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UWP 104A: Business Writing
“From the Office of…”
Portfolio #2: Professional Communication and Career
Assignment Overview: This second portfolio encourages you to learn about a company or organization
of interest to you. You will demonstrate your foundational research skills to prepare an argument—in
this case, a problem statement. You will write about a problem or challenge facing the organization
and a brief recommendation of how the organization might address that challenge. You will also offer
your problem statement by recorded online presentation, and the class will select problems to approach
in our final group unit. This portfolio accounts for a total of 1,600 words and 25 percent of your overall
grade in the class. You will upload your portfolio as a single cohesive Word or PDF document. The
sections in bold are required as part of your portfolio.
1) From the Office of:
a. “Public Relations”: You will research a problem or challenge that your organization
faced in the past. In your writing, of at least 250 words, note in particular how the
company “solved” this issue, and how they communicated that solution to the larger
public. The rest of the class, including me, is your audience.
b. “Memo Audiences”: Based on your findings in “Public Relations,” you will draft short
memos to three internal audiences, imagining how the organization explained its course
of action. How did the organization explain its solution to: 1) employees 2) shareholders
or stakeholders and 3) a potential new client or partner. Your audiences, of course, are
these specific groups. The memos together should total at least 250 words.
2) Professional Email: Write an actual professional email to a member of this organization.
Briefly introduce yourself and this assignment, demonstrate your existing knowledge of the
organization, and ask specific questions to better understand the organization. You will be
graded on your content, organization, demonstrated knowledge, professional tone, and clear
and error-free prose. Note: you must send your email, but you do not need to receive a
response. If you do, I will want to see all of your correspondence, which will be scored with the
same professional requirements in mind. There is no minimum length for this email.
3) Profile Essay of Company and Problem Statement: Based on your own research—and
perhaps, though not required, your answers from your email exchange—write a profile of at
least 800 words on your organization. You should format your profile with the specific sections
we discuss in class, and your profile should end with a problem statement and brief potential
4) You are also encouraged, but not required, to write a short executive summary or “speaking
draft” of your profile. This serves as notes that you can read for your recorded presentation.
From these recorded presentations, the class will select the most engaging and feasible
projects, and these will form the foundations of our group work. Your audience is me, your
instructor, and most importantly, the rest of the class. There is no minimum or maximum; you
should speak for about two minutes. You do not need to upload or turn in your
summary/speaking draft, and you will upload your recording to Discussions.
5) Reflection on the Company: After completing the rest of your portfolio, write a brief
reflection of at least 300 words with your honest assessment of the company. This is not a
reflection that you would share with the company or organization. Think of this as a private
note or message for yourself. What issues did you encounter in your research that you wouldn’t
share (at least initially) with this organization?
Rough Draft of Profile Essay due Friday, Oct. 30 by 12noon (uploaded and emailed to your
Workshop: Critique Feedback due Tuesday, Nov. 3 by 12noon (uploaded and emailed)
Recorded Presentation due Thursday, Nov. 5 by 12noon, uploaded to Canvas Discussions
Selection of Top Five Presentations due Friday, Nov. 6, by 11pm, to Canvas Assignments
Final Portfolio due Monday, Nov. 9, uploaded to Canvas Assignments by 11 pm.
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