Spring 2016

Week 1 Assignment: Reply to Customer

  • Question

WRTG 394 students,

Please read the following scenario. Then complete the writing assignment described below.

Green Wave Landscape Management

You are the operations manager for Green Wave Landscape Management, a provider of residential and commercial landscape maintenance. You have a substantial number of customers in your metropolitan area. Due to the increase of business in the summer, you must hire additional employees. This year, you hired six new employees.

Henry Stewart is your most valued customer because he is a prominent real estate agent and refers many of his clients to your company. He recently had his home’s trees and shrubs sprayed for insects by your company.

Yesterday you received the following letter from Mr. Stewart:

April 2, 2015

Dear Green Wave,

I have been a customer of yours for five years and have sent you innumerable customers. And you have the nerve to send over two bozos to spray my yard. Those two idiots have killed over $2,000 in prize fish. Additionally, they were rude. As you may or may not know, I raise expensive koi in my fishpond. Whenever your people spray my shrubs and trees, they have been asked to cover the pond. I assumed people in your profession would know how to do that without being told. Obviously, I was wrong.

I am terminating my service with Green Wave, effective today. I demand immediate restitution for my dead fish. If payment is not forthcoming, I will see you in court.

Sincerely,

Henry Stewart

In addition to the letter, you also discover that Mr. Stewart has posted scathing commentary on your blog. He has posted the same complaint and request for remuneration publicly. Now you have a public relations crisis.

During your investigation, you discover that Tom Harrelson, field manager in charge of assigning workers to the various job sites, sent two new workers to the Stewart residence. The accident at the Stewart residence probably occurred because these new workers were sent alone. Your company policy is to pair new and experienced employees on work assignments.

WA #1: Using guidelines from your course text and any of our discussions, reply to Mr. Stewart in business letter format. Your goals are to respond positively to his criticism, provide an adjustment, and win back his business.

When I mention “provide an adjustment,” this could be some sort of financial remuneration. It could also involve some kind of adjustment in services, fees, etc. You can choose whatever “adjustment” you feel is appropriate for Mr. Stewart’s situation.

In composing your letter, you can make up your company address and Mr. Stewart's home address.

Strategies to Consider for this Assignment:

Please use the block format in writing your letter. For information on the block format, click here.

For general information on formatting and organizing a business letter, you might explore a wikibook on professional writing by clicking here.

Length:

A length of 200-400 words should be sufficient in completing this letter. However, there is no solid minimum or maximum number of words required. Your goal is to respond to his criticism, provide an adjustment, and win back Mr. Stewart’s business. You can focus on the goal. The word count should follow from the goal.

Due Date:

Your instructor will notify you of the due date.

Week 2 Discussion: Improving a Memo

  • Question

WRTG 394 students,

The following scenario represents another communication situation in a workplace. Please read the memo. Then answer the questions below.

To all staff:

Subject: Meeting

Three things for the meeting that you should think about ahead of time so you can come prepared to discuss. The scheduling of the reception desk continues to be a problem, we had it not covered twice this week alone. How to reorganize the space so we can fit in the new hires that start mid-month, Alan Gee who will assist Brenda, Martin O’Neil, the new hire for the customer service desk, and the other two are Selena Baraki and Dallas Smith, welcome additions to our staff.

It was impressive to see the way everyone pitched in last week, we got so much accomplished in so short of a time, you should all be congratulated. In any event, we will talk about that at the meeting also.

Taken from Chan, J. (2009). Chapter 7: On the Page: What is Good Writing?. In, Communication skills for managers, 5th Edition (pp. 97-112). American Management Association International

Please complete the following tasks:

1. Please critique this memo in terms of its clarity, its organization, its effectiveness in delivering a message. Write a few sentences in your response.

2. Please critique this memo in terms of its grammar and mechanics. You don’t have to point out every error. Point out at least one error.

3. Please re-write the memo, improving it in the areas mentioned above. Post your improved memo to the class in your response to this thread.

Feel free to interact with others on their responses to any of the questions above.

Thanks,

  • Answer

Week 2 Discussion: Library Exercise #1

  • Question

WRTG 394 students,

The following task is designed to help you become familiar with UMUC’s Information and Library Services. Completing this exercise will help you get started on developing a topic for the final research-based report.

Please watch the following video tutorial. The tutorial is designed to demonstrate some searching strategies when finding articles through OneSearch, a research tool that allows you to search on many databases at one time.

Video tutorial #1

http://polaris.umuc.edu/de/csi/2012_library_tutorials/tutorial_01/tutorial_01.html

(I want to add that the home page for UMUC has changed a bit since the videos were produced. In addition, the library interface has changed a bit since the videos were produced. For the current interface, you don’t see an Advanced Search button. Simply click on the Search button, and you will be taken to the same interface that the video mentions.)

After you have watched the tutorials, please complete the following tasks. Post your responses to this conference thread.

Let us assume you work for a company that is hiring more and more employees of the millennial generation. (If you don’t know what the phrase millennial generation refers to, the video above will define it for you. Watch the video, and you should have a better understanding of what millennial generation refers to.)

Your supervisor has asked you to conduct research on issues regarding employees from the millennial generation. For example, she mentions that millennial individuals may have different expectations of the work environment from those of workers from older generations. In addition, she mentions that millennials have different habits with regard to their use of technology than workers from older generations exhibit.

The instructions you have been given by your supervisor are quite broad. But let us assume that this is the directive you have been given.

For this reason, you will conduct a very general search on millennials and their work or technology habits. You are not quite sure how to focus the topic, but you know that you would like to pursue this general topic and focus it later.

1. Search on some terms and find four articles on this topic. Your search can be quite broad at this stage. Try to use some search phrases that require that you use quotation marks, as the video demonstrates.

Please write the topic on which you searched and the search terms you used to search on it.

2. In addition, for the four articles you found, please write titles of the four articles and the journals in which they appeared. You don’t have to cite anything in APA format, or anything of that nature. Just post the titles and the journal names.

  • Answer

Week 2 Assignment: Memo to Field Manager

  • Question

WRTG 394 students,

Please read the following scenario. Then complete the writing assignment described below.

Green Wave Landscape Management

You are the operations manager for Green Wave Landscape Management, a provider of residential and commercial landscape maintenance. You have a substantial number of customers in your metropolitan area. Due to the increase of business in the summer, you must hire additional employees. This year, you hired six new employees.

Henry Stewart is your most valued customer because he is a prominent real estate agent and refers many of his clients to your company. He recently had his home’s trees and shrubs sprayed for insects by your company.

Yesterday you received the following letter from Mr. Stewart:

April 2, 2015

Dear Green Wave,

I have been a customer of yours for five years and have sent you innumerable customers. And you have the nerve to send over two bozos to spray my yard. Those two idiots have killed over $2,000 in prize fish. Additionally, they were rude. As you may or may not know, I raise expensive koi in my fishpond. Whenever your people spray my shrubs and trees, they have been asked to cover the pond. I assumed people in your profession would know how to do that without being told. Obviously, I was wrong.

I am terminating my service with Green Wave, effective today. I demand immediate restitution for my dead fish. If payment is not forthcoming, I will see you in court.

Sincerely,

Henry Stewart

In addition to the letter, you also discover that Mr. Stewart has posted scathing commentary on your blog. He has posted the same complaint and request for remuneration publicly. Now you have a public relations crisis.

During your investigation, you discover that Tom Harrelson, field manager in charge of assigning workers to the various job sites, sent two new workers to the Stewart residence. The accident at the Stewart residence probably occurred because these new workers were sent alone. Your company policy is to pair new and experienced employees on work assignments.

Using guidelines from your course text and from any discussions we have conducted in class, write a memo to the field manager, Tom Harrelson. In your memo, you will want to review what happened and mention any relevant company policies and procedures that might have prevented the problem. Keep in mind that you are not totally aware of why Mr. Harrelson sent two new workers to the Stewart residence. He may have been misinformed about their experience with the company. There might have been a computer database error. Perhaps the workers were at fault in misinforming him.

Overall, you are not sure whether employees were at fault, whether Mr. Harrelson was at fault, or whether another problem within the company was the root of the occurrence. You do want Mr. Harrelson to convey necessary information to the workers, whoever was at fault.

Strategies to Consider for this Assignment:

For general information on formatting and organizing a memo, you might explore a wikibook on professional writing by clicking here. The Purdue Owl also have excellent information on formatting a memo. Click here to access its page.

Length:

A length of 200-500 words should be sufficient in completing this memo. However, there is no solid minimum or maximum number of words required. Your goal is to find out more information on how the situation occurred and to engage Mr. Harrelson on steps to take at this point.

Due Date: Your instructor will notify you of the due date.

  • Answer

Week 3 Summary - Quiz -- Academic Integrity

  • Question

You can "Save" your response to each question as you work through the quiz. When you navigate to the Next Page or Previous Page, all your responses on the current page will be automatically saved.

Before you submit the quiz, you will have the opportunity to return to questions that you may have missed or have not yet answered. You can submit your quiz responses at any time.

When you have finished reviewing these instructions, click on "Start Quiz" to begin Attempt 1.

Note: Your quiz may take a few minutes to be set up.

  • Answer

Week 3 Summary - Quiz -- APA

  • Question

You can "Save" your response to each question as you work through the quiz. When you navigate to the Next Page or Previous Page, all your responses on the current page will be automatically saved.

Before you submit the quiz, you will have the opportunity to return to questions that you may have missed or have not yet answered. You can submit your quiz responses at any time.

When you have finished reviewing these instructions, click on "Start Quiz" to begin Attempt 1.

Note: Your quiz may take a few minutes to be set up.

  • Answer

Week 3 Library Exercise #2: Using Subject Terms and Other Limiters

  • Question

WRTG 394 students,

The following task is designed to expand your familiarity with UMUC’s Information and Library Service’s OneSearch function. Completing this exercise will also help you as you pursue the research-based report in this class.

If you would like to, please review the same video tutorial that you watched for our earlier exercise. The tutorial is designed to demonstrate some searching strategies when finding articles in the databases that UMUC subscribes to.

Video tutorial #1

http://polaris.umuc.edu/de/csi/2012_library_tutorials/tutorial_01/tutorial_01.html

After you have reviewed the tutorial, please complete the following tasks.

1. For the previous exercise, you found four articles on the millennial generation. You may use one of the four articles you found, or you may find a new one. But find an article that provides additional key words or other search terms that you can use to enhance your search. This technique was outlined in the first video.

What additional words did you find that enhanced your search? Please write them here.

2. Use the Boolean operator “OR,” as the video demonstrates, and type in these terms.

Please write the topic on which you searched and the search terms you used to search on it.

Please write the number of hits your got as a result of expanding your search using the Boolean operator “OR.”

Please watch the following video tutorial:

Video tutorial #2

http://polaris.umuc.edu/de/csi/2012_library_tutorials/tutorial_02/tutorial_02.html

3. Take one of the articles you found. Then, following the instructions provided on the second video, focus your search by using a subject term.

  • What was the name of the article?
  • What subject term did you use?
  • How many hits do you find after limiting the search with the subject term?

4. Next, conduct a new search to find an article on a topic of your choice. You might choose something related to your major, your work, or your interests.

When you have found an article, follow the instructions provided on the video and focus your search by using a subject term. Then answer the following questions:

  • What was the name of the article?
  • What subject term did you use?
  • How many hits do you find after limiting the search with the subject term?
  • Answer

Week 3 Preparing an Internal Circulation Report Memo

  • Question

As you prepare your draft of the Report for Internal Circulation, it's a good idea to make sure that you understand exactly what is expected in this document. The Internal Circulation Report, even though it is to be written in memo format, is a more complex document than the previous memo that you wrote to the field manager. This report is a type of incident report. Here is a a useful description - as you watch this video, pay particular attention to the description of the incident report:

Key Forms of Business Reports

Once you have watched the video, take a look at your assignment. You may see it here:

WA #3 -- the Report for Internal Circulation

Note the elements that your report memo must contain:

a) background and narrative of the situation;

b) findings - what went wrong, and how;

c) as a result of the findings, recommendations for changes in policies or procedures to prevent the incident from occurring again.

Answer the following questions in a brief paragraph:

1) What is the most important element of this report? Finding out what went wrong? Making recommendations to prevent future occurrences?

2) How will you format your report (consult the options offered in the directions for this assignment to answer this question)?

  • Answer

Week 3 Assignment: Report for Internal Circulation

  • Question

WRTG 394 students,

Please read the following scenario. Then complete the writing assignment described below.

Green Wave Landscape Management

You are the operations manager for Green Wave Landscape Management, a provider of residential and commercial landscape maintenance. You have a substantial number of customers in your metropolitan area. Due to the increase of business in the summer, you must hire additional employees. This year, you hired six new employees.

Henry Stewart is your most valued customer because he is a prominent real estate agent and refers many of his clients to your company. He recently had his home’s trees and shrubs sprayed for insects by your company.

Yesterday you received the following letter from Mr. Stewart:

April 2, 2015

Dear Green Wave,

I have been a customer of yours for five years and have sent you innumerable customers. And you have the nerve to send over two bozos to spray my yard. Those two idiots have killed over $2,000 in prize fish. Additionally, they were rude. As you may or may not know, I raise expensive koi in my fishpond. Whenever your people spray my shrubs and trees, they have been asked to cover the pond. I assumed people in your profession would know how to do that without being told. Obviously, I was wrong.

I am terminating my service with Green Wave, effective today. I demand immediate restitution for my dead fish. If payment is not forthcoming, I will see you in court.

Sincerely,

Henry Stewart

In addition to the letter, you also discover that Mr. Stewart has posted scathing commentary on your blog. He has posted the same complaint and request for remuneration publicly. Now you have a public relations crisis.

During your investigation, you discover that Tom Harrelson, field manager in charge of assigning workers to the various job sites, sent two new workers to the Stewart residence. The accident at the Stewart residence probably occurred because these new workers were sent alone. Your company policy is to pair new and experienced employees on work assignments.

Please write an analytical report in memo format for internal circulation to your company’s president, Ms. Sarah Robinson.

Your report should provide any necessary narrative background on the situation, explain what went wrong, and provide recommendations to prevent it from happening again. Was this an isolated incident attributable to a field manager who failed to follow company policy? Alternatively, are there deeper causes related to your company’s communication processes, training and hiring policies?

In constructing this report, you can get creative and construct possible problems that may not be apparent in the scenario described above. For example, you can construct communication problems for the company, even though the scenario above does not specifically mention communication problems in the company. Or you can construct hiring problems and weaknesses if you would like to.

Strategies to Consider for this Assignment:

Please click here to access Matthew Ford's advice on writing reports in memo format.

Please click here for a sample analytical report in memo format.

Please click here for additional guidelines in writing a report in memo format.

Please click here for a sample report in memo format from Algonquin College.

Length:

Two to three pages, single-spaced, should be sufficient in completing this analytical report. A suggested word count might be 800-1200 words. Your goal is to inform the president of the occurrence and provide recommendations to prevent it from happening again.

Due Date:

Your instructor will notify you of the due date.

Fall 2016

Week 1 Student Lounge

  • Question

WRTG 394 students,

Please introduce yourself by stating the name you prefer to be called by in our class, your major (if you have one), and any other information you would like to provide. Hobbies, place of residence, and reading interests are good items to post in an introduction like this one.

  • Answer

Hello everyone,

My name is Yuji Shimojo and I'm 28. I am from Okinawa, Japan and just moved to Tokyo last month. I used to study Information Engineering at University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa, but I dropped out of the college 6 years ago. While in the college, I had lived in San Jose, California for 6 months for an internship. I'm currently majoring in Computer Science with a minor in Business Administration.

Week 1 Standard Types of Business Writing

  • Question

I. Three of the standard forms of business writing that you may encounter in business writing are the following:

For video discussions and explanations of letters, memos and internal reports, click each link.

II. When you have completed your review of these seven websites on business writing, respond to these questions:

1) What contradictory information about letters, memos,and reports did you notice in any of these seven websites?

2) Did you notice anything that surprised you or that you disagreed with based on your own career experience with business letters, memos, or internal reports?

3) Respond to at least one classmate's post.

  • Answer

Week 1 Considering Communication Barriers and Inhibitors

  • Question

Your first writing assignment asks you to write a report (see the discussion topic "Standard Types of Business Writing" for an example of the format that you might use for your assignment).

In Chapter 2 of Business Communication for Success you are introduced to the communication process. The elements of the communication process include the following:

1.Source 2.Message 3.Channel 4.Receiver 5.Feedback 6.Environment 7.Context 8.Interference

Our focus in this first writing assignment is on the last of these - interference. Any barrier or inhibitor that negatively affects successful communication is interference.

After you have completed reading Chapter 2, reviewed the pdf files on Communication Barriers, and reviewed your assignment directions, complete this discussion topic by doing the following tasks:

1) decide which communication barrier(s) you believe are most powerfully affecting your communication process in the workplace or community scenario you think you will choose for your assignment;

2) write a paragraph or two in which you explain how and why you think these barriers are the main culprits negatively affecting successful communication.

3) Offer one classmate feedback on his/her post noting similarities or differences that you find interesting compared to the situation you described in your own post.

  • Answer

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Last-modified: 2016-08-27 (土) 17:42:00 (781d)