This is the course website for English 309, Section B, taught by Quinn Warnick at Iowa State University during summer 2007. Please refer to the policy document and syllabus for more information about this class. Updates to the syllabus will be posted several days in advance, and any changes to the readings and/or assignments will be reflected in the summaries for each week.
Diagnostic Memo Assignment
Diagnostic Memo Assignment
(This assignment is worth 5% of your grade)
You have just started a new job at XYZ Corporation. On your first day of work, Jane Doe, your new boss, calls you into her office and asks about your writing abilities. XYZ Corp. is about to begin a series of staff training courses designed to improve writing performance among its employees, and Ms. Doe wants to know which course would be most appropriate for you. She poses several questions about your writing experience and potential. Before you can respond, however, Ms. Doe tells you that she wants you to think about the subject for a day or two and then write her a formal memo that responds to her questions. Some of her specific questions include:
What types of writing did you do in college?
What kind of writing do you find the most interesting?
What kind of writing challenges you the most?
How do you plan to translate your college writing experience into good workplace writing?
What similarities and/or differences do you see between writing for college classes and writing in the workplace?
What are your greatest strengths as a writer?
What are your weaknesses as a writer?
How can your writing abilities help XYZ corporation meet its goals?
In memo format, write a response to a few of the questions listed above. Your memo does not need to answer all of the questions; in fact, your memo may be stronger if you focus on one or two ideas rather than trying to respond to everything. To support your claims you may need to refer to specific assignments and projects you completed in college. If so, make sure you provide enough background information to help Ms. Doe understand how these assignments have influenced your writing abilities.
Your memo should be approximately two pages long, but it may need to be longer, depending on the way you approach the topic. When you are finished with the assignment, save the Word document as “Full Name Diagnostic Memo.doc” (for instance, my file would be named “Quinn Warnick Diagnostic Memo.doc”) and upload it to the course website before midnight on Friday, June 15th.
Your memo will be evaluated based on how well it:
follows a logical organizational pattern.
displays an understanding of the rhetorical situation.
makes specific references to the work you have done in college.
uses the memo format (fonts, headings, lists, etc.)
adheres to the conventions of standard written English (spelling, punctuation, etc.).