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Writing Assignment: Personal Claim Email and Memo for Announcing Changes in Company Direction

Situation One – Personal Claim Email

Situation One – Personal Claim Email

Write a personal claim in the form of an email.  This should be based on a personal experience that you have had with a product or service, or something else that you want rectified.  For example, if you have made a purchase online and were overcharged, or if you received damaged merchandise, or if you paid for a service and the work was not completed or not done correctly, then you could use that situation as the basis for this personal claim email to the company that provided the product or service, or what ever it was.


Situation Two - Memo to Announce Changes in Company Direction
Your supervisor has informed you that in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the time has come to right-size the company. There have been a lot fewer contracts coming in for the past year, and to avoid shuttering the doors completely, adjustments need to be made. To facilitate the process, senior administration will go over original job descriptions and match them with the work that is actually being done, and the new direction in which the company needs to be taken in order to pull out of the pandemic situation. Head office needs some information for that. The first thing it requires is a list from everyone outlining the tasks performed and hours on job contracts over the last twelve months. This will include any essential services provided during lockdowns.

In fact, this would be a good time for anyone to submit suggestions to the company for improvements and also how things should be reorganized in order to keep the company operational. The best solution will win a $100 bonus. Employees should also write a short report on what they expect to contribute to a leaner and more productive organization. There will be a staff meeting on March 20 at 8:00 a.m. to discuss the details and implications of restructuring. Everyone is welcome to ask any questions at that time. 


Make sure that you adopt the “you” approach (see 22.3.1); anticipate the reader’s reaction. 
Use the direct or indirection action plan appropriate to the circumstances
Include an introduction, body and conclusion. Structural considerations (22.3.2) are important. (e.g. Should you use four-part action structure?)


For the personal claim letter use the email format. 
For the company announcement use the basic memo format.


Evaluation of Written Correspondence Will Include: 
1.format correctly used for each item (please check carefully against the samples in your text on Revel)
2.inclusion of an audience/purpose form for each item (no points) 
3.effective use of the “you” approach 
4.correct selection of the direct or indirect method 
5.effectiveness of your response to the circumstances of each situation 
6.proper “essay” components: introduction, body, conclusion 
7.attractive, well designed, and neat appearance 
8.correct grammar, punctuation mechanics, and spelling 

Situation Two - Memo to Announce Changes in Company Direction


Do you remember ethos, pathos and logos from the Rhetorical Triangle? 


You need to keep in mind 
Your role in the company
Your role vis a vis the recipient of the correspondence
Your ethos is how trustworthy or honest or authoritative you seem to the reader.  You need to show respect, be objective and fair, create a connection with your reader and appeal to shared values and beliefs.

The audience’s likely attitude or reaction (to you and to the message) (Pathos).  Appeal to your audience by understanding how they feel and by showing that you are offering a solution that considers how they feel and what they need.  Do not manipulate the audience.  Be truthful.

Logos is your reasoning and arrangement.  Inductive reasoning is used to persuade the audience on a broad issue. Deductive reasoning is used to offer solutions by drilling down from the general level to the specific.


In Canada, there are some expectations of business writing style that make it distinct from writing styles elsewhere in the world.  Try to adjust your phrasing and word choice to suit expectations in Canadian businesses.


Your assignment for this week is to write a letter that denies a request.  Here are the rhetorical moves your letter should make:
1.Begin with a point that you both can agree on.  This needs to be a positive note. Thank the sender for the letter, request, or inquiry.  
2.State clearly and politely that the request must be denied. Move to the bad news in the body in the middle of a paragraph and in the middle to the end of a sentence.
3.Clearly state the reason for denying the request.  This should be done tactfully and respectfully with awareness of how the reader is going to feel when they get the bad news. Be brief.  Maintain a polite and business-like tone. Suggest a helpful alternative if there is one.
4.Close the letter politely.  Remember that you want to maintain a good relationship.


You are a site manager for a mid-sized family-owned home construction and home renovation company.  You received a letter from a parent who would like you to allow their high-school student child to come onto one of your job sites for a full day as an observer, so that they can see home renovation and construction work in action.  The parent has explained in the letter to you that they value the idea of “Take Your Child to Work” initiatives, but that they do not have a family member in construction and renovation.  Their child has no other opportunities to visit a job site to decide about going to George Brown College to study Construction and Building Technology.  They have asked you to please allow their child to accompany you to see how you go through your workday. 


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