ABM/FIM 400 MEMORANDA ASSIGNMENT. Management Research Paper (Research Paper Sample)
ABM/FIM 400 MEMORANDA ASSIGNMENT GUIDELINES
Motivation for the Assigments: ABM/FIM 400 will include three memoranda assignments. The assignments have two main goals: (1) to help you demonstrate your understanding of the course material and (2) to develop your professional writing skills. Most of you will be starting professional careers in the next few months. Research has shown that writing is an important professional skill for (aspiring) managers in business ﬁrms inside and outside the agri-food system. For example, in a survey of agri-food employers, “soft skills” such as oral and written communications were ranked as being more important than knowledge of a discipline (major), technical skills or project management skills. Among these soft skills, employers ranked communication as the most important soft skill. (See http://www.aplu.org/document.doc?id=3414). Research has shown that employees spend a signiﬁcant portion of their time performing various writing tasks. In a survey of business school graduates, 70 percent of graduates reported that they spent more than 10 percent of their work time on writing tasks, with 43 percent reporting that they spent more than 20 percent (or more than 1 day per week) on writing tasks. Most corporate writing is done as short documents, with 64 percent of business documents being written as letters or memoranda.1 Finally, Robert L. Thompson, who served as assistant secretary of agriculture in the Reagan administration, observed that in Washington, “Decision makers are busy – one page is often the most that is read.” This observation is equally true in business and other large organizations. Thus, these assignments are designed to develop your professional skill at writing in a short (memorandum) format.Rules: • For each assignment, I will write a memorandum to you indicating the issue to be analyzed. Your assignment is to write a memorandum in response to that request.
1Gallion, Leona M. and C. Bruce Kavan. “A Case Study of Business Writing: An Examination of Documents Written by Executives and Managers.” Business Communication Quarterly. 1994 (57): 9-11.1
• Your memo must: – Use correct business writing format (see guidance and examples below).
– Be no longer than 1 single-spaced page of text (double-spaced between paragraphs). This page limit will be enforced with a simple rule: No memo with more than one page of text will be read.
– Have one inch margins on all sides and an 11-point Times New Roman font. Failure to follow font and margin requirements will result in an incomplete on the assignment until those problems are corrected.
– Tables or graphs must be placed on a separate page.
• I will provide most of the sources needed to conduct the analysis required in your memorandum. Please check with the instructor before undertaking research for other information to complete these assignments.
• Please do not be deceived by the fact that these assignments are “only” one page in length. The expectation for quality is high, both for the depth of thought and care in writing. A few careless mistakes could be all it takes to get zero for a memo.
– Each typo or grammatical error will cost 2.5 points.
– Each statement that is factually incorrect will cost 5 points.
– As stated above, memos with more than one page of text earn zero points.
• There are two main takeways here: The ﬁrst challenge of these assignments is how to parse a reasonable amount of required information into a one-page format. The second challenge is checking, re-checking, and then re-checking your work, until you’re ready to bet your grades and good name on it.
2January DD, 20YY <<< Always include the date.
TO: ABM/FIM 400 Students <<< This is the person(s) receiving the memorandum.
FROM: David B. Schweikhardt DBS <<< This is the person(s) sending the memorandum.
SUBJECT: Format for business memoranda <<< This is the subject of the memorandum.
This memorandum explains the proper format for writing business memoranda. These are the format rules for business memoranda:
• Memoranda must be single spaced with double spacing between paragraphs and with one inch margins on all sides.
• Headings and sub-headings should be used to organize the memorandum.
• Do not indent the first word of a paragraph.
• The TO, FROM, and SUBJECT headings are all capitalized and double spaced. A period is not required at the end of the SUBJECT line. The sender is required to initial or sign (by hand or electronically) the “FROM” line. These lines are indented by one Tab.
• Use courtesy titles (Mr. John Smith, Ms. Jane Jones, Dr. John Brown, Secretary Vilsack) in the “TO” heading if these titles would be used when writing a letter to this person.
• The SUBJECT line should provide a brief, accurate description of the memorandum’s content. Try to use no more than 1 line for the SUBJECT line.
• If other material is attached to the memorandum, an “Attachment” line must appear at the bottom of the page. This line should provide a description of the attached material(s).
If you use bullets, remember the following:
• Each bullet should be indented and should contain only one idea or topic.
• Bullets are useful for expressing small amounts of information (1-2 lines). Bullets are not efficient for long paragraphs. Do not use bullets if they are an inefficient use of space.
A good memorandum must have the following qualities:
• It is correct – the memorandum contains thoughtful and accurate analysis.
• It is complete – the memorandum includes all requested information.
• It is clear – the reasoning, grammar, and spelling are correct.
• It is concise – the memorandum does not contain unnecessary wordiness.
Attachments: Data table and data graph formats <<< A list of all attachments to the memorandum.
FORMAT FOR CREATION OF A DATA TABLE
There is one rule of thumb for all tables: A reader should be able to pick up a table, read it, and understand the table without having to read any other information. To achieve this, a table must be created in a format that displays and labels the data in an accurate manner. Data tables must have the following elements: A table number and a descriptive title Labels on columns and rows that inform the reader about the data The data presented in the table A list of the sources from which the data were obtained
Here is a sample table and its elements:
Table 1. U.S. Production, Exports, and Price of Corn, 1995 - 1999.
____________________________________________________________________________________ Year Production Exports Price ---------(Million bushels)---------- (Bushel) 1995 10,560 2,345 $2.45 1996 11,324 3,267 2.34 1997 12,890 2,145 2.22 1998 10,777 1,936 2.87 1999 11,990 3,876 2.21 ____________________________________________________________________________________ Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1999.
Be sure to follow these rules: The title should be brief, accurate, and informative -- if possible, include the date(s) of the data. The table title should be centered over the table, and the source line should appear at the left hand side at the bottom of the table. A solid line appears below the title and above the source line – these indicate the beginning and end of the table to the reader. Any volumes or dollar values associated with the data should be labeled in the table (such as the “Million Bushels” or the “Bushel” labels that appear in the columns above). The source(s) line should indicate the source(s) that produced the data. All sources should be included in the source line. If possible, the year in which the data were published should be included.
If you include a table in a document, then you must refer to the table in the text of the document. Your text should make clear to the reader what is important to know about the table by identifying the one or two most important highlights of the data presented in the table. In other words, your reader should know, without looking at the table, what information in the table is important to your message. Here are two examples of correct references to the table above: “As shown in Table 1, corn production ranged from 10.6 billion bushels to 12.9 billion bushels since 1995, while exports ranged from 1.9 to 3.9 billion bushels.” “Corn production has ranged from 10.6 to 12.9 billion bushels since 1995, while exports ranged from 1.9 to 3.9 billion bushels (Table 1).”
FORMAT FOR CREATION OF A DATA GRAPH
There is one rule of thumb for all graphs: A reader should be able to pick up a graph, look at it, and understand the graph without having to read any other information. To achieve this, a graph must be created in a format that displays and labels the data in an accurate manner. Data graphs must have the following elements: A graph number and a descriptive title Labels on data presented in the graph that inform the reader about the data The data presented in the graph A list of the sources from which the data were obtained
Here is a sample graph and its elements:
: Be sure to follow these rules: The title should be brief, accurate, and informative. The title should be centered over the graph, and the source line should appear at the left hand side at the bottom of the graph. Any volumes or dollar values associated with the data should be labeled in the graph (such as the “Billion Bushels” that appears at the left hand side of the graph above). The source(s) line should indicate the source(s) that produced the data. All sources should be included in the source line. If possible, the year in which the data were published should be included.
If you include a graph in a document, then you must refer to the graph in the text of the document. Your text should make clear to the reader what is important to know about the graph by identifying the one or two most important highlights of the data presented in the graph. In other words, your reader should know, without looking at the graph, what information in the graph is important to your message. Here are two examples of correct references to the graph above: “As shown in Figure 1, corn production ranged from 10.6 billion bushels to 12.9 billion bushels since 1995, while exports ranged from 1.9 to 3.9 billion bushels.” “Corn production has ranged from 10.6 to 12.9 billion bushels since 1995, while exports ranged from 1.9 to 3.9 billion bushels (Figure 1).”
February 05, 2020
TO: Mr. Frank Lucas and Mr. Collin C. Peterson
SUBJECT: Discussions on Food and Agricultural Issues
Congressman Mr. Frank Lucas is a member of the Republican Party and represents Oklahoma’s 3rd district. Congressman Mr. Collin C. Peterson is a member of the Democratic Party and represents the 7th District of Minnesota (House.gov, 2020).
Profile of District
Mr. Lucas has been on the forefront of championing for ways to improve various food and agricultural industries in Oklahoma and particularly, in dairy and wheat farming. There are over 30000 farms in Oklahoma’s 3rd district that are serviced by about 45000 farmers. Similarly, Mr. Peterson has been instrumental in advocating for the rights of farmers in Minnesota involved in the agricultural production of sugar beets, oats, sweat corn and green peas. There are over 33000 farms in the region and approximately 50000 farmers.
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