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Long Report: Field of Work

The long report paper can be informative, exploratory (if it is a new or developing field), or persuasive, as in a proposal. Your approach to your report on a field of work (such as professional writing, accounting or the law) should take the appropriate approach depending on what is happening in the field you have chosen. You need a well-developed thesis and adequate, apt support as in other papers you write for college courses. However, it differs from an academic research paper in two ways:

  • Formality, style, format and tone: As a piece of business communication, you are not joining a discussion of scholars, but  communicating to others who need to utilize your information and perhaps make decisions based on that information. Therefore, they need to be addressed clearly and directly. (A report is still formal and makes little use of “you” attitude, but it should get to the point clearly and speak to the specific situation at hand). Look to your text for a sample report.
  • Appropriate sources: Consult industry sources, trade publications, government sources, and perhaps company websites to gather information on job outlooks, job descriptions, salaries, necessary preparation, etc. You will not need scholarly journals in most cases. That does not mean no library research! Please see the Research Guide that instructional librarian Kate Norton developed for this class.

            APA style documentation is required for this paper for citations and references. Please refer to the Purdue OWL website for more information. You also may visit the CAE for help with any aspect of this paper, including citations.

Answers to the following questions should guide your development and provide ideas for headers:

*Outlook—What are the employment trends? Will there be growth or not? Why? Be as thorough as possible here. Salary information may be included here if it seems an area that will be changing.

The Assignment:.

Why we are doing this assignment:

  • To practice long reports for business
  • To develop research skills
  • To improve handling of information in writing
  • To learn more about a current field
  • To practice APA style paper writing


  • For qualitative criteria, please see Ch. 24 in text
  • 2000-2500 words (8-10 pages)
  • Format header (see text for sample report)
  • Make sure you use 12 pt. Times New Roman, or a similar font
  • Use 1” margins all around
  • Include graphic information if desired; be sure to credit source
  • Include a properly formatted “References” page

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