Home > Free Essays > Sociology > Rhetoric > The Steps of Critical Thinking: Memo

The Steps of Critical Thinking: Memo Report (Assessment)

Exclusively available on IvyPanda Available only on IvyPanda
Updated: Jul 8th, 2019


This is a memo from Ms. Mary Ford to Mr. Hector Fuentes. In this essay, this memo has been analyzed following the steps of critical thinking outlined in various books that have been read. Mary’s letter considers these steps in relation to the issue in question.

She rejects the governor’s offer of privatizing the management function of the DMV information systems of the state, and says that the plight of the workers should have been considered.


Critical thinking helps people extricate from difficult situations. A critical thinker will not make his/her decisions abruptly, and s/he will reason them to come up with the best decision. S/he will weigh all the options available so as to defend the decision made.

A critical thinker is well aware of all the constraints and barriers in critical decision making and will still overcome them. S/he must follow some steps so as to arrive to a conclusive and viable decision.

These steps will guide this person in making choices that will not only assist him in the future, but are backed by enough evidence that will convince people that one has considered a lot of things before settling to a decision (Browne & Keeley, 2010).

This will make this person seem genuine to people as they will trust this individual in areas where intricate judgments are to be made.

The Issue under the Question

The governor, Gloria Gainor, wants to privatize the function of the information systems management in the Motor Vehicles department. This means that the employees in this department have to be outsourced.

The governor, Gloria Gainor, promises to ensure that the outsourced personnel are given the similar jobs in other departments. The governor justifies this move by claiming that it saves the state some $250,000 on an annual basis.

However, the APEU director of human resource, Ms. Mary Ford, is against this move. Her view is that this move is disastrous to the employees of the department. She advises the chairman to reject this move and gives some valid reasons for the rejection of the offer made by the governor.

Ms. Mary Ford is very firm on her decision and feels that the move to privatize the information systems management function would affect the whole state. In a nutshell, Ms. Ford advises the chairman to reject any sentiments about outsourcing that are advocated by the senator.

Ms. Mary Ford’s Reasons for Rejecting This Move

There are very many things that drive Ms. Ford to reject the move by the governor. She has some very authentic and valid reasons that clearly define her view. The first reason that Ms. Ford gives is that the move by the governor is an assault to the union.

The members of the union in this department will be disadvantaged since the powers of the union are to be reduced. Mary Ford clarifies that this privatization attracts foreign binders, and these binders may even accept wages that are lower than the wages given to the union members.

This will set a platform which the government will use to lower the wages of the people working in this department. Therefore, in the future, people who work in this department will receive little pay as compared to the wages they receive now.

Mary clarifies that instead of raising the wages of the union members, the salary would decrease (if the contract were given to a foreign binder) (Stanley, 2009).

In addition to this, Mary claims that agreeing to the governor’s terms makes it appear that the union of this department is controlled by the management.

She feels that the move to privatize the information systems management function is also applied to other departments, and this department is just a stepping stone towards other departments.

The above reason is valid since the governor could use this department as a test group towards privatizing other departments. Therefore, the governor should directly deal with the union to ensure that its members understand the implications of this move.

Better still, the governor can initiate a democratic move that sees all the members of the union participating in making the decision on whether they (members of the union) should be outsourced or not.

The next objection that Ms. Mary Ford makes regarding this outsourcing is to do with the inconveniences brought about by this process. Ms. Ford observes that many people working in this department have the skills necessary to work there.

However, these people should enhance their skills in order to be able to work in other departments. Their training should be time consuming as it may waste a lot of productive hours for the whole state (Browne & Keeley, 2010).

These people will be affected a lot by this change in their working environment, and they may become less productive than they were at their past workplace.

Mary Ford also observes that there are some members of the union who are much advanced in years, and they may find it hard to fit in other departments, so they should get other form of employment.

The move by the governor to outsource these people means that some of the people affected may become unemployed. The union should respect and cater for the needs and the wellbeing of all its members (Mark, 2006).

Therefore, the union should reject any move that is likely to disadvantage some of its members. In fact, a union is formed to protect its members. Dismissing these people may affect them as they may become frustrated and discouraged to find a new job in future.

The director of APEU human resources also questions the governor’s offer to employees who are to be displaced. The director feels that there is no guarantee that this step is justified, and this makes her firm in her decision to reject the move to outsource the department.

She questions the availability and presence of the similar positions given to these people. The governor just considers those positions as vacancies that may appear, but she does not assure that they will arise. The governor does also not also give the frequency of the rising of new positions.

This means that people will be unemployed and unaware whether they may get a job in a day, a week, a year or even they might never get the one at all; unless a vacancy arises, then there will be no job for anyone (Stanley, 2009)!

Therefore, Mary Ford is justified to question the authenticity of the governor’s offer for vacancies as they arise.

Ms. Ford also feels that the control of the information systems should not be given to strangers. The information disseminated to the people may be compromised, and this may affect all the people in the state.

Therefore, this department should be run by people from the state since they understand the state affairs better than the others.

Additionally, these people will also be affected by any misinformation in the department, so they work to ensure that the information given to the public is precise and advances the good of everyone in the state. Therefore, this is a clear reason as to why the move by the governor should be rejected.

Ambiguous Phrases and Words in the Memo

The governor’s letter, as summarized by Ms. Ford, contains some ambiguous words and phrases. First, the governor writes that members displaced in the privatization process are to be given similar positions as vacancies arise.

This statement is ambiguous in that the governor does not make it clear when these vacancies will arise. This gap is left to speculation, and a person can fill it in as he/she deems right.

This part presents Ms. Mary Ford a chance to attack against the governor as it is needed to specify how the transition of employees from their current job to the next should take place. Probably, this would have altered the response given by the director of human resources.

Mary Ford also uses an ambiguous phrase in the letter. On th one hand, she says that the move by the governor is anti-American. Therefore, a person is forced to pose a question on what can be considered as American and what is not.

In this context, some people can interpret this in terms of the American Labor laws, but in other contexts, this statement can be interpreted otherwise. In fact, this term can be a super ordinate term for a lot of things.

Value and Descriptive Assumptions

There are the assumptions which a person makes based on the observation on another person (Andolina, 2001). In this memo, Mary refers to Governor Gloria as a bully.

She is doing this partly because she knows the governor, and partly because the governor has come up with the proposal to outsource the department. She considers the fact that the governor has overlooked many things in coming up with this decision.

She also feels that the union members will be forced to learn new skills in their new jobs, and this will have a psychological toll on them. This is, probably, another reason that makes Mary refer to the governor as a bully.

Fallacies in the Reasoning

Fallacies are the errors that are found in the conclusive reasoning of people or a group of people (Corcoran, 2010). In this letter, the governor has some fallacious thinking in that she does not take the plight of the people in consideration.

Rather, she focuses only on the economic move that should be made by the state. However, if this move is to be implemented, the state will save some money, but the people will suffer.

The state should ensure that all its citizens are comfortable, but in this move by the senator, the comfort and satisfaction of the people are compromised.

Ms. Ford also displays some fallacious reasoning in her letter to the chairman. She questions the authenticity of the company that might be given the task of managing the communication systems.

She says that the company provides marginal and questionable efficiencies in running government operations. However, no company (then) has been given this task, and Mary Ford is just lingering on speculation of what might happen.

She makes this appear as the reality, but she is just trying to win the confidence of the chairman in believing in her.

Valid Evidence

Ms. Mary Ford is very passionate in her rejection of any move that may make the communication department privatized. She gives very good and valid reasons as to why she is objecting the move. First, Mary Ford has a very sharp intuition about what is likely to happen.

She examines different perspectives of the issues and offers the best advice based on her intuition.

She foresees the possibility of a foreign company taking over the department, and she sees the danger associated with this; the company could ask for a pay less than the one offered to the current employees, and this may not be good for the other employees because their wages might be reduced (Shaw, 2010).

Mary also argues using a personal experience with such a move. She talks of her brother in law who had been downsized and did not get employed again. She says that this may happen to the employees if the proposal of the governor succeeds.

The brother in law to the author of this letter says that the management uses the excuse of rehiring the union’s members to gain its trust. Once the deal goes through, the promise to the union is forgotten (Scriven, 2001).

Mary also appeals to the authority to advance her argument. She knows that the chairman is a person who is in a position of power, and she uses this to benefit.

She also knows that the chairman is running for re-election, and she makes it known to him that rejecting the governor’s move may lay a good basis for his re-election.

She tells him that the members of the union are ready to re-elect him once he rejects the offer of the governor. She also clarifies that the chairman can avert any inconveniences that could be brought about by this move.

Rival Causes

The director of human resource rejects the governor’s offer because it would affect the members of the union negatively. This is because the move will jeopardize the working conditions of the members of the union, and it will also render some union members jobless.

Therefore, Mary Ford takes these factors into consideration and concludes that the move to privatize the department should be rejected.

In this memo, the director of human resource does not include any statistics. Her arguments entail the plight of the members of the union. She talks of the awful things that may be the resultant of the acceptance of the governor’s proposal.

The director of human resource seems to tell the chairman that the governor’s proposal will make people unemployed, just as it did to her brother in law.

Significant Information that is omitted

This memo has some things that are omitted. For instance, the director has omitted the information regarding the reaction of the union members towards this issue. The union members and the union representatives have not expressed their opinion, and this has been overlooked.

All parties that are affected should be consulted; doing this will assist in coming up with the best decision (Swamy, 2005). Giving these people a chance to air their views will help come up with a harmonized decision acceptable to all.


Ms. Mary Ford, the APEU Director of Human Resources, has all the reasons to reject the proposal by the governor. This is because she focuses on the plight of the union members and the implication of the move to privatize the management function of the state’s DMV information systems.

The reasons and evidences given are valid, and the governor’s proposal should not be considered. Though such a strategy may help the state save some money, this will make a lot of citizens unemployed.


Andolina, M. (2001). Practical Guide to Critical Thinking. New York: Cengage Learning.

Browne, M. & Keeley, S. (2010). Asking the right questions: A guide to critical thinking (9th ed). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall.

Corcoran, P. (2010). Good decision making. Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University.

Mark, D. (2006). A Field Guide to Good Decisions: Values in Action. New York: Greenwood Publishing Group.

Scriven, M. (2001). Critical Thinking: Its Definition and Assessment. Pennsylvania: Edge press.

Shaw, P. (2010). Making Difficult Decisions: How to be decisive and get the business done. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Stanley, T. (2009). Critical Thinking and Formative Assessments: Increasing the Rigor in Your Classroom Eye on Education. New York: Cengage Printing.

Swamy, S. (2005) Management Strategies For Developing Critical Thinking Skills. London: Anmol Publications.

This assessment on The Steps of Critical Thinking: Memo was written and submitted by your fellow student. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.
Removal Request
If you are the copyright owner of this paper and no longer wish to have your work published on IvyPanda.
Request the removal

Need a custom Assessment sample written from scratch by
professional specifically for you?

801 certified writers online

Cite This paper
Select a referencing style:


IvyPanda. (2019, July 8). The Steps of Critical Thinking: Memo. https://ivypanda.com/essays/critical-thinking-memo/


IvyPanda. (2019, July 8). The Steps of Critical Thinking: Memo. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/critical-thinking-memo/

Work Cited

"The Steps of Critical Thinking: Memo." IvyPanda, 8 July 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/critical-thinking-memo/.

1. IvyPanda. "The Steps of Critical Thinking: Memo." July 8, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/critical-thinking-memo/.


IvyPanda. "The Steps of Critical Thinking: Memo." July 8, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/critical-thinking-memo/.


IvyPanda. 2019. "The Steps of Critical Thinking: Memo." July 8, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/critical-thinking-memo/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'The Steps of Critical Thinking: Memo'. 8 July.

Powered by CiteTotal, best bibliography tool
More related papers