Writing Assignment for Pottery Bowl Analysis

For this experiment, you will generate two short technical writing products.


Ima Cheapskate, owner of Pottery For Less, got a really good deal on glazed pottery bowls made in an unnamed third world country. Since the price was right, she bought 10,000 of these bowls which she intended to sell both in her store and over the internet. After seeing a segment of the popular expose TV show "GOTcha" describing the dangers of the lead and uranium-based glazes used in pottery production in some foreign countries, Ms Cheapskate, worried about her liability, has requested that your laboratory analyze samples of the bowls. As an analyst of A+ Analytical Answers, you have been given the assignment to analyze the bowls for the presence of lead in the pottery glaze. Your job is to determine if lead is present and, if so, how much leaches into a commercial vinegar (5% acetic acid) solution over a 24 hour period. Ms. Cheapskate would like to know if the bowls should be sold with a warning label indicating that they should be used for non-consumptive applications only.


You will report your results in two different forms.

  • A client report (25 pts)
  • A letter of transmittal (5 pts)

The cover letter should summarize the findings of your analysis while the report describes your experiment and the results in more detail. Both should be written to Ms. Cheapskate who is not a scientist.


The Letter of Transmittal

Your letter will serve to introduce the report to the client. It should state how and why the report originated and who requested it. The scope and subject matter of the report should be mentioned. You should also highlight any important conclusions and recommendations that you have for the client. Personal opinions are permissible in a letter of transmittal but should be specific to the finding of the report. It is usually best to minimize personal opinions, and such opinions should be clearly identified so the client doesn't mistake them for fact. The letter should contain a statement about potential follow-up actions if any are appropriate. At the end of your letter, you need to include a list to whom the report was distributed. Your distribution list may be a note at the end that looks like:

cc: Jane Doe
     John Doe

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The Industrial or Business Report

You will prepare a formal report giving the details of the analysis you conducted. A good formal report will have either a letter of transmittal or memo which introduces it. Your report will incorporate the following items.

  • Cover and Title Page
  • Abstract
  • Table of Contents
  • List of Tables, Illustrations and Figures
  • Body of Text
  • References
  • Appendix if needed

Click here to access information on writing an industrial or business report.