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Page history last edited by Jared 6 years, 12 months ago



The introduction to your formal report serves two main functions, which are distinct from the executive sum:

  1. persuading the reader that a problem exists, and that you've analyzed it well (rhetorically) and
  2. convincing or reinforcing to the reader that action must be taken to resolve it (likely by stressing the negative consequences or "opportunity costs" of taking no action).


Generally, the introduction (which should be no more than one page) orients the reader to the report by (1) providing details about the problem and (2) indicating the scope and purpose of the report if this isn't done in an executive summary. However, unlike that document, the introduction might make reference to other components of the report (such as the citation below to an interview) and/or might re-articulate possible solutions. Keep in mind that the introduction, like all portions of the final report, is written not to me but to the "decision-maker" in the organization you have been studying. 






This report will address the lack of Autocad instruction in the Department of Landscape architecture at The Pennsylvania State University (PSU). The department has an excellent reputation for providing students with a strong background in the pragmatic aspects of design. The curriculum places emphasis on construction methods and standards, planning techniques, site design, and plan graphics. Without these basic skills, students will be unable to translate their ideas into built form when they are employed as landscape architects. The greatest design ideas are worthless if the designer lacks the skills necessary to direct their construction. While technical drawing is taught, the department does not provide instruction in any version of Autocad, the computer-aided drafting program that is used by most landscape architecture, architecture, and engineering offices today. Without this knowledge, graduates of the program are at a disadvantage to students who are proficient in Autocad when seeking entry-level positions as landscape architects.


At this time, the department is preparing to conduct an extensive evaluation of the use of computers in the curriculum ({name deleted}, Interview). The inclusion of Autocad instruction should also be part of the review process. A number of approaches could provide students with the opportunity to learn Autocad. Possible solutions range from changes in existing curriculum to opening reserved courses in other departments to landscape architecture majors. Other suggestions are non-credit courses or workshops offered within the department, a tutorial CD for students to learn Autocad independently or focusing instruction on programs that are more advanced than Autocad. Each proposal was evaluated based on a set of criteria most suitable for the Department of Landscape Architecture. The research contained within this report will provide a basis for further examination regarding Autocad instruction and it will propose a solution that is most suitable to address the problem until a more comprehensive program is developed.


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