College and Career Ready Standards for Reading, Writing, and

College and Career Ready Standards for Reading, Writing, and
College and Career Ready
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Standards for Reading, Writing, and Communication
Table of Contents
Standards for Reading Informational and Literary Texts
Core Standards
Required Range and Contexts
1A
1B
Standards for Writing
Core Standards
Required Range and Contexts
2A
2B
Standards for Speaking and Listening
Core Standards
Required Range and Contexts
3A
3B
Applications of the Core
Research
Media
4A
4B
Reading Illustrative Texts at the Required Level of Complexity
Significance and Measurement of Text Complexity
Sample Text #1: from The Declaration of Independence
Sample Text #2: from “Miss Brill”
Sample Text #3: from Inquiry into Life
Sample Text #4: a business memo
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6
7
8
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The draft standards are based on evidence of what is required for
college and career readiness, as well as benchmarking with other
countries. To see a sample of the evidence supporting the core
standards in reading, please go to the link below. Similar pages for
writing and for speaking and listening are under development.
http://www.corestandards.net/readingmain.html
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College and Career Ready
Standards For Reading Informational and Literary Texts
Core Standards
To be college and career ready, students must:
1.
Determine what the text says explicitly and use evidence within the text to infer what is
implied by or follows logically from the text.
2.
Support or question statements about the text by citing the text explicitly and
accurately.
3.
Assess the contributions that significant details as well as larger portions of the text
make to the whole.
4.
Summarize the ideas, events, or information in the text and determine the main ideas
and themes.
5.
Trace how events and ideas unfold in the text and explain how they relate to one
another.
6.
Analyze the traits, motivations, and thoughts of individuals in fiction and nonfiction
based on how they are described, what they say and do, and how they interact.
7.
Draw on context to determine what is meant by words and phrases, including figurative
language.
8.
Analyze how word choice shapes the meaning and tone of the text.
9.
Analyze how the organizational structure advances the argument, explanation, or
narrative.
10. Interpret data, graphics, and words in the text, and combine these elements of
information to achieve comprehension.
11. Follow the reasoning that supports an argument or explanation and assess whether the
evidence provided is relevant and sufficient.
12. Ascertain the origin and credibility of print and online sources when conducting
research.
13. Analyze how two or more texts with different styles, perspectives, or arguments
address similar topics or themes.
14. Apply knowledge and concepts drawn from texts to other texts, contexts, and
circumstances.
Notes:
The core standards are meant to apply to the different text types that students need to read for college and work. For example:
 “Trace how events and ideas unfold” applies to plot in literature and to a review of scientific procedures and explanations.
 “Analyze the traits, motivations, and thoughts of individuals” applies to studying characters in fiction and figures in
historical texts.
1A
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College and Career Ready
Standards For Reading Informational and Literary Texts
Required Range and Contexts
To be college and career ready, students must read texts of sufficient complexity, quality, and range:
Complexity: A crucial factor in students’ readiness for college and careers is their ability to read and
comprehend complex text independently. Students must be able to handle high levels of text complexity with
regard to the sophistication of the language and content as well as the subtlety of the themes and issues
explored. In college and careers, students will need to extract knowledge and information from reference
materials, technical manuals, literature, and other texts (print and online) that are characterized by
demanding and context-dependent vocabulary, subtle relationships among ideas and characters, a nuanced
rhetorical style and tone, and often elaborate structures or formats. These challenging texts require the
reader’s close attention and often demand rereading in order to be fully understood.
Quality: The literary and informational texts chosen for study should be rich in content. Since certain works
are products of exceptional craft and thought, all students should have access to these especially strong
models of thinking and writing. This includes texts that have broad resonance and are referred to and quoted
often, such as influential political documents, foundational literary works, and seminal historical and
scientific texts. At the same time, reading substantive contemporary fiction engages students in the world and
culture around them, just as reading thoughtful contemporary works in science and other disciplines enables
students to reflect on pertinent issues in these disciplines. Attentive and wide reading of high quality texts
builds the background knowledge and vocabulary essential to college and career level reading
comprehension.
Range: Students also must demonstrate their capacity to read a variety of literary and informational texts
and read deeply within fields of study in order to gain the knowledge base they need for college and career
readiness.
Literature: When reading literature, students must demonstrate their capacity to pay special attention to
the choices authors make about words and structures. Many literary effects depend on the order in which
events unfold and the specific details used to describe characters and actions. Since these same
strategies—order and use of detail—are equally critical in understanding the most demanding
informational texts, reading literature helps students comprehend what they read in science, history and
other subjects.
Informational Text: Because the overwhelming majority of college and workplace reading is non-fiction,
students need to hone their ability to acquire information from nonliterary texts in mathematics and the
social and natural sciences. When reading informational text, students must become attuned to different
formats in which ideas are presented to access the knowledge contained in these texts. In order to be
college and career ready, students will need to encounter complex non-fiction in their English courses as
well as when reading in history, the sciences and other disciplines.
1B
College and Career Ready
Standards for Writing
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Core Standards
To be college and career ready, students must:
1.
Select and refine a topic or thesis that addresses the specific task and audience.
2.
Sustain focus on a specific topic or argument through careful presentation of essential content.
3.
Create a logical progression of ideas and use transitions effectively to convey the relationships
among them.
4.
Support and illustrate arguments and explanations with relevant details and examples.
5.
Develop and maintain a style and tone appropriate to the purpose and audience.
6.
Choose words and phrases to express ideas precisely and concisely.
7.
Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard written English, including grammar,
usage, and mechanics.
8.
Represent and cite accurately the data, conclusions, and opinions of others.
9.
Assess the quality of one’s own writing and, when necessary, strengthen it through revision.
When writing arguments, students must also:
10. Establish a substantive claim, distinguishing it from alternate or opposing claims.
11. Link claims and evidence and ensure that the evidence is relevant and sufficient to support the
claims.
12. Acknowledge competing arguments or information, defending or qualifying the initial claim as
appropriate.
When writing to inform or explain, students must also:
13. Synthesize information from multiple relevant sources, including graphics and quantitative
information when appropriate, to provide an accurate picture of that information.
14. Convey complex information clearly and coherently to the audience through careful selection,
organization, and presentation of the content.
15. Demonstrate understanding of the content by getting the key facts right, covering the essential
points, and anticipating reader misconceptions.
Note:
“The conventions of standard written English” encompass a range of commonly accepted language practices designed to make
writing clear and widely understood. Correctness in writing is not an end in itself but rather a means to more effective
communication. When formal writing contains errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics, its meaning is obscured, its message is too
easily dismissed, and its author is often judged negatively. Proper sentence structure, correct verb formation, careful use of verb
tense, clear subject-verb and pronoun-antecedent agreement, conventional usage, and appropriate punctuation that clarifies
meaning are of particular importance to formal writing.
2A
College and Career Ready
Standards for Writing
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Required Range and Contexts
To be college and career ready, students must adapt their writing to the:
Purpose: Students must be able to accomplish two main purposes with their writing:
Make an Argument: The ability to frame and defend an argument is particularly
important to students’ readiness for college and careers. The goal of making an
argument is to convince an audience of the rightness of the claims being made
using logical reasoning and relevant evidence. In some cases, a student will make
an argument to gain access to college or to a job, laying out their qualifications or
experience. In college, a student might defend an interpretation of a work of
literature or of history and, in the workplace, an employee might write to
recommend a course of action. Students must frame the debate over a claim,
presenting the evidence for the argument and acknowledging and addressing its
limitations. This approach allows readers to test the veracity of the claims being
made and the reasoning offered in their defense.
Inform or Explain: Writing to inform or explain requires students to integrate
complex information from multiple sources in a lucid fashion, such as facts about
a new technological application or a set of workplace procedures. To achieve
coherence, students must illustrate the connections between ideas and events,
such as cause and effect. Students also must organize their description or
explanation in a manner appropriate to the context, responding to the specific
needs of the reader by both covering the relevant ground and anticipating
confusions that might arise. Writing is an opportunity for students to show what
they know and share what they have seen, so it is essential that they check their
facts and provide reliable information.
Audience: Students should write for a range of audiences and adapt their style and
tone so that it is appropriate to the task and audience. Students must be able to take
into consideration an audience’s characteristics, such as its background knowledge,
its interests, and its potential objections to an argument. Strong, effective writing can
overcome or at least influence an audience’s biases and address its limitations.
On-demand writing requirements of college and careers: Writers sometimes
have the opportunity to take a piece of writing through multiple drafts, receiving
feedback along the way, successively refining and polishing the text. Frequently,
however, writers must produce high-quality text the first time and under a tight
deadline, whether in response to a supervisor‘s request for information or to a
prompt on an exam. To meet the special requirements of on-demand writing, writers
must exhibit flexibility, concentration, and fluency.
2B
Note on narrative writing
Narrative writing is an
important component of
making an argument and
writing to inform or
explain. Telling an
interesting story
effectively, faithfully
describing the steps in a
scientific process, or
providing an accurate
account of a historical
incident requires skillfully
using narrative
techniques. Narrative
writing requires that
students present vivid,
relevant details to situate
events in a time and place
and also craft a structure
that lends a larger shape
and significance to those
details. As an easily
grasped and widely used
way to share information
and ideas with others,
narrative writing is a
principal stepping-stone
to writing forms directly
relevant to college and
career readiness.
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College and Career Ready
Standards for Speaking and Listening
Core Standards
To be college and career ready, students must:
1.
Present information and findings clearly and persuasively, selecting an appropriate
format, organization, and register for the purpose and audience
2.
Respond constructively to clarify points and to build on or challenge ideas.
3.
Listen to complex information and understand what was said, identifying main ideas and
supporting details.
4.
Follow the progression of the speaker’s message and evaluate the speaker’s credibility
and use of evidence.
Notes:
 Present information and findings clearly and persuasively: This includes
conveying information concisely, taking into account audience background or
prior knowledge of the selected topic, and ensuring that nonverbal cues such
as gestures and eye contact contribute effectively to the delivery of the
message.

Register: This is the variety of language used in a particular setting. For
example, a student should choose formal Standard English to deliver a
presentation
of
research
to
an
unfamiliar
audience.

Respond constructively: This can be accomplished by both a speaker and a
listener. Responding constructively includes asking relevant questions,
offering elaborations and answering questions, and using verbal and nonverbal cues to indicate or determine understanding, confusion, agreement, or
disagreement.

Evaluate the speaker’s credibility and use of evidence: This includes
distinguishing facts from opinions, determining bias and expertise, and
assessing the speaker’s supporting evidence.
3A
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College and Career Ready
Standards for Speaking and Listening
Required Range and Contexts
To be college and career ready, students must exhibit the Speaking and Listening
Skills in the following contexts:
Formal and Informal:
Students are expected to exhibit the Speaking and Listening Skills in both formal and
informal settings, adapting their language use accordingly. In particular, students
should be able to use formal Standard English when called for in academic and
workplace settings.
Group and One-to-One:
Students are expected to utilize the speaking and listening skills in both groups and
one-to-one. The application of these skills may be different in varied settings. When
communicating in a group and building on the ideas of others with group goals in
mind, a student will have to respond constructively by taking turns, using non-verbal
cues such as raising a hand. When communicating one-to-one, a student will be able
to respond constructively in a more immediate manner such as by asking a question
directly of the speaker.
3B
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College and Career Ready
Applications of the Core
Research
Note: This section draws on the Reading, Writing, and Speaking and Listening standards to demonstrate
important applications of the core to college and career readiness.
The ability to conduct research independently, accurately, and effectively plays a fundamental role in college
and the workplace. Research skills are critical tools for acquiring, extending, and sharing knowledge in
academic and workplace settings, and students must be able to determine when and how to conduct and
document research.
Research as described here is not limited to the formal, extended research paper; rather, these skills encompass
a flexible yet systematic approach to resolving questions and investigating issues through the careful collection,
analysis, synthesis, and presentation of information from print and digital sources. These research skills equip
students with the tools to engage in sustained inquiry as well as tackle short, focused research projects that
typify many research assignments in college and the workplace. Research in the digital age offers new
possibilities but also new or heightened challenges. For one, the explosion of information available
electronically puts a premium on students being able to determine the origin and credibility of their sources.
To be college and career ready, students must engage in research and present their findings in writing and
orally, in print and online. While the skills represented in many of the standards from Reading, Writing, and
Speaking and Listening could be called on when performing research, the following encapsulate the core
standards for this application:
Reading:
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Writing:
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Summarize the ideas, events, or information in the text and determine the main ideas and themes. (4)
Interpret data, graphics, and words in the text, and combine these elements of information to achieve
comprehension. (10)
Follow the reasoning that supports an argument or explanation and assess whether the evidence provided is
relevant and sufficient. (11)
Ascertain the origin and credibility of print and online sources when conducting research. (12)
Apply knowledge and concepts drawn from texts to other texts, contexts, and circumstances. (13)
Select and refine a topic or thesis that addresses the specific task and audience. (1)
Represent and cite accurately the data, conclusions, and opinions of others. (6)
Establish a substantive claim, distinguishing it from alternate or opposing claims. (10)
Link claims and evidence and ensure that the evidence is relevant and sufficient to support the claims. (11)
Acknowledge competing information or arguments, defending or qualifying the initial claim as appropriate. (12)
Synthesize information from multiple relevant sources, including graphics and quantitative information when
appropriate, to develop an accurate picture of that information. (13)
Convey complex information clearly and coherently to the audience through careful selection, organization, and
presentation of the content. (14)
Demonstrate understanding of the content by getting the key facts right, covering the essential points, and
anticipating reader misconceptions. (15)
Speaking and Listening:

Present information and findings clearly and persuasively, selecting an appropriate format, organization, and
register for the purpose and audience. (1)
4A
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College and Career Ready
Applications of the Core
Media
Media skills play an increasingly important role in the gathering and sharing of ideas and information. At the core of
media mastery are the same fundamental capacities as are required “offline” in traditional print forms: an ability to
produce clear communications and an ability to access, understand, and evaluate complex materials and messages.
Media mastery also calls upon some skills unique to the online environment, ranging from being able to conduct
digital-based research to exchanging and debating ideas in online discussions to interacting with new text forms. In the
electronic world, reading and writing are closely intertwined, which affects both the processing of information as well
as its production. Students should be able to create, collaborate on, and distribute media communications and must
learn both to read closely and critically and to contribute effectively online through different media forms, such as
blogs, wikis, and social networks.
While the skills represented in many of the standards from Reading, Writing, and Speaking and Listening could be
called on in the interpretation and production of media, the following encapsulate the core standards for this
application:
Reading:




Summarize the ideas, events, or information in the text and determine the main ideas and themes. (4)
Interpret data, graphics, and words in the text, and combine these elements of information to achieve comprehension.
(10)
Ascertain the origin and credibility of print and online sources when conducting research. (12)
Analyze how two or more texts with different styles, perspectives, or arguments address similar topics or themes. (13)
Writing:




Represent and cite accurately the data, conclusions, and opinions of others. (6)
Synthesize information from multiple relevant sources, including graphics and quantitative information when
appropriate, to develop an accurate picture of that information. (13)
Convey complex information clearly and coherently to the audience through careful selection, organization, and
presentation of the content. (14)
Demonstrate understanding of the content by getting the key facts right, covering the essential points, and anticipating
reader misconceptions. (15)

Speaking and Listening



Present information and findings clearly and persuasively, selecting an appropriate format, organization,
and register for the purpose and audience. (1)
Listen to complex information and understand what was said, identifying main ideas and supporting details. (3)
Follow the progression of the speaker’s message and evaluate the speaker’s credibility and use of evidence. (4)
4B
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College and Career Ready
Reading Illustrative Texts at the Required Level of Complexity
Significance and Measurement of Text Complexity
Core Standards for Reading Comprehension
Why Samples of Complex Texts?
Studies show that one concrete measure of readiness for college and careers is students’ ability to read
and comprehend complex text independently. Many students who do not encounter sufficiently
challenging texts in high school struggle upon entering college. In the twenty-first century, students
may change jobs often; they must therefore be able to read a range of complex texts to be ready for an
ever-evolving workplace. While no sampling can do justice to the numerous ways in which different
authors craft engaging and complex prose, the four selections below exemplify the kinds of passages
students need to grapple with in high school to be ready to meet the challenges of college classrooms
and workplaces.

The first selection, from the Declaration of Independence, illustrates the kind of primary
source materials students should be able to confront on their own in high school.

The second passage, from Katherine Mansfield’s short story, “Miss Brill,” appears on several
international reading lists and in many U.S. high school curricula.

The third excerpt, by Sylvia Mader, comes from an entry-level college science text.

The fourth text, taken from one of ACT’s WorkKeys® assessments, represents one important
type of real-world reading challenge: the business memo.
How Has Complexity Been Measured?
In addition to surveys of required reading in twelfth grade and the first year of college and
consultations with experts in text complexity, two leading measurement systems were used to help
make the selections below. While other measures of readability and text complexity have value, the
two described below helped guide this initial work and confirmed that these four texts are suitable
exemplars of the types of complex texts that students need to master to be ready for college and
careers.
The first system—a methodology described by Jeanne Chall and her coauthors in The Qualitative
Assessment of Text Difficulty—employs trained raters to measure the sophistication of vocabulary,
density of ideas, and syntactic complexity in a text as well as the general and subject-specific
knowledge and the level of reasoning required for understanding it. The second system, Coh-Metrix,
incorporates into its computer-based analysis more than sixty specific indices of syntax, semantics,
readability, and cohesion to assess text complexity. Central to its assessment are measures of text
cohesiveness, that is, the degree to which the text uses explicit markers to link ideas. By analyzing the
degree to which those links are missing in a text—and therefore the degree to which a reader must
make inferences to connect ideas—this measure gauges a key factor in the comprehension demand of
a text.
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Sample Text #1
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from The Declaration of Independence
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their
Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from
the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these
ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its
foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most
likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long
established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath
shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by
abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations,
pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is
their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future
security. --Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which
constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great
Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of
an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.
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Sample Text #2
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from “Miss Brill,” by Katherine Mansfield
There were a number of people out this afternoon, far more than last Sunday. And the band sounded
louder and gayer. That was because the Season had begun. For although the band played all the year
round on Sundays, out of season it was never the same. It was like some one playing with only the
family to listen; it didn’t care how it played if there weren’t any strangers present. Wasn’t the
conductor wearing a new coat, too? She was sure it was new. He scraped with his foot and flapped his
arms like a rooster about to crow, and the bandsmen sitting in the green rotunda blew out their cheeks
and glared at the music. Now there came a little “flutey” bit—very pretty! —a little chain of bright
drops. She was sure it would be repeated. It was; she lifted her head and smiled.
* * * * * * * **
The band had been having a rest. Now they started again. And what they played was warm, sunny, yet
there was just a faint chill—a something, what was it? —not sadness—no, not sadness—a something
that made you want to sing. The tune lifted, lifted, the light shone; and it seemed to Miss Brill that in
another moment all of them, all the whole company, would begin singing. The young ones, the laughing
ones who were moving together, they would begin, and the men’s voices, very resolute and brave,
would join them. And then she too, she too, and the others on the benches—they would come in with a
kind of accompaniment—something low, that scarcely rose or fell, something so beautiful—moving—
And Miss Brill’s eyes filled with tears and she looked smiling at all the other members of the company.
Yes, we understand, we understand, she thought—though what they understood she didn’t know.
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Sample Text #3
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from Inquiry into Life, by Sylvia S. Mader, 12th edition. (McGraw Hill)
A covalent bond results when two atoms share electrons in such a way that each atom has an octet of
electrons in the outer shell. In a hydrogen atom, the outer shell is complete when it contains two
electrons. If hydrogen is in the presence of a strong electron acceptor, it gives up its electron to
become a hydrogen ion (H+). But if this is not possible, hydrogen can share with another atom and
thereby have a completed outer shell. For example, one hydrogen atom will share with another
hydrogen atom. Their two orbitals overlap, and the electrons are shared between them. Because they
share the electron pair, each atom has a completed outer shell.
********
The passage of salt (NaCl) across a plasma membrane is of primary importance to most cells. The
chloride ion (Cl–) usually crosses the plasma membrane because it is attracted by positively charged
sodium ions (Na+). First sodium ions are pumped across a membrane, and then chloride ions simply
diffuse through channels that allow their passage.
As noted in Figure 4.2a, the genetic disorder cystic fibrosis results from a faulty chloride channel.
Ordinarily, after chloride ions have passed though the membrane, sodium ions (Na +) and water follow.
In cystic fibrosis, Cl– transport is reduced, and so is the flow of Na+ and water.
********
Once a neurotransmitter has been released into a synaptic cleft and has initiated a response, it is
removed from the cleft. In some synapses, the postsynaptic membrane contains enzymes that rapidly
inactivate the neurotransmitter. For example, the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE) breaks down
acetylcholine. In other synapses, the presynaptic membrane rapidly reabsorbs the neurotransmitter,
possibly for repackaging in synaptic vesicles or for molecular breakdown. The short existence of
neurotransmitters at a synapse prevents continuous stimulation (or inhibition) of postsynaptic
membranes.
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Sample Text #4
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Sample Business Memo
(ACT WorkKeys Reading for Information Test, Level 6 Sample Passage)
To permit our employees to communicate directly with one another as well as with vendors and
customers, Molten Metals, Inc. provides a network of e-mail accounts. Access to e-mail is at the sole
discretion of Molten Metals, Inc., and we will determine who is to be so empowered. Under President
Duarte's leadership, all messages sent and received (even those intended as personal) are treated as
business messages. Molten Metals, Inc. has the capability to and reserves the right to access, review,
copy, and delete any messages sent, received, or stored on the company e-mail server. Molten Metals,
Inc. will disclose these messages to any party (inside or outside the company) it deems appropriate.
Employees should treat this server as a constantly reviewed, shared file stored in the system.
********
Due to the reduced human effort required to redistribute electronic information, a greater degree of
caution must be exercised by employees transmitting MM, Inc. confidential information using company
e-mail accounts. Confidential information belonging to MM, Inc. is important to our independence and
should never be transmitted or forwarded to persons or companies not authorized to receive that
information. Likewise, it should not be sent or forwarded to other employees inside the company who
do not need to know that information.
********
MM, Inc. strongly discourages the storage of large numbers of e-mail messages for a number of
reasons. First, because e-mail messages frequently contain company confidential information, it is
good to limit the number of such messages to protect the company’s information. Second, retention of
messages fills up large amounts of storage space on the e-mail server and personal hard disks, and can
slow down the performance of both the network and individual personal computers. Finally, in the
event that the company needs to search the network server, backup tapes, or individual hard disks for
genuinely important documents, the fewer documents it has to search through, the more economical
the search will be. Therefore, employees are to delete as soon as possible any email messages they
send or receive.
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