• CC-Basics pages 38 - 47



  • Recognize the purpose of common workplace documents

  • Explain and apply information from common workplace documents

Key Concept

  • Workplace documents are written papers (print or digital0 used in offices, factories, and other places where people work. They include instructions or forms.


Tier 2 Alternative
Tier 3 Agenda
Employee Handbook
Test Words Summarize

Writing Practice

  • Summarize Information

  • Determine Author’s Purpose

Before Lesson

Ask students if they have encountered any documents in their workplace. If so, ask them what types of documents those were. Suggest documents such as job applications, employee handbooks, memos, e-mails, project guidelines, tax forms. and so on. Ask: What do you think the purpose of these documents is? (Sample answers: help managers compare job candidates, lay out rules for employees, convey information, keep track of employment status)


Explain that people in all types of workplaces have to communicate. Communications are sent to employees, to customers, and to suppliers. To understand a workplace document, students must determine the author’s purpose and audience. Write a list of workplace documents on the board: employee handbook, warranty, product invoice. If necessary, explain that a product invoice is a request for payment for products. Write a list of recipients next to the list of documents (supplier, employee, customer) and have students connect the document with its intended audience. (Answers: employee handbook: employee; warranty: customer; product invoice: supplier)

Guided Practice

  • Workplace Documents

Core Skill

Summarize Information: Explain to students that when they summarize a piece of writing, they look for the main points. Writing a summary is a way to understand the text. Refer to the job description for an administrative assistant on page 40. Guide students to see that the job description is a summary of a job’s duties. Have students check each other’s work. Remind them to write their summaries in their own words, except for any quotations they might include.

Determine Author’s Purpose: Explain to students that an author’s purpose for writing changes based on the information that is being conveyed. Tell students that to figure out the author’s purpose in writing workplace documents, they should ask themselves questions such as these: Who wrote this? What information does it contain? What does the writer want me to do after I read this? Have pairs of students answer these questions as they look at the online form on page 41. Have students present their answers to the activity questions to the class.


Use Text Structure: Have students look at the Conference Room Reservation Request on page 41. To help students identify how text structure is a clue to the purpose of the form, ask them to find the section called “Event Type” and to point out the names and checkable boxes of the different types of events. Tell them that the items on the form, like event type, give clues to the form’s purpose: gathering information about events.

Cite Evidence: Using a computer, access different types of workplace documents, such as a W-4 form, an online job application, the checkout section of an online store, a time sheet, and a benefits application. For each example, have students discuss the purpose and intended audience and cite evidence for their opinion.

Lesson Review