Portfolio

This assignment consists of three portfolio projects that will provide you with actual evidence
to demonstrate your communication competence to potential employers. Below are three
different communication scenarios. You are to create your own documents based on the
described situations. Each document should be written from your point of view using company
letterhead stationary that you can create from a Microsoft Word template.
PORTFOLIO PROJECT 1
Writing an Informational Message
PROBLEM
You are the head of the catalog sales department of Branford’s, a large department store
located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Most of your 17 full-time employees are high school
graduates, and many of them are female. For beginning workers, you pay $2.50 per hour
over the minimum wage, plus fringe benefits. Send an email message to your employees
informing them that management has decided that no one can take vacation or personal
days during the months of November and December. The reason, of course, is that the
holiday season is your busiest sales period.
PROCESS
Before you begin to write, take time to think and plan your document. Remember to
consider the three things we talked about in class-what is your purpose, who is your
audience, what is the expected format of your document. Also take time to consider the
following:
1. What reasons can you give for your decision?
2. How can you stress the “you” attitude and use positive language to explain
the reasons for this decision
PRODUCT
Compose your document and follow the five steps in the writing process (planning,
drafting, revising, formatting, and proofreading). Format the final version as an email
message (You can send it to yourself) and print a copy from your computer.
PORTFOLIO PROJECT 2
Writing a Persuasive Memo
PROBLEM
You are a claims adjuster for Statewide Insurance. Your job requires you to investigate
automobile accident claims, negotiate settlements, and authorize payments. Customers are
already distressed, of course, over their accidents and possible physical injury. The last
thing they need is a delay in settling their insurance claims and getting their vehicles
repaired.
Because you travel the entire eastern half of your state to physically examine the
damaged vehicles and talk with those involved, you constantly have to search maps and the
Internet for directions to out-of-the-way places.
It occurs to you that you could be more productive and provide better customer
service if you had an onboard automotive navigation system that relies on the federally
operated Global Positioning System (GPS). The device in which you’re interested is the
Street Pilot III, which boasts a large color display as well as voice prompts (such as “turn
right at the next intersection”) and automatic routing capability. It’s portable, so you can
use it on any vehicle—which is particularly useful given that you sometimes have to fly to
your destination and then rent an automobile. The cost is $699.99, but there is no monthly
access charge.
Send a memo to your boss, Lisette Washington, vice president of operations, trying
to sell her on the idea. She will be concerned, of course, about whether the other two
adjusters will request the same device.
PROCESS
Before you begin to write, take time to think and plan your document. Remember to
consider the three things we talked about in class-what is your purpose, who is your
audience, what is the expected format of your document. Also take time to consider the
following:
1. Will you use a direct or an indirect organizational pattern?
2. List the reasons you might discuss for approving your proposal—including
any reader benefits associated with each reason.
3. What is an obstacle that might prevent you from achieving your objective?
PRODUCT
Compose your document, following the five steps in the writing process (planning, drafting,
revising, formatting, and proofreading). Format the final version on letterhead stationery.
PORTFOLIO PROJECT 3
Writing a Routine Adjustment Letter
PROBLEM
You are a correspondent in the customer service department of Branford’s Department
Store. This morning (May 25, 2011), you received the following letter from Mrs.
Henrietta Daniels, an angry customer:
Dear Customer Service Manager:
I am really upset at the poor-quality shades that you sell. Two
months ago I purchased two pairs of your pleated fabric shades in
Wedgwood Blue at $35.99 each for my two bathroom windows.
A copy of my $74.32 bill is enclosed. The color has already begun to
fade from these shades. I couldn’t believe it when I checked and
found that they now look tie-dyed! That is not the look I wish for my
home.
Since these shades did not provide the type of wear that I paid for,
please refund my $74.32.
Sincerely,
Mrs. Henrietta Daniels
You take Mrs. Daniels’ itemized bill down to the sales floor and find the model of shades she
purchased. You conclude that Mrs. Daniels’ home must have large bathroom windows because
the only size this particular shade comes in is 64 inches long by 32 inches wide. Printed right on
the tag attached to the shade is this caution: “Warning: The imported fabric in this shade makes
it unsuitable for use in areas of high humidity.” Clearly, these shades were not made for
bathroom use. You call up Mrs. Daniels’ account on your computer and find that she has been a
loyal customer for many years. You decide, therefore, to refund her $74.32, even though she
misused the product. Write the adjustment letter (Mrs. Henrietta Daniels, 117 Pine Forest
Drive, Atlanta, GA 30345).
PROCESS
Before you begin to write, take time to think and plan your document. Remember to
consider the three things we talked about in class-what is your purpose, who is your
audience, what is the expected format of your document. Also take time to consider the
following:
1. How will you convey the information that Mrs. Daniels misused the product?
2. How can you promote your cotton and polyester bathroom curtains (which are
appropriate for high-moisture environments)?
3. What is the purpose of your closing sentence?
PRODUCT
Compose your document, following the five steps in the writing process (planning, drafting,
revising, formatting, and proofreading). Format and print the final version on letterhead
stationery of the company.