• You are a consultant. Create a fictitious business name with your last name in it.
  • You’ve been hired by a large corporation the average businessperson has heard of (your choice). Its leadership wants to know if increasing its presence in a specific country is feasible and wise.
  • In the beginning, research the client and its industry to learn its concerns. You have to know its concerns before you can say if a place benefits it.
  • Then, define what “increased presence” means for that client. This will help you narrow your methodology with a criteria list upon which to judge the potential destination country.
  • Much later in the process, pick the country from a list. Then you’ll see if it’s a good match for the client based on the criteria you selected.
  • Finally, render judgement on that country as a match for the client’s needs.

From the syllabus: Students will research a country and write a formal report about the feasibility of opening a business in that country for a specific corporate client. The report will be based on scholarly research, adhere to APA citation guidelines, and demonstrate common document design guidelines. It will include a title page, executive summary, introduction, industry summary, company summary, country feasibility analysis, evaluative conclusion, references, and appendix.

Author point of view (Who are you?): You are an outsider working closely with an established company to produce an internal strategy document. It is not a marketing or promotional document. References to “your company” are appropriate, but can usually be avoided without altering a sentence’s meaning. First and second person pronouns (“I” and “you”) are mostly unneeded. Phrases like “I believe X and Y require Z…” can usually be written “X and Y require Z…”

This also means you must write objectively with no interest in whether the country is selected. Most of the document will be analytical with only the conclusion being appropriate for persuasive writing. You are analyzing risky countries on behalf of your client company. You are not cheerleaders or tourism promoters for the countries being analyzed.

Audience point of view (Who are they?): Your audience is your paying client, so you should use a deferential tone and assume you have a burden of proof. They will want to see evidence of your competence on the various subjects of the report, including their situation. On the title page you may refer to them as any reasonably named decision-making group (“executive board of,” “strategic committee for,” etc.). If you still have your BUAD 201 book, or a similar business writing reference for persuading up the chain of command


  1. Pick a client
    1. The following traits make a company easier to research: American; publically traded; well known; makes a tangible product.
    2. I’ve read enough reports about Apple, Uber, Starbucks, Target, and Tesla in recent years. Don’t pick them.
    3. Make sure you pick a company (like Starbucks) and not a brand (like Frappuccino). You’ll know for sure if the company owns stock. When you can say the company’s stock ticker code (like SBUX for Starbucks), then you know you have the company.
  2. Determine the client’s industry
    1. Some companies are in many industries. Define increased presence early if yours is.
    2. When in doubt, check sites like Yahoo Finance or the stock exchange on which it’s listed.
  3. Research the client and its industry
    1. See the research guides on Titanium from the CSUF business librarian.
  4. Take the plagiarism quiz
  5. Write an industry summary and a company summary (1 page each)
    1. Have a clear division between the two topics. I recommend never typing the client’s name in the industry summary. Do not use your industry summary as “part 2” of your company summary.
  6. Check your documentation and visuals
    1. See your notes from our in-class activities on APA in-text citations and references. Also see Axtell on APA and The Business Writer’s Handbook (under “documentation”)
    2. Ensure your visuals are valuable. See lecture notes.
  7. Submit upload #1
  8. Define “increased presence”
  9. Develop client-specific criteria
  10. Write an introduction
  11. Design the title page
  12. Submit upload #2
  13. Pick and research a country
  14. Use your criteria to make your outline
  15. Write your country analysis
  16. Write your evaluative conclusion
  17. Write your executive summary
  18. Check your documentation and visuals
  19. Make a final sweep for document design uniformity
  20. Make Appendix 1
  21. Submit upload #



  • Everything must be 11-point Garamond, except elements of the title page that are larger in the sample from the BWH.
  • All paragraphs must be in standard business block paragraphs (flush on the left margin, ragged right margins, true single spacing).
  • Everything must be in true single spacing. Pull down the corner arrow in the paragraph tab and make sure the spacing section looks like this:
  • All page requirements are for a page of writing, before any visual elements.
  • I consider quotes over one line long to be a visual element. I will delete them when verifying if you wrote a page’s worth or text.
  • I consider any quotation after the first in each paragraph to be a visual element. I will delete them when verifying you wrote a page’s worth of text.
  • Bullet lists, number lists, and long lists of things like flavors and countries are also considered visual elements, and will also be deleted when verifying you wrote a page’s worth of text.
  • If you label a paragraph, label it inline with the text. Don’t waste space floating small titles above your paragraphs.
  • Repeated use/abuse of long names or terms will not count for reaching your writing minimums.
  • Design documents as uniformly as possible. Similar things should have similar appearance.
  • In-text citations and reference pages must conform to APA guidelines. These will be covered with lecture, activities, readings, and the plagiarism quiz.
  • Dodging work lowers your grade.
  • Being deceptive lowers your grade.
  • Cutting and pasting lowers your grade.
  • Plagiarizing lowers your grade.
  • Obvious claims lower your grade. Show your research.
  • Repeated claims lower your grade. Move on.
  • Vague word choice lowers your grade. Be specific.
  • Wordiness lowers your grade. Be concise.
  • Abandoned claims lower your grade. Support your claims.
  • A research section cannot get an A without a valuable visual reinforcing one paragraph.
  • All paragraphs in a research section need at least two distinct authors cited.
    • However, if a paragraph only comprises the work of others, then you’re adding no value, so make sure you have intellectual contributions in all your paragraphs.



UPLOAD 1: Only upload these three things.

  1. Industry summary
  2. Company summary
  3. References (only for the above sections)


UPLOAD 2: Only upload these two things.

  1. Title page
  2. Introduction


UPLOAD 3: The whole thing. Previously graded sections must appear but will not be regraded.

This is front matter. Use insert > page break each page.
  • Title page
  1. Executive summary (2/3 page)
  2. Introduction (1 page of writing)
This is manuscript. Only use insert > page break at the beginning of the introduction.
  • Industry summary (1 page of writing)
  1. Company summary (1 page of writing)
  2. Country analysis (2 pages of writing)
  3. Conclusion (1/2 page of writing)
This is back matter. Use insert > page break each page.
  • References
  1. Appendix 1




Title page: You already paid for a perfectly good policy on title pages, so let’s use it. See BWH p. 199 and 204.


Executive summary: This is a short version of the report’s purpose and recommendation with only the most persuasive supporting evidence.  It gives a complete picture of what you recommend whilst projecting your credibility. What’s the report’s purpose? What do you recommend? Do you know what you’re talking about?

It is not the intro to the intro! It should stand alone as one complete argument. It should not say “as we will see” and the later pages should not refer to it with “as we saw.” Evidence in it must be repeated in the manuscript since they should not rely on each other.

It is not a walkthrough of the entire report! It will draw primarily from your conclusion, secondarily from the analysis on the selected country, and with just enough material from your introduction’s purpose paragraph to give the reader a vivid image in his or her head about what’s going on in the report and why he or she is bothering to read it.

This page will likely be written last, since you must form your opinions first, and those opinions hinge on research. This page needs almost no formatting beyond the words “Executive Summary.”

See BWH pages 182, 183, 201, 207, and 208.

Introduction: Tell the reader why this report was written and a sketch of how you worked and what’s to come. Use the following sequence to craft an effective introduction:

  • a purpose paragraph with a brief statement about how, when, and why it was decided this report was necessary (referring to another fictitious internal meeting, report, or project); also give your definition of “increased presence” here. What does it mean for the client company to “go there”? What action would it be? What does “going there” look like for this client? Open a glitzy flagship store? Get its products on the shelves of retailers already in the country? Open a factory? Get people to take a test drive? Get celebrities to promote the products? Get people to send something in the mail? Get people to subscribe to a service? Download an app? Do what? Go there how?
  • a subjects paragraph briefly introducing the key nouns (such as the countries) and defining key terms that might come up often
  • a methodology paragraph discussing how you conducted your work, including listing and justifying your four to six criteria used to evaluate the country’s fitness for the client
  • a brief overview paragraph walking the reader through the upcoming report, making no arguments, just laying out the map

Industry summary: Make the reader conversant on the larger context of the company’s external situation. Effective industry discussions blend together some of these:

  • What is the industry?
  • What do they make or do?
  • What are its parts?
  • Different categories of businesses?
  • What are its processes?
  • How does it work?
  • Where has the industry been?
  • Any important historical events, especially recent, volatile ones?
  • Where is it going?
  • Any trends?
  • Any current trouble?
  • Any big tech changes?
  • Any changes in what customers want, or how customers get it?
  • What’s going on right now?
  • Scandals?
  • Legal hurdles?
  • Upstarts making waves?
  • Old guard dying off?
  • New or lost resources?
  • Dead areas of the industry that aren’t serviced anymore?
  • A change in top performers?
  • Changing consumer tastes?
  • Myths? Misconceptions?

When scoring, I look ask these questions: 1) Was it credible? Did you say things an average person wouldn’t know? 2) Was it informative? Did you make the reader conversant on the industry? Could they follow along without getting too lost on an industry conference call? 3) Focused? Did you have the self-confidence to not mention the client company once? 4) Was it comprehensive? Do I feel like I got a good sampling of the industry without too much minutiae or pointless stats?

Company summary: Make readers knowledgeable about the company’s specific recent events and most important details. If the company elements are done well, your reader will be conversant in the company’s current situation, interests, and challenges. Keep in mind, you are not interested in buying your client’s company, so this is not a typical company analysis like you might do in a finance class to determine its health and desirability. Instead, write this to show what your client company might consider valuable when expanding its presence.

Blend some of the following things to make an effective company discussion:

  • very brief history of the company
  • recent events, scandals, changes
  • its products, array of brands
  • its niche in its industry
  • its successes and failures
  • its customer impressions, reputation
  • some very brief recent financial information
  • anything unusual about the company that would affect where it does business

When complete, the reader needs to be confident you understand his or her company, its current situation in the industry, what it has to offer, what it cannot do, and its limitations.

Country analysis: Analyze one country through the lens of everything that’s been discussed up to this point in the report. You just spent a few pages stating what your client company considers important. Does this country offer that?

Begin with a background paragraph offering a very brief snapshot of the country’s politics, geography, recent events, etc. Lean heavily towards recent events. Avoid trivia that won’t matter later in the document.

Once the background is out of the way, start right in on the first criterion mentioned in your introduction’s methodology chapter. Give a well-developed paragraph or two testing the country for its desirability to your client company on that particular criteria. Make clear, specific claims and support them wit

Since you already justified why the criteria mattered in two places (the introduction and when going through the company and industry summaries), then there’s no reason to again say why the criteria is worthy of examination.

Repeat this process for all of your remaining criteria listed in the introduction’s methodology section.

Just end the country section with whatever your last criterion is. Don’t tack on a worthless “here’s what I just said” paragraph where you just repeat yourself. That sort of thing might be OK for longer articles of books, where the reader might have forgotten your claims and evidence, but this document is so short, that sort of thing is worthless.

Conclusion: End with a paragraph of final, summarizing evaluations of your researched country through the lens of what you claimed your client should seek in its new destination.

  • Make judgments. You must take a stand involving risk.
  • Do not repeat older claims.
  • Don’t ambush the reader with new evidence on your way out the door. The time for evidence is over.
  • This is a “Here’s what I think about all that stuff I just said” paragraph, not a “Here’s what I just said” paragraph.
  • Remember, you are an unbiased, objective analyst, with no stake in whether your analyzed country gets selected. You’re not trying to “win” for your country. This section shouldn’t have any cheerleading or promotional marketing puffery, as one might find on a biased tourism website. Telling your clients a country’s faults is just as valuable as telling them about its strengths.


References: Add a correctly formatted APA references page. See your lecture notes, Axtell on APA, The Business Writer’s Handbook, etc.


Appendix 1: Put one of your boring, long, or ugly pieces of evidence (picture, map, infographic, menu, store locator, etc.) in its own appendix. It should be something SOME readers will care about, but which would be too much of a distraction to include in your writing. If you have other appendices, label them “Appendix 2” etc.