Communication Assessment Report
Proposal memo due: Friday, 23 February 2
Peer review of final report: Wednesday, 7
March 28 March
Final report due: Monday, 26 March 2 April
For this assignment, you will select an organization and perform
an assessment of how that organization communicates. Your goal
will be to propose solutions for communication
problems that you identify.
- Identify an organization. Think broadly
about organizations as you brainstorm which one to work with:
organizations can be traditionally social; they can be cultural,
religious, or geographic; they can be based on gender, physical
need, or ethnicity; they can focus on common professional
interests or hobbies; they can be for-profit or non-profit.
Consider the communities to which you yourself belong. (For
this assignment you don’t
have to belong to the organization you ultimately
select, but it may make the research easier for you). If
you are having trouble finding an organization, consider
approaching one of the on-campus organizations listed on
the MTU Student
- Write a proposal memo. Write a brief memo
to me contextualizing and explaining the organization you
have selected. Include at this point any potential communication
problems you may have identified, and if possible, what your
research plan is.
- Research. This project will
require you to do some field research to get acquainted with
communication at your organization. Your field research can
take many forms, including interviews, observations,
collected documents, etc. Again, you will need to think broadly
about potential areas for communication problems: vital communication
occurs not only between members within the organization,
but it can also occur between the organization and outside
audiences. Consider looking at newsletters, websites,
online environments, brochures, etc., for potential communication
In addition to the field research, plan to do additional
research work to contextualize your organization’s
problem within a larger framework and to identify potential
solutions to the problem.
- Brainstorm and Problem-Solve. Brainstorm
multiple solutions for the problem you identified. When brainstorming,
remember to stifle your inner critic: the point is at first
to come up with a list of as many possible solutions as
you can without paying too much attention to their relative
merits; you can then cull back
the list later.
After you have brainstormed all of your possible solutions,
rank them accordingly. Consider ranking your solutions by
multiple criteria, including their
likelihood for success, their difficultly in implementation,
their cost, how realistic they are, etc. Finalize which solution
or solutions you intend to recommend to your organization
in the final report.
- Report. Your audience for the final report
will be the appropriate contact person within your organization,
but your documents will also be CC'd to me. Your documents
should be designed and written with the ethos of
an aspiring professional in STC—that is, they should
showcase mindful and intelligent rhetorical strategies at
every turn (in the writing, document design, purpose, etc.).
Your report should also demonstrate rhetorical savvy in the
way it addresses the communication problem and in the way
it suggests a solution.
This assignment description and associated
images are licensed by Jim Nugent under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.