The  final draft of your 1500-3000 word report is due on the day of our scheduled final exam, before 3 p.m. Please submit the comprehensive report as a PDF file to your authentic client (AC), blind copying me on the email. Also, submit it to the Final Report folder in CougarView/D2L (the same system we’ve been using to submit the last LSWs). Your primary audience is your AC, and I am your secondary audience. The style should be professional, but you can use second person point of view.

If your client demands something shorter than 3 pages — e.g., a 1-page, single-spaced executive summary — please deliver that to your client, and submit to the dropbox the longer document.

Your report is an analysis and an argument, so I will expect a thesis. Basically, you explain to your AC its situation and the advantages of engaging in the world of social media. You will offer evidence–to include your own research and Orsburn’s work–that persuades your AC to take a particular approach to social media.

What Orsburn recommends, you should recommend to your AC, but tailor the recommendations to your client’s particular circumstances. Include in your recommendations a SM plan with specific instructions.

Try to think critically, anticipating challenges your AC might have or consequential contingencies.

Finally, what might be helpful is remember to use Orsburn for each section to make a claim for the section and guide your writing. For example, a question to help guide your writing of the Competition section might include “Who is my client’s main competition that uses social media, what platforms or sites does this competition use, and how effectively or ineffectively does this competitor use the social media equation?”

The format is a formal report or “white paper.” Use a citation method that is an industry or business standard. I believe business writers use APA, but you might want to double check this. To give you more concrete guidance, each section should be a half-page min. and 1-page max, 10 or (preferably) 12 point font, and serif (takes up less space) or san Serif (looks “better” to some) typeface.

After we have finished Orsburn’s book, we will discuss the 3172 Report Assignment Heuristic.


“4”  reports are superlative and model documents in every respect, in form and content. “4” reports completely address all of the above criteria with only one or two minor flaws, such as a typo or maybe a homonym error. “4” reports effectively use layout strategies, color, and images to underscore ideas, draw the attention of readers to key elements, and add visual interest.

“3” reports are above-average quality, yet they are not perfect or completely polished in form and content. “3” reports address all of the above criteria, with some weakness in one of the major sections, such as an incomplete or unrealistic SM plan or calendar. Other variations are possible. “3” reports clearly use some layout strategies, color, and images to underscore ideas, draw the attention of readers to key elements, and add visual interest.

“2” reports are average in in form and content. “2” reports address all but one of the minor criteria; or partly addresses two major criteria, such as an incomplete or unrealistic SM plan or calendar AND lack of evidence to support argument. Other variations are possible. “2” reports appear to attempt the use some layout strategies, color, and images to underscore ideas, draw the attention of readers to key elements, and add visual interest, but rarely succeed or only occasionally succeed.

“1” reports are below average. “1” reports address all but two of the minor criteria; or partly addresses more than two major criteria, such as an incomplete or unrealistic SM plan or calendar AND lack of evidence to support argument AND unprofessional layout or formatting. Other variations are possible.

“0” reports that do not meet the criteria of a “1” presentation, or is not delivered.
  1. February 14, 2013 at 7:22 pm

    It’s possible that you have created the perfect assignment, Dr. Rendleman. 🙂

  2. February 14, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    I like that the assignment is somewhat flexible, allowing students to tailor their report in a way that matches their client’s individual needs.

  3. taylorashley10
    February 14, 2013 at 7:25 pm

    “The final draft of your report should be based on the needs of your AC. For example, an AC with little to no knowledge of SM (novice) and is in need of a more in-depth report would benefit more from a report that contains 10 pages versus an AC who has a more established SM presence (expert) (where a 5 page report would suffice). Keep in mind that the audience for this assignment is your client, not the professor, so what benefits one AC might not benefit another.”

    • tinsleysarah
      February 14, 2013 at 7:29 pm

      Cool quilt.

      • taylorashley10
        February 14, 2013 at 7:31 pm

        Thanks buddy!

  4. tinsleysarah
    February 14, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    I think that there is the potential for a 1500 word minimum to be unnecessary for an expert AC. If the AC is already well underway with their use of social media then it may be insulting to their progress. On the other hand, if your AC is relatively new and inexperienced, that length may be appropriate.

  5. mayra
    February 14, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    Introduction summary should be done in a one page double space format. Good content should be more important than the word count.

  6. February 14, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    I generally think that this rubric is great for the upcoming report. It is flexible yet straightforward regarding its expectations. The only thing that I would consider adding would be a “Who” section. Not who the client is but rather who will be responsible for interacting and operating the platforms. Will there be different administrators for different platforms? And why? Just a thought!

  7. kylebeauchamp89
    February 14, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    The length of the report should be determinant upon the skills and knowledge of the authentic client (AC). If the AC is a complete lay person, of course the report should be more detailed and more informative. On the other hand, if the AC is already experienced in the SM world and the world of jargon that comes with it, then the more informative content about SM platforms would be unnecessary, making for a shorter report. I think the grading aspect should be broken down into more of an equation, that way the students can understand in a visual way how much each aspect of the report is weighted, so they know the primary and secondary focuses of the report up front.

  8. christinajkleehammer
    February 14, 2013 at 7:32 pm

    The only change I would suggest is to nix the word count and simply define the specific information you want us to present, and objectives that you want us to accomplish for our client with this assignment. Since we have already studied the reports and scheduled our peer review days, and also since some of us are already beginning to cultivate ideas on how to approach the assignment, I would not recommend changing it too much, as this may only cause confusion.

  9. mlyons09
    February 14, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    I would clarify what you meant by “model documents.” After talking with you, I would revise the first sentence to say ” ‘4’ Reports are superlative and can be used as future models.”

    I personally need to know exactly what categories I need to fulfill for my project. Because right now my questions are “what makes a project above average?” and “what is considered the major and minor criteria?” How will I know what information is unnecessary for the project if if I don’t know what information is necessary. Are we just supposed to use the reports from the previous classes as examples?

    I agree that the emphasis should be on “what you say,” however I think there should be a minimum for pages for everyone whether the client is a novice or not. I say that because I’m afraid that in future projects, students will only work with clients that already have social media purposelessly to avoid writing more pages. And I believe that it will be unfair if a student who writes 10pages for their client makes the same grade as someone who only has to write 5pages for their client. Every student should be able to provide an in-depth analysis for their client, and if they are unable to then it’s probably a sign that they should pick another client because their client may already be using social media effectively.

  10. February 14, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    I think that this assignment is straight to the point and is for the most part, the expectations clearly stated. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it looks like the report is to be formatted APA style not MLA.

  11. February 14, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    I like the fact that you didn’t say okay you have to have exactly 2000 words no more no less. You give us a range. The grading appears to be fair. The report is due the day of our final exam so you give us well enough time to prepare, ask questions, and do anything we need to complete the project.

  12. mlyons09
    February 14, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    I believe there should be basic categories that everyone has to abide by just to make sure the project is fair. I gave the example in class that for one of my communications projects I was required to make a website with five pages. However, my authentic client already had a website and only wanted one more page added on to their existent website. It would be unfair for me to only have to create one page and everyone else in class create five because that’s what their client requested. Thus, my teacher instructed me to still create five pages but only present the one page to my authentic client.

  13. February 23, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    Thanks for the clarification. I am excited to get this project underway!

  14. February 23, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    I think this project will teach me a lot and enhance my ability to appreciate social media.

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