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Sustainability: Front Matter of Report

Page history last edited by julie.staggers@unlv.edu 13 years, 11 months ago

The front matter of any report typically includes the following items:

  • Letter of Transmittal
  • Cover/Title Page
  • Executive Summary/Abstract
  • Table of Contents


Letter of Transmittal

This is a cover letter that delivers a completed project to an external audience. Generally, this letter should follow standard letter format and be limited to a single page. Letters may be bound into the report or delivered with the report as a separate document. The letter should contain the following elements: 

  • Opening paragraph: Statement of purpose, date the work was commissioned, statement that the report has been delivered, and the title of the report.
  • 2nd paragraph: briefly summarize your recommendations and the pertinent findings from your research including one or two pertinent details.
  • 3rd paragraph: briefly describe your research methods, as well as acknowledging any key contributors beyond the consulting group and important sources.
  • 4th paragraph: close courteously, express a willingness to work further with the client, offer to answer any questions, and provide an open avenue for communication.


Cover/Title page

A cover typically includes names of the writers, title of the report, names of recipients, and the date of the report. The title of the research comes next, followed by the date. At the bottom of the page, you should list the instructor's name and UNLV address, the names of each member of the research team, the name of the client (target reader), client company, and company address.


The title should be brief but must convey the subject of the report to the reader. It's helpful to think about describing the purpose or objective of the report. Examples:"A Usability Study of MySportStat.com's Content" or "Web Advertising Strategies: A Recommendation Report" or "A Proposal for Reducing Printing Costs in the UNLV English Department."


Executive Summary/Informative Abstract

An executive summary is a min-version of the final report. Summaries and abstracts are designed for decision-making audiences who don't have time to closely read the entire report. This document should be written in lay terms and designed for managers who may not have the technical expertise of other readers. It should be no more than 2 pages, and it should be placed before the body of the report. Include these elements:

  • Clear description of the context that lead to the research performed, including a discussion of the problem. Use specific terms and evidence to show the problem exists.
  • Brief description of hte methods used for research and the research findings.
  • Detailed list of recommendations with some justification. A bulleted list of detailed recommendations is an effective strategy.


Table of Contents

The table of contents gives readers a way to find the information that they need quickly and efficiently. List all major headings and subheadings. Use the Microsoft Word functions to generate your table of contents.

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