Organizing Reports: Structuring Informational Reports

Organizing Reports: Structuring Informational Reports

Imagine that Florida International University’s president has received many student complaints about campus parking problems. You are appointed to chair a student committee organized to investigate the problems and recommend solutions. Your supervisor, Ms. Suarez, is willing to consider anything from subsidized bus passes to school-owned shuttle buses to telecommuting, but the decision requires a thorough understanding of student, faculty, and staff transportation needs. Figures 1-4 summarize data you have collected in a school-wide survey.

In 1972, Florida International University had 5,500 students enrolled, with 5,500 parking spaces (for a 1-to-1 ratio). The number of students and parking spots remained unchanged until 1980, where the number of students increased to 12,000 while parking increased to 6,000. In 1985, the number of students increased to 15,000, and parking increased to 6,500 spaces. Student enrollment and parking have both increased steadily since 1972, but not equally – there are more students than parking spaces. Figure 1 illustrates these changes. Use Figures 1-4 to support your case for a solution to the parking problem at FIU.

Figure 1: Comparison of Student Body Increase to Decrease in Availability of Student Parking

Year Number of Commuter Students Enrolled Number of Student Parking Spaces
1972 5,500 5,500
1975 5,500 5,500
1980 12,000 6,000
1985 19,500 6,500
1990 28,000 7,000
1995 37,500 7,500
2000 45,000 7,500
2005 45,000 7,500
2010 45,000 7,500


Figure 2: Most common complaints from students
Below are the results of the survey:

  • Inadequate number of student spaces – 28,800 (64%)
  • Too many faculty spaces not being used – 7,650 (17%)
  • Inadequate attempts to keep students without decals from occupying spaces – 6,750 (15%)
  • Dim marking lines – 1,800 (4%)

Figure 3: Number of Faculty, Staff, and Students that Comprise the University (Bar graph)
A survey was taken in 2010 to determine how many faculty, staff, and students make up the population of the university.

  • Full-Time Faculty: 2,974
  • Part-Time Faculty: 14,602
  • Students: 45,833

Figure 4: Effect of Potential Improvements to Public Transportation

Members of the FIU community were asked about their feelings towards public transportation:
Individuals were able to check more than one category:

  • Increased perceptions of safety 4,932 (28%)
  • Improved cleanliness 852 (5%)
  • Reduced commute times 7,285 (41%)
  • Greater convenience: fewer transfers 3,278 (18%)
  • Greater convenience: more stops 1,155 (6%)
  • Lower (or subsidized) fares 5,634 (31%)
  • Nothing could encourage me to take public transportation 8,294 (46%)

Note: This question was asked to those respondents who use public transportation randomly or never, a subgroup that represents 17,915 students, faculty, and staff, or 40% of the school’s population.


Prepare an outline for an informational report to be submitted to committee members. Use a topical organization for your report that categorizes this information.
Write a recommendation memo report to your supervisor, Mr. Martinez, illustrating the data you have collected and recommending two ways to solve this problem.
This is a short report; therefore, your report will not include a title page, a table of contents, or

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