This assignment sheet has three purposes: First, it gives a detailed assignment, telling you what to do; second, it outlines detailed requirements, telling you how to do it; third, it serves as a check sheet, helping you evaluate your first memorandum before your turn it in.
The first memorandum is the first step to produce our class project, so generally speaking, in this first memorandum, you need to discuss four major points:
• audience of the project,
• purpose [problem(s) and solution],
• scope, and
• overall design.
You can think of this first memorandum as a task that consists of two major aspects: formal aspect and thematic aspects. The formal aspect covers the format of the assignment while the thematic aspect, the content.
1. Leave one-inch margins on all sides of the page.
2. Use Times New Roman, not MS Sans Serif or Ms Serif, font size #12.
3. Use and center the title “Memorandum.” Do not use “Memo.” The tittle should be in bold and font size #14.
4. Use double space between the title and the heading (as is defined in 5), between the heading (as in 5) and the text, and between paragraphs. Use single space between lines within a paragraph and between lines in the heading (as in 5).
5. Use the following format for the heading of the memo: (This “heading of the memo” is not the section headings described in 6.)
To: Morgan Freman Professor of English 311
From: Jane Smith, Technician of Panet Enterprises
Date: sept 19, 2019
Subject: My Employee Handbook
6. Use section headings (e.g., Audience) in the text to organize the memorandum, but do not use more than one level of heading like a subheading. (A sub-heading is a second-level heading.) Headings should be in bold and font size #12.
7. Use page numbers if you have more than one page, starting on page 2.
8. Do not justify the right margin.
9. Use standard written English. Your memorandum should be free from serious grammatical errors like fused sentences and comma splices, misspellings, and other surface errors. Serious errors do hurt your memorandum.
1. Cover each point of the memorandum sufficiently. I will not specify how many pages you need to write. I will judge the effectiveness of your memorandum by content, not by length. However, you need to devote at least one solid paragraph to each point if you want to write a solid memorandum.
In this section, you fully describe the audience of your written project—people who will use it and benefit from using it. They could be employees of a business, or its customers, or its management, or both the management and the employees. Who are they? What are their job duties? What are their professional background?
This part addresses the business problem your project will help and explains why it is the solution to the problem. You need to have TWO (2) paragraphs in this section.
In the first paragraph, FULLY describe the business problem in detail. When you are describing the problem, do NOT talk about how to fix the problem. Please note a problem means some sort of fact, like “Our employees do not know how to operate this newly purchased copy machine.” So what you actually do in this first paragraph is to describe some facts. Do not present your own thoughts in this first paragraph, like “Our employees need to know how to operate this newly purchased copy machine.” Well, this sentence expresses your own thought (your suggestion) about what you think the employees need to do, instead of a fact.
In the second paragraph, you express your own thought—you explain why you think your project is the solution to the problem you have described in the first paragraph. To do so, you may explain how the written project addresses the root cause(s) of the business problem. For example, if the business problem you are trying to help is that employees do not know how to operate the newly purchased machine. You may explain the root cause for this problem: no quality operation manual. So to help, you propose to compose an operation manual. When you are explaining your solution, do NOT bring up any new problems at all.
Scope refers to “in-depth of detail of the information” in your written project. When you are discussing it in your memo, you may consider listing the topics of information you will cover in your project. For example, for an operation manual, you may list “Routine Operation Procedures,” “More Sophisticated Procedures,” “Common Problems,” and “Trouble Shooting.”
5. Overall Design
In this section, you describe what your written project will look like after you finish binding it. It is like a picture of your written project in the form of language. In short, in this section you describe its physical appearance, its physical features like the colors of front and back covers, the size of the project, bonding materials, tabs, logos used on the front cover, etc.,
The scope and the overall design are determined by the audience and purpose of your project. So, do not separate the purpose from the scope. For example, if you are going to produce an employees’ handbook for a supermarket, then you need to consider how it will be easier for the employees to carry and use it. That is, you need to think about how much information you need to include in the handbook and how you are going to design it. Are you going to include everything they should know? Is it possible to do so? Are you going to produce a 200-page handbook and use a three-ring binder? Is it convenient for the employees to use it?
6. Think of this memorandum as a basis on which you and I will work collaboratively towards your proposal. Your proposal will arise out of this memo and the second memo eventually. In the workplace, before you submit the proposal to your boss, you want to solicit feedback on your proposal plan from your friends and colleagues to help you develop a solid proposal. In this context, treat me as your colleague or your friend who will provide feedback on your memo, so address the memo to me.