Assignment: Purpose Statement (Weaver 2000)

Content/Topic Selection
Identify a realistic (or real) organizational problem. It is important to make sure that this problem is neither vague, unmanageable, nor too broad in scope. This is the purpose statement for your proposal memo, and you will (ideally) use this topic for the progress report and final recommendation report (but you do not have to).

What you will turn in: Emailed purpose statement sent to me with the subject line “Purpose Statement.” What it’s worth: 10 pts.

Choose your topic carefully.

Examples of topics are

  • Need for hardware and/or software upgrades
  • Need for new/improved inter-office mail system
  • Problems with the filing system

You can use your senior design project (or an aspect thereof . . . many such projects are too complex to address in a 1-2 page proposal memo), a problem you experienced at a job, co-op or internship (whether it was actually solved or not). You will likely be inventing at least some aspects of the scenario, but the less you have to invent, the easier it will be for you. If you have no prior experiences to draw on and have trouble thinking of a topic, I can assist.

As an employee of this organization, you are in a position to experience or see the problem, but you do not have the authority or resources to solve it. Your proposal memo will be addressed to your boss, supervisor, manager or someone in the organization who does have the authority to approve your investigation into the problem and to allocate resources you need to conduct the investigation.

Write a purpose statement for a proposal memo in which you:

  • identify the problem and contrast it with a clearly stated organizational goal,
  • state the investigative task (and the authority for the investigation, if applicable), and
  • explicitly state your communication purpose.

Note: Do not make a recommendation or state a conclusion for the problem. This purpose statement is about a recognized problem and a proposed investigation. Because the investigation is only proposed, you do not have a conclusion and cannot make recommendations.