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Final Draft Setup Requirement:
• Polished, properly formatted, 2-page memorandum
• 12-point Times New Roman font
• Single-spaced lines
• 1st or 3rd person point of view
WHAT: Write a 2-page memorandum (memo) addressed to your course instructor as its intended audience. In the memo, explain your plans—and the strategies you anticipate using—for the construction of the upcoming Recommendation Report.
HOW: The final draft of this assignment must contain the following:
• A standard memo heading section that contains To, From, Subject, Date.
• An introduction that clearly states why the memo has been written and what topic the
memo will discuss. This is an overview section and usually not more than two or three
sentences in length.
• Body paragraphs that explain exactly what you want to say regarding the topic.
o A Description of the problem or challenge that will be identified and researched in your Recommendation Report and why the problem/challenge is important to address.
o Objective of your upcoming Recommendation Report (i.e.: What should your audience know and do/change as a result of your Recommendation Report?)
o Information (researched evidence) you will need to gather to support your recommendations in the Recommendation Report, where you anticipate finding your research information, and how you will use or analyze the information. (Do not conduct any research for this memo assignment, just describe your research plans.)
o Targeted audience for your Recommendation Report (e.g.: your boss, a community organization, etc.) and how you anticipate the audience’s needs shaping the way the Recommendation Report will be written and which details will be included. Consider your intended audience’s position(s) in the organization, any opposition you might anticipate toward your recommendation, and the demands, pressures, and expectations (financial, social, political, personal, etc.) that your audience might encounter as a result of your recommendation.
• A conclusion that tells the next step(s) in the development of your Recommendation Report and when the next step(s) will commence, and who will be responsible for the next step(s). This section will probably be a single paragraph in length.
ENG 3107: Writing for the Professions—Business & Social Sciences Rev.3.10.16
Here are some suggestions from Contemporary Business Communications (Houghton Mifflin, 2009) to prompt your thinking about possible topics for the Recommendation Report as you develop this memo assignment:
• comparison of home pages on the Internet for ABC industry
• dress policy for the ABC company
• buying versus leasing computers at ABC company or university
• developing a diversity training program at ABC company
• encouraging the use of mass transit at ABC company or university
• establishing a recycling policy at ABC company
• evaluating a charity for corporate giving at ABC company
• recommending a site for the annual convention of ABC association
• starting an employee newsletter at ABC company
• starting an onsite wellness program at ABC company or university
• best online source for office supplies at ABC company
• best shipping service (e.g. UPS, USPS, FedEx)
• most appropriate laptop computer for ABC company managers who travel
You will be working with an OWL specialist to create multiple drafts of this assignment toward a polished, well-crafted final version of your work.
WHY: This assignment strengthens your ability to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate main ideas. It demonstrates writing as a process that requires substantive revision, and it promotes communication skills aimed at a specific audience about a particular subject while advancing your understanding of your strengths as a writer of effective business documents.
Knowing how to write a professional memo is beneficial in other ways, too.
o Memos have retained a place in the business world because writers often need a more
formal document than an email, or other form of communication, can provide. Brevity, clarity, and professionalism are vital in effectively communicating information and needs.
o Memos can be made available to many people other than the intended recipient; for this reason, it is important to understand how to use them in an effective and productive manner.
o Memos can be a challenge since much of our daily communication relies on body language and voice tone, two things which are not available via memo formatting. As a result, word choice and presentation are of vital importance in communicating needs and ideas.
o This type of business writing is a way for your instructor to assess your skills of organization, critical thinking, and grammar/punctuation and your understanding of basic components used in a common form of business communication.