2960 Project 1: Correspondence
2960 Project 1: Correspondence This project is a collection of correspondence. You will write five pieces of correspondence: an informative memo, a special request memo, a letter of inquiry, a letter of complaint, and a response to a letter of complaint. Specific audiences and defined content must be used for each of the pieces. Read each section carefully. We'll discuss strategies and formats for these on our Discussion Board. GENERAL COMMENTS ABOUT MEMOS The format for a memorandum is quite simple. An informative memo is very straightforward and direct, but a special request memo has a few “tricks” in its contents. It requires tact and persuasion to convince the audience that what you are asking for is “justified” and reasonable. Scenario to use for the Informative Memo Your boss has asked you to inform all 200 employees about the upcoming company "get-together" that you and your committee have planned. Provide the who, what, where, when, how, why and any details (such as whether children are included, whether a reservation is required or a ticket needs to be picked up, and so forth). Make the tone inviting, but don't make the event mandatory. Use appropriate graphics to spice up your offerings. Scenario to use for the Special Request Memo You have been offered the chance to go to China for a month, all expenses paid, to survey graduating high school students from several provinces. You data will be used to try and recruit these Chinese students from to UT. While the administration has approved of your leaving classes the Friday before finals week of this semester, it is up to you to win approval from each of your instructors to finish the course requirements and take the exams early (rather than accept any incompletes). Write a memo to just one of your instructors, requesting permission to complete the course early. Special Considerations in a Special Request Memorandum The Special Request memo is more than an ordinary informational memo. These are akin to proposals, but usually require less persuasion than proposals. Typically the memo is unsolicited (unasked for). It contains information about a solution to a problem or a suggestion that will increase productivity, decrease costs, improve profit margin, enhance public image or improve morale, and so forth -- in short, it offers a suggestion that will benefit the company. It also usually contains a request for special treatment or assistance of some kind. According to John Lannon (400), a typical arrangement for a special request/justification memo is: 1. Statement of purpose or problem: In one or two sentences, make your recommendation and state the possible benefits 2. Cost and savings (or advantages): Point out the savings or advantages here, but save your explanation for the discussion section. 3. Methods or procedures: Briefly explain how your suggestion can be implemented. 4. Conclusions: List the logical conclusions (outcome) of implementing the suggestion, but save the details for the discussion. 5. Discussion: Provide details and explanations, and describe how you arrived at your conclusions. While many authors would agree that these content suggestions are good, a rigid format is not the only one that will work. And these five categories are not meant to be topic headings within the body of the memo. It is always advisable to begin with a statement of purpose, but arrange your memo report’s body according to the needs of your audience, content, and intent. GENERAL COMMENTS ABOUT LETTER REPORTS You will have many occasions to write business and technical letters for your company and for your own personal needs. Letter forms follow two basic styles: modified block or semi-block and full block. Modified block tends to be the preferred style for letters that come from the home or that do not use a formal letterhead. This does not mean that companies do not use modified block formats; rather, many companies use this format to try to achieve a more "personal" tone or to try to make the page more visually appropriate to the peculiar arrangement of the company’s letterhead. Full block was once reserved strictly for use with letterhead stationery. See the discussion of letter style and models in your text for more information. Note: there is also a simplified letter form that omits salutation and closing. This format, although useful, is not used as often in Midwest, but is gaining in popularity. Scenario to use for the Letter of Inquiry This is a letter to request something -- information, action, favor, permission, and so forth. This type of letter is slightly persuasive and must include enough information to justify the request, but not so much information that the reader is overwhelmed or put off by the request. Write a letter to an appropriate audience to request information related to a project you are working on that is research-based. Create any situation you like for this one (even the cure for some exotic disease), and create both a name for the person you’re asking to help you, and his/her address. You may even give the person a title if you like. You may write this to get information for a report you’re doing for another class, for your company, or for some pet project you’re interested in. Ask for something the reader wouldn't just automatically send you! Scenario to use for the Letter of Complaint The company for which you work has just received a shipment that is of inferior quality. (Pick any part or product you like for this). You have been receiving materials from this supplier for several years, and except for the last two shipments, the quality has been quite good. In this last shipment, half of the materials your company received were unusable. In the shipment before this one, there were two unusable items with the same problem encountered in this last shipment. Because you are the head of the department that is most affected by these materials, you have been asked to write the letter of complaint. You may select any company and any product you wish. Be tactful, but forceful enough to get the problem solved. Refer to invoice numbers for each shipment (create any number sequence you like for these). Specify exactly what is wrong (examples: the syringe seals were missing, or the rings of the oil seal were warped, etc.) so that the reader will know where to look for the problem -- in shipping, in packaging, in manufacturing, etc. Do not tell the reader where to look for problems in her/his operation! You are writing to Roxanna Hardplace who is the Customer Service Representative for _______ Company. (Fill in the blank with a suitable, fake name for a company that could possible handle that product.) Fake an address for her company -- and for yours -- complete with zip code. Scenario to use for the Letter of Response to the Complaint Now you get the chance to sit on the other side of the desk! Answer your own letter of complaint as if you are the person who received the complaint -- in other words as if you are Roxanna Hardplace. Send the letter to yourself and recreate the addresses used in the letter of complaint (but place them where they belong). Follow the civil courtesies your text refers to, but be mindful that you represent your company. You can’t provide a “give-away-the-farm” answer, but you can be reasonably generous to this long-time customer. Due: 6/27/19 Submit copies in Discussion Board for peer review. Then submit your revised drafts on Blackboard in the DropBox before midnight on 6/30/19.