Transmittal correspondence is a memo or letter that directs the report to someone. A memo is used to transmit an internal, or in-firm, report. An external, or firm-to-firm, report requires a letter. In either form, the information remains the same. The correspondence contains the following:
- the title of the report
- a statement of when it was requested
- a very general statement of the report’s purpose and scope
- an explanation of problems encountered for example some unavailable data
- acknowledgment of those particularly helpful in assembling the report
SAMPLE MEMO OF TRANSMITTAL
I am submitting the attached report, entitled Industrial Scrubbers for Production and Warehouse Areas,” in accordance with your request of November 1, 1990.The report examines two industrial scrubbers to determine which one would best alleviate the safety problems that have arisen in the production and warehouse areas. The scrubbers are compared in terms of five criteria established at a joint meeting of the Inventory, Production, and Industrial Engineering Departments. The Pennant 527 scrubber is recommended . This project flowed smoothly from beginning to end. All departments involved cooperated generously with requests for time and data.
A well-balanced, attractive title page makes a good first impression C the reader. Some firms have standard title pages just as they have letter he stationery fur business letters. As a title page co nuns Report title Name and title of the writer, (and his or her firm’s name if the report is external) Date Report number (if required by the firm) Name and title of the person to whom report is addressed, and the name of his or her tiny:
Here are some guidelines writing title page.
- Name the contents of the report in-the title.
- Set the left-hand margin for the title and all elements at about 2
- Use either all cap!’ or initial caps and lower-case letters; use boldface
A documentation page contains boxes for all the appropriate information for identifying a report. This page, used in documents that have a hard cover, replaces the title page and summary. A sample documentation page appears
Table of Contents
A table of contents lists the sections of the report and the pages on which they start. The contents page previews the report’s organization, depth, and emphasis. Readers with special interests often glance at the table of contents, examine the abstract or summary, and turn to a particular section of the report. Here are some guidelines for writing a table of contents.
- Present the name of each section in the same wording and format as
it appears in the text. If a section title is all caps in the text, place it in
all caps in the table of contents.
RECOMMENDATION OF INDUSTRIAL
SCRUBBERS FOR PRODUCTION
AND WORK AREAS
December 1, 1990
Final Project Report
Mr. William O’Neill
A Title Page for a Formal Report
- Do not underline: in the table of contents, the lines are so powerful that they overwhelm the words.
- Do not use “page” or “p” before the page numbers.
- Present only two levels of heads .
- If the table of cor tents and the list of illustrations are both short, put
them on the same page; do not include the list of illustrations in the table of contents.
- Use’ a leader, a series of dots, to connect words to ,page numbers.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Contents for a Formal Report
List or Illustrations (Table and Figures)
The term illustrations includes both tables and figures. The list of illustrations gives the number, title, and page of each visual aid in the report. Here are guidelines for preparing a list of illustrations . Title it “List of Illustrations” if it contains both figures and tables
- If it contains only figures or tables, call it “List of Figures” or “List of Tables”.
- If it contains both types, list all the figures first, then list all the tables
- List the timber, title, and page of each visual aid
- Place the lists on the most convenient page. If both it and the table of
contents are brief, put them on the same page.
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
Glossary and List of Symbols
Traditionally, reports have included glossaries and lists of symbols. However, such lists tend to be difficult to use. Highly technical terminology and symbols should not appear in the body of report that is aimed at a general. or multiple audience. Rather, they should be reserved for the appendix, whose more knowledgeable readers do not need the definitions. When you must use technical terms in the body of the report, define them immediately. Informed readers can simply skip over the definitions. Still, if you need a glossary, follow these guidelines:
- Place each term at the left margin – start the definition at a tab (2 or 3 spaces) farther to the right. Start all lines of the definition at this tab,
- Alphabetize the terms.
Summary or Abstract
A summary or abstract is a miniature version of a much longer piece of writing, in this case, a formal report. (See Chapter 6 for a full discussion of summaries and abstracts.) In the summary, sometimes called an executive summary, the writer gives the main points and basic details of the entire report. After reading a summary, the reader should know
- the report’s purpose and the problem
- the conclusions
- the major facts on which the conclusions are based
- the recommendations
Follow these guidelines to summarize your formal report:
- Concentrate this information into as few words as possible, a page at most.
- Write the summary after you have written the rest of the report.
(If you write it first might explain background, not summarize the contents.)
- Avoid technical terminology, (because most readers who depend on a summary do not have in-depth technical knowledge).
This report recommends that the company should purchase the Tennant 527 industrial scrubber for the Production and Inventory Departments. Production increases in precision metal parts have caused safety problems due to the contortion
of le floors. Aller two accidents, the departments involved requested that a solution be found. Two scrubbers the Tennant 527 and the Fujico 200 – are compared in terrorist variety of use, mufti shift capabilities, cost, warranty and service, and special features.
The Tennant picks up small Jitter better, has a larger cleaning capacity, and,will withstand multi-shift use better.The Fuji costs less – $11,000, including all special features and training, compared to $18,000. Tennant’s service center is much more accessible to us. Only Tennant is able to provide a squeegee wand, an essential in the view of the departments involved. The Fujico is cheaper.tsn the Tennant is more flexible to use, IS more durable in multi-shift use, has a closer service center, and is able to provide us with the squeegee wand.
Introductory material orients the reader to the report’s organization ‘and
contents. After finishing the introductory material, the reader should
largely know the answers to a number of questions:
What is the purpose of the report?
What are the divisions of this report?
What procedure was used to investigate
the problem? .
What is the problem?
What is the significance of the problem?
What or who caused the writer to write
about the problem?
Purpose, Scope, and-Procedure Statements Statements at purpose, scope, and procedure are used to answer the first three questions above. These statements are usually fairly brief and straightforward. State the purpose in one or two sentences. Follow these guidelines:
- State the ‘purpose clearly. “The purpose of this report is (to solve whatever problem necessitated the report, or to make whatever recommendations).
- Use the present ense
- Name the alternative s if necessary. (In he purpose statement ‘below,’the author names the problem [to find a scrubber] and the alternatives he investigated.
A scope statement never Is t he topics covered in a report. Follow these guidelines:
- In feasibility and recommendation reports, name the criteria; include statements explaining rank order and source of the criteria.
- In other kinds of reports, identify the main sections, or topics, of the
- Specify the boundaries or of your investigation.
The purpose report is to present the results of.my investigation of two industrial scrubbers. the Tennant 527 and the Fujlco 200. and to recommend the purchase of 0’1 ot them
At the request of the Product! n and Inventory Departments tenant were developed to decide which scrubber 0 purchase.
The chose scrubber Will fulfill the needs of the two departments
because meets most or all of the criteria, The Production,
Inventory, and Industrial Departments set me following criteria,
in order of importance:
- The scrubber chosen should be able to handle a variety solvents, oils, small litter, etc.
- The scrubber should be able to handle multi-shift use Interdepartmental should not exceed $20,000,
- The scrubber ‘should have at least 18 month’s warranty on major parts (engine, transmission)
- An edequate selection of optional equipment should be available.
This report discusses each crltenon and gives details on how
th.e Fujico 200 and the Tennant 527. meet them.
All information for this report was gathered from either the Methodology manufacturers or present users. All specifications and mechanical
data were obtained from manufacturers’ literature. Information on performance in industry for the Fujico 200 was provided by Fujico Inc. Information about the Tennant 527’s impermanence in industry was provided by the U.S. Air Force, a present user of the 527.
Problem and Background Statements You must explain the problem. Point out the appropriate data, tell the sources of that data, and explain its significance. Also discuss who or what caused you to write. Your goal is to help the readers understand – and agree with – your solution because they view the problem as you do. To orient the reader, you can use a problem statement and a background statement in the introduction. Depending on the complexity of the problem, you can use a short problem statement in the introduction as well as a lengthy section in the body. These statements should explain the origins of the problem, who initiated action on the problem, and why the writer was chosen. Follow these guidelines:
- If your reader is close, use a brief description of the problem and
- If the reader is distant, provide more detail about the problem and your involvement.
- Give basic facts about the problem.
- Specify causes or the origin of the problem.
- Name the significance of the problem (short and long term).
- Name the source of your involvement.
The following problem statement succinctly identifies the basic facts (two accidents) the cause (increases in production), the significance (violating safety standards), and the source (departments recommended).
Increases in production at KLH have caused a problem with the safety conditions of the floors in the production and warehouse areas. Recently two accidents occurred in one week in these areas. Both were caused by the condition of the floors, which might be violating OSHA standards. Both departments recommended that an industrial scrubber be purchased to solve the problem.
Alternatively, you can explain both the problem and its context in a longer statement called either “Problem” or “Background.” A background stuntmen: provides context for the problem and the report. In it you can often combine background and problem into one statement. To write a’n eff lenitive background statement, follow these guidelines: Explain the general problem.
- Explain what has gone wrong .
- Give exact facts.
- Tell the significance of the problem.
- Specify who is involved and. in what capacity
- Tell why you received the assignment.
KLH Inc. has been extensively involved with the production of precision metal parts, both small and large. As production has gone up, the production and warehouse floors have become too soiled for maintenance to keep up with the cleaning, causing a safety problem. In one recent week, two accidents on the job were caused by the condition of the floors. Both the Production and Inventory Departments request that the Industrial Engineering Department investigate and solve the problem. IE decided that a large industrial scrubber should be purchased to clean the production and warehouse floors. As the industrial engineer who works in both the production and inventory areas, I was asked to recommend which of two
scrubbers should be purchased. Investigation narrowed the choice of scrubbers to either a Tennant 527 or a Fujico 200.
Conclusions and ~Recommendations/Rationale .
As mentioned previously, writers may place these two sections at the beginning
or at the end of the report. Choose the beginning if you want to ‘give readers the main points first, and if you want to give them a perspective from which to read the data in the report. Choose the end if you want to emphasize the logical flow of the report, leading up to the conclusion. In many formal reports you will only present conclusions because you will not make a recommendation. Conclusions The conclusions section emphasizes the report’s most significant data and ideas. You must base all conclusions on material presented in the body. Follow these guidelines:
- Relate each conclusion to specific data.
- Use concise, numbered conclusions.
- Keep commentary brief.
- Add inclusive page numbers to indicate where to find the discussion . of the conclusions.
This investigation has led to the following conclusions, (The page numbers in parentheses indicate there supporting discussion may be found.)
- The Tennant 527 is the ‘more versatile in handling a variety
of detergents for the cleaning of oils, solvents, and cooling,
fluids. The Tennant is also capable 01 handling small
litter, glass.,and metal chip
- The Tennant is more capable of handling multi-shift use. Investigation of charted maintenance history shows that the Tennant will operate In crestless environments for longer times between. maintenance (8-.9).
- The Fujlco 200 costs $11,000, Inclu ding special featuresand training. Tile Tannant costs $18,qOO, including special feature and training (1’0-11).
- The wimanlies available tor the Tennant and the Fujico are comparable. The aervlce available for the Tennant Is supenor because the Tennant service center Is more accessible to KLH (12).
- T.nEfiennant is able to supply all the special features that The Fujico cannot supply the essential wand attachment (13-14) .
Recommendations/Rationale If the conclusions are clear, the main recommendation is obvious’. The main recommendation usually fulfills the
purpose of the report, but do not hesitate to make further recommends. In the sample below the writer recommends two other items that logically follow, from the purchase .of the Tennant. In the you explain your recommendation ,by showing how the of the-criteria supports your conclusions. In this case, the Tennant, “lost” on o major criterion cost. The sentence that follows the recommendation shows how Qe results ‘of the other four criteria offset that important Sailing’Follow. these guidelines:
- ,Number ‘each recommendation,
- Make. the solution to the problem the first recommendation.
- If the rationale section is brief, add it to the appropriate recommendation.
‘If it is long make, it a separate section:
- The Tennant 527 Industrial Scrubber should be purchased. Although the $7000 the Tennant is superior in its ability to clean more kinds of debris, in its reliability over a number of years, in the closeness of its service center, and in its ability to supply theessential squeegee wad.
- All the essential features should be purchased as outlined in the Special Features section of this report.
- A training session should be contracted for and schedule at the earliest possible date.