Depending on the subject, a memo or e-mail makes its point in three or four short paragraphs: a concise introduction, one or two middle paragraphs conveying the details, and a brief conclusion. In the current business world, the memo and the business letter (to some extent) have been replaced by e-mail.
- Choose one of the following exercises (these exercises are available below)
- Labor Day e-mail
- Summer schedule e-mail
- Liberty Run e-mail
- Write a statement of purpose for the communication you chose
- Identify the audience for the communication you chose. Write a paragraph that describes
- Are you writing to one person or more than one?
- What is the job title or area of responsibility of your audience?
- What does your audience already know about the specific situation?
- Why does your audience need this information?
- What do you want the audience to do as a result of receiving this communication?
- What factors might influence the audience’s response?
- Write the communication you chose
- Include date, “to” line, “from” line, and subject line
- Include a greeting
- Organize into 3 – 4 paragraphs
- Use a “reader-centered” perspective
- Use positive wording
- Use clear, simple language
- Maintain an appropriate tone – neither too formal, nor too conversational
- Include closing and signature lines
Submit the following:
- Use the name of the communication you selected as the title; place the title under your heading and center it
- A one-sentence statement of purpose and identification of the category of purpose
- An audience analysis written in paragraph form with complete answers to all the questions listed in #3 above
- 4.An e-mail (composed in Word, but with all the elements of an e-mail)
FORMAT: Include a heading with your name, instructor name, course/section number, and date in the upper left corner. Use 12 point font, single-space, flush left with blank line between paragraphs (do not indent paragraphs). Use headings to clearly identify the different parts of the assignment (Statement of Purpose, Audience analysis, E-mail), save file as a .doc or .docx file (do not save as .wps, .pdf, zip or .odt). Formatting matters and will impact your score if you do not follow the instructions.
You’re the assistant to the personnel manager of a metals fabrication plant. Monday is Labor Day, and most of the 300 employees will be given a paid holiday. The company is under pressure, however, to meet a deadline. Therefore, a skeleton force of 40—all in the production department—will be needed to work on the holiday. Those who volunteer will have the option of being paid overtime at the standard time-and-a-half rate or receiving two vacation days. If fewer than 40 employees volunteer, others will be assigned to work on the basis of seniority, with the most recently hired employees chosen first. The personnel manager has asked you to alert the affected employees. Write an e-mail.
You’re a secretary at a regional office of a state agency. Normal working hours for civil service employees in your state are 8:30 a.m. to 4:40 p.m., with a lunch break from 12:00 to 12:30 p.m. During the summer, however, the hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., with lunch unchanged. Summer hours are in effect from July 1 to September 2. It’s now mid-June, and the busy office supervisor has asked you to remind employees of the summer schedule. Write a memo to be posted on the main bulletin board and sent via e-mail.
You work in the lumberyard of a building supplies company. Every year during the July 4th weekend, the town sponsors the Liberty Run, a 10K (6.2-mile) road race. This year, for the first time, local businesses have been invited to enter five-member teams to complete for the Corporate Cup. The team with the best combined time takes the trophy. There will be no prize money involved but much good publicity for the winners. Because you recently ran the Boston Marathon, the company president wants you to recruit and organize a team. It’s now April 21. Better get started. Write an email.