In our textbook read Chapter 2: Writing for Your Readers pages 15 37.
Write a 500 to 600-word memo to me in response to Exercises 3 and 4 on page 35.
Note: The two figures referred to in the exercises are on pages 36 and 37. Dont revise either of the figures; simply answer the questions posed in the two exercises drawing on information from Chapter 2 and citing it correctly. You may use MLA APA Chicago or IEEE stylepick one but dont mix styles.
Keep the following in mind as you write your memo (noting that most of what applies to memos also applies to emails):
Format your memo correctly.
If you dont know how to format a memo look ahead to Chapter 7 or use one of the memo templates in MS Word but beware: some of the templates are poorly designed e.g. the typeface is too small or the margins are too large and fully justified.
Single space your memo and insert an extra space in between paragraphs and sections. Memos and other workplace documents should not look like essay manuscripts.
Write a clear and concise subject line i.e. easy to understand and not too long.
Organize your memo effectively for the intended reader (in this case me).
Make sure your memo has a clear beginning middle and ending. It should not be a single paragraph. After the To From etc. begin the memo with a purpose statement i.e. tell the reader why you are writing. In a short memo (a page or less) a one-sentence purpose statement is all you need but in a longer memo the purpose statement might be a paragraph that also briefly overviews the main topics addressed in the memo and in the same order they are addressed.
Make sure each paragraph addresses only one topic not multiple topics. In most cases the exercise instructions strongly imply the topics that need to be addressed. In real life we often must extrapolate relevant topics from the situation at hand.
Begin each paragraph with a topic sentence because busy readers should be able to see what the paragraph is about without reading the entire paragraph. They often prefer to skim first and read details later.
End your memo with a closing sentence or two appropriate to the context e.g. connect the memo’s content to the purpose stated in the opening request a response offer to answer questions etc. Memos shouldnt end like letters with a Sincerely yours or Respectfully followed by a signature (although most emails do).
Use lists where appropriate.
Dont use a paragraph format to list more than two items. If you need to list three or more items provide an introduction to the list and then format the list vertically with bullets or numbers. If the order of items in the list matters or if readers might need to refer back to a specific item then use numbers; if not then use bullets.
Items in a list must have parallel grammatical structure. Parallelism is addressed somewhat in Chapter 4 and it means that all items in a list must have the same grammatical structure. For example not this: At summer camp last year I went swimming boating and rode a horse. But this: At summercamp last year I went swimming boating and horseback riding (all items are gerund phrases). Or this: At summer camp last year I swam in the lake sailed a boat and rode a horse (all items are past-tense verb phrases).
d. Proofread and edit your memo carefully. Dont rely solely on the computer spelling and grammar checkers because they are frequently wrong.
Note: For this and all future assignments I strongly urge you to download Grammar Girls Editing Checklist from the Course Documents page in Bb. It addresses some of the most common errors and how to avoid them. Examples of each error are also provided.
Save your memo as a MS Word file using the correct file name e.g. JaneDoeWeek2.docx.
Upload your file by to the Week 2 link in the Assignments & Exams page of Bb by the due date and time.
As I evaluate your assignment I will ask myself the following questions:
Have you followed the instructions in this assignment sheet in the two assigned exercises in the textbook and in the syllabus?
Does your response to the assignment show clear evidence that you have read and understood Chapter 2 and that you studied the two CDC fact sheets carefully (Figures 2-1 and 2-2)?
Does your response conform to the criteria listed in the Grades section of the syllabus?