A backgrounder

A backgrounder

 

Task: Write a backgrounder based on the scenario given (individual writing task)

Assessment criteria:
1. Understanding the issue
2. Approaching the client in a professionally appropriate way
3. Using register proper to the task
4. Using the appropriate layout
5. Making effective transition in terms of language and layout

 

Marking scheme (of the 30 percent weighting):
Language: 40 percent (tense; connectives; cohesive devices; hedging; vocabulary; sentence structure)
Layout: 20 percent (paragraph division; visuals; use of font)
Contents: 40 percent (relevance; data; appropriate quantity of information; clear, brief, and orderly; evidence-based claims)
Total: 100

 

A backgrounder is an in-depth piece about a company or an organization. For a public relations officer, it is a very important assignment if they are required to write one. Some of the features of a backgrounder you have learnt in class are:
1. It opens with a concise statement of the subject/issue.
2. Its opening is chronological, i.e., it gives a historical overview/evolution of the issue.
3. After the opening, it works its way to the present.
4. It gives implications of the issue under discussion and also discusses the future of the issue (e.g., applications, relevance, advancements).
5. It has subheads [not always, but it is good to have subheads for clarity].
6. It has simple language and makes use of transition words and expressions where required. It also makes use of hedging instead of giving absolute statements (but sometimes absolute statements are in order; you should use your judgement).
7. It, one way or another, it promotes the organization in question without being too explicit or aggressive.

 

 
Scenario:

Your company/organization wants to offer medical insurance to public. Before you ask people to buy your insurance, you need to convince them of the need for medical insurance in today’s world, and the ability of your organization to take care of them.
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