Smoking Gun Essay Three Mile Island/Challenger Explosion

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Smoking Gun Essay Three Mile Island/Challenger Explosion

By | October 2011
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ENC 1102: Online Course
Smoking Gun Essay

Smoking Gun
Memos within a company serve several purposes. They may be used to report meeting agendas, policies, internal reports, or short proposals. Memos may also be used as a tool to inform staff, management, or executives of important information. Two very good examples of this are the memos written regarding the 1978 Three Mile Island Disaster, and the 1985 Challenger Explosion. Both of these disasters were forewarned by employees and addressed by memos to superiors. Bert M. Dunn of Babcock and Wilcox Company wrote a memo to his management to inform them of a potential operator error occurring at the nuclear power plants that needed to be addressed. R. M. Boisjoly of Morton Thiokol, Inc. wrote a memo to the executives of his company informing them of a potential disaster that could occur on NASA flights. Although both memos discussed the severity of the situations, they were ignored by superiors. After careful examination of both memos, it is very clear that both of the memos had flaws. With the severity of the situations at hand, the memos should have been written in a more direct, professional tone with better word choices.

The memo written by Bert M. Dunn of the Babcock and Wilcox Company regarding the Three Mile Island disaster is very confusing at times. The tone of the memo did not point out the urgency in which the matter should have been addressed. The memo was written in a very technical manner and gave entirely too much detailed information. The last line of the memo states “I believe this is a very serious matter and deserves our prompt attention and correction”. This should have been stated at the very begging of the memo to grab the reader’s attention. The subject line should have also been more attention grabbing. It simply states, “Operator Interruption of High Pressure Injection”. This subject does not grab the reader’s attention or state the severity of the situation. In the...
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