For your correspondence assignment, you will be creating a packet containing four individual documents which practice different techniques related to technical communication. Your packet will include a customer support e-mail, a major or class adjustment e-mail, a selection of job application materials, and a rubric for each item.
Customer Support E-Mail
1) As yourself, pick a product from Amazon that you may wish to order. In this scenario, imagine that the product has shipped via a third-party seller (Awesome Items). When the product arrives, it has suffered severe damage in transit and is no longer usable. Research Amazon’s website to see how you can contact the third party to request a full refund. Write a firm but polite e-mail that offers your rationale for wanting a refund. How can you use writing to gain the best possible outcome?
2) I would then like you to write a response as if you were the customer service department representative at Awesome Items. Company policy dictates that you only provide exchanges, not returns. How will you handle the problem while maintaining company policy? How can you diplomatically explain company policy without alienating your customer?
3) Finally, write a paragraph in memo format to me which explores the rhetorical choices you made in each e-mail. What information did you find necessary to include? Which information did you remove as extraneous? Which tone did you choose and what choices did you make to maintain it? What role did audience play in each e-mail?
Major or Class Adjustment Memo
1) Do some research on your major (or program of study) in the ISU catalog. Identify one area of concern – is there a class that we need to be offering or one which should be optional rather than mandatory? Do you have concerns about a professor or administrator? Do you dislike the textbook or e-materials provided in a certain course?
2) Once you have identified an issue, write a formal memo to the department member who would be most connected to that issue. Your memo should contain a statement of purpose as well as an executive summary which is intended for the chair of the department. Your discussion section should use headings appropriately to highlight the rationale for your suggestions. You will also need to include a recommendation as to what the department should do to fix the issue and why.
Job Application Materials
You will be developing a set of job materials that are tailored specifically for an individual employment opportunity.
1) First you will write a short memo which explains your rhetorical choices in searching for employment. Using the Occupational Outlook Handbook and/or ISU’s Career Center site search for information on your planned career path. You may also discuss potential careers with your advisor. Search the websites of businesses’ and organizations’ that are connected to your dream career. As you research, consider the following questions: What are the creators of these jobs looking for in an employee? What are the criteria (both tangible and intangible) that these employers are seeking? What are the challenges and rewards of your chosen career? Make sure you cite where you get any specific information (such as statistics or quotes).
2) After researching your field, find a specific ad for a job, internship, grant, scholarship, or other opportunity that you would be interested in applying for this summer or in the future. If you are already in your desired field, consider advancement prospects like seminars or conferences. Investigate the company or organization offering the opportunity. What are their values and how do they play into their expectations? What are the expectations of the employee or recipient in your chosen position? What do prior employees or recipients have in common? What can you do this semester and for the rest of your college/professional career to tailor yourself for these types of opportunities?
3) Write a memo which explains why you believe this opportunity is a good fit for you as an individual (either now or when you graduate). Give specific evidence about what the company or organization requires and why you match those values and/or criteria. To complete your job materials, you will also provide a resume tailored to the opportunity and a cover letter addressed to the appropriate individual offering the opportunity. Both documents should be specific – they should not be able to be used in any other situation.
You will be creating the grading criteria for each assignment. That means you will need a rubric for your Customer Support E-mail project, your Major or Class Adjustment Memo project, and you Job Application Materials project (3 in total).
You will have 25 points (or 25% if you prefer to create a system on a different points scale) to assign to individual criteria in each rubric (the total of all three rubrics will be 75%). You will need to show in your rubrics that you understand the fundamentals of good technical communication in general and as well as the criteria that are unique to each assignment.
Your rubrics should be formatted in order to facilitate grading (this will involve design) and should clearly display the weights or points for each item. You should clearly label the grade item (e.g. “Proofreading”) and provide a written description for how points should be assigned. I will be assigning 25 points (or 25%) of your total grade for this Correspondence project based on the rhetorical choices and usefulness of your rubrics. You may look to the rubrics I’ve provided for future assignments or to the Internet for examples of successful rubrics/rubric formatting.
Please use Microsoft Word to format your assignments.