Memo Persuasive Request Message Paper

Relevant Concepts:
Determining the effectiveness and/or weaknesses of a message.
Planning and preparing to write a persuasive message where the audience is expected to need encouragement to act as the sender desires.
Revising for effective, positive communication
Assignment Background:
Earlier this semester you were asked to submit an indirect persuasive request to your employer (me), with the goal of convincing me to begin a tuition/book reimbursement program at First Federal Bank. You wrote that message before we learned about planning a message to meet the persuasive communication requirement using the three-part writing process in Module 2.0.

You can access your original submission in the Start Here Module 0.0, module page 0.7 assignment – OR – contact me and I’ll send it to you.

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After working a few years, you decide to extend your college education on a part-time basis. You know that your education can benefit your employer, but you can’t really afford the fees for tuition or books. You’ve heard that many companies offer reimbursement for fees and books when employees complete approved courses with a grade of C or higher.

As a hard-working employee of First Federal Bank and Trust, write a memo to the Chief Executive Officer, Joann Carcioppolo, persuading her to start a tuition/book reimbursement program.

Assignment Instructions:
The suggestions for writing these messages are much the same as for those types discussed in Module 3.0. The need for clarity, correctness, and courtesy should guide these efforts.

To write this message, writers should do the following:

Plan your communication strategy for an internal, indirect-order, persuasive message.
Organize using the appropriate approach (direct or indirect).
Choose the appropriate tone (casual, moderately formal, or formal)
Be clear and courteous
Order the information logically
Close in a way that builds goodwill
Review the outline examples for constructing your message during the planning process from Module 2 in the text.

Step 1: Review your original persuasive request submitted as the benchmark writing assignment in week one using the information in the Revising Business Messages section of Module 2.0 of your textbook beginning on page 69. On your original document, list the weaknesses – in other words: Is it one long paragraph? Did you open with an attention grabber (indirectly) or make your request right away (direct)? Did you include evidence to justify your request? Did you use the correct word choice and tone (positive) and did you incorporate the you-viewpoint? These are just a few examples of what could be wrong with your original message based on all the skills, planning, and preparing messages learned this semester.

Step 2: Review the Three-Part Writing Process in Module 2.0 beginning on page 57 in your textbook. Plan your communication strategy using the Audience Analysis Checklist, Planning Process Using the Problem-Solving Approach, and Persuasive Message Outline worksheet(s) attached below.

Step 3: Revise the message to meet the indirect-order message plan for a Persuasive Request (appropriate document format/open/body/close) and appropriate writing style. Use the grading rubric to ensure you meet the highest level of competency.

Part 1: Choose a piece of art from the book (or from any source you have access to) that appeals to you. Look at it a long time. Analyze the formal qualities of this piece, using vocabulary from the book’s early chapters: tell me the medium, any technical processes or information you can identify (Is it a drawing? Intaglio print? Carving? Cast metal?), and try to show how the work was organized and executed. (Did the artist work rapidly, passionately, vigorously wildly? Or carefully, meticulously, with supreme control? How did s/he use implied line orbalance? How do you rate his or her skill at their craft? How about color scheme? Realism or abstraction? Use of perspective? Emotion? Etc., etc.) This first part is not a research piece; that comes in Part 3. I want to see evidence that you can look, and that you have listened to me, and that you have read the book. I don’t care if your writing is imperfect, or full of spelling mistakes; show me you can look and think. This should take up two pages (double-spaced)

Part 2: Devote at least half a page to the reasons you like this piece, and how you interpret it. What does it mean? Your reasons may be entirely personal (“It reminds me of my dear Mother,” or “I just like dogs,”) or political (“It makes me feel powerful as a woman of color”) or “Art-criticky” (“I admire Monet’s masterful use of color” or “The mysterious smile of Mona Lisa symbolizes the secrets we all conceal from the world”), or whatever. Include a photocopy of the piece, or a reference to the page I can find it on in your textbook, or the internet URL.

Part 3: After you write your analysis, research what other people have said about your choice. Look it up in Fichner-Rathus or some other book, or on the Web, and read what they say about this piece. On a fourth and fifth page, I want you to cite all your sources, and summarize what they say. Then tell me if you agree, or if you think they are full of crap, or whatever, and why. Take as much space as you need. Include a photocopy of a page of each source you read, stapled to the end of your project. (If you can’t find any writing about your piece, start over; but staple the first attempt to the back of your second try, (for extra credit). See me for advice, to make sure you choose a better example. (2 – 3 pages).

Context: Have you ever found yourself sitting in front of the television or on your phone reading a news story and suddenly felt an urge to shout? What?! Maybe you’ve heard a friend or classmate make a remark about candidate X and how much they love them, before quietly excusing yourself from the room before your head explodes. Or maybe someone actually asks your opinion about an issue, then proceeds to tell you why they ‘get it,’ then forces you to listen to their enlightened opinion without giving you a chance to speak.

We live in a world of opinions and arguments it seems. The question is, with so many opinions floating around, how do we know who to believe, or more importantly, to decide what we believe. We all have issues that we have strong feelings about and that’s what I want to explore in your final essay. For your final assignment you will be arguing an issue that is important or relevant to your life in some significant way. We will be trying to follow the guide of our course materials, to move beyond our emotions to a place where mutual respect and reason reign supreme.

Directions: In this writing assignment you will be crafting an essay of Rogerian argument on a topic of your choice. Your topic must present an issue that is a subject of disagreement, that is, it is sufficiently complex for there to be a diversity of viewpoints.

As we have seen in your videos and lessons, you will be utilizing the Rogerian style of argumentation. Remember, this technique makes specific demands of you as a writer. This style is fundamentally different from what you have become accustomed to writing in your courses. Whatever subject you choose, make sure that you present a clear position on some contentious issue. Remember, if the issue isn’t at least somewhat controversial it is unlikely you will be able to develop a solid, or more importantly an interesting argument.

Feel free to write about a topic that is somehow connected to your major, or to your career goals in some way. As an example, a former Nursing student wrote her Rogerian argument on the ethics of using Hallucinogenic Mushrooms as a mood stimulator in people suffering from profound grief (like the loss of a loved one, or close friend, spouse.) It was fascinating to say the least…

You need two professional sources that must support the argument you are making and successful Rogerian arguments always address the opposition viewpoint as well. (usually at the beginning of the essay) Remember, simply dismissing or shouting down the opposition is an ineffective and lazy approach to success in argumentation, though it is certainly still the most popular. Your essay should be 4-6 pages in length.

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