Project: Writing Audit Memo

Project: Writing Audit and Rhetorical Analysis Memo


You will produce a 3–4 page report (in the form of a memo). This memo must be uploaded in .pdf format. This memo must be turned through Google Drive. You will first identify an organization or company for which you want to perform a writing audit. For the writing audit, you will gather as many examples as you can of the external textual communication created and distributed by the organization.

After you’ve gathered the materials, you’ll spend some time reviewing them and then generate a rhetorical analysis of the materials.

Getting Started

First, identify the organization or company for which you want to perform a writing audit. Be specific. For example, don’t make claims about “a web page” or a twitter feed. Rather, talk about a specific press release on a topic or the mission page of an organization’s website. Then identify which materials you need to gather and how you will need to go about gathering them.

Once you’ve gathered at least five pieces of external textual communication, you’ll begin your analysis. Try to get as many types as you can. For example, don’t get five press releases. There are many ways to conduct a rhetorical analysis, but for this assignment, you will analyze the pieces for their rhetorical appeals, use of rhetorical cannons and audiencecontext, and purpose (Added for revisions: as well as other aspects of rhetorical analysis you have been exposed to in the class).

Then, make sure to check out Writing on the Job for examples of formatting and style in memo writing.

Writing Up Your Analysis

This report, presented in the form of a memo, should address:

  1. The organization. You might want to write about why you chose it, what their mission is, what they do, how they work, who they serve, etc.
  2. The analysis. Address your analysis of the audience to which they are writing, the context in which they are writing, and the purpose for which they are writing. You might want to analyze each piece individually, or you may be able to generate some overall comments and point to specific examples when necessary. (Added for revisions: Make sure to integrate rhetorical features like appeals and cannons into your analysis)
  3. The conclusions. Provide some summary analysis and conclusions. So what did you find? What did you learn? How well do you think this organization has situated itself through and in the materials you’ve gathered? Do their documents resonate with their mission and goals? Do their documents speak to their audience? Serve the purposes for which they appear to be intended?