Structure and Aim of a Separate Advisory Report

Posted date: August 31, 2017

Some dissertations provide a separate advisory report that is designed for a specific organization or a company that is willing to act on the author’s advice.

As a rule, an advisory report focuses on opinions supported by evidence and some concrete proof. Thus, the purpose of the report is more substantial rather than merely provide a list of recommendations that is usually included in the dissertation main body. Besides, you need to closely evaluate the recommendations and decide on the consequences that each of them will have on the potential “client.”

What are the benefits of creating an advisory report?

The main advantage of an advisory reports is that the intended readers can easily get familiar with your standpoint and detailed opinions without reading the whole body of the dissertation. This is the best option, especially when you aim to provide specific recommendations and analysis of the dissertation subject to your client (particularly, if you had an advisory research question).

What are the constituent parts of an advisory report?

Since different organizations have their own specific requirements regarding advisory reports, it would be best to clarify what design and content your client wants. Despite this fact, all reports have a generally accepted structure

Section

Characteristics

Length

Title page

The title page should be professionally structured and appealing just like the title page of your dissertation writing (however, it does not contain as many details). The following information needs to be included:

  • Title/subtitle;
  • Name of the author(s);
  • Name of the client(s);
  • Place, date, and year of writing

One A4 format page

Executive summary (not obligatory if the report is short)

This section aims at providing your client(s) with a brief overview of recommendations that contribute to solving the problem or issue.

half or one A4 format page

Table of contents

The structure is the same as in the table of contents included into the dissertation.

One A4 format page

Introduction (where you provide background information on the central issue/ problem)

The introduction comprises general information on the chosen topic (such as its context or background), the main research question under exploration, and the key study parameters.

No more than one A4 format page

Research design

Here you provide a succinct summary of your research design. In case readers want more detailed information on some notions, you can direct them to your dissertation which you will cite as a source.

half or one A4 format page

Alternative solutions (or measures)

This is the main section of the report and is thus the most complicated to write. It entails possible steps and then evaluates their pros and cons against the presented measures. As you use the research as the backbone, you also need to shortly prove each measure. To do it, answer the following questions:

  • What will be the best way the measure will contribute to problem solving? How much time will it take?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of the measure provided?
  • Is there any proof that signifies that the measure would be effective?
  • What would implementation require concerning time, people, money, and the organization as such?

No more than 2-3 A4 format pages

Conclusion

The conclusion provides your final recommendation and justifies your choice in a succinct and brief manner. It should provide the following:

  • The solution(s) you are putting forward
  • The steps that should be made by your client(s) (tomorrow) and in what order

No more than one A4 page

Sources

This section provides a list of sources that you used while preparing the advisory report. Always cite any background sources or other materials that you consulted (including your thesis).

No more than one A4 format page

Tips on how to write your advisory report:

  1. At the initial stage of your research, clarify with your client whether you need to provide an advisory report. In case you do, find out the purpose of the report and its target readers.
  2. Consider the expectations of your client regarding the content and design of the report. The structure provided above will be a good sample for you. However, spend some more time to look through similar reports in order to get more familiar with the styles, format or other requirements. Also ensure that you clarify the length of the report, the date of submission, the degree of recommendation development, and other issues.
  3. For each of the recommendations, make sure to address these questions (which should be adjusted as a result of discussions with your client):
    1. What contributions will the measure make towards finding a solution to the issue/ problem? How much time will it take?  
    2. What are the pros and cons of each proposed measure?
    3. Which of the provided measures are the most suitable ones? In what order should they be implemented?
    4. What would the implementation require in terms of time, money, people, and the organizational process?
  4. Be brief and concise. Your readers should be able to easily understand the information you have provided.
  5. Ask your client(s) and other stakeholders for the feedback on the draft of your report before you finish working on it.