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English upper writing class

Writing situation:

Writing the subject line and body text of both a good news email and a bad news email. Assumes that you (as a student) feel compelled to write your business writing instructor, two short emails—one that provides unsolicited feedback to Henderson on a discrete unit of instruction (e.g., one of the graded papers, the quizzes, and so on) from his UWP 104A class worth 10% (or more) of your final grade; and another email that also provides unsolicited negative feedback on a discrete unit of class instruction worth 10% (or more) or you final grade.

Assume that you are writing and sending these emails to Henderson prior to the end of the academic quarter, before Henderson has calculated and posted your final grade, and, moreover, that the class’s course outline/syllabus stipulates (hypothetically… note: actually, it does not…) that 10% of your course grade is determined based on civility, business communication acumen, and effective participation.

In addition, assume that prior to these emails, you have already sent Henderson two previous emails—one contesting a quiz grade with your argument being that the quiz’s answer key had errors in it, and another asking for an extension on a graded paper’s due date because you had midterms in other classes that were scheduled concurrently and you didn’t have time to study adequately for both the midterms and the quiz. For your quiz grade complaint, Henderson graciously accepted your argument and raised your quiz score, and for your plea to extend the paper due date, Henderson curtly denied your request.


Format don’t need include “traveling information” for the message such TO/FROM names and email addresses, transmission time stamp, and so on. Just write a subject line and body text for an effective good news email and also for a bad news email.
For the good news email, leading off with a one-or two-sentence bottom-line statement and then go on to present the message details (that is, use “flipped” end-beginning-middle story structure). For the bad news email, you might find it best to go with a traditional structure (that is, beginning-middle-end), in order to qualify the bad news before the reader encounters it fully and explicitly. Still, with a traditional structure, you should reveal the topic of the message and its seriousness right away, even if you don’t reveal “how the story ends” till the end.

Last Updated on March 21, 2018

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