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General Instructions: In this activity, you will write a series of short reports  in response to a scenario. You will need to decide upon the appropriate report format (memo or letter) depending upon the circumstances of the report. You will need to exercise judgment regarding the information to include in (and exclude from) your reports. In some cases, the scenario may not provide all of the information necessary and you may need to create and add information.

Your reports will be assessed upon the selection of the correct report type for the situation, the correct  formatting of your report, the use of an appropriate rhetorical strategy for each situation,  the inclusion of  appropriate information, and adherence to the rules of grammar, usage, spelling, and punctuation.

Before beginning to write, you should review the textbook readings for this module, plus the online resources for Module 3.

Phase 1

You are Willie Spelvin, Head Groundskeeper of the Evergreen Golf Course, Metropolis, Illinois. In May of this year, you were asked by Melvin Gancer, General Manager of the golf course, to research and recommend the best model of leaf blower to buy for use on the course. It is now September, and you need to report your progress to Melvin.

Facts: Ever Green is a full 18-hole course covering 30 acres. It is located within a larger, 300-acre area which is heavily forested. You have 15 workers on your grounds crew.  In addition to leaves in the Autumn, the crew has to deal with grass clippings in the Summer. Melvin has given you a budget of  $7,500 maximum to equip your whole crew with new leaf blowers.

You have researched what’s available–you will need to supply the details on what you have done to conduct that research–and have found that:

  • There are several types of leaf blowers
    • Corded electric (require an extension cord)
    • Cordless electric (use a rechargeable battery)
    • Hand-held gasoline powered
    • Backpack-style gasoline powered
    • Wheeled, walk-behind gasoline powered
  • Cordless electric models are the least powerful
  • Wheeled, walk-behind models are the most powerful
  • Wheeled, walk-behind models are the most expensive
  • Backpack models are more comfortable to carry long distances than are hand-held models

You have narrowed your search to 3 models–and here you will need to retrieve information from the Home Depot, Lowes, or Menards websites, all or which all which have a Comparison feature which allows you to create your own comparison table.

For each of the 3 models, you have collected the following information:

  • Brand/manufacturer name and model
  • Type (electric, gas, handheld-backpack, etc)
  • Air Speed in MPH
  • Maximum Air Volume (in Cubic Feet per Minute or CFM)
  • Weight
  • Price

(The higher the MPH and CFM numbers, the more powerful the blower is.)

Prepare a progress report to Melvin Gancer in which you  provide the standard types of information, as indicated in our readings for this Module, and recommend the purchase of a specific model of leaf blower to him.

Phase 2

You are Louie Bogolousa, Shipping Manager for Blow Me to Bermuda, a company which deals exclusively in leaf blowers, selling all makes and models. There has been a traffic accident involving a shipment of 15 leaf blowers to the Ever Green Golf Course of Metropolis, Illinois.  You need to prepare an accident report to Gilda Cage, the Director of Sales.

Facts: A delivery van containing 15 leaf blowers (use the model you selected in Phase 1 here) worth $_______ (base this on the price of the model you selected in Phase 1) was struck by another vehicle.  The delivery van, operated by Moonlight Movers, was traveling south in Interstate 24 from your warehouse in Marion, Illinois, when the accident occurred.

You will need to supply the following additional details about the accident

  • Time of day
  • Weather conditions (sun, rain, fog, ice/snow?)
  • Speed at which van was traveling  (which could include zero)
  • Location of accident
  • Nature of accident (collision, ran off road, etc)
  • If collision, was the van struck from side, front, rear?
  • I f another driver was involved, were they sober, drunk, visually impaired?
  • I f another driver was involved, were they insured?
  • Injuries to van driver, if any
  • Injuries to other driver, if any
  • Who notified authorities of the accident and how?
  • Who responded to the accident (police, fire, paramedics) ?
  • What treatment was given for any injuries?
  • Was anyone transported to a hospital and if so, when?
  • Names of van driver, other driver, emergency responders
  • Nature of damage to the van (and other vehicle) ?
  • Nature of damage to cargo?
  • Extent of damage to cargo (how much of it, how badly damaged, $$-amount of loss) ?

Your report to Gilda should contain the necessary and standard information for an accident report and include conclusions regarding the cause(s) of the accident and/or recommendations for avoiding future incidents.

Phase 2

You are Ima Payne, Regional Compliance Office for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. You have just completed your annual inspection of the leaf blowers used at Ever Green Golf Course for compliance with state standards for noise and air pollution. You need to prepare an inspection/test report for Melvin Gancer and Wilie Spelvin which states your findings and recommendations for corrective action.

Operator exposure to a noise level of 85 decibels (Db) for 8 hours is the upper limit of acceptable risk. A noise level of 65 Db at a distance of 50 feet from the blower is the upper limit of acceptable annoyance for bystanders.  Noise in excess of these levels is usually caused by defective mufflers.

Small gasoline engines of the type used in leaf blowers typically emit some unburned fuel, also known as Unburned Hydrocarbons (UHCs) in their exhaust. The upper limit of acceptable UHC levels is 25%. Levels in excess of this usually occur in an engine which needs a tune-up.

When a unit is out of compliance, the owner is given 30 days to correct the problem and have the unit re-tested. If the unit’s performance has been improved, but is still not fully compliant, the owner will be given another 30 days. However, if the owner does nothing to correct the problem in the first 30 days, or the problem is not fully corrected at the end of 60 days, the owner will be fined $25 per month until either (a) the problem is finally corrected, or (b) the owner provides documentation that the unit has been taken out of service and sold as scrap metal.

You have inspected all 15 of Ever Green’s leaf blowers, and 9 of them are at or below acceptable limits for noise and air pollution. However, for 6 of the units, you have found these results:

Unit #   Noise (Db)   UHCs (%)

3                                   80                                  34%

4                                   92                                  45%

8                                   72                                   52%

11                                 86                                   22%

13                                105                                  49%

15                                   97                                  18%

In your report, explain your findings and make recommendations for action. (Remember that you are an outside consultant.)

Online Technical Writing,  Progress Reports

Texas A&M University, University Writing Center,  Progress Reports

InspectAPedia,  How to Write a Home Inspection Report

Warren Dolphin, Iowa State University,  Writing Lab Reports and Scientific Papers

North Carolina State University,  The Parts of a Laboratory Report

EHS Safety News,  How to Write a Good Accident or Incident Report

Firebelle Productions,  Writing Effective Incident Reports

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