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ASSIGNMENT I.
Assignment One
Email Revision.
Due to SafeAssign before class on
Tuesday, April 12th
This first paper will expect the student to revise a poorly written (and, where appropriate,
redacted/altered) email, one that was actually recently written within a medium sized
company. Students will be expected to apply the skills conveyed through lecture and
the assigned texts to revise and rewrite, within a certain set of parameters, the email
that is under consideration. Lecture, discussion, UWP writing sessions (mandatory),
and the Lanham will be particularly germane to this assignment.
This first assignment is the briefest of the lot and requires no oral presentation.
Context and Scenario: A friend of yours, Miguel, has heard that you are a strong writer,
and he seeks your counsel regarding an email he needs to send. Miguel has learned
from co-workers like Milton how important clear communication is. Being the generous
person you are and are known to be (you have cultivated something of a reputation for
this), you have agreed to help your friend Miguel write that email. Miguel explains that
he wants to write his supervisor (Lauren Alvarez) because he has some ideas he would
like to discuss in a meeting. The recommendations are important and could benefit
everyone involved, but they are not all equally important.
Decide what ideas you think are most important to include in the letter, and then decide
which ideas are best to omit. Rely heavily on the Paramedic Method, Sentence
Shapes, Voices of Authority, and the Economics of Attention. In other words, consider
the Lanham carefully as you reconstruct what you believe to be the most essential parts
of the letter. You need not, nor should you, retain all parts of the letter; in other words,
use your best judgment — that is, evaluation — to cut anything you feel is superfluous or
even harmful in the communication event. Heavily editing, adding, and revising the
remaining portions of the letter is also expected. Finally, frame the letter in an
appropriate manner for the context, one that lowers the Lard Factor and articulately
delivers the message in a professional way. Tone is particularly important with emails,
so consider diction and approach carefully. Please note: you are expected to use some
form of coordination or subordination. Actively varying sentence structure is an
expectation of the assignment.
Create a hard copy of your message, but present it as though it were an email. This
first assignment will be formatted as though it were an email, but you should include
your name, your TAʼs name, and the date as a header before you begin the email
format. A subject line should be present in the fictional email and should signal the
beginning of the email. This assignment (one to two pages) is due before class on
January 19th. While the syllabus stipulates that the assignment must be at least 250
words, you have license to use fewer words if you think you can communicate
effectively in a briefer format. What follows below is a first (and very poor) draft of the
email Miguel initially jotted down.
Subject Heading for Email: Items that Must Be Considered at the Next Meeting
Dear Ms. Lauren Alvarez,
Thanks for reading this message!
I realize you are busy, so I will make this quick.
In regards to our meeting, I know you want to meet on Monday, October 20th. That day
is really bad. Iʼm afraid Iʼm very busy, and Iʼm sure you are to so letʼs find another day.
I have a number of reports that are due on the 20th, and I need to fulfill my
responsibilities regarding those reports. Simply put, I can meet on the 22nd, so letʼs
make that the date if you are OK with it.
When we meet, I would like to discuss some problems at Tech Shield. Here are some
ideas we could discuss:
1)
2)
3)
4)
5)
6)
7)
8)
We are not paid enough because of all the budget strain and the expenses we
incur
We never get to wear Hawaiian shirts
There is a gender imbalance in the work force
Promotions have been based on nepotism
The company requires us to work well above fifty (50) hours a week.
There is no opportunity for advancement
I am frequently asked to work on short notice
I am expected to travel every other week (and this everyone thinks is unnecessary)
We have done really well this year, and I think discussing these ideas could further help
the company. We managed to curb expenses at Tech-Shield by installing auto-sensors
for the lights, encouraging ride-sharing programs, and introducing a day care to help
address the expectation of longer hours.
These ideas really worked.
But wait, I have more ideas to address the problems (see numbered problems above).
We should stop hiring relatives (like the current CEOʼs nephew) and I think Fridays
should be casual days. Scheduling is always a challenge, but perhaps meetings that
coordinate travel expectations and additional hours might benefit all and eliminate
miscommunication. We could have flex weeks — something you may not have
considered. Instead of fifty hour weeks, we could have employees alternate hours for
each week. Some employees who had more time on a particular week could work more
hours on that particular week and then work less on the following week. Everybody
wins and nobody loses. We could add more employees — like a lot more employees.
We could inform all of the employees about the daycare facilities and promote them.
We already have these facilities, so there would be only a negligible affect on the
budget. We could be more efficient by not training people to do new jobs.
I hope you will understand and appreciate all of these ideas.
Regards,
Miguel Wilkens
Technical Analyst
+
Read Over Essay 1 Prompt
 Refresh Key Concepts
 Pick out Important Phases
 Determine Goals of Essay
+
What are Miguel’s Goals?

There are TWO main points

Failure to accomplish these goals will result in a grade
below C

Reschedule the Meeting

Discuss the Topics
+
Tone
 Subject
Heading: “Items that Must Be Considered at the
Next Meeting”
 How
might this be interpreted by Miguel’s supervisor?
+
Tone Practice

Rank These Sentences: Least Positive to Most
A.
You need to sign this paper.
B.
When you have a free moment, this document needs your
signature.
C.
Sign this paper by the end of the day.
D.
Sign here.
E.
Thank you in advance for taking the time to lend your
signature to this document.
+
Tone Cont’d
 Professional
 Qualify
 Willing to work with people
 Friendly
+
Structure of the Email
 Subject
Heading
 Strong Buffer/Introduction
 Transitions Between Ideas
 Strong Ending
 Remember
to “bury the bad news”
 Contact information + Signature line
+
The Buffer
 A positive or natural statement that introduces the
email
 Attempting to build good will with the reader
 How
might this be done?
 Do we
see an example in the current draft?
+
The Buffer Cont’d
 Should be the introduction of this email
 Where you go from there is up to you
+
The Rescheduling
 “In regards to our meeting, I know you want to meet
on Monday, October 20th. That day is really bad. Iʼm
afraid Iʼm very busy, and Iʼm sure you are to so letʼs
find another day. I have a number of reports that are
due on the 20th, and I need to fulfill my
responsibilities regarding those reports. Simply put, I
can meet on the 22nd, so letʼs make that the date if you
are OK with it.”
+
The Rescheduling Cont’d
 Is this a sufficient reason?
 What about the tone?
 Do we
see “official speak?”
 Where in the email would you place this?
+
The Rescheduling Cont’d
 Needs
a better reason for rescheduling
 Be to the point
 Improve the tone
 No set place
for the rescheduling in the email
+
Topics

1) We are not paid enough because of all the budget strain and the
expenses we incur

2) We never get to wear Hawaiian shirts

3) There is a gender imbalance in the work force

4) Promotions have been based on nepotism

5) The company requires us to work well above fifty (50) hours a
week.

6) There is no opportunity for advancement

7) I am frequently asked to work on short notice

8) I am expected to travel every other week (and this everyone
thinks is unnecessary)
+
Topics Cont’d
 Which topics would
you include in the email?
 Which ones you should
 How
definitely not include?
many topics should be included?
 Where would you place
these ideas?
+
Topics Cont’d
 No more than 3 topics
 Do not hold
the meeting in the email
 Transition between ideas
 Avoid “third-rail” topics
 Generally include in the middle
of the email
+
Other Requirements
 Compound Sentences
– 2 independent clauses joined by a coordinating
conjunction: independent clause, comma,
coordinating conjunction, independent clause
 FANBOYS(For;And;Nor;But;Or;Yet;So)
 Subordination
+
Essay 1
 Essay 1 is due April 12th (Tuesday) at 8:10 am on ilearn
through SafeAssign. Work not submitted through
SafeAssign will not be evaluated.
 A hard copy to me in lecture
 Versions should
match
 Late work policy: 5% penalized per academic day

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