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American College of Thessaloniki/ Spring 2 2022
ENGLISH 204: Business/Professional Communication
Guidelines : Graded Assignment 2

Assignment weighting: 25% of final grade
Type/Format Business report
Due Date 06/06

Write a formal report on one of the following topics.
You should use at least 3 sources to research the topic and include the following sections:

Table of contents
Executive summary
Introduction
Findings
Summary of findings
Conclusions/Recommendations
Bibliography

Word limit 2000 words

The report must be correctly referenced, both with in-text citations and a reference list at
the end of your report.


You will be assessed on the following criteria:
Content (appropriacy of subject, depth of research)
Format
Organization
Language
Effect on Target Reader

Choose one of the following topics.

1. Students often complain about the prices of books at the campus bookstore. Some students choose e-books or book rentals as options; however, many students prefer buying books—used or new. They often use Web-based booksellers as an alternative to the college bookstore. As a representative of your student government, you’ve decided to find out what the alternatives are and which alternative is best for students at your school. You decide to compare these alternatives by using the following criteria: price (including shipping costs), availability, and book buyback program. Present your findings in a report to the student government association.

2. Disagreement exists among students, business journalists and others connected with academia about the value of a liberal arts education in preparing students for a career in business. Supporters of liberal arts say that a broad-based education turns out graduates that have a broader range of skills and knowledge and thus broadens their employment opportunities. Critics say that the workplace is not always enthusiastic about welcoming students with liberal arts degrees. Critics also say that the price of a college degree drives students to attend college for vocational purposes and graduate with specialized educations to earn higher-paying jobs more quickly. What skills are important in businesses
today? Does a liberal arts education have value to businesses in the industry in which you hope to work after college? Make recommendations to a friend or family member who will enter college soon and one day will want to work in a business discipline.

3. A frequent topic in business is the issue of CEO compensation. Critics complain that CEO salaries have become excessive and should be capped. Is it unethical for executive salaries to exceed, let’s say, 24 times the average wage of employees? Should executive pay be tied to an organization’s profits? Select a large public company for which salary data are available. As a member of a stockholder watchdog group, you have been asked to examine its executive salaries and report to the group, which thinks salaries are excessive. What conclusions would you draw, and what recommendations would you make
to stockholders?

4. Your business is considering offering child-care and/or elder-care benefits to its employees. Assess the financial pros and cons of either type of benefit, and offer recommendations.

5. Although small independent beer makers are extremely popular, these craft brewers are in a proverbial battle of David vs. Goliath. Part of their appeal is that many consumers believe these specialty beers are being produced independently by craft brewers The truth is, however, that many are under the ownership of a giant corporation. Big-beer companies have spent the past few decades exercising their influence over small beer producers through mergers, acquisitions, and buy-outs. The industry has now reached a point where beer is controlled by a few powerful companies, similar to the technology and
telecom industries. You work on the management team of a successful independent brewer. Industry analysts have recently identified your type of business and its location as a probable target for a takeover. How should management prepare for the possibility of a major corporation making a lucrative bid or driving your company out of business? Should it bide its time and wait for a potential buyer? Or, should it become more aggressive by making the first move and proposing a sale to industry leaders?

6. At your last school-sponsored investment club meeting, many students were enthusiastic about online trading. You aren’t so sure. As a result, you decide to evaluate the benefits and costs of online trading and present an objective assessment of the idea to your investment club.

7. You work for a small, start-up company that offers fair trade apparel from around the world to customers through its single store and website. The owner realizes it’s time to purchase some small-business accounting software. He asks you to learn what kind of software is available, develop criteria for evaluating the options you find, and recommend which software program is the best choice.

8. Although many of the salespeople in your company use laptops and smartphones, they’ve asked the company to buy them tablets. Salespeople contend that the portability of these tablets, in addition to their ability to deliver product demonstrations, and compile and present sales presentations to clients, makes them a necessity for increasing sales and remaining competitive. After you investigate the benefits of tablets, you decide to compare the top three or four tablets using the following criteria: price, operating system, app quality, screen size, and storage. Which tablet would be best for your
salespeople?

9. The computer lab manager in your business school asked you to write a report that assesses the pros and cons of upgrading now to the latest version of the Microsoft Windows operating system. Besides the costs, she wants you to examine compatibility issues, usability, time it will take the lab’s staff to learn the new operating system, tech support, length of time Microsoft will support the lab’s current version, and anything else you think is relevant. She wants your recommendation about this matter.

10. A popular trend in today’s workplace is telecommuting. Your boss has had several employees ask her about the possibility of performing work–at least part time–at home. Your boss isn’t convinced that telecommuting is in her best interest, so she asks you to write a report that analyzes the pros and cons of this form of employment. Consider what jobs are ideal for telecommuting, what statistics reveal about telecommuting and how it impacts employee productivity, how employers monitor telecommuting, and how telecommuting affects businesses and its employees.

11. Your employer has a Web presence. Now, the company is considering whether going “paperless” is the next logical step. In other words, how would a company-wide intranet solve this problem? Find examples of companies that have gone “paperless” to use as examples in your report to the company’s president. What are the advantages and disadvantages of such a system? How would employees respond to communicating only electronically? Is security a problem? Offer recommendations.

12. The president of the mid-sized organization where you are the human resources manager has heard that several of your competitors have installed software to monitor the computer use of its employees.The president asks you to determine whether your organization should do likewise. What would be the advantages and disadvantages to installing computer-monitoring software? What are the costs? Based
on your investigation, what conclusions can you draw? Make recommendations to the president. Use your imagination to fill in details about your organization.

13. Knowing you’ve just graduated from college with a degree in marketing, a family from your hometown asks you to investigate the pros and cons of investing their time and money in a fast-food franchise. The family wants you to (1) recommend a franchise in which they can invest, (2) explain to them the financial and legal implications, and (3) choose a location for the business. Research McDonald’s, Dairy Queen, Taco Bell, or a franchise of your choice and write a report providing answers to their questions.

14. What recent advertising campaign on a national level has been a failure? Take a global look at major advertising campaigns to find one with the greatest impact. Why did it fail? What consequences did it have for the company? How could this glaring error have been avoided?

15. Sales have been declining at the small home furnishings store where you work. The boss wants to determine whether the company’s advertising is responsible for the lack of sales. He wants you to evaluate your advertising strategies, but you’re not sure where to begin. You decide it would be best to start by analyzing the approaches of companies similar to yours. What works, what doesn’t? Do trends that you’re not aware of exist? Make recommendations to your boss.

Guffey, M. and Loewy, D. (2019). Essentials of business communication. 11th ed. Boston: Cengage Learning

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