Midterm Assignment (10%)

Midterm Assignment (10%)

Late submission penalty: 1 percentile point per day (if you have accommodations with SASS, email the professor <gbaronsa@uottawa.ca> to arrange for a late submission without penalty). If you need to submit more than 1 week late, email the professor for permission and cc your DGD leader if the professor is not your DGD leader.

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Length: 900-1000 words (about 4 pages double-spaced).

12-point, Times New Roman, double spaced

Edited midterm assignment due March 22: You will receive feedback on your midterm assignment by March 15 at 11:59 pm. By March 22 at 11:59 pm, you will have to submit an edited version that implements the feedback.

Sample: The memo on pages 25-28 of the textbook (Final proposal); if you are using an e-book and the page numbers are not displayed, you may find the memo by searching for Figure 1-7.

Note that your assignment is only 900-1000 words (the sample is longer).

Documenting sources: you do NOT have to use sources for this assignment, as in some cases it can be written based on your personal experience and/or imagination (for the formal report, you will have to use sources). However, if you choose to use sources, you must document any materials you take from them. please use either MLA style or APA style to document sources (see pages 129-147 of the textbook; Chapter 4 in Part 2). If you use sources, your bibliography will not count toward the word and page count suggested above; it should be on an additional page.

Your assignment

Write your name, student number and DGD # at the top left corner of the first page (no cover page necessary).

Imagine a fictional situation in which you are an employee in any place of employment of your choice (the place may be real or fictional).

If the place is fictional, write at the top of page 1, “[Name of place of employment] and other details in the memo are fictional.”

While your memo may be fictional, please take care to write it in a realistic style that would mirror the reality in your field of study or future workplace.

Write a persuasive memo that makes a recommendation for an improvement or a new policy in your place of employment. For example, make a recommendation or recommendations in response to one of the following questions:

  • If the place of employment is a university, should online learning continue beyond COVID-19 or should a return to the physical classroom be encouraged?
  • Should IT or HR service desks be replaced by virtual assistants?
  • Should the HR department use machine learning algorithms to conduct sentiment analysis on employees’ emails to measure employee morale?
  • Should all business travel be replaced by Zoom meetings to save on expenses and lower carbon footprint?
  • If the place of employment is an environmental agency, should it recommend a net-zero carbon policy?
  • You may focus your assignment on another question that can be answered in a persuasive memo, as long as the subject is relevant to your field of study or future work.

Grading criteria

While individual differences may apply, in general

An A-range assignment:

Is clear, professional and engaging to read.

Is well organized (ideas flow logically).

Demonstrates a good knowledge of the subject matter

Has only minor and infrequent writing errors.

Gives the expression that the student has the potential to become a highly effective writer in the workplace.

A B-range assignment

Demonstrates a good general knowledge of the subject, but sometimes lacks sufficient in-depth critical thinking;

Is generally well organized, but could benefit from closer attention to structure, paragraph development and coherence.

Contains grammatical and/or stylistic problems that interfere with the clarity and effectiveness of the report.

A C-range assignment

Is riddled with grammatical and/or stylistic errors.

Requires closer attention to structure, paragraph development and coherence.

Requires more in-depth critical thinking

An assignment below the C range

Is seriously deficient in coherence and organization and/or is riddled with writing problems.


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