In-Class Writing, Keywords Defined 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).

50-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 5 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.

Project 1, Library Research Memo

After class begins today, open your Library Research Memo, which you started last week, and copy-and-paste it into a comment made to this blog post.

Then, read the blog post, “In-Class Writing, Keyword Definitions Memo” for the first half of class assignment.

During the second half of class, we will turn our attention to the blog post titled, “Project 1, Occupational Outlook Handbook Memo.”

Project 1, Occupational Outlook Handbook Memo

In the final stage of your Project 1 pre-writing, you will create a memo that uses information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook as its only cited reference.

Your memo will discuss the benefits and challenges to obtaining a job in the career that you have selected. It will be exactly one page in length–including your memo header, content, and reference. Some of your paragraphs will be about benefits and others will be about challenges. It is your work to consider what information in the OOH addresses these two sides to entering your career.

You will need to spend time reading through the OOH entry for (or closest to) your career in order to understand the wealth of information presented in the OOH for you to use in this assignment.

To begin, create a new Google Doc in another web browser tab. Title the document, “Project 1, OOH Memo.” Type your memo header at the top as you have done on the previous assignments.

Next, open this link to the OOH in a new tab of your web browser.

On the OOH site, look at the left column, “Occupational Groups.” Find the group that describes your career. For example, “Technical Writers” is in the group, “Media and Communication.”

Then, click on the job listed in your group that either is the name of your future job or most closely describes your future job.

If you have trouble finding your job, you can also check the OOH’s index here.

Once you’ve opened your job’s OOH page, copy-and-paste the URL from your browser into the Google Doc that you created earlier. You will need this for your reference at the bottom of your memo later.

Returning to the OOH page for your job, notice that there are section tabs at the top of the page: Summary, What They Do, Work Environment, etc. You will want to read through each of these tabs to learn more about your future job while keeping in mind that you want to identify the greatest/most interesting benefits and the greatest/most interesting challenges.

Anything that you quote or paraphrase from the OOH in your memo must be cited using a parenthetical citation like this: (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015, Section Name, para. number). For example, if I quote something from the third paragraph of the Job Outlook section of the Technical Writers entry, I would end that sentence with this parenthetical citation: (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015, Job Outlook, para. 3). I found the year of its publication at the bottom of the OOH entry’s page. For more info on this format, refer to the “Sources without Page Numbers” entry on this page.

After you have written the content of your memo, add your reference for the OOH entry that you used. It should follow the format of an online, government source. Look at the bottom of your OOH entry for the year that it was published/updated. For example:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor. (2015). Actuaries. Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2016-17 Edition. Retrieved from

Remember, the target for this assignment is one page–no more, no less. You should chunk your benefits and challenges into separate paragraphs, and your memo should lead with a brief introductory paragraph describing the document that you are creating.

Use all of class time to work on this assignment and be prepared to submit a draft one week from today during that day’s class.

In-Class Writing, 150-Word Summary

During the first phase of today’s class, write a 150-word summary memo of the magazine article that you read before arriving. In your summary, you should include one quote from the article that is cited with a parenthetical citation. Your memo should follow this format:


150-Word Summary with one quote parenthetically cited (no more than 150 words and no less than 140 words) (see “Short Quotations” example on this page for parenthetical citation)

Reference to article in APA format

Copy-and-paste your memo into a comment made to this blog post when you are done.

Project 1, Annotated Bibliography for Library-Sourced Articles

For this phase of Project 1, you will use the Library’s databases to find at least three articles that discuss your career and write an annotated bibliography of those articles. When you complete Project 1, you will use at least one of these articles as a source (you may use them all, but one is required).

Go to the Library’s website to access the databases. I will guide you through finding relevant articles using some of the popular databases such as Academic Search Complete, Gale Academic One File, and LexisNexis.

After you have found your articles, write a memo that follows this format:


Introduction (describe what is this memo’s purpose–it is an annotated bibliography of sources related to X career)

Bibliographic entry for the first article
50 word summary of the article in your own words.
Quote from article with parenthetical citation in APA format.

Bibliographic entry for the second article
50 word summary of the article in your own words.
Quote from article with parenthetical citation in APA format.

Bibliographic entry for the third article
50 word summary of the article in your own words.
Quote from article with parenthetical citation in APA format.

A draft of this memo will be due during class next week.

For each article’s bibliographic entry, look at the “Article from a Database” section on this page.

For each article’s quote that you use, write a parenthetical citation following the models provide on this page and this page. In general, a quote from an article with page numbers will end with a parenthetical like this: (Lastname, year, p. 4) where “4” is the fourth page, and a quote from an article without page numbers will end with a parenthetical citation like this: (Lastname, year, para. 4) where the number “4” refers to the fourth paragraph from the beginning of the article.

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.

Writing Opportunity

On behalf of the CUNY Dispute Resolution Center at John Jay College, we are writing to request your assistance in recruiting CUNY Muslim students and recent alumni to submit original essays for an upcoming book project on Muslim Identity funded by the CUNY Diversity Projects Development Fund.  The essays should be between 300-1,000 words and submitted by April 7, 2017 Selected entries will appear in an edited publication and the writers will be awarded a $25 gift card.

This important awareness project invites young Muslims on all CUNY campuses to submit original accounts sharing how Islam has shaped their identity as Muslims living in present day America.  It provides young Muslims with an opportunity to write about their Muslim identity and their understanding of Islam instead of having their narratives defined by the media and those misinformed about Islam and Muslim identity.

Please help us to circulate the attached flyer widely and encourage Muslim students and recent alumni of your CUNY campus to participate in this call for essays. Publication of the essays and distribution of gift cards will be completed by June 30, 2017.

Feel free to email us if you have any questions or need any additional information at This is our third edited book of essays by CUNY Muslim students.  If you would like a copy of our last book, email us your request.

Thank you for your time and assistance in helping to disseminate information for this important and timely project aiming to provide an opportunity for the voices of young Muslims at CUNY to be shared at CUNY and beyond.