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  #11  
Old 06-23-2009, 04:25 PM
SueVB7 SueVB7 is offline
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1. I used my normal writing style.

2. Formal because it is supposed to be in the format you would use at work.

3. I identified tasks but not like "Task 4(A)(2)" because I would never do that at work. The person reading my end product at work wouldn't know the number or order of tasks I had and wouldn't care. To them, it just makes it more confusing to follow. I assumed that the graders would have a similar mindset.

4. Appendices

5. Graphs.

6. I put in what I thought was needed but without being longwinded.

7. Executive Summaries are a wonderful thing. They should always be less than one page. If a topic doesn't make it into the executive summary, then it is superfluous. Supporting documentation for each of the topics covered in the executive summary needs to follow.
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  #12  
Old 06-23-2009, 04:36 PM
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ElDucky ElDucky is offline
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Oh ya. I didn't use Executive summaries. A few tasks I had a quick introductory paragraph. Basically any number of styles are fine as long as it's organised and you answer the questions they want to answered.
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  #13  
Old 06-23-2009, 04:41 PM
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1. Many words vs. Few words

My final submission was 26 pages long, about 7,900 words. I think it's important to be succinct, but also to express your ideas clearly. Too few words might not get the point across, but too many might muddy the waters. I don't think there is a formula for how much to write - just keep it clean and clear.

2. Formal vs. Informal

I don't think formal vs. informal is the issue. It's important to use plain language regardless of the hypothetical audience (client or internal). Plain language is not necessarily informal - it just isn't flowery or overcooked. No need for ten-cent words.

3. Use Task identifier vs. DON'T use Task identifier (i.e. Task 4(A)(2))

I took the approach of writing this like an actual client memo, and therefore avoided the task identifiers (but used very clear headings to identify the tasks). I don't think it matters one way or the other, as long as the answers to the given questions are easy to find.

4. Appendix vs. NO Appendix

I did not use appendices, and tried to limit the tables and output to what was absolutely necessary for them to grade the paper. (The SOA was pretty good about indicating which answers required more details and which didn't. I used that as my guide.) Again, I don't think it matters either way, as long as your paper is well organized.

5. Graphs vs. NO Graphs

I followed the lead of not adding graphs, but I can't imagine the SOA would fail anyone for including one. If you think a graph adds to the clarity of your response (without blowing up your file size), I'd include it - but I certainly think a clear response can be drafted without the support of graphs.

6. Level of detail/supporting information

I'll echo what others are saying - answer the question as clearly as possible, and then get the "f" out of Dodge! Don't treat this like an exam - writing reams and reams in hopes of capturing all the key points (at least that's what I do in the essay exams!). Treat it like a client memo. Clarity and brevity tend to go hand in hand.

Supporting info - same idea - include what is necessary. The task descriptions tell you what they want to see.

7. Any other suggestions for those who have yet to pass about writing style

Clean and clear are the words of the day. Keep it simple, don't try to overdo it. Just make sure you answer the questions, and do it in a concise, professional way. Don't submit anything that you wouldn't feel comfortable sending to a client or respected colleague.

Despite what you may hear, the SOA is not out to screw anyone. Don't get caught up on whether or not to include graphs or appendices or tables - there is no template for this assignment. For that matter, I wouldn't even get too caught up in the calculations, as long as your answers make sense. I'm almost 100% sure my calculations had errors. But my answers made sense, the sensitivity analysis produced the results I would expect, and I was able to justify and back up my responses. I think that's all they are looking for.

Good luck, everyone!
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  #14  
Old 06-23-2009, 05:45 PM
Caucasian Invasion Caucasian Invasion is offline
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All this information is helpful and it shows that reasonable people can reasonably differ, which includes graders.
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  #15  
Old 07-25-2009, 02:30 PM
Isamoor Isamoor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SueVB7 View Post
7. Executive Summaries are a wonderful thing. They should always be less than one page. If a topic doesn't make it into the executive summary, then it is superfluous. Supporting documentation for each of the topics covered in the executive summary needs to follow.
FYI:

I failed twice and got feedback. One important bit of feedback: Only include Executive Summaries if it's going to a client and they are not fully necessary even then.
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  #16  
Old 07-26-2009, 02:09 AM
hitman hitman is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isamoor View Post
FYI:

I failed twice and got feedback. One important bit of feedback: Only include Executive Summaries if it's going to a client and they are not fully necessary even then.
Thanks Isamoor.....this should help
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  #17  
Old 07-27-2009, 10:50 AM
brown bear brown bear is offline
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1. Many words vs. Few words

- I think this has been answered many times...use as few as possible to get your point across with all of the necessary supporting information

2. Formal vs. Informal

-I didn't really have a different type of writing for any of the tasks, just made sure it looked like a real business document.

3. Use Task identifier vs. DON'T use Task identifier (i.e. Task 4(A)(2))

- Only labeled the beginning of each task, as per the instructions.

4. Appendix vs. NO Appendix

-Appendices whenever I had information that I could reference in the actual body, but put the extra "detail" information in an appendix.

5. Graphs vs. NO Graphs

-No Graphs...don't really know where you would need a graph either....

6. Level of detail/supporting information

-Don't ramble, answer the question, get your point across, move on.

7. Any other suggestions for those who have yet to pass about writing style

It seems to me that a lot of people tend to over think this. Answer the questions and support it without being too wordy. In response to the summary section of the memos, I had a "summary" for each task but called in an executive summary and made it a little more formal for the external memos.
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