How did participating in discussions help your understanding of the subject matter? Is anything still unclear that could be clarified?
September 7, 2018
How did participating in discussions help your understanding of the subject matter? Is anything still unclear that could be clarified? What approaches could have yielded additional valuable information?
September 7, 2018

calmly analyze the situation at hand, provide constructive solutions and/or information, and be as respectful as possible to all parties involved.

SafeAssign:      Submission required by the END of your lab in order to receive credit

Honor Code:  All work must be original to this semester. All instances of plagiarism–intentional or unintentional–will result in a report sent to the University Honor Committee and a recommendation of a zero for the assignment, and possibly the course. It is a violation of the Honor Code to discuss this assignment with students in labs that meet after yours. It is also a violation of the Honor Code to reuse previously submitted work.

Purpose:           To inform / respond; to use appropriate tone to address a difficult issue

Format:            Email

Audience:        Employees

Points:             150

Grading:           Rubric posted to Blackboard


Scenario Background: You are the newly hired HR manager working for a small non-profit in D.C. You receive an email from Sally Le (a fellow employee), indicating that Joe Smith (another employee) made a bigoted and offensive joke during a staff meeting. Shortly after receiving this email, Joe Smith’s direct supervisor came to your office in order to report the same offense.


As the HR manager, it is your responsibility to investigate and enforce HR policies on diversity in the workplace and to foster a safe, working environment. You need to write an email to all employees reminding them of the company’s non-discrimination policy and expectations for office etiquette. You should also offer a plan of action that will address these concerns.


Your company’s non-discrimination policy: Our company is committed to providing equal opportunity and a work environment free from any discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, age, marital status, pregnancy status, or genetic information. Our company is committed to eliminating discriminatory practices in every phase of operations.


Your Task: Using positive, concise, and professional language, write the staff an email that addresses the concerns brought to your attention, uses appropriate tone, and outlines your plan of action going forward. This plan should provide guidelines and expectations for all employees going forward. Make sure to provide a moderate and measured response, and that you address diversity in the workplace. Be sure to calmly analyze the situation at hand, provide constructive solutions and/or information, and be as respectful as possible to all parties involved. Your email should be approximately three-quarters of a page (Times New Roman 12 pt. font, single spaced, standard one-inch margins), and entirely in your own words (do not simply restate the policy mentioned above).



  • Did you address the employees’ concerns?
  • Did you use appropriate tone to convey your message given your position as HR manager?
  • Did you make the message clear and concise?
  • Did you use positive language?
  • Did you use correct grammar and punctuation?
  • Did you format your email for maximum readability?
  • Did you put the entire email into your own words and style?
  • Did you clearly explain the plan of action?
  • Did you consider what information could be omitted and instead discussed in a meeting?
  • Did you consider what information should be omitted?
  • Did you meet the page length requirement?


Advice:  Even though this is a timed assignment, remember to treat your writing as a process. It is recommended that you take a few minutes to think about the assignment and/or brainstorm or outline before you begin writing (pre-writing stage). Once you have a draft, give yourself time to go back and revise for clarity. Once you have revised, be sure to proofread/edit your paper before you submit. Completion of these steps will help you to produce a stronger piece of writing.


Resources: You are allowed to use your class notes, returned work, dictionary/thesaurus/grammar guide, Blackboard, and textbook for this assignment. You are allowed to be creative regarding the scenario to demonstrate to your lab professor that you understand how to utilize appropriate tone.


Format: Please use the following format:

Your Name

Lab Number



Email Letter (Subject Line, Salutation, Intro, Body, Conclusion, and Complimentary Close [A signature block is not required, but can be used])


Grading Criteria (see rubric):

  • Content (45%): Appropriate tone; clear description of situation and actions to be taken; clear and concise opening and closing.
  • Grammar and Mechanics (50%): Free of errors; use of standard, edited, American English; use of direct business language; complete sentences; logical flow and transitions.
  • Format (5%): Email letter format; complete paragraphs written in appropriate length.


Submission Directions: When you have completed the email letter:

  1. Submit your document to the “In-Class Writing 2” SafeAssign file in the “Assignment Submissions” folder in Blackboard (upload the Word file)
  2. Turn in these directions to your professor before leaving class

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