Roughly two pages collectively (three letters + a reflection)—spaced as would be necessary in the professional world
As a student at University, it is likely that you, or one of your classmates, have purchased textbooks, plush alligators or other school supplies from the campus bookstore. For many, this is an unpleasant experience: long lines, cranky peers, expensive books, frustrating return and restocking policies, and so on.
For this assignment, you will write three responses, for three different audiences to your hypothetically unpleasant experience at the University bookstore, and a reflection rationalizing the context of your responses.
For each individual response, you must consider concepts we have discussed with regards to persuasion:
(i.e. how is writing a formal letter, with your name on it, to the president of the university going to differ from writing an anonymous review on the internet?). This assignment contains four parts:
- Write a letter to Washington State’s president, Leslie Michael, expressing your dissatisfaction with the way things are run at the bookstore.
- Write a Yelp review airing out your frustrations with Washington State’s bookstore. Perhaps consider what differences exist within the context of writing to the president versus an online medium like Yelp.
3. Write a message to a friendwho manages the bookstore, filling them in on the various complaints you’ve heard, as well as the things you’ve noticed that might drive away customers. Ponder the dynamic that drives this task. You know your friends and how you communicate with friends best so you be the judge of the audience and what kinds of rhetoric to deploy. You also get to be the judge as to what medium would work best.
Finally, once you’ve written your three responses, write a reflection explaining your rationale behind each one: What was your motivation? Why did you adopt the tone that you did? What were you hoping to attain/prove by saying what you did? What was at stake, if anything, when expressing your complaints? What kinds of things did you have to take into account when writing each response?(roughly 1-2 paragraphs)
Please refer to the book’s explication of voice, audience etc. and our in class discussions on these ideas, to get an idea of the language and style that will be most appropriate for each response. Have fun!