This assignment gives you the opportunity to demonstrate your basic writing skills. You will craft a professional-caliber memo to pass along specified information. The writing challenge is to organize and arrange the information to make the memo easy for readers to use. Pay special attention to document design. Use the textbook to help you with the construction of your memo.
Your company or organization has decided to reimburse qualifying employees for tuition spent on job-related courses, and the director of human resources has asked you, a human resources coordinator, to write the memo.
Employees who qualify may receive up to $3,500 each calendar year for tuition and fees. To participate in the program, an employee must apply before the first class meets, and the application must be signed by the employee’s immediate supervisor. The human resources department will evaluate all applications. The human resources department has the application forms, and it also has catalogs from local schools and colleges that people can use to find courses.
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Courses that an employee may take are limited to those that are related to the employee’s job or to a job the employee might move into in the future. Also allowed are courses that are part of the program for a job-related degree an employee is pursuing. The general idea is to help employees with education and training that will enhance their job performance and overall value to the company.
Tuition and fees are all that are covered. No expenses for books, transportation, etc. are covered. Those whose applications are approved can apply for reimbursement once they have completed the course with a “C” or higher. No one will be reimbursed without submitting to human resources a copy of his or her approved application, a grade report showing at least a “C,” and a copy of the statement for tuition and fees paid. Someone who is eligible for other aid, such as VA benefits or a scholarship, can still be reimbursed up to $3,500 for tuition and fees not covered by other aid provided that the total does not exceed the actual cost of tuition and fees.
Part-time employees are not eligible. Only employees who have worked at the company for three months may apply. Courses may be at any level (GED, high school, college or junior college, graduate) as long as they meet the criteria. Reimbursements for graduate courses, though, are taxable, as are undergraduate or basic education reimbursements that exceed $5,350.
Write a friendly, reader-centered memo that introduces this new benefit to all employees.
First, imagine how readers will use the document, and then consider the following:
The information, as presented, is scrambled, much as it would be after the meeting at which the decisions were made. You must determine the most usable sequence of material. What things do readers want to know immediately? What details are best saved for the end?
Good document design is essential; write headings that help readers find answers to their questions, and use lists to make important pieces of information stand out.
Remember that your purpose is to deliver good news while at the same time explaining the limitations of the program.
Your memos will be judged by these main criteria: how logically and appropriately you present the information (organization and tone), how well you express the ideas (correctness, skillful word choice, conciseness (not wordy) and clarity), and the mechanics of memo structure. Thoughtful application of meaningful headings and lists will make the memo more usable (and easier to write!).
This memo should be created in MS Word (doc or docx or rtf). The memo should not run over one page—clear and concise is the challenge here!