Assume that you are employed by Macro Engineering Inc of Toronto, that today is the second Monday of the current month, and that for the past four weeks you have been on a field assignment to Gillam







  • Read the information given for the case.
  • Follow the instructions for the task.


All the details you need to do this assignment are included.  You are encouraged, however, to introduce additional factors if you feel they will increase the depth or scope of your request. You are also encouraged to include only essential information.  You many not need to use all the facts stated below.  Decide what to include based on the guidelines for writing clear, concise and effective messages.  Use your ‘dialogue with the reader’ planning steps to help you write an effective request.


Case Study: Write a Request to Attend TCI


Assume that you are employed by Macro Engineering Inc of Toronto, that today is the second Monday of the current month, and that for the past four weeks you have been on a field assignment to Gillam, Manitoba, where you are installing a computer control system at Manitoba’s Hydro’s power generating station.  You are assisted by technicians Denise Stockman and Graham Holtz and your project is four days ahead of schedule.  The task is to be completed by the 10th of next month.


Today you are shown a brochure describing a Technical Communication Institute (TCI) to be held at the Fort Garry Hotel in Winnipeg from the 26th to the 29th of this month.  The brochure provides the following details:


  • TCI is held annually, and this is its fifth year.
  • It presents seven courses over four days, some of two days duration, some one day.
  • Courses this year are:

o    Planning and Designing Multimedia

o    Designing Online Documentation

o    Usability Testing

o    Project Management

o    Developing a Web Site

o    Preparing World-Ready Information

o    Human Factors for Technical Communicators

  • The cost is $785 plus GST ($54.95)
  • Hotel cost is $79 single or double occupancy (plus HST)
  • Classes are held at the University of Manitoba and Red River Community College downtown extension divisions.
  • Attendance is limited to 55 people, with no more than 15 in computer-based courses and no more than 20 people in other courses.
  • Classes are from 8.30 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. daily.
  • Instruction is principally “hands on”.
  • There’s a reception and banquet on the third night (28th).
  • Applications are to be sent to TCI at Box 181 RPO Croydon, Winnipeg, R3M 3S7.


Because you work contains both technical and management aspects, and requires that you do a lot of report writing, you consider that TCI would be ideal for you.  Terri Molineux, a technical writer at Gillam (she gave you the brochure) attended last year’s TCI.  “The quality of instruction, and the dedication of the faculty are excellent,” she says.  “It was well worth the price.  I learned a lot.”


From the description in the brochure, you identify the two-day Preparing World-Ready Information and Project Management courses as the most useful for you (although Designing Online Documentation also appeals to you and you decide to list it as an alternative choice, just in case one of the other courses is full).


Your Task:

Write a memo to your department head, Fred Stokes, in which you

·         Request to attend the TCI

  • Describe the courses you want to take (convince him they are good)
  • Ask if you can attend (give reasons why and how your attending this conference will benefit the company)
  • Ask for the company to pay the tuition fee and air fare
  • Explain that a hotel room is not necessary as you will stay with friends.
  • Ask to be spared from the Manitoba Hydro installation project for five days, one of which is for travel time.
  • Explain who will look after the project while you are away.
  • Ask for a quick reply, because time is short. (Because attendance is limited, you’re afraid the courses may be filled before you apply!).


West Jet flies between Gillam and Winnipeg once a day.  The airfare is $627 including taxes. 


Use the Writing Plan for a Request to help you compose and organize your memo.  Use your ‘dialogue with the reader’ steps from Unit 2 to help you answer all your readers questions.  Your memo should be no longer than one page. Choose a clear layout and format for your message.


Your request will be assessed according to the following ASSESSMENT CRITERIA


·         identifies purpose of the details of the request



a) Follows the appropriate writing plan

b) includes the essential parts of a request:

·         summary

·         body explaining the reasoning behind the request and the details.

·         closing that focuses on action



a) range of vocabulary

b) correct use of word forms

c) word choice

Language Use

a) sentence structure

b) subject/verb agreement

c) verb tense and form

d) articles, prepositions

e) pronouns

f) parallelism

Related Questions in english category

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