Every workplace requires different skills, and new writing formats are created all the time. Without magic, it’s impossible to know what each of you will need in the future, and regrettably, I’m a muggle. To help prepare you for an every-changing workplace, we will focus on how to survive in the workplace without a teacher telling you how to write.
You will compose five major projects in this course. The goal of these projects is learn how to research writing in your field and then to develop a procedure for determining how to write anything you need.
Five Facts about the Five Major Projects
- You must complete all five major assignments and requirements, meeting the basic standards of technical writing, in order to earn a B in this course.
- You will share your draft for each project in the Discussions tool in Canvas for peer review feedback.
- You can always rewrite, but your workload will be easier if you submit successful work on your first submission.
- You should review the examples on the assignment pages. They are models for the projects.
- You need to pay attention to document design. Good content is not enough. Appearance matters too.
You will create a professional biographical statement that tells colleagues, clients, and the public about your background, your work, and your interests. This assignment is a kind of job application project, since you will be using the kind of details that you could include on your resume or in a cover letter. The difference is that you place the details in a biographical statement in context. You tell a story, rather than just listing details. This short project also serves as an icebreaker, since it lets me and your group members get to learn a bit about you.
You will survey the kinds of writing people in your intended career field do and arrange the information in a table (like a benchmarking or comparison table). You’ll provide a short description of the different kinds of writing, identify the typical audiences and purposes, and classify the kinds of writing, matching the items to example resources online. Your goal is to learn the characteristics of the kinds of writing you will typically do in the workplace. This chart will be a go-to resource once you are in the workplace, which you can use to remind yourself of the features to include in whatever you are writing. This project lays the groundwork for the work you will do during the rest of the term.
You will propose the study you will undertake in your Genre Analysis Report (the next project). For your study, you will choose a specific kind of writing (or a genre) that you will explore fully. Once you have made your decision, your proposal will explain your choice, how it will help you in your career, and what you will include in your research as you complete your study. Your proposal will include the following sections: Background (or Introduction), Areas to be Studied, Methods of Research, a Timetable, your Qualifications, and a Request for Approval.
You will write an analytical report that explains everything that goes into writing a specific kind of writing that you will do in your career. You will find online resources, interview people in the field, and analyze examples. Your report will cover the purpose and audience for the genre, the constraints involved, the preparation needed to write the genre, the organization of the genre, the contents of all sections, the ethical and/or intercultural and global issues that may impact the kind of writing, a bibliography, and at least three examples of the particular genre.
You will write a Progress Report that outlines the status of your Genre Analysis Report. Your job will be to tell me about the work you have completed, what you still need to do, and how you will finish the outstanding work. You will also include details on any challenges that you have encountered and any questions that you have about the project.
Icons all from The Noun Project and used under a CC-BY license: Rabbit by Nicole Portantiere, profile by zidney, spreadsheet by heathersabrina, presentation by Llisole, analysis by Eucalyp, timeline by Takao Umehara