Introduction to Communication

Assignment 1:

For this assignment, you will write emails explaining a situation to both an employer and a friend.

Your employer has asked you to work on a day that you have already requested off for personal reasons. You are unable to change your plans and must therefore explain why you are unable to work (a family wedding or similar event is a possible choice for this). Your friend has asked you to assist him or her with moving on the same day. Again, you are unable to help because of the same prior engagement.

  1. Write an email to your employer explaining why you are unable to work on the day specified.
  2. Write an email to your friend explaining why you are unavailable to help with his or her move.
  3. In a short, 1-page reflection, explain the differences between how you have communicated in the two emails. Familiarity with the other person, formality, type of language used, and other factors you may wish to include.
  4. Keep in mind the audiences to whom you are writing. Ideas of grammar, formality, and word choice may be very different depending on your audience, but in both cases, clarity and succinctness are important.

Assignment 2:

You have been working on a group project with several other students. The project has generally been going well, but one person on the project has not been pulling his or her weight, relying on everyone else in the group to complete the project. The group has discussed this problem, and you have elected as the person to communicate with the student who has not been helping on the project.

Using Microsoft Word or a similar program, draft an email to your fellow student discussing the issue and what you think can or should be done to resolve it. You will want to communicate carefully, being clear on the problem as you see it without being aggressive or angry. Proper language and tone will be extremely important.

On the same document, in 2-3 paragraphs, discuss how you came to the solution for this issue. In this discussion, include what would constitute a good resolution for the problem in your opinion and what actions (or non-action) by the offending student would cause you to contact the instructor for additional help in resolving the problem.

Assignment 4:

You have just received two emails, one from your boss or supervisor and one from a coworker. The two emails address the same situation. A minor problem has occurred that you may be responsible for creating. Your boss/supervisor has asked you for a resolution to the problem. Your coworker, who has been affected by this problem, is angry with you and has written an inflammatory email accusing you of creating this problem on purpose.

  1. Using word, write an email as a reply to both of the emails that you have received. You should attempt to resolve the problem as efficiently as possible. Since your email will be received both by a supervisor and a coworker, consider all aspects of your communication including the formality of the language you use, grammar, and all aspects of formal communication. Your goal is to solve the problem and maintain your professionalism at the same time.
  2. On the same document, analyze the conflict that has happened. What was the cause of the conflict? How did you attempt to resolve the conflict? What did you need to address in terms of your supervisor’s concerns, and how were these different from your coworker’s concerns? Do you think your supervisor and coworker handled the conflict well in their emails to you? How effective are these emails?

Assignment 6:

Consider your experiences at work, school, and in your personal life. You have, at some point, been asked to work with a group to achieve a particular goal. It might have been a group research project, a new marketing plan, a learning plan, a schedule to roll out new technology, planning a wedding, or even planning and creating a large family meal. In many collaborative efforts like these, there are disagreements. Select one collaborative experience from your past that involved some disagreements or significant differences of opinion.

Write a short (2-page) paper in APA style discussing the following elements:

  1. Describe the project that you were working on, including the people involved.
  2. Explain the problem that you encountered with the group. How was that problem overcome? What was the end result of encountering and dealing with that problem?
  3. What do you think was the cause of the problem? How much of the problem came from miscommunication, either from you or from other people involved? What did you do to help resolve the problem?
  4. If you were able to relive that experience, how would you change the way that you approached the encountered problem? How would you communicate differently?
  5. How, ultimately, was the conflict resolved?


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