More than in the past, today’s technical writers need to have a keen eye for visual aesthetics and be able to work as a team – sometimes, without ever meeting with their teammates in person. This week’s reading material and assignments address the finer nuances of creating a visually-pleasing document that is easy to read, and of collaborating in a virtual environment.
WEEK TWO DISCUSSIONS
- Collaborative Writing Process. 1st Post Due by Day 3. Often, large or complex writing projects are done collaboratively. Collaborative writing projects require input from several different people and often produce a final product with more ideas and insights than if done by just one person. Imagine that the Final Project that you are writing for this course is a real-life project that you are completing on-the-job. Although you are ultimately responsible for the Final Project, your supervisor has required you to work collaboratively with four to five other coworkers. How will you organize the project and delegate tasks? How will you make best use of the team’s strengths? What are some of the potential problems/challenges that might arise, and what will you do to prevent them? Your initial post should be at least 250 words in length. Support your claims with examples from required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts by Day 7. Each response is required to meet or exceed 125 words.
- Design and Graphics. 1st Post Due by Day 3. Good document design includes effective use of white space and colors. Graphics are often used to provide a snapshot of a large amount of data or to illustrate a topic. Poorly-designed pages can take away from the intended message of the document. Choose and attach a graphic, chart, or image that you feel will help your Final Project. Explain why it is useful and what it means in the context of your Final Project. Be sure to reference relevant material. In your responses to classmates, critique the graphics that your peers submit, and make suggestions for other ways the information could be presented or suggest alternative graphics. Defend your suggestions. Your initial post should be at least 250 words in length. Support your claims with examples from required material(s) and/or other scholarly resources, and properly cite any references. Respond to at least two of your classmates’ posts by Day 7. Each response is required to meet or exceed 125 words.
WEEK TWO QUIZ
Quiz. Due by Day 7. Complete the quiz on the assigned readings for Week One.
WEEK TWO ASSIGNMENT
Outline and Annotated Bibliography. Due by Day 7. The planning of technical and scientific documents is essential for clear and concise communication. Keeping audience and purpose in mind, the writer must generate ideas about a chosen topic, and then organize those ideas in the form of a working outline, while also researching additional information and understanding its place in the overall project at hand.
For this assignment, using the topic you chose in Week One, create (1) an outline and (2) an annotated bibliography that will form the structural and research foundation for the Final Project that is due in Week Five.
Page 45 of Technical Communication offers clustering and branch-diagram techniques for developing supporting ideas around a main topic. You are encouraged to explore these techniques. You will then organize those ideas in the form of a working outline.
- Review the sample outline in this week’s required resource: Ashford Writing Center. (n.d.). Outline form. Retrieved from https://awc.ashford.edu/writing-tools-outline.html
- Develop a one- to two-page outline of your chosen topic and associated ideas or sub-topics. Your outline should be formatted as either alphanumeric, full-sentence, or decimal.
- Be sure to include all of the information illustrated on the sample Outline. This includes a well-written thesis statement, related topic sentences, and significant supporting information for each topic.
Regarding research and the development of an annotated bibliography, the author of Technical Communication states on page 46: “Once you have a good idea of what you already know about your topic, you need to obtain the rest of the information you will need. You can find and evaluate what other people have already written by reading reference books, scholarly books, articles, [and] Web sites.” Immediately following the outline, and in the same document, include an annotated bibliography of no less than 10 entries.
Annotated Bibliography steps:
- Review this resourcei from Cornell University: Cornell University Library. (2014, May 1). How to prepare an annotated bibliography. Retrieved from http://guides.library.cornell.edu/annotatedbibliography
- Also review: Ashford Writing Center. (n.d.). Sample annotated bibliography. Retrieved from https://awc.ashford.edu/tocw-sample-annotated-bibliography.html
- Develop your Annotated Bibliography of sources that you believe will support the purpose of your Final Project. At least seven of these sources should originate from the Ashford University Library databases.
- Each source entry should contain two thoroughly-written paragraphs. One paragraph should effectively summarize the source’s major claims. The other paragraph should thoroughly describe how the information will be utilized in the Final Project.
- Your Annotated Bibliography must contain full citations in APA format.
- Following each full citation and employing full sentences, include a descriptive and critical assessment of each entry.
- Avoid using first- and second-person pronouns. Rather, refer to the author in your descriptive and critical assessment of the author’s ideas. You should maintain a formal tone throughout each entry.