college composition unit 9 discussion

Writing Skills that Work on the Job

Prepare: Complete the Reading and Activity for this unit. Review the Unit 9 Assignment instructions and the Assignment guidelines for help with generating topic ideas for your Unit 9 Assignment.

Post: Post your initial discussion to the Discussion Board.

Write a 1-page draft of the professional memo you will submit for your Unit 9 Assignment. Include a brief statement that indicates who your audience is for your memo and why you have chosen this audience.

Include an open-ended question about any issue your initial post raises which your classmates can help you with.

Respond: Respond to at least 2 classmates’ initial posts.

At work, collaboration is extremely important. Coworkers bounce ideas off each other, help each other with writing and research, and provide each other feedback and support. For this Discussion Board, review responses and offer your employee constructive advice that will help him or her to strengthen the effectiveness of the professional memo. What in the assignment is unclear? How could it be clearer? Is the analysis of the relevance of the information clear? What can be done to make it stronger? Etc.

Review a sample student Discussion Board post.

Discussion requirements

Initial post should:

  • demonstrate effectively developed paragraphs
  • be on topic
  • be original
  • contribute to the quality of the discussion
  • make frequent and informed references to the unit concepts

Unit 9 Assignment Checklist

For the Unit 9 Assignment, you get to use your imagination to pretend that you are working in a company in your future career. Your goal is to write to the decision makers (owners, supervisors) to recommend a solution to a specific problem the company is facing. As long as the problem is relevant to your field of study and you can offer help, then the topic will work.

As you brainstorm your topic choices, plan, and draft, remember that you are not announcing a decision or a meeting. You are addressing a problem in a company, a problem that is relevant to your field of study, but instead of announcing a decision you have made, you are recommending a solution to the problem in hopes that your audience (decision makers like a supervisor or owner or school principal) can implement your recommendation.

You must write this as a memo if you work for the company or if you are pretending you do.

Examples include:

Writing to recommend that a school implement an after school study program because they have a problem with low passing rates on state tests.

Writing to recommend that a police department open a gym on site to help reduce the problem of high stress among police officers.

Writing to recommend that a business require all employees to attend a training session to help reduce sexual harassment going on in the company.

As you are planning, drafting, and revising this assignment, remember the following:

1. Write to a specific audience. If your memo feels like it could be written to any company, then it is not strong. Be specific as to how the issue is relevant to this particular audience and how your recommendation is helpful to this particular company and the problem/issue you are addressing.

2. Show the audience they need to act. Organizations need motivation, especially if they are being asked to spend money. Show them the problem exists and is affecting them.

3. Focus on your recommended solution. Show the audience why you know it would work to help solve the problem, rather than just announcing it or listing several things the organization might do.

4. Use appropriate semi-formal language that is professional in nature.

5. Follow APA format requirements for the title page and when you use source information in your paper.

6. Follow MEMO formatting for the actual memo itself. The TO/FROM/SUBJECT and DATE line information should be specific

7. CITE any use of sources. You should include paraphrased from one source, but this is not a research paper, though, so do not turn it into one. Your knowledge, observation and ideas for why the company needs to implement your recommendation will be far more important here. If you use sources and do not cite them in text, then you will have an issue with plagiarism. Over reliance on sources, especially if you quote them, may very well turn your memo into a too formal research essay and that is not a good idea.

8. Edit your paper carefully. This is your final paper and an opportunity to earn a high grade. If you have been losing points for issues like fragments, comma splice, run on sentences, verb tense, subject verb agreement, or comma use, for example, this is your last course opportunity to show you have been proactive and have used the Writing Center resources available to you. Take one last chance to get help and get that paper as error-free as possible. You do not want your audience distracted away from your ideas.

9. Meet length requirements. The memo should not be too long or too short. Look at the length requirements in the instructions

10. Review RUBRIC and INSTRUCTIONS before you submit

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