Individual Paper I
The memorandum from Salvador Monella to the Board of Directors addresses the rising costs of employee healthcare benefits at Penn-Mart. His communication includes an explanation of his purpose in addressing the healthcare costs, findings regarding Penn-Mart’s benefits costs, a recommended program to implement for cost reduction, and a discussion containing support for their recommendation. While some business people may be tempted to simply accept the information presented in Mr. Monella’s memorandum, it is my opinion, after reading Browne and Keeley’s Asking the Right Questions (2012), that adopting a critical thinking approach is the most effective way to evaluate the document.
Using a critical thinking…show more content… Other reasons provided by the memorandum are that the initiative aligns with other public health initiatives, there have been other studies on obesity, the initiative will provide initiative for employees to adopt healthier lifestyles, and it will make employees feel better about themselves.
After identifying the basic structure of a message, a critical thinker must ask, “What words or phrases are ambiguous?” (p. 40) An ambiguous word or phrase is one that has multiple possible meanings. Ambiguous words or phrases in an argument create the need for clarification of the meaning before a reader can fully evaluate the argument.
When reading a document such as the memorandum, it is helpful to mark ambiguous words or phrases in statements as they occur. The ambiguous terms identified in the memorandum have been italicized. “The objective of the ‘Get Well’ program is to…help them identify issues that they could mitigate on their own to become more fit.” (p. 2) “The ‘Get Well’ initiative completely aligns with other current public health and fitness objectives…” (p. 2) “There have been numerous research studies on obesity published in scholarly journals.” (p. 2) “We firmly believe that many Penn-Mart employees want to get fit and that the ‘Get Well’ initiative will provide the necessary incentives… Giving a blood sample and filling out a survey form is not intrusive or burdensome – these are two things that people do routinely. Those who might