Your task is to write an analysis and evaluation of a professional text supplied by the module leader. Then, based on your analysis and evaluation, you will edit and redraft the original document
MGT3018/3418 Assessed Task Two
Assessed Task Two requires you to analyse the suitability of three examples of professional communication for the functions they were intended to serve. The task is divided into two parts, A and B. Part A requires you to write a brief commentary on a professional document provided by the module leader (see details below). Then, based on your commentary, you will edit and redraft the document. Part B requires you to write a comparative commentary on two short video clips that will be supplied to you (see below for practical arrangements).
It makes sense for you to start work on Part A first (partly because people usually find it easier initially to work on printed text, partly because the videos will not be posted until next week).
Why are we doing this?
As explained in several MGT3018/3418 classes, although a great deal of communication in managerial roles involves active performance (e.g. presenting, requesting, feeding back, discussing, encouraging, etc), a not-negligible amount involves something related but slightly different: evaluating the communication performance of others. Such evaluation is required for example in assessing interview performance, conducting appraisal, judging the suitability of colleagues for deployment into particular professional roles, etc. The professionalism of such evaluation depends on developing skills in appreciating the distinctive strengths, but also shortcomings, of other people`s (and organisations’) communication skills. Managing effectively within a large organisation requires an additional ability besides: an ability to communicate clearly about other people’s and organisations’ communication, rather than simply understanding and evaluating those skills privately.
Task Two contributes to development of your managerial capacity in both these respects: the two parts, taken together, test your ability to identify and assess evidence of effectiveness in performance of specified professional tasks and to convey your impressions and judgement as precisely and clearly as possible.
What you have to do
Your task is to write an analysis and evaluation of a professional text supplied by the module leader. Then, based on your analysis and evaluation, you will edit and redraft the original document. To do this effectively, you need to assess how far you think the document is successful in achieving the function or purpose you believe it is supposed to serve. If you think it is highly successful in achieving that purpose, then you must say why and illustrate the choices as regards content and presentation that have been made in order to achieve the desired effect. If on the other hand you think the document is only partly successful, or perhaps even not successful at all, in achieving its function, then your task is to explain why not. In many cases, this is easier (because you are drawn towards ways in which it could be better and this allows you to get beyond simple statements of admiration).
Your success in this task, however, doesn`t depend much on your appreciation or condemnation of the document you choose. Alternative viewpoints are always possible, and in organisations brainstorming, contributing new ideas, thinking outside the box, are widely valued. Success in this task depends on being able to articulate your impressions and justify them by pointing to relevant evidence. You must show your ability
- to describe the document’s function in clear and commonsense terms
- to show how the document has been planned, written and presented in order to achieve that function
- to explain how far it is successful or unsuccessful in matching content, presentation and function, basing your account on evidence from the relevant theories and concepts from the module (e.g. politeness theory & rhetorical analysis)
- to edit and redraft the document based on your analysis
Overall you must argue a case, not simply express an opinion. The grade you are given for this task will be based on the insight and coherence of your commentary, not on whether you`ve arrived at a judgement about the document that I and your other examiner agree with.
Your commentary doesn’t need to be very long: anywhere between 500 and 1000 words, depending on what you’ve got to say. There is no word limit for the redrafted text; however, it is unlikely to differ much in word count from the original.
Two clips of video material will be made available to you as the basis for a broadly similar task. Each clip shows a person delivering a formal presentation. Your task is to examine the strategies used in each presentation and then comment on each speaker’s performance.
Remember that you are not marking these speakers; you are analysing each speaker’s choice of communication strategy and the details, strengths and weaknesses of how they communicated in a particular professional persona and prescribed setting. Pay particular attention to the following aspects of their presentations:
How fully and appropriately did each spoken presentation – considered as a whole - reflect the aims of the situation?
How coherent and clear was each presentation – considered as a whole - in terms of its techniques for sequencing, linking and signposting
How well did the speaker project his or her role (including how they managed their authority)? And how clearly did the speaker signal the purpose of the interaction?
Was the style chosen suitable for a presentation of this type?
How easy was it to understand each presentation, in terms of the language used and in terms of delivery?
How successfully did each presentation address and establish rapport with the audience outlined in the scenario?
Your written commentary on the two video clips does not need to be very long (again, anywhere between 500 and 1000 words, depending on what you want to say). But please make sure that you illustrate - i.e. give examples of - the choices made by speakers (in terms of what they have chosen to say; and how they might have said broadly the same thing differently, achieving a different effect)
Finally, pay attention to the overall coherence, clarity, grammar, punctuation and spelling of your own submitted written work. The professionalism of your work will be taken into account in giving you a grade.
The two video clips will be made available in alternative ways. They will be posted on the mylearning module page; and they will be shown in class, if necessary.
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