Monthly Archives: February 2017

In-Class Writing: Exploring Keywords Memo

During today’s class, I asked everyone to bring a new magazine article. What you will be writing today is a combination summary and list of defined keywords memo that helps someone know what topics are included in an article and how those topics are defined using a professional dictionary: the Oxford English Dictionary.

Imagine how such a document might be useful for informing a non-technical executive of jargon or training co-workers about useful terminology. Use Google Docs to create your document and copy-and-paste it into a comment made to this blog post. Remember that some formatting might get stripped out from the copy-and-paste operation, which is okay. Just look over your comment and make any final edits that you want before clicking “Post Comment.”

Your memo should follow this format:

Header block (to, from, date, and subject)

Introduction for memo (no more than 50 words, explain the memo’s purpose in your own words and include the article’s title and author’s name).

100-word Summary of Article. Include one quote or paraphrase and cite it parenthetically. For example: Google’s new mesh wifi router “will send statistics to the cloud so that Google’s servers can analyze your network’s performance” (Brown, 2017, p. 62).

Bullet-point list of 10 keywords or terms used in the article. Next to each keyword, quote a definition for that word from the Oxford English Dictionary and write a parenthetical citation after the quote. There is no word count limit for this section. For example:

  • Cloud computing: “the use of networked facilities for the storage and processing of data rather than a user’s local computer, access to data or services typically being via the Internet” (“Cloud computing,” 2016).

Finally, write “References” and below this title write bibliographic entries for each citation (your magazine article and each bullet-point keyword defined by the OED). Organize your list of references alphabetically by the first letter of each entry. For example:


Brown, M. (Jan. 2017). Google wifi: mesh networking made easy. PC World, 35(1), 59-66.

Cloud computing. (2016). In OED Online. Retrieved from

When you are done, copy-and-paste your work into a comment made to this blog post.

You may use the remaining class time to work on your resume lists discussed in our last class. Remember to bring these lists to our next class.

Please remember to thank your substitute professor for spending their time with you today!

In-Class Writing, Bullet Points Memo

During today’s class, you will write a memo summarizing the article that you have brought. Unlike our previous memos, you will use a combination of short paragraphs and bullet points. The purpose of this format is to increase its readability for someone with less time to read over the details. Your memo should follow this format:


Intro and Memo’s Purpose (no more than 50 words)

At least 5 bullet points of the main topics of the article in your own words. Each bullet point may not be longer than two lines long and it must be written as a complete sentence.

Reference in APA format.

After you post your memo, use the remaining time to work on your Job Ad and Company Research Memo. A draft of it is due on March 2.

For Feb 28, bring another article for a different in-class writing exercise.

For March 2, have your draft of the Job Ad and Company Research Memo ready to turn in, and bring this information to class in an easy to access way (written, printed, available quickly online, etc.):

  • Complete work history including where, job title, when, tasks, and reference info.
  • Academic transcripts and make notes on the classes that you have taken in your major–what knowledge have you learned and what skills have you gained?
  • Special skills: what manual skills do you know? what computer skills do you have? do you have a hobby that figures into your career? Rank what you know on these levels: novice, intermediate, and advanced.
  • Honors/awards/volunteer work: bring any relevant details. These do not have to be associated with your major.

Remember to Keep Backups of Your Work

While we are using Google Drive to save much of your work in our class, I would like to recommend that you keep backup copies of your work in our class and your other classes. One solution that I have found to be reliable over time is Dropbox. If you do not yet have a Dropbox account, you can use this referral link to get a free 2 GB account with a bonus 500 MB for a total of 2.5 GB, which is ample space for saving a lot of schoolwork.

In-Class Writing: 150-Word Summary of Magazine Article

During today’s class, use Google Docs to write a 150-word summary of a different article than you wrote about last week. Include your memo’s header, 150-word content (no less than 140 words and no more than 150 words) including one quote with parenthetical citation, and a bibliographic reference at the bottom for the article. When you are done, copy and past your memo into a comment made to this blog post.

At the end of class, I will give you new parameters for your next magazine article.

Any remaining time during class can be used on Project 1.