Write a 4- to 8-page single-spaced memo that provides detailed instructions for how your job should be performed during your pre-planned three-month absence from the job.

Follow the five guidelines for instruction writing described in Ch. 10 of the text.

Ensure that your document includes the following:

  • Memo format with “TO” directed at a specific individual with full name and full title displayed and informative “SUBJECT” line.  Do not name your instructor as the covering person or your boss.
  • Clear instructions that detail needed steps, avoid ambiguity, and indicate timeframes, order, and quality measures as needed.
  • Audience-focused message (“you view” is ideal) that uses familiar words and terminology, avoiding jargon and acronyms.  (ASSUMPTION:  Person covering during your absence is currently employed at your company, so is generally familiar with property, culture, and some acronyms; however, person does not normally do your job, even if works in your department, so needed specific, detailed instructions and explanations to perform all required steps.)
  • Detailed instructions that identify all central steps and cover the job thoroughly.  (TIP:  Consider including screenshots, sample forms, references to binders / folders with sample docs or instructions.)  Be sure to address where will sit, what phone will use, passwords and logins, work schedule, breaks, what to do if cannot come in to work, and what meetings if any need to attend as well as what to be prepared with.
  • Well-organized document that uses consistency in structure and level of detail.
  • Reader-focused instructions, while complete and detailed, that also are efficient in terms of helping covering person find needed directions easily (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly tasks) and helpful in prioritizing (what’s essential / important to do and crucial deadlines) tasks.
  • Carefully edited document that is visually appealing, friendly and positive in tone, and makes correct use of sentence structure, grammar, and punctuation as well as uses graphic highlighting and headings when appropriate..

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