Douglas College wordmark
Facebook logo Twitter logo Instagram logo Snapchat logo YouTube logo Wordpress logo

The Winter 2019 fee payment deadline is December 10th for domestic students and December 3rd for returning international students.  Students must pay all fees on time to avoid deregistration.

back to search

Research Reporting

Course Code: CMNS 1218
Faculty: Language, Literature & Performing Arts
Department: Communications
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15
Learning Format: Lecture, Seminar
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course is designed to provide students in the Print Futures Professional Writing Program with experience in producing client-based analytical research reports. Students will work through the typical production process: developing proposals, completing field-based and theoretical research tasks, collating data, organizing material, and ultimately producing a reader-based and purposeful document.

Course Content

1.  Reports: Theory and Practice

The student will

  1. examine the genre of reports
  2. examine the  rhetorical situation in this specialized writing task
  3. develop awareness of the stages of client-centred report production:

    • initial contact
    • proposals
    • progress reports
    • client-centred outlines
    • reader-based reports

  4.  develop awareness of the sub-textual level of report production:
    • social and cultural context (organizational culture)
    • inter-personal protocols
    • rhetorical strategies

2.  Time Management

The student will:

  1. develop an action plan
  2. structure activities to satisfy short and long term priorities
  3. establish a system for organizing workload
  4. meet production deadlines

3. Research Process   

The student will:

clearly establish audience, purpose, context

  1. clearly establish audience, purpose, context 
  2. identify major, minor, and irrelevant issues (scope)
  3. determine appropriate data base
  4. analyze appropriateness of data sources
  5. develop surveys, questionnaires, interview questions
  6. practise interviewing skills
  7. utilize appropriate secondary data sources:
    • reference texts,
    • libraries,
    • grey literature,
    • market research
  8. manage information in an ethical manner
  9. produce applicable related documents as necessary:
    • letters,
    • memos,
    • short reports
  10. produce an organizational culture analysis (essay)

4. Document Production

The student will:

  1. collect and organize source material in terms of issues
  2. prepare a client-centred report outline
  3. produce a proposal
  4. produce a progress report
  5. produce a coherent, reader-based report which fulfills its purpose
  6. produce an accompanying abstract (executive summary)
  7. make use of coherence and persuasive strategies as required
  8. revise the report for appropriateness of tone, structure, and content in relation to audience and purpose. 

5. Discourse Theory and Grammar: exercises from Vande Kopple.

Methods of Instruction

This course will emphasize learning through doing.  Working individually, in pairs and in groups, students involve themselves in a variety of classroom activities (collaborating on assignments and exercises, revising and editing) and discussion during lectures.  These activities will enable them to develop familiarity with and proficiency in client-centred report production. 

Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be based on this general outline:

Proposal  15%
Report Genre Analysis    10%
Empirical Research Progress Report   15%
Theoretical Research Progress Report  10%
Organizational Culture Analysis    10%
Research Report 30%
Peer Review of Formal Report   10%

Learning Outcomes

Students will practise the researched report-writing tasks, and will apply the skills they were introduced to in the 100-level prerequisite courses: research skills and workplace writing strategies.  Students will also take responsibility for working independently through a complex, multi-faceted field-based research project requiring focus, organization and self-motivation.

course prerequisites

PRFU 1102, CMNS 1118

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.