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There are different forms of technical communication channels that may be sued in an organization. These include business letters, memos, reports and notices among others. Reports and memos are critical because they target a larger audience. A report acts like an advisory paper for the management on what needs to be done in an organization.
A memo can pass information to both internal and external stakeholders. There are recommended lengths, tones of communication and styles for these forms of technical communication. This paper analyzes four memos and a report based on their tone, length and style of writing.
The memo has not been formatted in the right way. For instance, an ideal memo starts with the word ‘From’ then followed by ‘To’. The source of the memo should also have a signature of the sender. As such, an email address may also be included as part of important contact details. On the other hand, the memo should have the names of the recipients accompanied by their titles in respective organizations.
An ideal situation is when the memo is directed to several recipients at the same time. This particular memo mentions specific names as recipients. They should be identified by their titles such as Managing Director, Sales Staff and so on. A memo should also have the title Memorandum or Memo at the top center of the page.
The memo does not have the right tone which is usually expected in a formal document. In most cases, a memo should have a direct and conversational tone that delivers the intended information a friendlier and firm manner. In addition, a memo should be divided into paragraphs which communicate different ideas. In this memo, various ideas are mixed within same paragraphs making it quite difficult for the reader to follow.
On the same note, the length of the letter is not appropriate. Although a memo is usually expected to be brief in terms of length, all the main ideas ought to be communicated adequately. For example, the sex and salary scandals should be mentioned and explained in separate paragraphs.
Then, the issue of getting a better offer may not be mentioned at this stage. The writer should only concentrate on giving the director all the list of grievances. It is also imperative to mention that the sexual scandal is not explained adequately; and so is the salary scandal.
The report has not been written in the most effective and professional way as it should be. For example, right form the outset, this report does not contain important details such as the title, date when it was written as well as the location. According to Markel (2009), a good report should bear some of the aforementioned details so that readers can identify with it.
Some of the important details include the title, date, findings, participants or target audience, the strengths, recommendations and conclusions. There should be an introduction that gives the reader an overview of what the report contains.
This particular report does not mention when it was commissioned. It does not even mention the date it was written. The title of the ‘report’ should not be the way it is. This is because it does not contain what was investigated and found. The ‘report’ is about what the country has instituted as sexual harassment Act of 1964.
The report does not contain the right tone. At the start, it deliberates on the Act rather than starting with the intention of the entire report. The real intention is mentioned in the middle of the report. In terms of formatting style, the structure is equally wrong. It is not put in separate paragraphs and the issues are mixed.
Even though it can be seen that it starts from the Act to the issues at hand about sexual harassment, the two are not separated.
The report does not mention the authors of the information; nor does it mention the recipient. The length of a report should be able to handle all issues at hand. This particular report is short to an extent that all issues are not explained properly. However, other than the weaknesses mentioned, this report has clarity.
Just like the first memorandum, there are several weaknesses evident in the entire piece of writing. The memo starts with ‘From’ instead of ‘To’. In an ideal situation, a memo ought to start with the name and title of recipient rather than the sender of the memo. The signatures such as the email addresses of the recipients and those of recipients may not be necessary. Only the names in full and their titles may be required.
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The memo is a warning to the management of the company. The subject therefore should have contained this title instead of generalities. The memo should then be divided into paragraphs containing specific messages.
This memo should have the right kind of tone. Even though it is supposed to be a warning letter, the writer should have initiated a conversational tone. The letter starts with a warning which should be at least in the third paragraph. The memo is not divided into parts which make it have the issues mentioned clumsy. The memo should also be directed to specific people and therefore should have the language fit for such a person.
The memo is meant to give ultimatums to the director, and therefore, the strong language used serves the intended purpose. The most important information is sent and therefore makes it relevant. The memo also has the signature of the person who has sent it at the bottom. For a memo, it is not necessary because the name is already put at the top.
This particular memo appears to be authoritative and quite demanding. It has the name of the company on top and the name Memo at the top of the memo. As well, the structure of the sender, recipient, the date and subject are put in the right order. The letter starts with To followed by From. This is the recognized format of a memo. However, the memo has the title Memo put at the wrong place.
It should be put at the middle of the memo and its fonts are out of proportion. The subject is also put in the right manner and clearly communicates the intended message. The line put after the head of the memo is not necessary. The salutation part is put at the wrong place. It should be put immediately after the first part of the memo.
In ideal cases of written memos, the salutation part is quite often omitted. However, in cases where the situation is needed, it should be put at a separate part and not together with the body of the memo. The tone of the memo is right. It at least initiates a dialogue or conversation as is required with all memos. However, the memo is not divided into different parts.
The parts are supposed to differentiate different arguments of the message. For example, the issues of sexual harassment and salary scandal should be explained separately. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission should be discussed separately with the last paragraph connecting the issue at hand with the provision of the Commission. Largely, the message is communicated and with little fine tuning, the message is received well.
The memo does not have the right tone, length and style. The structure is equally wrong because it has not introduced as it is supposed to be. That is, there should be a header giving an impression that it is a memo. The memo does not start with the recipient of the message. Instead, it starts with the sender, followed by the recipient. The memo does not have the subject which summarizes the message.
The body should be structured into paragraphs to separate different ideas. Different ideas such as sex and salary scandal should be put differently for easy following. The tone of the message is good. It initiates a conversation right from the start of the body.
It also ends well with suggestion that the conversation can continue. The warning as intended by the sender is well put. More importantly, this warning is communicated lightly rather than situations where the sender notifies the director that the employees would send their signatures.
A channel of communication must have enhanced clarity. In an organization, the most common forms of communications are reports, memos, notices and business letters. They have their target audiences.
For example, a report may target the implementing organs/departments while notices may target both internal and external stakeholders. Therefore, the message must be crafted in a clear manner. For example, a memo must state the author of the message, the recipient, the date, the subject and the message.
Markel, M. (2009). Technical Communication (9th ed.). New York: St. Martins Press.