Applied Sciences

Directions: Find two errors that is wrong with this letter and rewrite it the correct way. This is due Sunday 7/21/19

8.5 Document for Analysis: Instruction E-Mail

(L.O. 2)


The following wordy and poorly expressed e-mail from a CEO discusses a growing problem for organizations: how to avoid the loss of valuable company data to hackers.

Your Task Study the message, list its weaknesses, and then rewrite it in the form of an instruction message. Is it better to use bullets or numbers for an internal list?

To: Staff Members

From: G. B. Goldman <>

Subject: Hackers!

Staff Members:

This is to inform you that, like other banks, we are afraid of hackers. We fear that employees will expose valuable information to hackers without realizing what they are doing. Because of our fear, we have consulted cybersecurity experts, and they gave us much good advice with new procedures to be followed. Here are the procedures suggested by experts:

1. We don’t want you to leave out-of-office messages. These voice mail or e-mails might explain when you will be away. Such messages are a red flag to hackers telling them that your computer is vacant and not being monitored.

2. Because smartphones can be lost or stolen, don’t snap photos of company documents. Phones may be lost or stolen, and our data might be compromised.

3. Although small memory devices (thumb drives) are handy and easy to use, you may be inclined to store company files or information on these drives. Don’t do it. They can easily be lost, thus exposing our company information.

4. Using work e-mail addresses for social media is another problem area. When you post details about your job, hackers can figure out an organization’s best target.

5. Phishing links are the worst problem. Any request for password information or any requests to click links should be viewed with suspicion. Never click them. Even messages that seem to be from high-level officials or the human resources department within our own company can be sophisticated, realistic fakes. Examples include a request to click a link to receive a package or to download a form from within the company.

We want to let you all know that within the next two months, we plan to begin implementing a program that will educate and train employees with regard to what to avoid. The program will include fake phishing messages. The program will be explained and you will learn more from your managers in training workshops that are scheduled to begin September 1.

G. B. Goldman, CEO

[Full contact information]

Composing Instruction Messages

Ethics Check

How Authentic Are Customer Reviews Online?

As the value of social media buzz is steadily increasing, so are efforts to rig the system. Not all customer critiques on the Web can be trusted, particularly when so many are anonymous. Some businesses pay for positive online reviews or encourage their employees to sing the praises of their own products while knocking the competition. How seriously should companies take the threat of potentially fraudulent reviews?

Instruction messages  describe how to complete a task. You may be asked to write instructions about how to repair a paper jam in the photocopier, order supplies, file a grievance, or hire new employees. Instructions are different from policies and official procedures, which establish rules of conduct to be followed within an organization. We are most concerned with creating messages that clearly explain how to complete a task.

Like requests and responses, instruction messages follow a straightforward, direct approach. Before writing instructions for a process, be sure you understand the process completely. Practice doing it yourself. A message that delivers instructions should open with an explanation of why the procedure or set of instructions is necessary.

Creating Step-by-Step Instructions.

The body of an instruction message should use plain English and familiar words to describe the process. Your messages explaining instructions will be most readable if you follow these guidelines:

· Divide the instructions into steps.

· List the steps in the order in which they are to be carried out.

· Arrange the items vertically with numbers.

· Begin each step with an action verb using the imperative (command) mood rather than the indicative mood.

· Indicative Mood Imperative Mood
The contract should be sent immediately. Send the contract immediately.
The first step involves downloading the app. Download the app first.
A survey of employees is necessary to learn what options they prefer. Survey employees to learn the options they prefer.

In the closing of a message issuing instructions, try to tie following the instructions to benefits to the organization or individual.

If you are asked to prepare a list of instructions that is not part of a message, include a title such as How to Clear Paper Jams. Include an opening paragraph explaining why the instructions are needed.

Revising a Message Delivering Instructions.

Figure 8.6 shows the first draft of an interoffice memo written by Brian Belmont. His memo was meant to announce a new method for employees to follow in requesting equipment repairs. However, the tone was negative, the explanation of the problem rambled, and the new method was unclear. Finally, Brian’s first memo was wordy and filled with clichés (do not hesitate to call).

Figure 8.6Memo Explaining Instructions

Enlarge Image

Memo Explaining Instructions

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