Accessible version | Skip to content | Change your text size

Table of contents

Previous pageNext page

Topic analysis

Click on the red footnotes to see suggested steps for analysing an assignment topic.

1Assignment 1

Assignment instructions

3 Prewriting tip: list the characteristics of your audience - education, language, familiarity with computers, needs.

2Henry Foote and Co. Pty., Ltd. management system upgrade

You are a system support liaison officer for shoe manufacturers Henry Foote and Co. Pty. Ltd. (HFT). HFT is an international company with three factories: one in Australia, the US and China. One of your main jobs is to translate complex information about the company's computer systems to users. The users are not technical and have only limited experience using computers. Some have no experience whatsoever.

Your boss, Henry Foote, has often complimented you on your ability to explain the system to users in a friendly, clear and helpful manner. All users have attained year 10 or equivalent of high school education, but no more. Whatever they know about computers, they learnt on the job.

The company currently uses a computer management system called RUN250. It keeps an inventory of machine parts and materials used by workers and technicians on the factory floor. It also automatically ensures that flagging supplies are constantly replenished in each factory without delay. However, the system often crashes.

In response to demands for faster processing speed, added functional capabilities and greater reliability, managing director Henry Foote wants to install a new release of the RUN250 in all his factories. The upgrade includes new reports, screens and fields.

4(a)Mr Foote has asked you to write a memo to all users of RUN250 about the changes they can expect with the upgraded system. He tells you that the new system will be installed and fully operable worldwide in three weeks' time.

4(b)Your assignment

List all the questions the RUN250 users will ask about the upgrade to the system. (10 marks)

Write down any other information you think they might need but not ask. (5 marks)

Write the memo that Mr Foote has requested. (20 marks)

Pay attention to the formatting on the assignment sheet

(i.e., bold headings, information in italics). This formatting signals the important top level-structure and information:

  • Instructions
  • Prewriting tips
  • Assignment topic
  • Your assignment

Read the title of the case study

Beginning to think about the likely content of the case study description at this stage is a useful way to develop a focus and framework for the ideas that emerge as you read further.

Observe any notes appearing before the case study description

Notice that different formatting is used to present the 'prewriting tip'. Clearly the lecturer expects you to follow the advice given. You'll need to return to this later.

Find the actual task and read it carefully

There are two references to the task in this assignment:

1) 'Mr Foote has asked you to write a memo...'; and

2) 'Your assignment'.

Typically, the direction words or task appear after any background information.

word outputDownload a printable version of this page (.doc)
Problems? Questions? Comments? Please provide us feedback.