You demonstrate that you’re able to work through all stages of the writing
process to produce persuasive writing. To accomplish this assignment,
you apply skills and rules taught in the first five study units
Ten years ago, you started working as a clerk for DMD Medical Supplies.
Six months ago, Liz Jakowski, the human resources director, promoted
you to office manager. You manage two employees: Jack Snyder and
Ruth Disselkoen. Your office provides secretarial support for the four
members of the executive team. Two years ago, Liz had assigned Jack to
support Ralph Alane and Jessica Hilo. Ruth was assigned to Samuel
Daley and Frank Daley. The work flow was equally balanced.
You’ve noticed that in the last three months Ruth has cut her breaks
short to complete her work, complains of being tired, and at least twice
a month requires overtime hours costing the company an additional
$200 a month. In the last three weeks, Frank Daley has complained to
you a few times about the poor quality of Ruth’s work.
On the other hand, over the last three months, Jack frequently seems to
have little to do. He has begun coming in late a
couple times a week and taking more than the allotted break times.
What work he does have, however, is always professionally completed.
Clearly, you must investigate to determine what is causing this change
and how to improve the situation. Since nothing has changed in the personal
lives of either Jack or Ruth, you conclude you must focus on the
in-office work situation. You learn the following facts:
• Samuel and Frank Daley share a part-time administrative assistant
who works only 15 hours a week.
• Ralph Alane and Jessica Hilo share a full-time administrative
• Jessica Hilo has been on medical leave for the last four months,
and Liz Jakowski isn’t sure whether Jessica will be able to return
• Jessica’s duties have been temporarily reassigned to Ralph and
Although you don’t have the authority to change who Jack and Ruth are
assigned to work for, you clearly need to change the work the two do so
that both Jack and Ruth work regularly without requiring overtime.
1. The background explains the primary cause of the workflow problem
and the negative effects resulting from it. Your task is to make
up a realistic plan which solves the uneven productivity between
Jack and Ruth. Use prewriting tools like brainstorming, cluster or
webbing diagrams, and freewriting to outline the cause-effect situation
and to develop a specific solution that best solves the problem.
Also ask yourself the following questions to expand your prewriting.
• How long has this situation been going on?
• Why did the problems begin when they did?
• Am I able to solve the problem at its root cause or am I only
able to manage the impact of the problem?
• Is this a temporary or permanent problem?
• How has the company been affected?
• How have the employees been affected?
• What’s in my power to change? What must stay the same?
• What are two or three ways to improve the efficiency of my
• How much work, time, and money would be required to implement
• Does each solution stop all the negative effects?
• Are there any benefits to the change beyond stopping what is
• How exactly would each change affect Jack, Ruth, and the executive
• What would I have to do to make sure each change goes
through as planned and to monitor the situation once the solution
is in place?
2. From your prewriting, develop the single best solution to the situation
described in the background. Obviously, you won’t be able to
use everything you’ve prewritten, so your first step is to choose
what’s most important for the purpose and audience. As you outline
a solution, you may need to make up more specific details that
define the steps of the plan and describe particular benefits of the
3. Next, sort your details and information about the problem and the
plan into one of the two sections given below. Don’t worry about
complete sentences for this sorting stage; merely list the information
under the appropriate section. Use information from both the
background and your prewriting.
• Facts and figures that define the problem (the cause)
• Details that show the impact of the problem (effects) on Jack,
Ruth, and the company
• The steps needed to change the situation
• Reason to implement each step, including the benefits to your
employees, your supervisor, and the company
• Information about your role in the change
4. After sorting the information, draft a first-try, rough paragraph for
Section 1 and another paragraph for Section 2. Your goal is to
place the listed information in the most logical order using sentence
and paragraph format. Leave all spelling, grammar, punctuation,
and other mistakes exactly as they are. Don’t do any editing as you
write this first draft. The worse it looks at this stage, the better
your final product will appear in contrast.
5. Set your rough draft aside and don’t work any further on this
assignment for at least 24 hours.
6. After your break, reread the background information and the questions
guiding your prewriting in Step 1. Then reread the rough
paragraphs you drafted for Section 1 and 2 to refresh your memory.
If you came up with new ideas since you wrote the draft, add
your thoughts before you go further.
7. Focus on the rough draft of Section 2, which you wrote in Step 4.
Divide the paragraph into two main ideas and reorganize your
information accordingly to develop two separate paragraphs based
on Section 2. The paragraphs must first describe your solution and
then persuade your supervisor to implement that solution. Each
paragraph must have one main idea related to this purpose and
Note: Don’t revise Section 1. Revise only the rough draft you wrote
for Section 2, expanding the single paragraph into two paragraphs.
8. Prewrite further if needed to develop more details and explanation
to flesh out the two paragraphs based on Section 2. Next, apply
the drafting and revising strategies taught in this and previous
study units to produce two properly developed paragraphs.
Together these two paragraphs must total between 200 to 300
9. Once again, set your work aside for at least 24 hours.
10. Read the evaluation criteria given on the next page, which will be
used to score your work. Continue to revise, edit, and proofread
the two paragraphs from Section 2 to meet each of the criteria.
11. Once you have a final, polished version of the two paragraphs
based on Section 2, open a new document on your computer’s
word-processing program and type your work. Format the document
to double space, using a standard font, size 12, left justification
(also called align left and ragged right). Set 1-inch or
1.25-inch margins for both left and right sides of the page. Indent
the first line of each paragraph by 0.5-inch tab. Hit Enter only once
after the first paragraph to begin the second paragraph. Don’t use
any other type of format, such as a letter or memo. Merely type
the two paragraphs.