You’re the CEO of a clothing company and you want to begin brainstorming the summer collection at a company-wide meeting. Because the project is in its early stages, you want to include the opinions of essentially every department within the company (finance, marketing, research & development, etc). How will you reach out to these departments to inform them of a meeting?

Consider the following scenarios, each of which necessitate some kind of written correspondence. Based on our discussions of mediums(genres of writing) and their relative appropriateness and chapter one’s suggestions, A. state which medium you’d use and B. explain why you chose that medium(i.e. what is it about the context/setting informing your decision).

For example, if a close colleague suffered a death in their family I would likely utilize a sympathy card. My reasoning for this choice is that I want to express compassion and a card is not only nonintrusive (allowing the recipient to read it at their leisure) but it also shows initiative on my part for writing and sending a card to express my sympathies. Be specific about the medium.

Assume all mediums of communication are available.

  1. Due to an increase in rent, you’ve decided you need to increase prices for your services. You want to send a message to your customers conveying your gratitude for their patronage but also informing them of the price increase.



  1. At the very last minute, the project manager who was going to lead your office’s meeting has cancelled because they’re ill. You quickly need to contact the assistant project manager so that they can gather a few notes to lead the meeting.



  1. You’re the CEO of a clothing company and you want to begin brainstorming the summer collection at a company-wide meeting. Because the project is in its early stages, you want to include the opinions of essentially every department within the company (finance, marketing, research & development, etc). How will you reach out to these departments to inform them of a meeting?



  1. Consider our earlier discussions of what comprises persuasive rhetoric. We discussed the relationship between goal, audience, rhetoric and voice.

Please select one of the following videos and analyze the use of persuasion within the video you select. Please discuss the following ideas regarding persuasion within the video you selected :

A. Key questions regarding persuasion: What is the goal of the speaker? i.e. what is the speaker hoping to gain? Who do you believe is the intended audience for the video? Based on the audience you believe the video is aimed at, how does the speaker attempt to appeal to this audience? In other words, how is the argumentation they deploy related to their audience?

B. Please define what your definition of persuasive rhetoric is. You may use the traditional ethos, pathos, logos terms, if you want, but you don’t need to. If you find it easier to define your perception of effective rhetoric through other terms, you’re free to do so. 4-6 sentences should suffice.

C. Based on your definition of effective persuasion, assess the speaker you selected. Did they meet your definition of good rhetoric? Why or why not? Do you feel you’re part of the intended audience? There should be consistency between your definition and your assessment of the rhetoric within the video. Please use specific examples of the speech in your assessment. Remember, be honest in your assessment. My hope here is that you become aware of what is persuasive to you and that you’re able to evaluate others’ rhetoric with this definition in mind. Some of these video are long, so you don’t need to watch the entire thing but select a period within the video of approximately 10-15 minutes. 8-10 sentences will suffice.

Please select one of the following speakers to assess and analyze:

· Sana Amanat (editor of Marvel comics)

· Neil deGrasse Tyson (astrophysicist/ author)

· Elon Musk (inventor and architect of Tesla)




Refer to our discussions and reading on routine correspondence. The following statements deliver various modes of communication. However, the manner in which the ideas are conveyed isn’t ideal. Rewrite each statement so as to convey the message more effectively/clearly/less harshly.

  1. Ten percent of the marketing department failed to attend Friday’s meeting.

  2. We’ve decided to go with another candidate because you do not meet our needs.

  3. We will not be able to offer you a job. We encourage you to apply for positions with us, in the future.

  4. Because you have are attempting to return this item beyond the fifteen-day return period, we can’t offer you a refund and can only offer a 25% discount on your next purchase.

  5. The following is the opening to a university letter informing an applicant that they will not be admitted. Please critique this document. A. What do you feel—based on our discussions of bad news messages—the writer could have done for this letter to be more effective? In other words, what doesn’t work about this letter B . Rewrite this opening—adding, subtracting or rewording anything you deem appropriate.

Dear Ms. Jenson,

We have read your application for the marketing director position. Unfortunately we cannot offer you employment at this time.

Sam Brown,

Director of Admissions



  1. Typically in business communication you’ll be writing using a direct approach pattern. However, there are a few situations when you’ll want to use an indirect approach. Please name one of these situations.

  2. The previous assignment asked you to explore the cultural facets of another country with regards to written business etiquette. This time, I’d like you to meta-cognitively explore the etiquette, rules and ideas that comprise your own style of business writing.

A. Please examine two pieces of writing. First, examine an email you have sent to a boss, professor or somebody else In a professional setting. Then, please look at a message (email, Facebook message, text, etc) that was sent in a more personal context. Compare the high-context VS. low-context nature of these messages. Is one more high context than the other? Do the circumstances that the messages were written under have any bearing on how you wrote the message?

(about one paragraph)

B. What do you feel influences these preferences? How much influence—if any at all—does your home culture have on your writing/reading within these contexts? When considering this question, you may consider your home culture but you don’t necessarily need to do so. Perhaps there are other influences that influence the way you write.

(about one paragraph)

For example, perhaps your culture is high context and this manifests blatantly in your preferences. Conversely, perhaps your home culture is Swedish (a country that’s immensely low context) but you still have a personal preference for higher context writing.

  1. Consider our discussion on the elements of an argument.

Please identify the following components, exigency(aka motive), audience, rhetors, and constraints within the following article, by Mark Bittman.

A few notes:

Remember that despite the negative connotation, constraints can be good or bad for an argument. For instance, if you’re thirsty it will be easier for someone to make the argument that you should buy a bottle of water. In this case, your thirst is a constraint that will help me make my point. However, if I’m trying to ask for a raise but the company is in poor financial condition, the company’s sub-par finances will be a constraint that harms my ability to make my argument (I deserve a raise).

Contextual info (If it’s useful)Mark Bittman, a well-respected food author, wrote this short article for the New York Times about four years ago.