Unit 3.3: Peer Review of Draft Formal Report

Unit 3.3: Peer Review of Draft Formal Report

DATE:          December 10, 2019

TO:               Diane Keyes, Student of ENGL 301

FROM:        Emily Leung, Student of ENGL 301

SUBJECT:  Peer Review of Diane Keyes’ Draft Formal Report


Dear Diane,

Thank you for the opportunity to review your draft formal report titled “Causal Analysis of Customer Challenges with Ettics’ Store Package-Free System.” The following are some comments and suggestions for improving the profile.

First Impression
  • The depth of the analysis regarding the operational difficulties of the package-free system at Ettics is impressive.
  • The report is written with the interest of the reader, the CEO of Ettics, in mind. Well done.
  • The recommendations developed are well-supported by findings from the interviews and surveys.
Overall Content
  • Has the report identified and analyzed a problem or an area for improvement, and has it recommended workable and affordable solutions?
  • Is the report logically laid out with problems and solutions discussed in an organize progression?
  • Is each section relevant to the identified reader?
  • Are the report’s length and detail appropriate for the subject?
  • Are all the components of the draft formal report included?
  • Excellent job analyzing the problem faced by Ettics related to their package-free system, and providing feasible suggestions to improve the instruction signs.
  • The report addresses all relevant dimensions of the problem, including current challenges faced by customers, barriers from visiting Ettics due to misunderstanding/confusion of the package-free system, and customer experience. There seem to be no gaps left out in the research.
  • The progression of the report is logical and relevant to the reader. Clear transitions between related ideas are noted.
  • The report’s length and detail are appropriate for the scope of the research.
  • Do any important technical terms in the report need definitions for the intended audience?
  • Is the purpose of the report clearly defined?
  • Are the methods of inquiry detailed in the introduction?


  • The purpose of the research is nicely stated in the introduction.
  • Key terms are defined in the context of Ettics’ operation. A high level of detail is provided, especially when explaining the “package-free system.”
  • The term “anti-social” tends to have a negative connotation. Although it was used by staff in the interview, replacing it with a neutral or objective synonym could set a more positive and professional tone to the report. Tweaking it to ‘less-social’ could be an example.
  • If possible, adding a photo of the package-free instruction sign could enhance the readers’ understanding of its shortcomings, even though the report is addressed to the CEO.
  • In terms of the scope of the inquiry, the first topic, “Staff reports of customer experience,” seems to be a bit broad. There are multiple facets to customer experience, and many of which may not pertain to the purpose of this research. Tightening the scope up could allow for an in-depth discussion of the package-free instruction alone.
  • The methodology section seems to have omitted interviews conducted with customers. Including the rationale behind conducting customer interview would be consistent with the data section.
Data section
Are the evidence, interpretations, and reasoning presented clearly and in detail?
  • The presentation of data collected from interviews and surveys is clear and impartial. It effectively informs readers and keeps them on track.
  • Under the subsection “Preferred Format of Instructions,” adding the percentage of respondents selecting ‘text’ and ‘text with picture,’ and expanding on the other ideas conveyed by customers could add specificity to the findings.
  • The staff interview and customer survey findings are organized thematically (i.e. challenges, customer experience, barriers), but the customer interview section is not. Following a similar structure in organizing the customer interview section could help enhance the coherence of the data section.
  • Some of the data presented seems to be beyond the scope of this research. Given the purpose of this research being “to determine why new customers struggle to understand how to use Ettics’ package-free system,” condensing the sections on the pricing for organic foods and store atmosphere could minimize distractions and result in a more focused report.
Does the summary accurately reflect the body of the report?


Is the overall interpretation consistent with the findings in the summary?

  • The summary concisely and accurately encapsulates the findings and interpretation of the report. Great work!
  • Since the potential reasons behind the discrepancy between staff and customer interviews are discussed in the data section already, shortening or removing the bullet points could add brevity to the summary.
  • Elaborating on what it means by “not totally satisfied with the current package-free system instructions” could refresh readers of the core research problem of this report.
  • As this is a causal analysis report, concluding the research with a clear statement linking the cause and effect examined is preferable. For more guidance, please refer to the textbook page 156-158.
Are the recommendations consistent with the purpose of the report, the evidence presented, and the interpretations given?


  • Excellent job incorporating interview and survey results when developing the recommendations. The recommendations address most of the current challenges and barriers as stated in earlier sections. Well done.
  • Including an evaluation of the cost- and time-effectiveness of each recommendation could strengthen the value of your suggestions.
  • As mentioned in the beginning of this section, some of the recommendations are out of the scope of the research (i.e. recommendations for the future location and other recommendations). Since they do not speak to the research problem, leaving them out of this report could focus readers’ attention on solving the package-free system problem. Perhaps another report specifically on those topics would be a more appropriate place to discuss these recommendations in detail.
  • Is the organization of the draft clear and effective at all points?
  • Are there effective heads and subheadings: do the headings and sub-headings of the report reveal content clearly?
  • Are the parts of the report clearly connected to one another at all points?
  • Are there gaps in information or unnecessary sidetracks?
  • Great use of headings and subheadings to keep readers oriented throughout.
  • The organization of the data section is easy-to-follow and logical. It is evident that one section leads to another, and that the latter sections fill the gap of the previous ones.
  • Breaking up some blocks of text could make the report more reader-friendly, for example, numbering off the challenges indicated by customers in their survey (first paragraph on p.7).
  • As mentioned earlier, certain sections of the report do not speak to the purpose and research questions of this research. Removing them can keep the report cleaner and on-point.
  • Instead of listing the figures in the table of content, creating a separate list of figures, as shown in the textbook, makes visuals easier to locate.
  • Adding page numbers in the top right corner can allow for easier reference.
  • Is the tone objective rather than subjective?
  • Is the tone positive throughout?
  • Does tone reflect the you-attitude toward the identified reader[s]?


  • An objective and professional tone is used throughout. Great use of gender-neutral pronounces (i.e. they and their) to introduce the interviewees.
  • The application of you-attitude is evident throughout. The benefits of the proposed recommendations to the CEO of Ettics, such as retaining new customers, are underscored. “ing” verbs were used to minimize imperative verbs.
  • Using a more positive tone, especially when referencing ‘anti-social’ customers, is preferable. For example, apart from the term ‘anti-social’ itself, rephrasing descriptions such as “prefer not to get support from staff” to “prefer to figure out on their own.”
  • Scanning the entire report with greater attention to grammatical and spelling errors could raise the overall quality of the report. For example,
    1. “This system requires customers to bring their own reusable container…” and
    2.  “‘…anti-social.’ customers are those whose staff notice are resistant to seeking or accepting staff support.”
    3.  Standardizing hyphenation for “super-market” for consistency
  • Are graphics well-designed, correctly and effectively labelled, and effectively integrated into the print content of the report?
  • Is the report draft reader-friendly and visually appealing?


  • The figures are clear and easy to understand. The colour scheme is useful in differentiating the different options.
  • Referencing Figure 2 in the text can help effectively integrate the figures into the report.
  • Adding numerical values to the pie charts, whether it is the actual number of respondents for each option or a percentage, could add clarity to the figures.
  • Including a chart in the subsection “Preferred Format of Instructions” could help readers visualize the result and its significance.
  • Great use of colours to highlight the titles and subtitles. The variety of colours helps create a clear structure in the report. Overall, the report is visually appealing and reader-friendly.
Closing remarks
The formal report on reducing customer challenges with Ettics’ store package-free system is informative with specific and workable recommendations presented. To summarize for you, here is a list of suggested edits:

  • Removing sections that do not necessarily answer the research questions and are not within the scope of the research
  • Reviewing figures in the data section to ensure consistency and enhance clarity
  • Using a positive tone throughout the report, especially when addressing less-social customers.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach me at emilyleung@ubc.ca.





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