Workplace writing is a phenomenon that is common in any form of workplace; whether there are only technicians or literature and linguist working in that office. This paper will analyze writing in a bank and non-governmental agency. The writing process will be attained and assessed based on the views of two employees who are working in the Princes Nora University, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The two employees that I have chosen are Sadat Said, a programmer, working in a Princes Nora University, a university in the Middle East. I also undertook another interview with Network Administrator, in the same university. His names are Hussein Ramadhan. The interview took place in form of Skype. It was an effective form that all the respondents enjoyed. I got to learn about the two senior managers by way of my work. We worked with Sadat Said in Nora University when I was in my internship as a software developer. He was my mentor and supervisor. It was easy for me, therefore, to get in touch and connect with him well since we have worked together and there would be no tension in the process of communication.
There are various types of writing that I learned exists at the Princes Nora University. For Sadat, there are two types of documents while working as a programmer. These are technical documents like computer programming codes, comments and two, official documents like standard operating procedures (SOPs) and memos. Technical writing is purely professional and everything is taught while taking the course (often programming). Writing comments for programs, for programmers like Sadat is learnt while in college. This is where most technicians learn technical writing. These are procedures that must be learnt while undertaking a programming course. Programming, like many fields in computer science, is dynamic that require the student to learn from others, and keep them updated on the current trends. Most of the time, therefore, computer programmers learn from friends of the new things although most of the programmers learn many of things from their studies while in university. The main challenge that programmers find with writing formal, and official documents, are with the requirements and the changing formats that various organizations have. Universities have their own formats for writing official documents of communication. Various organizations require that there are different formats that should be followed. It is hard keeping track of the changing formats of official documents. Most employees are well versed in formal writing. They have been a source of inspiration to me as I learn new ways of formats that are required when writing.
For Hussein, the network administrator at Nora University, I found out that, like Sam, there are two types of documentations. These are technical and official documentation. I found out that, unlike Sadat, Hussein writes a lot in his daily working. There are the technical notes he writes informing the users of the change of network plan, the introduction of new domains and IP address schemes. This is unlike Sadat who does this on rare occasions. Not that he does not do the writing, but it come in rare occasions and only happen when there are updates to the systems that the programmers undertake.
Most of the official documents that are written in the Princes Nora University are approved by the IT manager. Other documentations are approved by the heads of department and the deans of the various faculties that the changes will affect. Both Sadat and Hussein are under the IT manager of the university. As for the technical writing, most of the documents written or approved by the programmers and network administrators themselves. This is because, as long as the systems that they (network administrators and programmers) write are okay with the documentation did make, there is no big issue.There are other documentations that will address the students using various facilities. The format is like that of a memorandum. These letters are approved by the head of department or the dean of faculty.
Sadat and Hussein Ramadhan write official communication documents, apart from technical documents. Most official writing done with the Princes Nora University is memorandum and appointment letters. Most memorandums are from one department to another one. The main issue that these memoranda address is the various programs that have either commenced or stopped within a given department. The structure of most of the letters is the section/department, which the letter is being addressed, and the people/or students who are required to get the details of the letter. The letter could be for all students and subordinate staff members’ specific sections. It could also be writing to the heads of departments and deans of faculties.
The writing in the Princes Nora University has been authorized by the ministry of education. The university has permission letters to make these writings without being considered criminal. The rule is that the writing should not be a form of incitement and should not contain any content that could encourage prejudice. All the writings meet the regulations of the ministry that have been stated. The writings are mostly used for keeping records in the university. According to Sadat and Hussein, most of the people who work in the university learn how to write these documentations by the orientation they get when they join these organizations. New staff members learn how to make the documentation from the various training that takes place in the university. One thing that can go wrong when writing is that a wrong format can be used to write to senior management; they can be rejected. This will make some deliveries or requests rejected and, therefore, delaying the process of getting the supplies or the need in which the writing was made.
The people who read these documents will always prioritize the writing according to the urgency and the format in which they were written. The people who read the documents learn that there are some writings which require immediate attention and reaction. It is, therefore, important to learn to write letters under various categories. Most readers will base the urgency, and the importance of a letter on the way the headings, and the title has been written. It is, therefore, important to ensure that the structure has been done well to get the response that is expected.When writing a document, the things, which are at stake, is the message and the response from the party directed. This should be looked into when writing the document. The message is the most important when writing a document because after the writing has been made, there is a need to have a response.
The issue of authorship is not an important issue in Princes Norah University. All documents seem to follow a given format and seem to use the same words. The same words are used in documents which address the same thing. There is no issue of plagiarism when these documents are being written. Plagiarism seems not to be an important or crucial issue in these organizations. Patchwriting is practiced when writing these documents. There is a lot of work which has been patchwritten. This is not an issue in the university.
In writing these documents, what is expected is writing documents which follow the right grammar and follow the right syntax. The most important thing that is required of any document is to get the message passed to the intended audience. This is something which is followed and expected in many organizations. What is punished is when a document conflicts or supports the vision and the articulation of another parallel organization. In Princes Nora University, one thing that came out clearly from the interviews is that the document should bring out the values of the organization and should not be seen to promote values of another organization. This is something which will be punished in all aspects of it. Another thing is that the written document will not be accepted if it is seen to incite people and bring discontent with the people.
One thing that is encouraged at the Princes Nora University is to record the happenings so that people in the future can make use of the documentation that have been recorded. This is the reason as to why there is developments and writing of standard operating procedures. These are used to record the way things are to be done. This will be a point of reference for most of the procedures. What is encouraged is the use of SOPs, and written in the simplest language as much as possible. There should be ways in which know; ledge can be preserved. This is a new way in which knowledge is being preserved in organizations that have been studied. Another thing, which is encouraged, is the use of the original language as much as possible. Originality and innovation, applied while writing, is something that is valued in these organizations. Originality and innovation is something that earns an organization's reputation.