STEP 1: Write a rough draft of your Routine Message assignment, responding to the prompt below. Upload it to this Canvas drop box by the deadline specified on Canvas. At the top of your draft document, before your message headers, you should also include 1 – 2 sentences identifying the kinds of errors or issues you would like your reviewers to pay special attention to.
For this assignment, you will write a short, routine email to me (Dr. Trainor). In this message, you should request a meeting with me and introduce yourself using plain, accessible language.
Your message should:
- Follow business email formatting (including To, From, Date, and Subject lines; opening and concluding salutations; and an email signature block)
- Contain a strong, action-oriented subject line (i.e. you should frame your subject line as either a polite question or polite command)
- Follow routine message structure (i.e. your message should identify your main point in your first 1-5 sentences)
- Clearly indicate the action you want your reader to take (i.e. your message should ask me to consider meeting with you)
- Clearly state why and how you want to meet (i.e. you should specify what you want to discuss during the meeting and whether your want to meet via phone, Zoom, or in person)
- Note: If you are asking to meet via phone or Zoom, please include a (fake) phone number or Zoom link. If you are asking to meet in person, please specify a meeting place.
- Identify 2-3 days / times when you will be available to meet
- Include a brief, accessible description of your professional identity (i.e. you should use plain language to describe your job, career ambition, and/or course of study)
- Adhere to clarity and concision style principles
- Use block formatting to create a visually-appealing document
- Conclude with specific, personalized goodwill and, if necessary, a summative closing statement
In your description of your professional identity you may include your job title and/or the name of your course of study; but you should not rely on your title or the name of your course of study to convey your professional identity. For instance, if I were completing this assignment, I might write: “I’m a Lecturer at the University of Florida, where I teach undergraduate and graduate classes on workplace writing and public speaking.” Notice how, in this sample statement, I supplement my title with a description of what I actually do on a day-to-day basis.
Also make sure that your message is reader-focused. You can make your routine email reader-focused by making your reader feel appreciated, appealing to your reader’s priorities, and motivating your reader to read your message.
Finally, please be aware, the meeting you’re setting up is purely hypothetical! You do not need to provide a real reason why you want to meet nor do you need to provide your real availability for a meeting.
If you do want to meet, please use this message as a model to set up a real office hours appointment.
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