(MAJOR) WRITING ASSIGNMENT
We have recently completed Chapters 3, 4, and 5 from your Communications textbook. This assignment will be an opportunity to practice the Three-Step Writing Process entirely.
As a current student in the Office Assistant Program, your placement coordinator has requested that you write a letter to her about one of the following topics:
Midterm preparations – What are you going to do to prepare for your midterms in each of your classes? What do you need to schedule? What do you need to prepare to ensure the time is used effectively?
Critical analysis of documents – How do you go about learning how to critically analyze something? Have you had much practice with this? What future work scenario may require you to apply critical thinking?
Program overview – What are you most excited about in this program? What changes would you recommend if the program was reviewed? What are the expectations that you are having trouble meeting?
Communication – What is the importance of developing your communication skills throughout this course? What are you doing to actively improve your communication? What communication barriers are you facing?
Please review all parts of this assignment before beginning work on it.
These assignment parts should be completed in the order listed here.
After completing Parts A through D of this assignment, you will:
Submit printed copies of all your work (hard copy)
Part A: Audience Profile
Part B: Outline
Part C: First Draft, including revision notes
Part D: Final Copy
Submit the electronic copy of your Final Copy (Part D) to Blackboard
This assignment is due at the beginning of class on
Wednesday, February 26, 2020.
PART A: Audience Profile (10 marks – one for each question)
Please type your answers the questions below, worth 1 mark each:
What is the general purpose of your letter? (Remember, there are four!)
What is your purpose statement? (I want my audience to…)
Who is your primary audience? Is there a secondary audience?
What is the main message? Summarize your message in one sentence.
What is the audience members’ level of understanding on the topic? To what degree will you need to establish your credibility?
What are at least three questions that the audience will have about your topic? (These should be answered throughout your message.)
What common ground can you find between yourself and the audience?
Are there likely to be barriers in encoding and decoding between yourself and the audience?
What is the probable audience reaction to the message?
Based on the above information, will you use the direct or indirect approach?
Please refer to textbook pages 62 – 65 for more clarification on these questions.
PART B: Outline (10 marks – see marking guide below)
Take some time to organize your ideas and create an outline for your letter. You likely won’t need to do much research, but you may need to consider the following questions before you begin:
What are the major points?
What is the supporting evidence for your point?
What is the most logical order for your major points?
Are you using the Direct or Indirect approach?
Where / how will you establish your credibility?
(You do not need to answer these questions in the outline, but they may help to get you started.)
You will be marked according to the following marking guide, however, note that:
You must use an appropriate outline format: alphanumeric or decimal. (Use a Microsoft Word Multi-Level List, and it should be fine.)
Depending on which approach you are using, include your Main Message statement at the top or the bottom of your outline. (This should not be included in your outline numbers or letters.)
You should aim to have three to five major points in your letter.
Include a note about evidence or supporting points. Think in terms of details.
Be careful to not write full sentences in your outline! This should be a point-form document meant to guide your writing.
Marking Guide for Part B
Appropriate amount of detail
Deduction for any errors
PART C: First Draft
You will be graded according to your ability to satisfy the writing criteria discussed in Chapter 4. You will also be graded according to whether or not you used the approach (direct or indirect) indicated in your audience profile. A marking guide for Parts C and D is below.
Use the writing techniques discussed in Chapter 4 to draft your letter. Consider the following:
Use the “You” attitude
Establish your credibility
Control of style and tone
Choose powerful words
Craft coherent paragraphs
The following details should help you format your letter:
Your letter must be typed and in an appropriate letter format as instructed in Office Technology
The letter should include:
Inside address: Look it up!
Include your signature (Put pen to paper and sign your name!)
Do NOT include typist initials as you are typing and signing the letter
After you have completed your first draft, you must do one of the following:
Print your letter and make notations of corrections on the hard copy
Provide a printed copy of the document with electronic comments
PART D: Final Copy
You will be graded according to your ability to satisfy the completion criteria discussed in Chapter 5.
Evaluate content, organization and tone
Readability: Variety of sentence lengths used, short paragraphs
Revise: Clear and Concise
Proofreading: Your letter is free from typos, spelling or grammar errors, or other production errors
You must include:
At least one of
List OR Headings
At least one design element:
Create your own MacEwan letterhead to use
Another visual element such as a chart, table, graph, image, etc.
Marking Guide for Parts C and D:
Approach used is according to Part A
“You” attitude – used consistently
Tone – Conversational
Coherent paragraphs / transitions
Effective words and plain language
Letter format (as above)
Variety of sentence lengths
List or Headings
Additional marks may be deducted for failure to comply with any assignment instructions.
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