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Improving Your Writing

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Ten years ago, you started working as a clerk for DMD Medical Supplies. Six months ago, Liz Jakowski, the human
resources director, promoted you to office manager. You manage two employees: Jack Snyder and Ruth Disselkoen. Your office provides secretarial support for the four members
of the executive team. Two years ago, Liz had assigned Jack to support Ralph Alane and Jessica Hilo. Ruth was assigned to Samuel Daley and Frank Daley. The work flow was equally balanced.

You’ve noticed that in the last three months Ruth has cut her breaks short to complete her work, complains of being tired, and at least twice a month requires overtime hours costing
the company an additional $200 a month. In the last three weeks, Frank Daley has complained to you a few times about
the poor quality of Ruth’s work.

On the other hand, over the last three months, Jack frequently seems to have little to do. He has begun coming in late a couple times a week and taking more than the allotted break times. What work he does have, however, is always professionally completed.

Although you don’t have the authority to change the work assignments of the two administrative assistants or the
executive team, you clearly need to change your office assignments so that both Jack and Ruth work regularly
without requiring overtime.

Section 1
• Facts and figures that define the problem (the cause)
• Details that show the impact of the problem (effects) on
Jack, Ruth, and the company
Section 2
• The steps needed to change the situation
• Reason to implement each step, including the benefits
to your employees, your supervisor, and the company
• Information about your role in the change

Divide the paragraph into two main ideas and reorganize your information accordingly to develop two separate paragraphs based on Section 2. The paragraphs must first describe your solution and then persuade your supervisor to implement that solution. Each paragraph must have one main idea related to this purpose and audience.


Over the past three months, I’ve noticed several changes in the office: tardiness, downtime, increased cost due to overtime, poor work quality, and break time variances. These changes seem to be a direct result of Jessica’s medical leave. The current team support model is one secretary for every two executive members: Jack Snyder supports Ralph Alane and Jessica Hilo, while Ruth Disselkoen supports Samuel and Frank Daley. The only difference between the two teams is Jack’s team has a full time assistant, while Ruth’s team has a part-time assistant. Since Jessica’s workload has been temporarily assigned to Ralph and Frank Daley, it has created a workload imbalance. Ruth has now been taking shorter breaks and using overtime to complete her work, however, her quality of work has declined. Jack, on the other hand, has been finishing early, taking longer breaks and coming in late a few times per week. Neither of their actions is in the best interest of the team.

To mitigate the current problems, I will be making some changes to the current workflow. First, Frank should identify Jessica’s accounts and keep them separate from his normal workload. Then, he should complete Jessica’s work first; this way Jack can process the information in the afternoon. Ralph, on the other hand, should complete his normal tasks first and delve Jessica’s work afterward. Jack should complete Ralph’s assignments in the morning and receive additional work from Frank in the afternoon. If he finds himself with free time, he should see me for additional responsibilities. Ruth should complete Sam’s work in the morning and address Frank’s work in the afternoon. If her work quality and timeliness do not improve, then this may be performance issue that will have to be addressed her review. I will be monitoring Jack and Ruth’s progress at the close of the business day. However, if any issues arise before then, Frank and Samuel should notify me immediately.

If we can successfully identify Jessica’s work and allow Jack to process as normal, that should bring the work back in balance. This way each secretary is still supporting the work of two executives, thereby alleviating the need for overtime and sustaining poor work quality. We will implement these changes for one week; then I will get feedback from all parties and make adjustments if necessary. By instituting these changes, it will reduce the overhead, boost morale, and increase productivity. Hopefully, this will help build a more successful, cohesive team.

  • Improving Your Writing -

    Is the purpose of this assignment to improve your writing? Does it matter what you pretend you do?

    Is this a Penn-Foster Exam?

    The second paragraph, you say First,...

    Where are the Secondly, and Thirdly, and Finally?
    It would improve your writing if you detailed these. As it is, I don't know where "first" ends.

    You freely mix I and We. Is this action I, or We?

    Overall, it is a bit wordy, you could have said the same in fewer words.

  • Improving Your Writing -

    I am doing the same exam and in the directions it says that you have no control over the executive team or administrative assistants work or actions. You only have control over Jack and ruth and their job performance and work load.

  • Improving Your Writing -

    Do we know who our audience is? Should we be writing a proposal, memo, or email? I am confused in that aspect of the assignment.

  • Improving Your Writing -

    I am confused, who is the executive team?

  • Improving Your Writing -

    Yes - this is a Penn Foster exam!!!!

  • Improving Your Writing -

    I am also doing this same exam and confused of all the above! Someone please help us!!!!

  • Improving Your Writing -

    This is more a comment,I am also in this boat, its very confusing if your only responsibility is Ruth and Jack why with all the names of four other employees. Why would they give you so much info you really don't need, and want you to make-up part of the scenario. Sounds maybe so confusing that it is actually simple. How do we know when and why the problem arose , but they are telling us that one of the workers is tired and her work is not up to par but she is still working overtime, fire that b ----. Ha ha. I have to agree with everybody else. Here is my solution we should all just e-mail our instructors at Penn foster and see what they can come up with. Maybe a revised exam.

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