ENG 103 for BU113: Critical Thinking and Communication in Business
1. Due date -- 1st draft: Friday, April 5, 2012; 2nd draft: Friday, April 12, 2013
2. Type: individual writing assignment
TYPE/PURPOSE of assignment:
In an approximately 2-page, single-spaced memo, with headings and an introductory/concluding paragraph, evaluate the effectiveness/performance of your team. The team evaluation memo should discuss how your team performed as a whole throughout the semester--whether you had an effective team and ran a successful business.
The assignment provides feedback on the effectiveness of the team and is therefore part of the controlling function of management.
In the introductory paragraph, please state the purpose of the memo. Then provide some background information on your team—when it was formed, who was involved, what were the tasks of the team. Explain the team’s business in 1-2 sentences and express the overall outcome in the form of an evaluative statement. Finish the introductory paragraph with a thesis statement that includes the headings that you will include.
Begin each paragraph with a heading (with or without numbers). Do not use an indentation.
Then write a topic sentence at the beginning of each paragraph, using the key words from the heading and making an evaluative statement about your team's performance with respect to this evaluation standard/criterion (see the key words, word forms and evaluative adjectives/adverbs below). You may also give a brief definition of each criterion/standard, based on (paraphrased from) your textbook (e.g. Technical skills include ....). Recycle these keywords and use synonyms and/or pronouns throughout the paragraph in order to achieve coherence.
Use the Grammar, Writing, and Vocabulary Notes below to write idiomatic sentences.
Reread Chapters 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 and apply the business concepts and terminology from these chapters to discuss/analyze your own team. Provide specific examples from your group experience to support your assertions.
Chapter 5: The Management Process (setting business goals, formulating strategy, contingency planning and crisis management), Types and Levels of Managers (functional areas), Basic Management Skills (Technical, Human Relations, Conceptual, Decision-Making, Time-Management), Contingency Planning & Crisis Management, Corporate Culture
Chapter 6: Organizing (organizational structure—specialization, departmentalization—decision-making hierarchy—authority, delegating, (de)centralization)
Chapter 8: Motivating, Satisfying, and Leading Employees (The importance of satisfaction and morale, motivation in the workplace—various motivational theories—Strategies for enhancing job satisfaction and motivation—various theories—Management Styles and Leadership).
Chapter 9: Types of leaders/leadership (Situational Leadership, Transformational Leadership, Charismatic Leadership, leaders as coaches, cross-cultural leadership)
Chapter 10: Job descriptions and job specification
Suggest improvements to be made in each area.
Write a concluding paragraph that summarizes your findings as well as the suggested improvements.
For the business professor, attach four completed Performance Appraisal forms for each team member, including yourself. Be honest. Use the % like a grade. This form is kept confidential--only your professor will see it. It does become part of the group member's overall evaluation of his/her contribution to the group, however.
The team evaluation memo should discuss how your team performed as a whole throughout the semester. Please address your team's performance with respect to
Answer such questions as
Examples should be provided to support your assertions.
Suggested questions to ask yourself as you draft the memo:
Ability to perform/achieve
Organization (see Chapter 6)
Motivation/Leadership/Initiative (see Chapters 8 and 9)
Human relations skills (see Chapter 5)
How successful is the team in this area? Use your own standards of evaluation.
What is the atmosphere and morale on the team (“corporate culture”)? Are the team members open and honest with each other?
How do the members communicate? Who shows leadership here? Is the same method used each time?
How effective is the method of communication--does it work? Why or why not?
Accountability: How do you hold each other accountable for tasks not completed, meetings or deadlines missed, lack of communication?
Problem solving skills/contingency planning/crisis management (see Chapter 5)
How successful is the team in this area? Use your own standards of evaluation.
What problems or crises have arisen? Discuss specific examples/instances. Had your team planned for contingencies?
How did you resolve the crisis? How did you resolve conflicts—interpersonal/schedule/task conflicts? Who handled the problem(s)? Why this person?
How did the group members try to resolve problems resulting from slacking?
Conceptual skills (Chapter 5)
Technical skills (Chapter 5)
Grammar, Writing, & Vocabulary Notes
Remember that tense markers determine the tense to be used in a sentence.
Appropriate tenses: Present Perfect, Simple Past, Habitual Past, Simple Present
(for a completed event)
|Habitual Past (would + Vsimple)
(for a habit)
|Present Perfect (for an ongoing but not completed process)||Simple Present
(for a habit, fact)
|Implied Negative Meaning (with perfect modals)|
|Tense Markers||at the beginning of the semester
when we started selling our product
|Every (weekend, day, afternoon, ...), we would meet and discuss ...||from ... to
up to now
at the moment
could+ have + Past Participle
|was/were able to (instead of could in the past)|
Keywords & Word forms
TOPIC SENTENCES: the topic of the memo (team evaluation/performance appraisal of the team) + paragraph heading (criterion/standard of evaluation) + evaluative adjective/adverb (see examples below) ==> repeat these keywords and use synonyms throughout the paragraph
evaluate (v) - evaluation (n)
assess (v) - assessment (n)
appraise (v) - appraisal (n)
perform (v) - performance (n)
succeed in (v) - success (n) - be successful in (adj) - successfully (adv)
lack (v) - lack of (n) - have a deficiency in - be deficient in
effective (adj) - effectively (adv) - effectiveness (n)
productive (adj) - productively (adv) - productivity (n)
achieve (v) - achievement (n)
complete (v) - completion (n)
Evaluative adjectives/adverbs (& other expressions)
poor(ly) ==> average ==> outstanding/superb(ly)/excellent(ly)
below average ==> average ==> above average
leave much to be desired
make a profit
complete a task/tasks
achieve/reach a goal/goals
make eye contact with
set/hold a meeting
perform average (or below/above expectations)
throughout the semester
Vocabulary: Words to watch out for (i.e. NOT use)
thing => factor, element, or name of the item
works => tasks, assignments, projects
get => (informal); find a replacement in the dictionary (e.g. become, receive, etc.)
Wordiness (V + NP) => use the action verb itself
do a better job => improve
make a reflection => reflect
have communication => communicate
make a presentation => present
make contact with => contact
Introductory Phrases, esp. for topic sentences
with respect to (+ criterion/standard)
in terms of (+ criterion/standard)
regarding (+ criterion/standard)
in regard to (+ criterion/standard)
as far as (+ criterion/standard) is/are concerned
Verb or Noun + Preposition combinations (watch for differences in meaning!)
discuss + NP (but: talk about + NP)
succeed/be successful in (+ N or gerund)
take care of (+ N or gerund)
care about (+ N or gerund)
as a consequence of (+ N or gerund)
have a background in (+ N or gerund)
at the beginning
be in charge of (+ N or gerund)
a lack of cooperation
be lacking in (+ N or gerund)
according to expectations
keep in touch with
in theory ... in practice
on time vs. in time
at/to our meetings
©2004 Christine Bauer-Ramazani, Saint Michael's College. Last updated: September 05, 2017