Project #32984 - Paper

Writing Prompt




In this paper, you will analyze the Annual Report of a single Fortune 500 company, asserting and giving evidence of the most powerful visual, verbal (and, if relevant, aural) techniques and strategies the document uses to target and persuade its intended audience.








1.    YOUR EXPERIENCE AT THIS TYPE OF ANALYSIS: In class, you have analyzed the Goldman Sachs equity analysis report on Network Appliance, looking specifically at how the document was designed, for whom the document was designed, and whether (and for whom) the document was effective.




You’ve already begun to understand the COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUES or STRATEGIES that a document uses to affect/persuade the reader.






Choose an annual report of a Fortune 500 company that includes lots of the following:






o   E.g. Photos, colorful charts, graphic representation of data, formatting that chunks information (like section headers or bullets)






o   E.g. Descriptive, powerful wording used to affect the reader. These can describe the business, the products/services, the people who work for this company, etc.




·       Mixed Visual/Verbal/Aural TECHNIQUES/STRATEGIES


o   E.g. Videos. These may use powerful visuals, descriptive language (heard or written on screen), and even music (an aural strategy) to affect the viewer.




WARNING:  If you choose an Annual Report with only a letter to shareholders or which is just the company’s SEC 10K financial reporting, your analysis and your grade will suffer.




3.    Read the following article (assigned and posted on Blackboard):




“Ten Things to Remember When Writing an Annual Report,” a National Investor Relations Institute article.




For more information on the Annual Report—what it does, how it does it—see the following:










See next page for more instructions...





Write a structured essay that has the following:




1.    ASSERTIVE, SPECIFIC, AND PROVABLE THESIS: A strong thesis must assert what you are going to argue in your paper, i.e., your three main claims are about the most powerful, influential, and persuasive strategies—what they are and why they are used—in your chosen Annual Report.


2.    TOPIC SENTENCE-DRIVEN” PARAGRAPHS: Body paragraphs must each have a strong topic sentence that asserts one thesis claim.


3.    UNIFIED PARAGRAPHS: All body paragraphs must use only evidence that supports the topic sentence claim—no topic drift.


4.    PARAGRAPHS THAT USE DETAILS/DATA/SPECIFICS: Evidence supports topic sentence claims.


5.    CONCLUSION THAT ECHOES & ELABORATES:  Conclude by echoing your thesis (briefly summarizing the visual and verbal strategies you found in the Annual Report) and then explain briefly what specific communication strategies in this report you found most effective and powerful.




Formatting Requirements—READ CAREFULLY




1.    No more than 3 pages.


2.    12 point Times New Roman or Calibri font, double spaced (for double spacing, you will need to change the default setting on MSWord).


3.    Your header should be RIGHT JUSTIFIED and SINGLE SPACED – see example directly below:


Student Name
BA 2196 Section (identify)/Instructor Name
Writing Assignment: Analyzing the Annual Report




·       Remember to review the WRITING SKILLSHEETS posted on Blackboard.


·       Papers will be graded on how well you learn to edit your papers effectively.




Make an Appointment with a Peer Writing Tutor at the Business Communications Center:




If you need additional help with your writing, make an appointment with the business writing center at the Fox School Business Communications Center, Speakman Hall 106. To learn how to make an appointment, visit All appointments are made through the Center’s online appointment system.






APPENDIX: Want some help thinking through your analysis? Questions below might spur ideas.




·       What techniques/strategiesdid the Annual Report’s author/designer use to powerfully AFFECT the audience?


·       Why do companies take the time to write an Annual Report when all they are legally required to do is to file their financial information with the SEC?


·       How does the Annual Report present information? Does it highlight any themes? Ideas? If so, how specifically? To what audience(s)? What would its intended audience(s) be looking for? 

Subject Business
Due By (Pacific Time) 06/11/2014 01:00 pm
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