Discussion Topic 1
Initial Assignment Memo Draft
Your writing Assignment in this unit is a memo addressed to your boss requesting permission to move forward with your researched business problem proposal concerning a business problem topic idea. You will ask permission to use company time to research a business problem to find potential solutions.
Use this Discussion forum to practice presenting your idea by writing a paragraph of 300 words persuading your decision-maker (your boss) that your idea is a good one, and justify your request with research.
Cite at least two sources (remember your APA in-text citation and accompanying references from Unit 2 Discussion) you will be incorporating into your researched proposal to show your audience (your boss) research is available to support your topic. Review the postings of at least two of your peers and offer advice for strengthening their paragraphs and provide at least two corrections of APA citations or references that you find.
Discussion Topic 2
Video Reflection Discussion
Evan Thomas, former editor at large for Newsweek, shares strategies for student writers to improve their writing. You will reflect on the advice Thomas provides in this Discussion.
Access the video 3 from here.
Respond to the following questions:
• What two points in the Thomas video for this unit strike you as most significant in guiding email communication? Why?
This is what Evan Thomas says in the video:
Since we’re in the online world uh, obviously you’re going to write a lot of emails. There’s a tendency, a temptation to get sloppy about it uh, to, to just kind of whip it off. You should use the same standards when you’re writing an email, particularly to a boss or a client or a customer, you should use the same standards you would use writing a letter. In other words, obey all the rules that we’ve been talking about. Write clearly and simply, but write properly. Use proper English. Don’t abbreviate a lot. Uh, make sure you capitalize letters. Treat it just as if you were writing a letter, a formal letter, say a job application and don’t get sloppy and lazy. Because uh, it can come back to haunt you if you don’t think through a problem or you’re uh, have too much attitude or maybe you say something that’s insulting or offensive boy that can come back and bite you. And there’s a temptation to do it because when you write your emails to your friends you’re writing in a breezy way. When you’re in business write like a business person, write professionally. A couple of other points about word choice and the words you actually use. Use active verbs. Don’t use passive verbs. He ran the race. Not, the race was run by him. It’s stronger. It’s more muscular. It’s more direct. Has more action, more energy if you use active verbs. So whenever you can nick out those passive verbs and use the active, use active muscular uh, verbs. Uh, readers will appreciate it uh, it will give a life to your uh, uh, to your memo or to your piece that would be lost if it’s all feels sort of passive and, and slow moving. Uh, by the same token be very careful of jargon and uh, what I would call uh, uh, three syllable words that don’t really mean anything, that a one syllable word, a simpler uh, word wouldn’t — where a simple word wouldn’t suffice. There’s a writer I mentioned earlier, William Zinzer who is an expert uh, in this area and I’m just going to read you a paragraph that he’s written about uh, the tendency to use jargon and to use uh, complex words where simple words will suffice. This is uh, I’m quoting here from On Writing Well by William Zinzer. I could go on quoting examples from various fields, Zinzer writes. Every profession has its growing arsenal of jargon to throw dust in the eyes of the populace, but the list would be tedious. The point of raising it now is to serve notice that clutter is the enemy. Beware then of the long word that’s no better than the short word; assistance, help, numerous, many, facilitate, ease, individual, man or woman, remainder, rest, initial, first, implement, due, sufficient, enough, attempt, try, referred to as, called, and hundreds more. Beware of all the slippery new fad words; paradigm and parameter, prioritize and potentialize. They are all weeds that will smother what you write. Don’t dialog with someone you can talk to. Don’t interface with anybody.
Unit 3 Assignment
Persuasive Request to Pursue Research (My proposal topic is Neighborhood Watch is an Effective Way to Reduce Crime)
Typically, before a writer would expend energy on a researched proposal, he or she would ask for permission from a decision-maker to start their project. You practiced writing a short persuasive memo in the Discussion. Now use what you learned in terms of persuasive writing in this Assignment.
You will write a memo as if writing to your boss requesting permission to move forward with your topic for the researched business problem proposal, and provide evidence to support the viability of your topic.
• Contains no fewer than 500 and no more than 700 words.
• Follows correct memo format, including headings.
• Describes the problem or project you want to work on and explains its significance.
• Integrates at least two viable sources into the request to demonstrate research is available to support the topic. APA formatted in-text citations and references pages are required.
• Contains no grammatical or mechanical errors.