Recommendations are often included with a report’s conclusion, although they serve different purposes. Whereas a conclusion offers you the opportunity to summarize or review your report’s main ideas, recommendations suggest actions to be taken in response to the findings of a report. You can regard recommendations as a prompt to action for your readers. As you have seen from your planning, your report structure should lead up to the recommendations and provide justification for them. Just as a proposal grows from your project’s goals and objectives, a report should actually grow backwards from your recommendations. Having your recommendations accepted then becomes part of your purpose.
What makes a good recommendation? Effective recommendations:
- describe a suggested course of action to be taken to solve a particular problem;
- are written as action statements without justification;
- are stated in clear, specific language;
- should be expressed in order of importance;
- are based on the case built up in the body of the report; are written in parallel structure.
A word of caution about writing recommendations: you should always consider your relationship with the reader first. If you have no authority to make recommendations, the reader may be hostile to their presence.
Have a look at the following examples from different types of reports. Many of the recommendations included here are well written but a few contain some significant shortcomings. Position your cursor over the excerpts to see our comments.
This is how you would list your references at the end of your assignment in alphabetical order by author.
Cameron, B (Minister for Corrections, Victoria) 2007, Construction begins on high security unit, media release, Victoria, 28 March,
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Douglas, N, Douglas, G & Derrett, R (eds) 2001, Special interest groups: context and cases, John Wiley & Sons, Brisbane, Qld.
Farley, J 2008, ‘The role of prices in conserving critical natural capital', ConservationBiology, vol. 22, no. 6, pp. 1399-1408,
viewed 23 February 2009, <http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/fulltext/121544162/PDFSTART>.
Guidebook to Australian social security law 1983, CCH Australia, North Ryde, NSW.
Hatch, JA 2002, Doing qualitative research in education settings, State of , Albany.
Kneller, JP 1963a, Is logical thinking logical?, Ponsonby & Partridge, Dubbo.
----- 1963b, 'Thinking and logical interaction', Brain Logic, vol. 257, no. 4, pp. 54-62.
MacFarlane, I 2002, 'Aboriginal society in North West Tasmania: dispossession and genocide', PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.
Man with the movie camera 1998, video recording, Chatsworth, CA. Distributed by Image Entertainment. Directed by Dziga Vertov.
O'Connor, DJ 1957, An introduction to the philosophy of education, Routledge & Kegan Paul, London.
Peirson, G, Brown, R, Easton, S, Howard, P & Pinder, S 2006, Business finance, 9th edn, McGraw-Hill, North Ryde, NSW.
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Treloar, D 1999, 'Grains of sense', Australian Gourmet Traveller, November, pp. 29-30, 64.
University of Tasmania Library 2010, Management library guide, University of Tasmania Library,
viewed 19 March 2010, <http://utas.libguides.com/management>.
Wallis, C 1992, 'Asymmetric dependence and mental representation', Psychology, vol. 3, no. 70,
viewed 18 November 2003,
Whiteley, BC 1979, 'Emotional response', Brain Talk, vol. 2, no. 12, pp. 234-5.