Understanding the functions of interoffice memos is crucial when choosing the best communication channel in the workplace. Being able to analyze the audience and purpose of a scenario is an important skill to help you justify the necessity and effectiveness of a memo.
Let’s explore a unique scenario in which a New York law firm asked a paralegal to find better options for sushi. This request lead to the paralegal conducting research and generating a three-page memo complete with footnotes. The memo became an urban legend after an article about it was published in the New York Times.
Your task is to read the memo and the New York Times article to help you write answers for the following questions:
Based on what we have read on audience and purpose in this module, describe your thoughts on the memo content and format.
Explain why many people may think this memo is a joke.
Did the writer choose the best delivery channel for this message?
When would you use a memo to deliver the sushi option message?
Be prepared to share your answers and findings in class during a follow-up discussion.
New York Times article (Links to an external site.)
Original PDF of memo (Links to an external site.)
Criteria Not Evident Developing Proficient Exemplary Points Organization and format 2 pts
Writing lacks logical organization. It may show some coherence but ideas lack unity. Serious errors and generally is an unorganized format and information. 3 pts
Writing is coherent and logically organized, using a format suitable for the material presented. Some points may be contextually misplaced and/or stray from the topic. Transitions may be evident but not used throughout the essay. Organization and format used may detract from understanding the material presented. 4 pts
Writing is coherent and logically organized, using a format suitable for the material presented. Transitions between ideas and paragraphs create coherence. Overall unity of ideas is supported by the format and organization of the material presented. 5 pts
Writing shows high degree of attention to details and presentation of points. Format used enhances understanding of material presented. Unity clearly leads the reader to the writer’s conclusion and the format and information could be used independently. 5 pts Content 2 pts
Some but not all required questions are addressed. Content and/or terminology is not properly used or referenced. Little or no original thought is present in the writing. Concepts presented are merely restated from the source, or ideas presented do not follow the logic and reasoning presented throughout the writing. 3 pts
All required questions are addressed but may not be addressed with thoughtful consideration and/or may not reflect proper use of content terminology or additional original thought. Additional concepts may not be present and/or may not be properly cited sources. 4 pts
All required questions are addressed with thoughtful consideration reflecting both proper use of content terminology and additional original thought. Some additional concepts may be presented from other properly cited sources, or originated by the author following logic and reasoning they’ve clearly presented throughout the writing. 5 pts
All required questions are addressed with thoughtful in-depth consideration reflecting both proper use of content terminology and additional original thought. Additional concepts are clearly presented from properly cited sources, or originated by the author following logic and reasoning they’ve clearly presented throughout the writing. 5 pts Development – Critical Thinking 4 pts
Shows some thinking and reasoning but most ideas are underdeveloped, unoriginal, and/or do not address the questions asked. Conclusions drawn may be unsupported, illogical or merely the author’s opinion with no supporting evidence presented. 6 pts
Content indicates thinking and reasoning applied with original thought on a few ideas, but may repeat information provided and/ or does not address all of the questions asked. The author presents no original ideas, or ideas do not follow clear logic and reasoning. The evidence presented may not support conclusions drawn. 8 pts
Content indicates original thinking, cohesive conclusions, and developed ideas with sufficient and firm evidence. Clearly addresses all of the questions or requirements asked. The evidence presented supports conclusions drawn. 10 pts
Content indicates synthesis of ideas, in-depth analysis and evidence beyond the questions or requirements asked. Original thought supports the topic, and is clearly a well-constructed response to the questions asked. The evidence presented makes a compelling case for any conclusions drawn. 10 pts Grammar, Mechanics, Style 2 pts
Writing contains many spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors, making it difficult for the reader to follow ideas clearly. There may be sentence fragments and run-ons. The style of writing, tone, and use of rhetorical devices disrupts the content. Additional information may be presented but in an unsuitable style, detracting from its understanding. 3 pts
Some spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors are present, interrupting the reader from following the ideas presented clearly. There may be sentence fragments and run-ons. The style of writing, tone, and use of rhetorical devices may detract from the content. Additional information may be presented, but in a style of writing that does not support understanding of the content. 4 pts
Writing is free of most spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors, allowing the reader to follow ideas clearly. There are no sentence fragments and run-ons. The style of writing, tone, and use of rhetorical devices enhance the content. Additional information is presented in a cohesive style that supports understanding of the content. 5 pts
Writing is free of all spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors and written in a style that enhances the reader’s ability to follow ideas clearly. There are no sentence fragments and run-ons. The style of writing, tone, and use of rhetorical devices enhance the content. Additional information is presented to encourage and enhance understanding of the content. 5 pts Total: 25
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