20 – Recommendation Reports

Recommendation or Final Opinion

David McMurrey; Jonathan Arnett; Kalani Pattison; and Nicole Hagstrom-Schmidt

In a feasibility or recommendation report, the final section (after the conclusions) states the recommendation or final opinion. Remember that some readers may skip right to the recommendation section, so this section must anticipate their needs and preferences. Also, there will be some cases where there may be a best choice based on your criteria, but you would not want to recommend it. For example, early in their history, laptop computers were heavy and unreliable; there may have been one model that was better than the rest, but even it was not worth having.

The recommendation section should echo or briefly make connections to the most important conclusions leading to the recommendation, and then state the recommendation emphatically. Often, you may need to recommend several options based on different possibilities. In a recommendation report, this final section states a final opinion or judgment based on clear evidence, criteria, and conclusions. Below is an example recommendation that concludes that Options 1 and 2 may be worthwhile choices for the audience to pursue.

Example

Option 1 would be the most effective way to achieve the goal, but it is also expensive and on the upper end of the budgetary limits.
On the other hand, Option 2 is not quite as good but much more affordable.

The following two suggestions are also legitimate recommendations to make, as long as you can show that your research was thorough and valid.

Examples

None of the options researched is worth the risk and cost—readers should maintain the status quo.
or
We recommend a specific type of device to fix the problem, and we recommend more research to determine the best brand, style, and choice.

This text was derived from

McMurrey, David and Jonathan Arnett, “Recommendation and Feasibility Reports,” in Tiffani Reardon, Tamara Powell, Jonathan Arnett, Monique Logan, and Cassandra Race, with contributors David McMurrey, Steve Miller, Cherie Miller, Megan Gibbs, Jennifer Nguyen, James Monroe, and Lance Linimon. Open Technical Communication. 4th ed. Athens, GA: Affordable Learning Georgia, n.d. https://alg.manifoldapp.org/projects/open-tc. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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Howdy or Hello? Technical and Professional Communication by David McMurrey; Jonathan Arnett; Kalani Pattison; and Nicole Hagstrom-Schmidt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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