HRM Basic Message Essay Assignment
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HRM Basic Message Essay Assignment
For each of the situations below, prepare an assertive confrontation message. Decide how you will phrase the basic message and further decide which additional components of the message you will use.
1. Jeremy can’t seem to keep from peering over the cubicle next to him and talking with Sylvia, who is trying to concentrate on her work and the enormous number of customer emails to which she must respond. Jeremy is the senior customer service representative and Sylvia is relatively new to her position. Though initially helpful, he has become somewhat of a nuisance to Sylvia and is also a little critical of the way Sylvia does her job. Prior attempts to encourage Jeremy to be less intrusive have been unsuccessful.
2. Manuel has become a broken record. For weeks now, he has come into your office to complain about something. Often, his complaints have to do with the way his co-workers are performing. Sometimes, he complains about a specific co-worker and subtly implies how superior his performance is to the co-worker. He then suggests how underpaid he is. Occasionally, he has even threatened to quit and find a better position elsewhere. Manuel is a good performer, but on average no better or worse than his co-workers. You would like to pay everyone more, but budget and market considerations don’t allow it. You further do not feel additional pay is warranted for Manuel in comparison to hi co-workers. And you want the complaining to stop.
Financial Ratio Analysis: Use The Data Provided To Compute Financial Statement Ratio Analysis
- Financial ratio analysis: use the data provided to compute financial statement ratio analysis. (word doc. provided)
2. Compare the casino (Wynn) to its competitor (SJM) in ratios, and make comments
Annual 2012/12 2011/12 2010/12 Liquidity and Efficiency Working Capital Current Ratio Acid-Test Ratio Accounts Receivable Turnover Total Asset Turnover Solvency Debt and Equity Ratios Times Interest Earned Profitability Profit Margin Return on Total Asset Return on Ordinary Shareholders’ Equity Market Prospects Price-Earnings Ratio Dividend Yield
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Week 05 Posting – Reports.docx
COMM 310: Posting for Week 5—Reports
Don’t forget that the User Guide CMAPP Analysis assignment—a Group assignment—is due this week. That means that I should receive one assignment file from each group.
I’m going to presume that you’ve read Chapter 11 of Engineering Communication. As it points out, no one ever gets up in the morning and says, “You know… I think I want to write a report, today!” You write a report for one reason only: someone (almost always a single individual) has asked for it. And, in CMAPP terms, the person who has asked you for the report is almost always going to be your primary audience.
You’ll recall that, generally speaking, we can discern two broad categories of reports:
- Short reports, also called informal reports
- Long reports, also called formal reports
You’ll likewise recall that the terms short and long no longer refer simply to length. In fact, a long short report may be longer than a short long report. And, as I’ll remind you shortly (excuse the pun!), the distinction relates more to the reports’ structural conventions.
I cannot imagine your being able to pursue a professional career without writing reports. The kinds of reports you will need to produce will depend, of course, on the kind of work you do. It’s likely that very few of you will need to create long/formal reports. Although many people in an organization often contribute information towards a long report—a company’s Annual Report to Shareholders, for example—relatively few actually take part in writing it. Almost certainly, though, you’ll have write a variety of short/informal reports. Consequently, this course focuses much more on those.
I would also recommend to you the (Word 2003) file (available on April 24, 2014, from http://misnt.indstate.edu/wilhelm/ASBE%20336/NelsonStudyNotes_sp10.doc), BEIT 336 Business Report Writing Study Notes by Sandra J. Nelson of the School of Business at Indiana State University. Admittedly, the document is lengthy—over 60 pages. Nonetheless, her advice and examples are informative and worthwhile.
In this week’s website section, you’ll see two folders that I’ve posted for you. Reports – General Information and Sample Reports. Let me allude to the latter, first, by citing its folder description:
- These sample reports appeared in my 2003 textbook (published by Southwestern), Survivor’s Guide to Technical Writing. As a kind of “source credit”, I include a JPEG scan of that book’s front cover.
- With the exception of the file Formal Report, they illustrate the classification of short reports mentioned on page 154 of Engineering Communication. As I indicate there, however, I believe you will be better served by treating each report as a particular piece of technical communication, created by applying a CMAPP analysis.
- The Formal Report example offers “selected pages” with explanatory marginalia. You will find general information on formal/long reports on pages 157–159 of your textbook.
Although I think these samples might prove useful to you, I do caution you against using any of them as a “template” for your Feasibility Proposal Report or your Revised Project Plan… or, for that matter, for the short report you’re likely to have to create as part of the Midterm for your Week 7 assignment.
- B) Observations re the PowerPoint files
Now, please open Overview of Reports.pptx from the Reports – General Information folder. I’d suggest you run it in Slide Show mode; items will appear consecutively on a mouse click or on pressing the space bar.
Overall, this file is a review of the material in your textbook. However, I’d like to offer additional observations with regard to some of the slides.
1) Slide #2 shows some of the reasons—often more than one, simultaneously—that people create reports. For example, I think I’ve already mentioned that my wife is a nurse in a local hospital. There, she must regularly complete “charting” for her patients; in effect, she creates reports—organized information in response to an expressed need. Such a report is necessary for the hospital’s administration requirements; it helps nurses and doctors make decisions regarding the patient; it provides precise information about the patient and his/her treatment; it facilitates later interpretation of the patient’s progress, for example; it assists in meeting the hospital’s responsibility for legalities; it helps nurses and doctors in their planning for that patient and for others; it ensures permanent records of patient treatments and outcomes; and, it can help in the trend analysis that nurses, doctors, and hospital administrators find valuable.
2) Slide #3 refers to points made in Chapter 11 of the textbook. With regard to the Data > Information line, remember that many managers actually complain about being overwhelmed with data. Part of your job as a report writer is to convert the data you obtain into information that will be useful to your audience. In just a moment, I’ll refer in more detail to the idea of objectivity. Meanwhile, recall that if the construction and presentation of your report (or any piece of technical communication) are not professional—showing a clear application of your time, care, and attention—you audience will rightly treat it with disdain. My advice—on the right of that slide—is to conduct a CMAPP analysis and to apply the complementary attributes.
3) Slide #5 illustrates the alternative “classification” of reports mentioned in your textbook, several examples of which you’ll find in the Sample Reports folder mentioned above.
4) Slide #6 introduces the distinction between informative and evaluative reports, essentially, the difference between evaluative content versus informative content. This often overlooked distinction is a significant one, derived principally from the words you choose.
At this point, I’d like to “interrupt” the slide show to discuss a distinction that, despite its importance, is often ignored, perhaps because it can be a difficult one to make.
- C) Evaluative versus Informative Content
- Short/informal reports, recall, may be either informative or evaluative. The distinction is crucial: for example, a client who requests a purely informative report will be dissatisfied to receive a report with an evaluative component—an indication of your opinions, rather than simply a recounting of 5WH (who, what, when, where, why, and how).
- Nonetheless, evaluative reports are certainly more common in the business world, if for no other reason than the audience who has requested the report is likely to want recommendations—which are evaluative by definition: a recommendation is, in fact, the expression of the writer’s opinion of what should be done.
- Recall, though, that an evaluative report will nonetheless encompass informative as well as evaluative components—sometimes “separated”, sometimes “mingled”. Thus, within a single report, you might use level heads (sub-headings) to differentiate one from the other. Strictly “informative” content might follow headings such as Background, or Observations, while level heads such as Analysis or Evaluation or Recommendations might introduce evaluative content. Overall, however, it is your choice of words that determine whether you are providing evaluative or informative content. And, normally, the higher the “connotative value” of your words, the more your content will be evaluative rather than informative.
- Consider, for example, the following references I might make to Clifford Olson, a well- known name in BC. (Look him up if you’re not familiar with his story.)
4.1. Olson is the despicable mass murderer who rightly spent the last many years of his miserable life rotting in jail, after having massacred close to a dozen innocent BC youngsters during his reign of terror in the early 1980s.
4.2. Olson, is a man who died in 2011 in prison where he had been serving a life sentence, having been confessed to multiple counts of homicide committed during the 1980s.
- The first sentence is clearly evaluative: its words give a strong indication of how I feel about the man and his crimes. The second, however, is informative: with low connotation and high denotation, it merely informs the audience about Olson. Notice, also, that the two items cannot be identical: they may refer to similar issues or they may deal with analogous topics… but “evaluation” and “information” cannot be the same. Neither, however, is better or worse; neither is right or wrong: they are simply different. The important thing is to distinguish one from the other, so that you can provide your audience what has been requested.
- Now consider this sentence: University students demand a higher standard of education for their hard-earned money. Various aspects make it “evaluative”:
6.1. Unless you can provide data to show that all university students everywhere have been consulted, what you appear to mean, in fact, is that you think that a large number of them demand… and, by the way, how many, exactly, is a large number? Further, demand is a “loaded” word, high in connotation: you’re giving your opinion of their
feelings. Next, what does higher standard mean—higher than what, and assessed against which/whose criteria? Then, do all students everywhere earn their own money? Or, are you really saying that you believe that many (again, undefined…) do? And, what about hard-earned? That, too is a personal judgment. Thus, the sentence is “evaluative” rather than “informative.”
6.2. Consider, though, this sentence: Of the 72 students polled on campus on January 22, 2014, 55 stated that they were not convinced that they were getting what they felt would be good value for their fees. In this case, I am merely reporting on others’ opinions. Thus, the sentence is “informative” rather than “evaluative”. (I of course made up the survey…)
I’d like to show you more examples of this; so, please open Reports – Evaluative versus Informative Content.pptx, also in the Reports – General Information folder, and run it in Slide Show mode. Lines will appear consecutively on mouse clicks or on pressing the space bar.
- a) Slide 2 briefly explains the issues. The remaining slides contain numbered pairs of sentences.
- b) Unless you’ve already mentioned a precise group of individuals, the first sentence of example #1 is evaluative because “everyone” could mean the entire global population—obviously not what is intended. Also, “for hours” would require that you had timed the wait of every person involved, and every wait had been of at least 120 minutes. In effect, this sentence likely means something like, “I really don’t like how long we have to wait…” There’s nothing wrong with that; but, it’s evaluative—a judgment, an opinion—not informative. Note that the second sentence of the pair simply alludes to a report—it doesn’t offer the speaker’s (or writer’s) opinion.
- c) In example #2, how is “hard” measured, and what does “enough” actually mean? Then, “making us”: does that mean that someone is threatening you with a gun? How many items must be in a “collection”—15, 220, 5939? Pretty obviously, this sentence expresses anger or disappointment, or dismay; but, it doesn’t convey empirical, quantitative information. The second item of the pair, though, does: it states what is inscribed on each parking meter.
- d) In example #3, what does “nuisance” really mean? It means that I don’t like it; again, it’s simply an opinion. The second item of the pair refers to facts that can be verified.
- e) Example #4’s “outrageous” is patently evaluative; it expresses a very strong personal bias. However, the second item of that pair is informative, because it simply reports someone else’s opinion. Notice the distinction.
- f) Example #5 contains at least six evaluative indicators: great (how do you measure that?), suggestion (what is a suggestion but the expression of an opinion?), sure (because it states a belief rather than a fact), really (this emphatic term is a judgment), help (in the writer’s opinion, of course), and right (once more, the writer’s opinion). The information in the second sentence of the pair, however, can be objectively verified—through meeting minutes, for example.
- g) I think you’ll be able to deal with examples #6
- h) Let’s look at example #9 on slide 5 of 6. Here are the elements that, I believe, make it evaluative:
- i) Students: which students, where?
- ii) can’t afford: none of them can, how do you know, where’s the proof ?
iii) these prices: which, exactly? Any? All?
- iv) they rely on student loans: do all students have student loans? Do all those who do have student loans have no other means of support?
- v) money they earn from their low-paying jobs: do all students have jobs, do they all have no other source of income, are all those jobs part time, and how do you define “low paying”?
The second sentence of the pair, of course, simply reports on verifiable figures—
even if, in fact, I made them up… J
- i) I’ll leave you to identify the evaluative content in the other examples in this file.
In the same folder, you’ll see Reports – Evaluative Content versus Informative Content Examples.pdf, which presents some additional examples of “pairs”. If you’re uncertain, post your queries.
- D) Overview of Reports.pptx, continued…
5) The organizational patterns shown on Slide #7 are common, particularly for informative reports. They are, in effect, the same “traditional” organization patterns you might have learned in high-school for writing essays. The “Segments” shown there are not headings; rather, they represent a typical—but not requisite—report structure. You might have noticed that the foundation of this tripartite structure is essentially the same one we use for most (organized) communication, regardless of the terminology, e.g., beginning > middle > end, introduction > body > conclusion. I’m not sure why this happens (perhaps someone in the psychology department has a theory?), but it clearly does.
6) Slide #8 recapitulates the information on pages 156–157 of your textbook.
7) Slide #9 offers you another example of organizing the “analysis segment” of an evaluative report, according to what your audience is likely to find most useful. Page 156 of Engineering Communication deals with the matter of fees; this slide considers the renewal of a fleet of vehicles for a company whose sales staff need to travel a great deal. Notice: the Purchasing Department will have to deal with the complexities of administering the program, from obtaining bids to arranging for insurance, to verifying travel allowance refunds, and so on; thus, they may well prefer to see the material organized by alternative (also referred to as option, as in your textbook). However, if the Finance Department is your audience, their needs will be different: they’ll have to consider the impact on this year’s budget (up-front costs), the effect on budgetary planning (overhead costs), as well as pay adjustments, taxes, and benefits (employee reactions). Thus, they might find it more useful for you to organize the material by criterion (also referred to as issue).
8) Slides #10, #11, and #12 give a very brief summary of relevant points concerning long/formal reports. As I mentioned on page 1, though, not many of us are required to create one. (I’d nonetheless remind you of Sandra Nelson’s course document at http://misnt.indstate.edu/wilhelm/ASBE%20336/NelsonStudyNotes_sp10.doc.)
9) Slide #13 is simply a reminder for your Feasibility Proposal Report, which will be due in Week 9. Remember that a “proposal” is, by most authorities, considered a kind of report, even though it definitely constitutes persuasive communication, a topic dealt with in Week 6’s posting.
Well, to paraphrase Woody Woodpecker (a cultural referent that you can investigate at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mel_Blanc and at
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1V121BOm6w), that’s all for now folks… J
Don’t forget that you can post questions and comments to this week’s Forum and/or email me directly.
QUALITY OF RESPONSE NO RESPONSE POOR / UNSATISFACTORY SATISFACTORY GOOD EXCELLENT Content (worth a maximum of 50% of the total points) Zero points: Student failed to submit the final paper. 20 points out of 50: The essay illustrates poor understanding of the relevant material by failing to address or incorrectly addressing the relevant content; failing to identify or inaccurately explaining/defining key concepts/ideas; ignoring or incorrectly explaining key points/claims and the reasoning behind them; and/or incorrectly or inappropriately using terminology; and elements of the response are lacking. 30 points out of 50: The essay illustrates a rudimentary understanding of the relevant material by mentioning but not full explaining the relevant content; identifying some of the key concepts/ideas though failing to fully or accurately explain many of them; using terminology, though sometimes inaccurately or inappropriately; and/or incorporating some key claims/points but failing to explain the reasoning behind them or doing so inaccurately. Elements of the required response may also be lacking. 40 points out of 50: The essay illustrates solid understanding of the relevant material by correctly addressing most of the relevant content; identifying and explaining most of the key concepts/ideas; using correct terminology; explaining the reasoning behind most of the key points/claims; and/or where necessary or useful, substantiating some points with accurate examples. The answer is complete. 50 points: The essay illustrates exemplary understanding of the relevant material by thoroughly and correctly addressing the relevant content; identifying and explaining all of the key concepts/ideas; using correct terminology explaining the reasoning behind key points/claims and substantiating, as necessary/useful, points with several accurate and illuminating examples. No aspects of the required answer are missing. Use of Sources (worth a maximum of 20% of the total points). Zero points: Student failed to include citations and/or references. Or the student failed to submit a final paper. 5 out 20 points: Sources are seldom cited to support statements and/or format of citations are not recognizable as APA 6th Edition format. There are major errors in the formation of the references and citations. And/or there is a major reliance on highly questionable. The Student fails to provide an adequate synthesis of research collected for the paper. 10 out 20 points: References to scholarly sources are occasionally given; many statements seem unsubstantiated. Frequent errors in APA 6th Edition format, leaving the reader confused about the source of the information. There are significant errors of the formation in the references and citations. And/or there is a significant use of highly questionable sources. 15 out 20 points: Credible Scholarly sources are used effectively support claims and are, for the most part, clear and fairly represented. APA 6th Edition is used with only a few minor errors. There are minor errors in reference and/or citations. And/or there is some use of questionable sources. 20 points: Credible scholarly sources are used to give compelling evidence to support claims and are clearly and fairly represented. APA 6th Edition format is used accurately and consistently. The student uses above the maximum required references in the development of the assignment. Grammar (worth maximum of 20% of total points) Zero points: Student failed to submit the final paper. 5 points out of 20: The paper does not communicate ideas/points clearly due to inappropriate use of terminology and vague language; thoughts and sentences are disjointed or incomprehensible; organization lacking; and/or numerous grammatical, spelling/punctuation errors 10 points out 20: The paper is often unclear and difficult to follow due to some inappropriate terminology and/or vague language; ideas may be fragmented, wandering and/or repetitive; poor organization; and/or some grammatical, spelling, punctuation errors 15 points out of 20: The paper is mostly clear as a result of appropriate use of terminology and minimal vagueness; no tangents and no repetition; fairly good organization; almost perfect grammar, spelling, punctuation, and word usage. 20 points: The paper is clear, concise, and a pleasure to read as a result of appropriate and precise use of terminology; total coherence of thoughts and presentation and logical organization; and the essay is error free. Structure of the Paper (worth 10% of total points) Zero points: Student failed to submit the final paper. 3 points out of 10: Student needs to develop better formatting skills. The paper omits significant structural elements required for and APA 6th edition paper. Formatting of the paper has major flaws. The paper does not conform to APA 6th edition requirements whatsoever. 5 points out of 10: Appearance of final paper demonstrates the student’s limited ability to format the paper. There are significant errors in formatting and/or the total omission of major components of an APA 6th edition paper. They can include the omission of the cover page, abstract, and page numbers. Additionally the page has major formatting issues with spacing or paragraph formation. Font size might not conform to size requirements. The student also significantly writes too large or too short of and paper 7 points out of 10: Research paper presents an above-average use of formatting skills. The paper has slight errors within the paper. This can include small errors or omissions with the cover page, abstract, page number, and headers. There could be also slight formatting issues with the document spacing or the font Additionally the paper might slightly exceed or undershoot the specific number of required written pages for the assignment. 10 points: Student provides a high-caliber, formatted paper. This includes an APA 6th edition cover page, abstract, page number, headers and is double spaced in 12’ Times Roman Font. Additionally, the paper conforms to the specific number of required written pages and neither goes over or under the specified length of the paper.
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