Lesson 5 Activity


When readers have differing needs or abilities, write different versions of the document or sections within the document to match the readers’ needs and abilities.

When readers have differing needs or abilities, write different versions of the document or sections within the document to match the readers’ needs and abilities. You may have to write the document for both technical and non-technical readers. An e-mail may have to go to both the technical engineers and non-technical upper-level management. A report about a complex subject may have to go to the technicians in the company who just want to know how to develop it and to the funding agency that just wants to know that it will be successful. You must plan the report so it communicates successfully to every group of readers.

What You Will Submit to Demonstrate Your Competence

If you are writing technical reports for two or more groups of readers with different technical knowledge, you may submit a report you write in which you demonstrate the skills taught in this lesson.

If you are not writing technical documents for two or more groups of readers with different technical knowledge, complete the instructions in the case study that follows.

Submit a single Microsoft Word document that is suitable to both readers. With the report, include the following:

  1. Objectives for the two readers
  2. Reader analyses for the two readers
  3. Analysis of the weakness of the report presented below
  4. How you have improved on the report to make it suitable for both readers

Download the case study in Microsoft Word. Keep the Microsoft Word file in a subdirectory on your hard drive where you are keeping assignments for this course. Title it “Activity 5” so you can retrieve it later. You will build on these notes in later assignments.


Case Study

In this case study, Herbert Maloy, a homeowner, has had extremely high water bills for two months in a row. When he asked the water company about the bills, they told him that the only explanation is that water is leaking and being absorbed in the highly porous ground beneath the house. The recommended Allbright Hydrology and Leakage Company as the engineering firm that could find the problem.

Maloy asked Allbright to examine his house to determine whether there is a water leak and where it might be. He told them in his letter to them, “I just want to know whether there’s a leak and how much of a leak it is. Tell me enough to understand how you figured whatever you find out. And give me something to give the plumbing contractor so I don’t have to explain it to them.”

Allbright evaluated the house for leakage and produced a report. The report must be the summary Maloy wants and the basis for the plumbing contractor who will come in to correct the leak. As a result, the report must be understandable by Maloy and contain the detail the plumbing contractor needs.

The report follows these explanations. As you will see, it is too technical for Maloy. It is written for the plumbing contractors. Identify the problems and rewrite it so it is suitable to Maloy and the plumbing contractors.

Evaluating the Technical Level

The first activity asks you to evaluate the document’s technical difficulty. You can use that skill to decide whether the document is too technical for Maloy or too simple for the plumbing contractor. You will then revise it in the second activity.

For this training activity, follow this process to evaluate the technical level of the document:

  1. Specify the depth and detail levels the two sets of readers need.
    • What depth does Maloy, the homeowner want? What detail level does he need?
    • What depth does the plumbing contractor need? What detail level will the contractor need?
  2. Evaluate the present report to see whether it satisfies the needs of both readers.
  3. Identify the vocabulary that will not be suitable for Maloy.
  4. Identify the explanation Maloy needs and detail he does not need.

Original Allbright Report

House: 314 North Miller Street, Brysbain
Owner: Herbert Maloy
Type: Brick ranch
Year plumbed: 1968
Pipes: 1/2″ interior

Allbright Hydrology and Leakage Company evaluated the house water supply system by means of pressure tests at the external faucets. An Ashcroft stainless steel digital gauge placed on the faucets showed PSI ranges of 15 to 20 PSIs with cut-out pressures intended for 35 PSI. Slow flow occurred almost immediately. Pressure held at that level and the water meter showed no continual flow when all faucets were shut off. This has been found to be the most accurate measure. In tests at the University of Arizona, the Ashcroft gauge had results that were only one unit different from the tests conducted using expensive, time-consuming inner system tests. A source of unintended flow was present, but not identified.

While we were conducting this test, we followed up on the water records for the residence obtained from the City of Brysbain. A copy of these records is included here as Attachment A. The water usage records did not include the water use for the months from September 2015 through November 2015. Total usage over normal was estimated at over 4000 gallons per month.

The water pressure tests at the outside faucet revealed a loss of pressure of 15 PSI from what would be expected from the water main, likely indicating an active leak in the water system at the time of testing. With no evidence internally, it likely is external to the foundation.

The house is plumbed with 1/2″ pipe diminishing the already taxed lines.

Task 1: Write your analysis.

In the Word document you downloaded, write your analysis of the report.

Task 2: Rewrite the document.

In the Word document you downloaded, rewrite the document so it is suitable for this reader.

Submit your documents to assignments@businesswriting.com.