Résumé and Cover Letter (DUE May 25th)
Prose Revision Assignment (DUE June 1st)
Go to the Prose Revision Assignment page to see the three paragraphs you are to revise–using the ideas we’ve discussed.
Set of Instructions Assignment (DUE June 3rd)
Your instructions shouldn’t be more than five pages. Use a visual, and follow the other directions below. Don’t think too big on this assignment: you aren’t going to put a car together, but you might change a tire or the oil (“don’t you just ditch the car when the oil gets dirty”). Please come up with a procedure that you can describe step by step in two and a half pages. Obviously, you won’t be writing in paragraph form. Remember to include DANGERS, WARNINGS, CAUTIONS, and NOTES as applicable:
- Dangers identify immediate hazard to life or limb
- Warnings protect users from injury and manufacturers from legal action.
- Cautions protect machinery.
- Notes are tips for better performance and ease of use.
Use the following directions to create your instructions:
- For a technology (an object, tool, or system) prepare an order form for all the parts. Each part will need a part number in addition to the name. Consider the appearance of the order sheet, its columns and spaces, the complicating factors of model year and interchangeable parts in your design of the media.-or-Instead of an order form, list the items (parts, tools, skills, time, etc.) a user may need to complete the task. For instance, if you’re describing how to fix a computer, you may list the following items as necessary:
- Write a brief description of the technology or procedure for a lay or semi-technical audience (for example, college students, storeowners, catalog customers, etc.). This is a description and NOT a set of instructions. It should be about two paragraphs (8-10 college-level sentences).
- Write ONE explanation (set of instructions) on how the technology or procedure is carried out. By “carried out” I mean explain one of the following: how is it set; how is it set up; how is it used; how does one go about doing…you know…doing the steps; how does it (or the system) work. Be sure to include warnings, cautions, notes, and dangers if needed.
- List the sources you used to create the instructions or describe the procedure. I realize that some of you won’t need to do this, so it isn’t a requirement, but, if you do use sources, be good students and list them.
- Small screw drivers
- Anti-static wrist band
- Thermal glue
- Other tools
- Parts the user will be replacing, adding, “modding” (heatsink, CPU, disk drive, power supply, etc)
If you’re describing a simple procedure, list the main terms that a lay or semi-technical audience may need defined before reading the instructions. For instance, if you’re describing how a toilet refills itself, you may have to list and describe the following items:
- Fillvalve—the valve that opens to fill the toilet…I guess.
- Flushvalve—the valve that opens to flush…why not?
Flushvalve washer—it’s got to be something connected to the thing above.
- Lever—if you don’t know this piece, you aren’t allowed in my house.
- Brass float rod—the rod attached to the flushvalve that holds the float ball.
- Plastic float ball—that plastic ball that hangs on the end of the float rod.
- Chain and stopper—the chain that rises with the float ball; the stopper is attached to the end of the chain.
- Toilet tempering valve/mixing valve—valve that mixes hot and cold water to prevent sweating (condensation).
5. An alternative assignment can be to describe a science. For instance, why does rain fall? What’s Global Warming? But be forewarned!!! These descriptions must be in your own words. I’m sure you’ll consult sources, but do not steal material word for word from ANY source (print or online).
6. Please do not do instructions on the following:
- recipes–unless you are willing to explain the science behind what is happening to the food as it is cooked or processed. You can’t just put down a recipe with ingredients and steps to make the food. You need to discuss the science behind cooking.
- uploading webpages
This is a portfolio assignment, so you’ll have a chance to revise it.
I, Robot Essay (DUE June 11th)
This quick read is perfect for you. It’s filled with suspense, drama, humor, and robots! Take a look at possible short essay topics to choose from. Feel free to create your own, but remember that you have to read the entire book in order to do the essay. Don’t forget to review the I, Robot Discussion page.
Proposals, Annotated Bibliography, Visuals (DUE June 15th)
I’m going to have you find 5 sources for your annotated bibliography. I expect these to be individual projects–not groups. Normally, the annotated bibliography shows the reader (me) that you’ve explored a topic, done background research. This research is supposed to inform your research questions and, ultimately, your final report, design, presentation, etc. Because of the abbreviated nature of a summer term, we won’t be doing a full research project. Instead, you’ll be setting one up and talking about how you might approach it. So there’s no confusion, below is what you need for this assignment (include everything together in one file):
- a proposal (at least 200 words) that explains what you want to research
- an annotated bibliography that details sources
- a visual or visuals that are related to your research topic.
- Images, charts, graphs, tables, etc.–you only need one
- It has to be relevant to your proposal
Please consider topics that revolve around one of the following:
- Proposing a technical or scientific solution to a problem.
- Expanding a company or organization’s business model(s).
- Describing a technology (must be different from your set of instructions).
- Describing a science (must be different from your set of instructions).
- Something else related to technology or technical communication.
Please make sure these are actual, real world problems–no magic wands or science fiction technologies.
Because this is in place of a research project, include a 200-word description of how you would go about conducting a project with the information you found. Your research question or questions would be a part of this description. Things to consider would be the following:
All the topics below do not have to be addressed–use your best judgment.
- Purpose of the project–what or why or how are you going to address the project’s research question
- Scope of the project–what are the boundaries of the project (you can’t cover everything)
- Methodology of the project–how might you go about gathering the necessary information or items for the project
- Timeframe of the project–how long might an actual project of this size take
- Budget for the project–how much might a project you’re proposing cost (if applicable)
- Possible impact of the project–what result or results might you expect (this might already be addressed in the purpose)
The goal of this assignment is to do research the right way. By “the right way” I mean that you should always gather more information than you need; then, you should sort through the information in order to learn more about your topic. Some information might be more helpful than other information, but you wouldn’t know that if you simply gathered the first few sources that came from google. In order for me to see what topic you’re considering, I want to read an annotated list of sources. Check here for more details about annotation requirements (Scroll down to “Annotation Example”).
Please note that means you should have 4-5 sentences per source.
Ethical Dilemmas (DUE June 17th)
Here’s the link to your ethical dilemma homework from June 15th. Remember, this is a “writing intensive” course, and I’m sure no one will debate it isn’t.
Although this definition isn’t hermetic, we’re focusing on ethics as it–the subject–relates to professions; therefore, ethics can be consider a code of conduct, which Ch. 3 in Tebeaux and Dragga suggests (pp. 39-40 in the 3rd ed.). This assignment (as well as our course webpages devoted to ethics) is designed to get you thinking about the gray area of ethics…no absolute right or wrong.
Final Portfolios (June 18th)
I have a list of portfolio requirements for you to follow as you’re putting together the final portfolio.
Final Presentations (June 22nd)
I always try to give students the opportunity to do some kind of public speaking in every class I teach. Although this isn’t a public speaking class, presenting information to an audience orally is germane to the spirit of the field of technical/professional communication. Most of you will have to do some kind of public presenting in the future, so it’s a good idea to get all the practice you can. You’re welcome.
Of course, I would prefer this to be done live and in person, but that’s not possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. You have two options for this presentation. I will have a Presentation Survey on Canvas that you must complete by Thursday, June 18th by 5:00 pm, so I know how many students will submit videos or meet virtually.
Making a 4-5 minute video based on your Final Project. You will speak and have visuals. It shouldn’t be a video of just you talking for 4-5 min; instead, consider this a “voice over” that narrates your presentation.
This has do be at least 4-5 min–don’t go under 4 min, and don’t go over 5 min. The goal is for you to choose the appropriate details to fit into this timeframe.
On Monday, 6/22, during our original class time of 11:00-12:30, you’ll get on Webex and give a 4-5 min presentation. I will transfer the “sharing” ability on Webex, so you can share your PowerPoint, Webpage, or whatever visuals you need for this presentation. Whoever wants this must be able to logon at 11:00 am (6/22).
I have a final oral presentations page up that gives you more details about adapting your final projects to a 4-5 min presentation.
Final Exam (June 23rd)
Your Final Exam is Tuesday, 6/23 on Canvas. It’ll be open 8:00 am – 11:00 pm, and you’ll have two and a half hours to finish it once you start (assuming you start before 8:30 pm because the exam closes promptly at 11:00 pm). If you’ve read and paid attention in class it will be easy. Make sure you go over the following:
- Using simple, direct verbs for résumé duties
- Revising for passive voice, parallelism, and other wordiness
- General guidelines for block and modified block letter formats
- Key Terms and Ideas from Chapters 3, 6, 8, and 9 in Dragga and Tebeaux (This is your textbook)
- Ch. 3: Writing ethically (and inclusively)
- Ch. 6: Designing effective and ethical visuals
- Ch. 8: Parts of reports
- Ch. 9: Rhetorical Strategies of Proposals
- Effective presentation guidelines–preparation, eye contact, voice projection, relevance, and…
- I, Robot issues related to technology and technical communication
- Research strategies and databases commands
- Source credibility and authority
- Ethics as a personal philosophy–Utilitarianism, Deontology, Teleology, Theologism, Objectivism, and Toscanoism
- Statistics…well, manipulation with statistics (see Darrel Huff)
- Mean, median, mode
- Relative size of graphics
- Four out of five people know stats are bogus…
- And other pertinent stuff we brought up in class
The Final Exam is slightly cumulative, and, even though you have 2 hours and 30 minutes, it should only take you 45-60 min.