Memo Revision Assignment
Revise the badly written and ineffective memo in exercise 1.11. The following pattern is useful for persuasive tasks and breaking bad news:
• Open indirectly. The audience is not going to be receptive. Begin with something positive. In this case, you might thank them for cleaning their desks on Friday.
• Provide the reasons: The cuts in the custodial budget to avoid layoffs are why you need to ask everyone to help clean
• State Request: Politely ask them to clean; provide a bulleted list that will break down the tasks visually.
• Overcome resistance: Emphasize any receiver benefits in keeping the office clean. This will help overcome any objections your readers might still have.
• Close Positively: Thank the receiver for helping you out. Sound positive, as though this is going to happen.
• Use the “you view” where possible to emphasize reader benefits.
• Don’t use the “you view” to accuse the reader of failing to do their job.
• Be positive and polite; avoid unnecessary negativity.
• Keep your sentences short—20 words or less.
• Keep your paragraphs short—9 lines or less.
• Keep your writing conversational.
• Cut out everything that isn’t helping to accomplish your purpose.
The final draft should have a clear purpose and work consistently toward accomplishing that purpose while building good will with the readers.