Your assignment is to analyze each of these memos and write a 700-800 word report showing how one is a good example of professional writing while the other is an example of poor professional writing. You will evaluate the memos in light of the situation, the style and the organization. Style, Organization, and Effective Communication
Choices in style and organization have a great influence on the way a document is received and how successfully it fulfills its intended purpose. The consequences of the author's decisions in these matters can be a matter of life and death. This is shown very clearly in the two "smoking gun" documents you will be examining for this assignment. The first memo is from D. F. Hallman, the manager of plant performance for Babcock and Wilson. The second memo is from R.M. Boisjoly at Morton Thiokol. Both of these memos have become famous as "smoking guns" since they played a major role in pointing out problems that were ignored and that eventually led to catastrophic consequences. Questions to Ask
•What is rhetorical situation in each instance? Research the Challenger disaster and the Three Mile Island incident. •What do you know about the author of each of these memos? Google them so you have some idea of their credentials. •Examine the main ideas of each document. Begin by looking at the subject line to determine how well it reflects the purpose of the memo. Look at the introductory paragraph. Try to find a stated thesis and underline it. Where does it occur in the memo? In the beginning, the middle, or the end? How easy was it to find this main idea? If you had to search hard to find it, what does that indicate? •Look at how the document is organized. Does it follow the logical pattern of introduction, body, conclusion? Is it coherent? Is it unified? Does the author use transitions or other methods to lead the reader from one point to the next? Does the writer indicate the importance of the memo? How? •Now look at the writer's syle and purpose. Is the memo written to inform or persuade? Considering the importance of the subject, which mode should the writer use? Does the writer use any persuasive language or persuasive techniques in the memo? If so, point them out. Does the language move the reader to action? Does it show the importance of the topic and the consequences of ignoring the problem? Does the author use any key words or phrases to add to the persuasive effect? •Look at the author's voice. Is the author detached and uncaring or is he engaging and personal? How does he engage the reader? Is his tone accusatory or friendly or impersonal? •Word choice is important in persuasive writing. Examine each document for words that the writer uses to show the importance of the subject. Preparing the Report
•Mention the kairos of each situation: who, what, when, where, why, how •Be brief and to the point
•Give some biographical information on each of the authors •Be brief and to the point
At the end of the introduction, present the purpose of your report Part II-Evaluation of Memo #1 (it doesn't matter which memo you start with) •Examine the way the memo is set up including the subject line, the purpose, the layout and design introductory paragraph, the thesis statement and show how all of these elements contribute to the overall effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the final product. •Examine the way the document is organized including the introductory paragraph, the thesis statement, the body paragraphs, the conclusion. Is the document unified and coherent? Does the author arrange his ideas to show the importance of the subject matter? Show how all of these elements contribute to the overall effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the final product. •Analyze the writer's style and purpose. Show how the author uses persuasive techniques to move the reader to action. How does the style contribute to whether or not the author's...