These documents are foundational to being able to successfully complete the writing assignments, (you will submit no work with this). This reading addresses three areas on which you will be graded: Formatting a memorandum following a field-specific guide (this will change for each assignment), addressing the primary and secondary audiences appropriately, and integrating graphics into your memorandum to enhance the clarity of the message you are conveying.
- The Tongue and Quill (Links to an external site.) (Links to an external site.) “The Official Memorandum” Chapter. You will use the memorandum rules in this chapter to complete your first assignment. The one exception is that you will not use military letterhead.
- Audience (Links to an external site.) This handout will provide information on how to think about the various audiences we will ask you to write to this semester.
- Figures and Charts (Links to an external site.) This handout will provide information on the effective use of graphics, types of graphics and what they convey, and formatting and identifying graphics in your work.
This assignment can be completed after completing chapter 1 of your textbook, and reading the documents provided for you in “Writing Assignment 1.1 Reading” assignment. The problem you will solve involves using soldier fatality data to determine an intervention strategy.
The United States military has been involved as a peace-keeping force in a humanitarian effort to prevent further genocide in the country of Pelagir. Many soldiers have died in this effort. The government has recently approved the use of emergency funds to improve the situation, but it is probable that only one initiative can be funded. The officer in charge of the theater of operations has asked you, a military engineer, to evaluate the situation and recommend a course of action to reduce the number of fatalities and enable the peace-keeping force to remain in place. Analyze the provided data regarding soldier fatalities in a one-month period and make a recommendation regarding what the government and military should do.
Document: Complete this assignment as an Official Memorandum using the formatting rules in The Tongue and Quill . Write your recommendation in the most compelling manner possible.
- Make sure that you have a statistical analysis to support your recommendation.
- Write about your findings in a way that makes them meaningful to your audience and relevant to your recommendation. Do not explain how calculations were completed, rather explain why your approach is valid, what understanding it provides in this specific situation and the result it provides. Use language that non-statisticians can understand.
- Use tables and/or graphs, in a way that communicates ideas effectively.
- Include your calculations as an addendum to the document.
Audience: Any time you prepare a professional document, you should consider the audience that you are writing the document for. You should tailor the content, language, tone, and structure of the document to the audience you are addressing. This document is being prepared for senior-level government and military members. Ask yourself what they can be reasonably expected to know about this topic, and what they need to know to make an informed decision. Address the memorandum to:
- The United States Secretary of Defense (primary addressee)
- The House of Representatives Defense Subcommittee
- The United States Senate Defense Subcommittee
Tone: The Audience for this document requires that the style is precise and professional.
- Utilize plain language when describing your analysis, as you cannot assume all readers will be statistically literate. However, there are also some who will understand statistics and will want to understand the statistical logic that you used to determine your recommendation.
- Start the document with a summary that readers can read to understand the essential elements of the document – the context of the issue, what is being examined and how, and the recommendation you will make.
- Develop the document around a direct, coherent message (thesis) and clear evidence to support it.
- Do not use contractions, slang or colloquialisms (Links to an external site.), clichés (Links to an external site.), abbreviations, or text message shortcuts.
Data: Each number on the attached spreadsheet represents the cause of death of one soldier. The cause of death represented by each number is identified on the table below.
|Cause of Fatalities||Code|
|Exploding ordnance wound||8|