Order Description

Locate a professional businessperson who is working in the financing field. Interview with this individual and collect relevant data about his/her company or organization, his/her daily activities, the type and quantity of writing he/she completes on a regular basis, and most importantly, an analysis of the work that results from this writing.

Informal Report

In the Job Materials assignment, you investigated the professional opportunities in your discipline/field that await you once you graduate. Now, I would like you to consider the type of work (and by that I mean the daily activities) that you may one day complete in a relevant position in your discipline/field, and more importantly, to analyze the role that writing plays in accomplishing (or instigating) that work.

Using Chapter 10 of your text as your guide, your assignment is to write an investigative informal report (see the sample on page 385 and in Resources folder) in which you 1) briefly profile the subject of your interview and the company that he/she works for, and 2) analyze an example of a genre of business communication that your subject uses on a regular basis.

The first is draft due: Wednesday 2/4/15 and the final draft is due: Monday, 2/9/15.

You have already identified three potential interview subjects who work in a field and/or hold a position that you would like to learn more about.  Now, select one of these subjects with which to conduct an informative interview.  After you select your subject, complete the following:
•    Write and send an inquiry email (using the information on page 317 as your guide) and save a copy to include a copy in the Informal Report.
•    Compile an interview protocol (using the information covered in class) that is focused on writing in the workplace, and include the protocol in the Informal Report.
•    Conduct the interview in a timely manner, either recording the interview or taking detailed notes.

As you draft your report, considering the following:
•    The audience of this report is your peers.  Take the necessary rhetorical steps to meet their needs.
•    Your report should include a brief description of the company (in your own words) including: history, organizational structure, standing/reputation, and business model.
•    The report should include a brief description of the employee who is serving as your interview subject. Include an account of the interviewee’s daily tasks and responsibilities.
•    The strongest reports will focus primarily on the writing your subject does in their position.  This can include a comprehensive account of the types and amount of writing your subject completes each day, as well as an estimation of the percentage of time he/she spends writing each day.
•    Your report will include an in-depth genre analysis that is informed by the required class readings.  In order to successfully complete this genre analysis, you must collect relevant primary information from your subject at your interview.
o    Ask your subject to discuss the use of ONE business genre (e.g. proposals, reports, specific forms, etc.), and the role it plays within this business.  In your interview, ask your subject to show you (or give you a copy of) an example of a genre of written communication that s/he uses on a regular basis.
o    Your goal is to critically analyze the role this genre plays within the larger system of this business and to investigate the actions that result from this document (e.g. money changes hands as the result of a sales contract).
?    Include what your profile subject writes, to whom, how many words/pages, what tone and formatting does your subject employ in this text, what decisions are made on the basis of that writing, etc.
o    Consider including information about the history of a genre, and also hypothesize about the social implications that can result from this typical business document.
•    The highest grades will be awarded to reports that are informative and well supported by research.

After you complete a draft of your report:
•    Send a thank you email to your contact.
•    Include the inquiry email, the protocol, the thank you email, the peer review sheet, and the first draft with your final draft.

Format: The Informal Report should take a memo format and run approximately 5 pages in length. You may submit either electronic or hard copies of your report. Please include at least 5 credible secondary sources (including the assigned additional readings) in order to support your claims (please use APA citation style).

The goal of this assignment is to observe your subject carefully, so that you can present a professional profile and corresponding genre analysis to an audience of your peers.  An additional goal of the genre analysis is to observe the powerful actions that can result from a simple document, and to critically consider the role that a document can play in an organization.  The Informal Report will introduce you to the types of writing you may be asked to compose as member of your field/discipline, but it will also ask you to consider the profound social effects of the writing you will completing. The research you collect for your informal report will make you better prepared to assume a position in your field, and have a stronger understanding of how writing can affect action in this field.

A secondary purpose of this assignment is for you to begin the process of professional networking, through effective business correspondence, which may assist you in your future employment search.
Grading Rubric: Informal Report *                    Score
•    Introduction makes specific reference to the business/field of interview subject and indicates the exact role your subject plays in that field.
•    Introduction makes clear and specific reference to writing, potentially indicating major findings of the genre analysis.    (Score x 1)

Professional Profile Information:
•    Report includes plenty of relevant, general, and specific information about: interview subject, subject’s company, and relevant contextual information about the company (e.g. history, organization, standing/reputation, and business model).
•    Includes a detailed description of the interviewee’s daily tasks and responsibilities.
•    Includes a comprehensive account of the types and amount of writing your subject completes each day.    (Score x 8)

Genre Analysis
•    Report includes a clear analysis of ONE genre of business writing that is regularly employed by the company/employee.
•    Includes a thorough discussion of the role the genre plays for the company/employee (e.g. who is using the genre, who is the audience of the genre, what is the purpose of using the genre, etc.).
•    Critically analyzes the role this genre plays within the larger system of this business and investigates the actions that result from this document.
•    Considers the history of a genre.
•    Hypothesizes about the social implications that can result from this genre.    (Score x 8)

•    Uses a logical structure (as outlined in WTW) appropriate to the subject, purpose, and audience of the report.
•    Ideas/sentences/paragraphs build logically upon the next.
•    Includes appropriate headers/sections as outlined in WTW and the assignment.
•    Recommendation/conclusion section is specific and makes clear reference to writing.    (Score x 3)

Use of Evidence:
•    Uses evidence appropriately and effectively.
•    Provides sufficient evidence and explanation to support ideas.
•    Effectively utilizes five credible sources and your primary data source.
•    Shows ability to make generalizations from specific examples.
•    Uses evidence to support profile development without losing focus on the assigned tasks,
•    Sources are correctly cited in APA formatting style.    (Score x 8)

•    Correctly utilizes format of an investigative informal report.
•    Employs all characteristics of a business memo.
•    Report is approximately five pages, single-spaced.
•    Employs line breaks instead of indentation.
•    Headers indicate a clear hierarchy of information.
•    Headers employ correct formatting.    (Score x 2)

•    Chooses words for their precise meanings and uses an appropriate level of specificity.
•    Language is clear, concise, and precise.
•    Sentence style fits paper’s audience and purpose.
•    Sentences are varied, yet clearly structured and carefully focused.
•    Employs style guidelines for memos as outlined in Writing that Works.    (Score x 4)

•    Uses forms of grammar, punctuation, spelling, and syntax that are appropriate for standard written English.
•    Document is almost entirely free of spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors.
•    Verb tenses are used correctly and appropriately.
•    Demonstrates careful attention to proofreading.    (Score x 2)

Additional Materials:
•    Report Includes:
o    Letter of inquiry
o    Interview protocol
o    Thank you email
o    Peer review sheet (please note: peer review participation is also reflected in your participation grade)
o    First draft    (Score x 4)


Total: _________/200

*5 = Advanced: strong control and skill in this area; many strengths are present;
4 = Proficient: effective control and skill; strengths outweigh weaknesses;
3  = Developing equal number of strengths and weaknesses in this area;
2/1 = Needs Improvement: not yet showing control or skill in this area



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