Report (Business Communication)

Report One: A Proposal

Purpose: To Persuade

Page Length: three to four pages single spaced except for headings

To prepare, reread Chapter 9.3 “Business Proposals” and read

The persuasive report can be written about various topics, but all persuasive reports have in common their purpose.

Topic: The only restriction you have concerning topic is that it must be business-related.

Audience: You can determine your audience for this project and include that information (person’s name and title) in the “To” line of the memo.

Writer: You can assume a personae other than yourself by giving yourself a company title. Your name and title go in the “From” line of the memo.

The memo part of your report serves as an introduction to the report and should also summarize it.

Purpose: Your purpose in this report is to persuade. You might persuade an audience to get money for a project or more money for yourself. You might persuade your audience to start an onsite daycare or a food service and venue to provide employee meals. You might persuade your audience to change a policy that is negative, for example the use of a potentially harmful substance or an attendance policy that is too punitive. You might persuade your audience to adopt a positive policy, for example the manufacture of energy-saving devices, to enhance the company’s profile as environmentally friendly.

It took me two minutes to think of the above topics, and I say this not to brag but to illustrate how wide open the range of topics can be. The world of business is full of great ideas, and if you want to get attention paid to yours you must present them effectively.

No matter what topic you choose, pay attention to rhetorical appeals talked about in the textbook. Ethos, logos, and pathos must be used effectively to enhance your proposal.

It’s up to you to decide how/how much to develop your topic, but keep in mind that your purpose is to persuade and that means that you must provide evidence to back up your persuasive assertions. If you use outside source material, use it sparingly and use legitimate sources. Focus on developing your own ideas about the topic. If you use source material, cite both in text (parenthetically) and at the end in a Works Cited or Bibliography. You don’t need a separate page for the Works Cited or Bibliography if you have enough room on the last page of the report. Reports without citations will receive a failing grade. You may use no more than two outside sources; if you use more I won’t grade your report.


You’ll use headings to organize your report, but don’t forget that topic sentences are important in reports just as they are in other writing assignments. Topic sentences guide readers through a paragraph’s content and are important for clarity, which is important to persuasion. Don’t let headings take the place of topic sentences.

No matter how well developed a topic is, a reader won’t know what to do with information unless it’s connected by transitions. Like any other writing assignment you’ve done, you need to use transitions to create logical connections between pieces of information. Don’t let subheadings take the place of transitions.

Concluding the report can be done in several different ways. Briefly, the conclusion of a persuasive report is a final summary of what the report discussed and a call for some kind of action on the part of the audience, whether it be to put a policy into place or change the reader’s mind about something.


Formatting reports is not exactly intuitive, and this may be the first time you’ve used headings. It helps to think about what good formatting accomplishes: readability. Headings help readability by helping the reader understand how material is broken down into separate sections. A readable report will present your ideas well and get you what you want in this persuasive endeavor.