Assignment #4: Persuasive Argument “How Safe Is Safe?”
You work in the Customer Service department at Greenlawn, a company that applies chemical fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides to lawns. Recently, Greenlawn received a letter from Gwen Smith, a customer with a five-year-old child and an infant. Ms. Smith is very concerned about the safety of the chemical you spray on her lawn; she read an article in the newspaper about a man who died suddenly after playing a round of golf on a course that had been treated with a similar chemical. The article stated that although commercial lawn treatments are generally safe, every year two or three people die because of an unusual vulnerability to the chemicals.
Your supervisor, Helen Lewis, has drafted the following letter to Ms. Smith and has asked you to review it. “Do you think this responds to Ms. Smith’s concerns?” Helen asks you.
To complete this case, perform the following tasks:
1. Study Chapter 8, focusing on crafting a persuasive argument.
2. Analyze Helen’s letter, which is presented below. Consider the following questions:
o Did she use the three-part structure of claim, evidence, and reasoning?
o Did she choose the appropriate kinds of evidence?
o Did she consider opposing viewpoints?
o Did she avoid logical fallacies?
o Did she create a professional persona?
o Write a 500-word memo to Helen Lewis evaluating the persuasiveness of the letter and recommending any revisions you think would improve it. (See Chapter 14 for a discussion of memos.)
Submit your 500-word memo as an attachment through the e-mail on Blackboard