Formal communication in letter, email, and the professional world

Portfolios are a series of tasks or communications compiled into one file. Please complete the following assignments in the exact order listed. Each assignment should be on a single page to show proper formatting, but all should be submitted in ONE document. Submit this as ONE Microsoft Word document. Name the file JonesM -WritingAssignments-Week One [Replace “Jones” with your name and place the initial from your first name immediately following.] Click on title “Week 1 Writing Assignments” to attach your assignment.

This week, you will be asked to put together a series of written communication that focuses on positive messaging for a variety of audiences. You will write a(n)

  1. Letter convincing your supervisor that flex time is needed for students
  2. E-mail persuading a lender to defer paying a student loan
  3. Memo announcing holiday diversity. 
  4. Series of interview questions to those in your career field or your desired career field about the need for writing
Read below for further directions:

1. Write a Formal Letter

Write a Formal Letter to a Supervisor or Office. See Unit 1, Module 2, p. 36

Imagine that your organization has a generous tuition reimbursement program, but currently employees must take classes outside of regular business hours. You’ve noticed that many classes you want or need at the local university are offered infrequently during evenings or weekends. Address your letter to the correct person or office.

For Additional Guidance:

  • Present a logical case with clear facts.
  • Even though form letters can save money and time, do not use one in this case.
  • Consider some of the questions found on p. 36 under 2-16.
  • Reference pp. 19-24 for guidelines on writing and positive messaging.
  • See p. 129 for an example letter.

2. Write a Formal Email 

Write a Formal Email Persuading a Lender to Defer Paying a Student Loan (LO 2-2)

Many college graduates today leave school with large debts from student loans. Though the loans must be repaid, the time to do so and the monthly payment are determined by the lender. With a touchy economy making it harder to find a job, students may also find it harder to repay loans. Many lenders, however, expect them to start doing so upon graduation. You plan to request a deferral to start paying back your loan.

To do so, answer the following questions about your audience:

  • What is at stake for the lender if it defers the loan?
  • What regulating bodies (e.g., state and federal government) govern how a lender may alter the terms of a loan agreement?
  • What objections might a lender raise to deferring the loan?
  • What other resources might the lender suggest tapping in order to repay the loan?
  • What might the lender expect from you as a guarantee that you will repay the loan after the deferral?
  • What channel is the best way to reach the lender?
  • What tone will work best in the message to the lender?
  • How long of a deferral are you requesting? 

For Additional Guidance:

  • Reference pp. 219-221 for email formatting.
  • Review Unit 2, pp. 102-108.

3. Write a Formal Memo

Announcing Holiday Diversity (LO 13-1 to LO 13-3)

Your organization has traditionally given employees several holidays off: New Year’s; Martin Luther King, Jr., Day; Independence Day; Veterans’ Day; Thanksgiving; and Christmas. Employees who celebrate other holidays (e.g., Good Friday, Yom Kippur, Ramadan, Chinese New Year, the Hindu Holiday Diwali) have been able to take those days off with the consent of their supervisors. But some employees have complained that it is unfair to depend on the goodwill of supervisors. And now a few other employees have complained that people who honor other holidays are getting “extra” days off since they take those days in addition to the standard holidays. 

Therefore, the executive committee of your organization has decided to allow employees any 10 days off for holidays. They will have to tell their supervisors which days they plan to take off. People will be asked in December which holidays they want to take off in the following year. People can change their minds during the year as long as they have not yet taken off the full 10 holidays. Any religious, ethnic, or cultural holiday is acceptable. (Someone who wants to take off Cinco de Mayo or Bastille Day can do so.) Vacations, personal days off, and sick days are not affected by this policy. 

As vice president for human resources, write a memo to all employees, announcing the new policy. 

Hints: 

* Pick a business, government, or nonprofit organization that you know something about. 

* Will the office be “open” every day? If not, do all employees already have keys, or will they need to pick them up so they can get into the office to work days that few other people work?

* See www.holidayfestival.com for a list of holidays in various countries. 

* Use the memo format found on page 138 or 139. 

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