1.3 Pre-Writing Assignment Overview:

For this pre-writing assignment, each student will:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of how to organize a military memorandum,
  • Answer in plain language a number of questions that demonstrate an understanding of the scope of what you are being asked to do.
  • Develop a number of key elements of the memorandum.

A “sample” is provided at the end of the assignment to provide information on how to structure this submittal of the assignment. Standardizing the assignment in this way will make it easier to complete peer reviews on each others’ work. The following information is provided below: the three steps for completing the pre-writing assignment, a description of the problem, and an example of what the final assignment should look like.

Step 1: Developing Document Layout and Memorandum Header Elements

Using the memorandum guide provided in the first reading assignment, develop a document header and titles for the required sections. Complete the header content by reading the problem described below.

Step 2: Problem Definition

Your first step in the assignment is to cut and paste each question below into a new document and starting on a line below each question, provide an answer:

  1. What problem you have been asked to address? While you are using statistics to support a particular answer, the question and the outcome that is being sought from you (below) are not numeric. You need to describe the question and outcome sought in plain language.
  2. What is the answer that is being sought from you? OR What is the outcome you are supposed to have in writing this memorandum?
  3. What statistical approach will you use to address this problem? AND Why does this approach provide you insight into addressing the problem?
  4. Who have you been asked to address this memorandum to (find the person’s name and official title)?
  5. What are the addressees likely to need from reading the memorandum? (This is a critical thinking exercise, so ask yourself what the addressees’ responsibilities are and use that to think about what they need to know from you).

Step 3: Develop Key Elements

  1. Summary and Thesis. Now that you understand the scope of the assignment and what your audience needs when reading your memorandum, you will develop the summary and thesis statement (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. for your document. Remember the summary should provide enough information for a busy reader to be able to understand the key elements of the memorandum without reading the entire document. For this type of document, the summary must include a brief statement of the problem, how you will approach addressing it and why that is a valid approach and the recommendation you are planning making.
  2. Graphics. Graphics should be used in this assignment to support or make more clear ideas you are presenting in the document. Determine what type of graphic you will use in your document and describe why it is the best approach for enhancing your message. Review Quick Reference for Figures section the Figures and Charts (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. handout from UNC writing center to assist you in thinking through this. Develop the graphic you will use in the final document. Include identifiers on your graphic that are necessary to make the graphic clear for an outside reader. Provide a title using the formatting discussed in the Figures and Charts (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.handout.
  1. Research Resources. To complete this assignment, you will need information on the causes of death that are occurring in the war zone. Include a minimum of two credible sources that provide this background. Document these two sources following How to Write a Military Memorandum directions for documenting references.

Problem Description:

The United States military has been involved as a peace-keeping force in a humanitarian effort to prevent further genocide in the country of Linhir. Many soldiers have died in this effort. The government has recently approved the use of emergency funds to improve the situation, but funding will only support one initiative. The officer in charge of the theater of operations, your commanding officer, has asked you, a military engineer, rank of Lieutenant, to evaluate the situation and recommend a course of action to reduce the number of fatalities and enable the peace-keeping force to remain in place. Analyze the provided data regarding soldier fatalities in a one-month period and make a recommendation regarding what the government and military should do. The final product of this case (assignment 1.5) is a memorandum following How to Write a Military Memorandum (provided in assignment 1.1 reading) that must provide compelling information to the audience the memorandum is addressed to.

Audience: Any time you prepare a professional document, you should consider the audience (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.that you are writing the document for. You should tailor the content, language, tone, and structure of the document to the audience you are addressing. This document is being prepared for senior-level government and military members. Ask yourself what they can be reasonably expected to know about this topic, and what they need to know to make an informed decision. Address the memorandum to:

  • The United States Secretary of Defense (primary addressee)

Provide carbon copies (cc)’s to:

  • The House of Representatives Defense Subcommittee
  • The United States Senate Defense Subcommittee

Tone: The Audience for this document requires that the style (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. is precise and professional.

Data: Each number on the attached spreadsheet represents the cause of death of one soldier. The cause of death represented by each number is identified on the table below.

Soldier Fatalities Data

Data Coding:

Cause of Fatality Code
Staph infection 1
Typhus 2
Cholera 3
Dysentery 4
Fragment wound 5
Burn wound 6
Gunshot wound 7
Exploding ordnance wound 8
Blood hemorrhage 9

Rubric

GEA 1.3 Pre-Writing 2019 Summer

GEA 1.3 Pre-Writing 2019 Summer

Criteria Ratings Pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeThe memorandum header is included, correctly formatted and including the correct contentTo receive points for this section students must complete the memorandum per the requirements of “How to Write a Military Memorandum” (see reading assignment). They must then fill in the content required per the assignment

1.0 pts

Full Marks

The student has the correct format and content for the memorandum header

0.6 pts

Mediocre

The student did not format the memorandum header correctly or did not complete the content correctly.

0.0 pts

The memorandum header is missing or very poorly done

The student omitted the memorandum header or completed is poorly.

1.0 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeProblem Definition – problem descriptionTo receive points for this section the student must describe the problem they are being asked to address in plain language.

0.4 pts

Full Marks

0.0 pts

No Marks

0.4 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeProblem Definition – answer required is describedTo receive points for this section the student must describe the answer they are being asked to provide in plain language.

0.4 pts

Full Marks

0.0 pts

No Marks

0.4 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeProblem Definition – statistical approach is describedTo receive points for this section the student must describe the statistical approach they will use to address the problem and why this approach provides insight into addressing the problem in plain language.

0.4 pts

Full Marks

0.0 pts

No Marks

0.4 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeProblem Definition – Addressee is identifiedTo receive points for this section the student must provide the name and title for the person they must address the memorandum to.

0.4 pts

Full Marks

0.0 pts

No Marks

0.4 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeProblem Definition – Addressee need is identifiedTo receive points for this section the student must what this person they must address the memorandum to will need to know (based on the responsibilities of their job).

0.4 pts

Full Marks

0.0 pts

No Marks

0.4 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeThesis StatementTo receive points for this section the student must complete a thesis statement that describes what the memorandum is about and the stance of the writer.

1.0 pts

Full Marks

A complete well-done thesis statement is included.

0.6 pts

Mediocre

An incomplete or poorly written thesis statement is included.

0.0 pts

Missing or extremely poorly done thesis statement

The thesis statement is missing or very poorly done.

1.0 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeSummaryTo receive point for this section the student must include all the required elements in the summary

1.0 pts

Full Marks

Student completed a well done and complete summary

0.6 pts

Mediocre

The student had a summary that was weak in one way or missing an element

0.0 pts

Missing or very poorly done

The student did not include a summary or it was very poorly done either missing substantial content or poorly written.

1.0 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeGraphicsTo get points for this section the student must include a graphic that enhances the understanding of the document and is easy to read.

0.5 pts

Full Marks

0.2 pts

Mediocre

The student provided a graphic that did not enhance the understanding of the memorandum content or was not clearly readable.

0.0 pts

Missing or very poorly done

Student omitted the graphics, completed them very poorly or used a graphic that did not enhance the understanding of the memorandum content.

0.5 pts

This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeResearchTo receive points for this section the student must have provided the required credible sources.

0.5 pts

Full Marks

0.2 pts

Mediocre

The student provided poor sources or only one.

0.0 pts

Missing or not credible.

The student did not provide research sources, documented them poorly, and/or used non-credible sources.

0.5 pts

Total Points: 6.0

 
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