-text sources precisely and do not half-copy. <br />
4. Complete the Audience Profile (below) and include it with your finished report. <br />
In addition, on a separate page, complete the Audience Profile (below). <br />
AUDIENCE PROFILE <br />
INSTRUCTIONS: For the imagined audience of your researched persuasive report, write full explanations/commentary for each item. In addition to supplying the information for each item, consider the implications of your perceptions of your readers. Include as part of your commentary how you plan to use your perceptions of your readers in planning and writing the report. Your textbook authors continually remind you of the need to tailor the content and tone of a document to the intended audience; two such discussions of audience are on pages 58-60 and page 278. <br />
Turn in this completed form as part of Writing Assignment 4. <br />
Your audience profile will be graded according to how thoroughly you respond to the items. <br />
I. AUDIENCE IDENTITY AND NEEDS <br />
Primary Reader(s) (name, title)<br />
Secondary Reader(s) (name, title)<br />
Relationship (client, employee, other)<br />
Intended use/result of document<br />
Barriers to understanding or acceptance?<br />
Readers’ prior knowledge of topic (know/do not know background; experts, novices, other)<br />
Additional information needed<br />
Possible questions/objections reader(s) will have<br />
Audience’s attitude toward topic (indifferent, skeptical, other)<br />
Audience’s probable objections (cost, time, other)<br />
Audience’s probable attitude toward this writer (intimidated, hostile, receptive, other)<br />
Organizational climate (receptive, repressive, creative, other)<br />
Persons most affected by this document<br />
Audience temperament (cautious, impatient, other)<br />
Probable reaction to the document (resistance, approval, anger, other)<br />
Risk of alienating anyone <br />
II. AUDIENCE EXPECTATIONS ABOUT THE DOCUMENT <br />
Reason document originated (audience request, legal requirement, other)<br />
Acceptable length, amount of detail (comprehensive, concise, other)<br />
Why this material is important to this audience (interpretations, costs, conclusions, other)<br />
Most useful organization pattern (problem-solution, proposal, other)<br />
Appropriate tone (businesslike, apologetic, enthusiastic, other)<br />
Intended effect on this audience (win support, change behavior, other) <br />
Source: Modified from John Lannon (1996), Technical Writing, 7th ed. Reading, MA: Addison Wesley. <br />

GRADING CRITERIA: RESEARCH-BASED PERSUASIVE REPORT <br />
CONTENT <br />
1. Meets minimum requirements (see assignment instructions) <br />
2. Shows skillful application of persuasive strategies <br />
Audience is appealed to appropriately<br />
Argument is developed well; relevant evidence supports your claims<br />
Image of credibility is established<br />
Objections are anticipated and responded to <br />
ORGANIZATION AND COHERENCE <br />
3. Each component contains required (see instructions) and appropriate material; executive summary (one page) is a mini-version of the entire report <br />
4. Purpose of each section is clear and supported well <br />
5. Organization is clear <br />
Follows problem-solution, proposal, or recommendation-support pattern, etc.<br />
Separate ideas in separate paragraphs<br />
Not organized serially by source<br />
Contains useful headings <br />
6. There are helpful transitions between and within paragraphs <br />
PARAGRAPHS <br />
7. Each paragraph has a clear topic sentence stating the main point and focusing the material <br />
8. Each paragraph fully supports its topic sentence with very specific material appropriate for your purpose and audience: details, examples, reasons and explanations, evidence <br />
SENTENCE STRUCTURE <br />

9. Sentences are well-written: emphatic, condensed, varied in structure, fluent <br />
STYLE <br />
10. Words are specific, precise, concrete, accurate; voice is consistent and appropriate for audience <br />
GRAPHICS <br />
11. Graphics are designed well; data are relevant to recommendations <br />
SOURCES <br />
12. Sources are handled well: <br />
sources are precisely cited in APA style in the paragraphs of the report<br />
good selection of reliable material to support research issue<br />
few direct quotes, accurate paraphrasing and summarizing, no plagiarizing<br />
correct in-text citation in APA style, according to Writer’s Help<br />
correct bibliography format in APA style, according to Writer’s Help <br />
GRAMMAR, PUNCTUATION, SPELLING, AND FORMAT <br />
13. There are no errors <br />
AUDIENCE PROFILE <br />
14. Your audience profile will be graded according to how thoroughly you respond to the topics and how well your report reflects the audience analysis
Address the following questions:
1.  What research problem or question do you intend to address?
Should the federal government legalize the use of marijuana?
An interesting topic. To make it fit the instructions for Assignment 4, you need to turn it into a recommendation for a decision maker in your organization (which can be fictitious). What some other students are doing with topics that are not directly workplace-related is to imagine a scenario where they are staff members of a legislator or lobbyist, writing a position paper supporting a proposed law or policy.  Your topic will be OK if you do that.
Assignment 4, Research-Based Persuasive Report
WRITING ASSIGNMENT 4:  RESEARCH-BASED PERSUASIVE REPORT
People in business and government write formal reports for many different purposes: proposing, problem solving, recommending, informing, explaining, describing, selling, analyzing, defending, protecting, reviewing. For this class, write a 12-15 page (longer is OK), double-spaced, persuasive report for decision and implementation. That is, show that a problem exists and propose a solution to the problem, oppose someone else’s proposal, suggest a change in policy, or support a position on a debatable issue. Assume the audience to be a decision maker who is your immediate supervisor or one level higher. The workplace can be a fictional one, not your actual employer. Choose a topic that requires research: printed books and articles or articles from databases and websites, or possibly in-house documents (consult with me if you plan to use in-house documents). When counting 12-15 pages, don’t count the prefatory material (memo/letter of transmittal, table of contents, list of illustrations, executive summary) nor the bibliography, nor any appendixes.
The assignment gives you practice in gathering information, taking notes, planning and focusing a large report for an intended audience, writing and revising, and documenting sources.
Your report should contain the following parts (chapter 11, p. 295):
Memo or letter of transmittal (one page; can be single-spaced or double-spaced)
Title page
Table of contents
Executive Summary (one page; can be single-spaced or double-spaced)
Recommendations
Body (with separate introduction and discussion)
Bibliography in APA style
Addenda (appendixes if appropriate)
Minimum Requirements
1.    Use at least five published or Internet sources. Or get my approval for unique reports not based primarily on published sources.
2.    Quote sparingly; paraphrase and summarize frequently.
3.    Do not plagiarize–Cite in-text sources precisely and do not half-copy.
4.    Complete the Audience Profile (below) and include it with your finished report.
In addition, on a separate page, complete the Audience Profile (below).
AUDIENCE PROFILE
INSTRUCTIONS: For the imagined audience of your researched persuasive report, write full explanations/commentary for each item. In addition to supplying the information for each item, consider the implications of your perceptions of your readers. Include as part of your commentary how you plan to use your perceptions of your readers in planning and writing the report. Your textbook authors continually remind you of the need to tailor the content and tone of a document to the intended audience; two such discussions of audience are on pages 58-60 and page 278.
Turn in this completed form as part of Writing Assignment 4.
Your audience profile will be graded according to how thoroughly you respond to the items.
I. AUDIENCE IDENTITY AND NEEDS
Primary Reader(s) (name, title)
Secondary Reader(s) (name, title)
Relationship (client, employee, other)
Intended use/result of document
Barriers to understanding or acceptance?
Readers’ prior knowledge of topic (know/do not know background; experts, novices, other)
Additional information needed
Possible questions/objections reader(s) will have
Audience’s attitude toward topic (indifferent, skeptical, other)
Audience’s probable objections (cost, time, other)
Audience’s probable attitude toward this writer (intimidated, hostile, receptive, other)
Organizational climate (receptive, repressive, creative, other)
Persons most affected by this document
Audience temperament (cautious, impatient, other)
Probable reaction to the document (resistance, approval, anger, other)
Risk of alienating anyone
II. AUDIENCE EXPECTATIONS ABOUT THE DOCUMENT
Reason document originated (audience request, legal requirement, other)
Acceptable length, amount of detail (comprehensive, concise, other)
Why this material is important to this audience (interpretations, costs, conclusions, other)
Most useful organization pattern (problem-solution, proposal, other)
Appropriate tone (businesslike, apologetic, enthusiastic, other)
Intended effect on this audience (win support, change behavior, other)
Source: Modified from John Lannon (1996), Technical Writing, 7th ed. Reading, MA: Addison Wesley.
GRADING CRITERIA: RESEARCH-BASED PERSUASIVE REPORT
CONTENT
1.  Meets minimum requirements (see assignment instructions)
2.  Shows skillful application of persuasive strategies
Audience is appealed to appropriately
Argument is developed well; relevant evidence supports your claims
Image of credibility is established
Objections are anticipated and responded to
ORGANIZATION AND COHERENCE
3.  Each component contains required (see instructions) and appropriate material; executive summary (one page) is a mini-version of the entire report
4.  Purpose of each section is clear and supported well
5.  Organization is clear
Follows problem-solution, proposal, or recommendation-support pattern, etc.
Separate ideas in separate paragraphs
Not organized serially by source
Contains useful headings
6.  There are helpful transitions between and within paragraphs
PARAGRAPHS
7.  Each paragraph has a clear topic sentence stating the main point and focusing the material
8.  Each paragraph fully supports its topic sentence with very specific material appropriate for your purpose and audience: details, examples, reasons and explanations, evidence
SENTENCE STRUCTURE
9.  Sentences are well-written: emphatic, condensed, varied in structure, fluent
STYLE
10. Words are specific, precise, concrete, accurate; voice is consistent and appropriate for audience
GRAPHICS
11. Graphics are designed well; data are relevant to recommendations
SOURCES
12. Sources are handled well:
sources are precisely cited in APA style in the paragraphs of the report
good selection of reliable material to support research issue
few direct quotes, accurate paraphrasing and summarizing, no plagiarizing
correct in-text citation in APA style, according to Writer’s Help
correct bibliography format in APA style, according to Writer’s Help
GRAMMAR, PUNCTUATION, SPELLING, AND FORMAT
13. There are no errors
AUDIENCE PROFILE
14. Your audience profile will be graded according to how thoroughly you respond to the topics and how well your report reflects the audience analysis

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