Preparing a Progress Report

Preparing an outline for the Formal Report that indicates each step of the report with alphanumerical formatting is both time consuming and an invaluable exercise that will assist you greatly with the drafting and final writing of the Report. So, please take your time with this assignment, give yourself time for thinking through the steps and strategies you will employ for gathering, analyzing and organizing primary data in order to piece together a persuasive, positive and professional report.

When preparing a Progress Report be sure to use the techniques that we have been practicing:

  • organizing with bold subheadings
  • avoiding big chunks of text
  • providing details and avoiding the word ‘it’
  • writing concisely and clearly
  • avoiding pronouns: (I / You/ Your/ …

Reviewing the Writing Tips in the Instructor’s Blog is always helpful. The preparation of your Survey or Interviews will be the most time consuming and require the most attention to details and to ethical concerns as a researcher. You must fulfill research ethics. This means you must compose an ethical introduction to your surveys /interviews, and that you must compose ethical questions. Unethical questions are questions that lead the participant to provide the answer that agrees with the survey’s perspective. * See Below.  Asking questions that in any way reveal the participants identity, is likewise unethical.

Survey Introduction: an example of an ethical introduction.

Public Transportation on the UBC Vancouver Campus

I am an undergraduate student at UBC engaged in a technical writing project.  The purpose of this survey is to obtain primary data for an analysis and investigation that aims to provide recommendations for improving your experience with public transportation on the UBC Vancouver campus. The final formal report will be addressed to TransLink staff and UBC Campus + Community Planning staff.  Together with the reports available from TransLink website, the data I gather from this survey will serve the ultimate purpose of providing recommendations for increasing efficiency and accessibility. The survey contains 14 multiple-choice questions, and it should take about than 5 minutes of your time. Your responses are voluntary and anonymous. Thank you, I appreciate your generous participation in my survey.


When composing survey questions, it is essential that the questions are framed in the positive — and do not lead toward a particular answer.

For example:

Leading Questions:

  • At what time of day or in what situations do you find the current ordering system limiting?
  • Is there a specific step in the ordering process that you think could be improved?
  • Do you think that mistakes in fulfilling orders are more likely with paper pads as opposed to, an electronic system?

Correct way to question:

  • What times of day do you take the most orders? Give times to check off
  • How efficient is the ordering system: rank 1 – 5
  • Have you used a POS electronic system? yes / no
  • How would you rank POS systems: rank 1 – 5

Avoid Personal Questions: Re- frame so you are not asking ‘personal” questions.

For example:

“Have you ever been unable to get a taxi cab in Vancouver? “

Correction: Calling or hailing a taxi in Vancouver is:

  1. Easy and convenient
  2. Sometimes difficult and inconvenient
  3. Always difficult and inconvenient
  4. Unpredictable
  5. N/A

“Have you ever had an unpleasant experience with a taxi in Vancouver? “

Correction: Using taxis in Vancouver is:

  1. Always pleasant and comfortable
  2. Sometimes unpleasant and/ or uncomfortable
  3. Always unpleasant and/or uncomfortable
  4. N/A

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