Monthly Archives: September 2017

Beginning of Class Writing, Background Research Memo

For today’s beginning of class writing, you will write a memo that provides a colleague with background resources relevant to the article that you read for today’s class. Its purpose is to help them learn about the people, company, and keywords found in the article. You will gain some additional experience working with APA and using library research tools.

Before you begin, scan your article and circle keywords (terminology and technical terms), company names, and the names of people referenced in the article. Your article might have examples from all of these categories, or it might only have one or two. All articles will have keywords.

Next, begin a new memo following this format:

TO: [Write the name of someone sitting next to you]

FROM: [Your name]


SUBJECT: Background Research Memo

One sentence description of this memo’s purpose in your own words.

One sentence summary of the article–incorporate in the sentence or in parenthesis the article’s title, author, and magazine.

APA citation for your magazine article using this format: Author, A. A., Author, B. B., & Author, C. C. (Year). Title of article. Title of Periodical, volume number(issue number), pages.

An example: Henry, W. A., III. (1990, April 9). Making the grade in today’s schools. Time, 135, 28-31.

One sentence explaining that the following three links provide background reading for better understanding the article above.

[Use the Infotrac Newsstand through the Library’s website to search for articles based on three things you circled in your article. I would recommend using one circled word for each citation below. When you find an article, click on the title and then click on citation tools on the right, choose APA and copy-and-paste the citation below.]

APA citation for one article.

APA citation for second article.

APA citation for third article.

For Our Next Meeting

When we have class the week after next, remember to have two copies of each of your draft resumes. This means that you should bring two copies of your skills-based resume and two copies of your experience-based resume. The examples that I showed you in class are available on the Project 1 page linked at the top of our Openlab site. Also, bring a new magazine article for our beginning of class writing assignment.

Beginning of Class Writing: Report on Article

During today’s beginning of class writing exercise, you will write a report in memo format. Your report will summarize the article for your manager’s benefit. We will discuss some points of technical writing relating to this assignment. Follow the following format for your memo:





One sentence stating what this memo is about (summarizing the article). Include the article’s author, title, magazine title, and date.

  • In one sentence, state the article’s argument in your own words.
  • In one sentence, state one piece of evidence supporting that argument in your own words.
  • In one sentence, state a second piece of evidence supporting that argument in your own words.
  • In one sentence, state a third piece of evidence supporting that argument in your own words.

One sentence conclusion saying whether your manager should read the article or not.

Beginning of Class Writing: Letter to the Editor

With the magazine article that you brought to today’s class, we will discuss how to write a letter to the editor in response to the article. Then you will have the first phase of class to write and post your letter as a comment made to this blog post. Of course, remember to save your letter on Google Drive, flash drive, or elsewhere before posting it to OpenLab–always protect your deliverables!