Reminder: Deadline for all work is midnight tonight

Greetings, all! I wanted to give you a final reminder that tonight (Dec. 24) at midnight is the deadline for all work in ENG2575.

For the collaborative team project, you need to post your work to our OpenLab site. Only one team member needs to do this for the whole team. Make sure that someone in your team tests all of the links while not logged into Google Drive to ensure that anyone with each link can view your work. As of 3:00pm, I can see posts from Teams 2, 3, 4, and 6. Teams 1 and 5 still need to submit before the deadline at midnight tonight.

For your individual work, email any of the first three projects (500-word summary, 750-word expanded definition, and 1500-word instruction manual) or in-class writing assignments to me as a Word docx file. If you never submitted an assignment or received a grade via email from me, you will want to email your work to me before the deadline at midnight tonight. Also, I am accepting revised work for a revised grade.

I would encourage you to stop by and talk with me about any of your work graded during this crunch time after the next semester begins. It would be helpful to me if you give me a heads up that you’re stopping by so that I can have things prepared in advance for our conversation. An email would suffice. I don’t know my office hours yet, but they will be posted on the door to my office in Namm 520. And, I can arrange other meeting times if you send me a list of your availability over the course of a week.

Good luck to you all now and in the coming new year!

Announcement: Last Class Reminder and Extension on Individual Assignments

Please remember that we’re going to reserve the first hour of tomorrow evening’s class for team studio time. You may use the time to prepare for your presentation, finalize your documents, and submit your team’s post on our OpenLab course site. Remember to double check that your links work after publishing your post. If you need additional time, there might be time at the end of class following team presentations.

I have had several students ask for extensions for completing individual assignments, revising previously submitted assignments, or submitting the deliverables for the team project. Due to demand, I’m offering an extension to everyone in the class up to midnight on December 24, 2019. No work will be accepted after that date as I have to have time to grade your work and submit grades in CUNYfirst.

In the interest of time, please email any individual late or revised work directly to Prof. Ellis (jellis at I will reply with a receipt so that you know that I received it. If you don’t hear back from me, follow up with another email (double checking, of course, my email address correctly formatted).

For your team project post on our OpenLab site, you have until the new deadline to publish it. Of course, publishing it earlier gives you more time in case something goes wrong, but you have the deadline extension if you need it. Designate one person on your team *at least* to verify that all links work after publishing. If something is broken, edit your post (the link to edit will be at the bottom of the post).

Opportunities: Literary Arts Festival

The 39th Annual City Tech Literary Arts Festival Writing Competition Submissions are now open for the 2020 City Tech Literary Arts Festival Writing Competition! 

The deadline for the writing competition will be March 1st, 2020.  Submission Guidelines and Instructions are available on the Literary Arts Festival’s OpenLab site:

Please also save the date for the 39th Annual City Tech Literary Arts Festival on April 2nd, 2020 from 5:30 to 7:30 at the New Academic Complex Theater at 285 Jay Street! 

Announcement: Recent Articles in the New York Times of Interest

As we discussed earlier this semester, you should claim your free digital subscription to the New York Times to have access to some of the best journalism around.

Two articles this morning caught my attention that might be of use to you all. The first is about email signatures, which if you haven’t setup yet, you should. The second is about the fact that we live a big part of our lives online and we should comport ourselves accordingly. In addition to keeping up with what’s going on in the world, the New York Times and other newspapers regularly have articles with useful information for professionals and workplace best practices.

Project: Report on Collaboration, Website, and Submission

In this post, we’re wrapping up discussion of your collaborative projects, which are due on Dec. 17. The last three components are the Report on Collaboration, Website, and Submission Post on our OpenLab site.

First, the Report on Collaboration should be a single memo written in Google Docs and finalized with a sharable link, which you can add to your Submission Post on our OpenLab site. Your memo should begin with a standard header (to, from, date, subject). Please include all team member names under “from,” address it to Prof. Ellis, and give it the subject “Report on Collaboration.” The first paragraph should be written together as a team and it should give an overview of how the team worked together, and it can include descriptions of what worked well and what didn’t work as well. Each paragraph after that should be written individually by each team member and each should have a header “Your Name’s Contribution.” From your individual perspective, what did you contribute to the team’s project and how would you approach collaborative work in the future (consider communication, delegation, digital tools and services, and other ways of facilitating team work). After you’ve read through it and corrected spelling and grammatical mistakes, create a sharable link and add the link to your Submission Post on our OpenLab site.

Second, your team will create an OpenLab Project Site for your team’s website. This is a WordPress-based site similar to our course site, but you will have control over how it looks and feels. Follow these directions to create your Project Site, and refer to these guides to customize your Project Site with your own content. We will walk through creating a site during tonight’s class. Your site should have some customization (e.g., changing the header image and changing the theme), and the content that you add should be presented across pages linked from the site’s menu (e.g., Introduction, Problem, Solutions, About). Think of your website as an online summary of the writing that you’ve done in your report. The website makes the main points easy to read and digest. You should include a link to your full report in the introduction. For example, you can write: “This website presents a summary of the report titled “Our Awesome Report,” which was prepared for an assignment in Prof. Ellis’ ENG2575 class.” Select the title of your report and add a link to your Google Doc’s sharable link.

Third, in addition to giving your presentation on the last day of class on Dec. 17, your team will create one post on our OpenLab site. In general, follow these directions for creating your post, but make one change: go to Document > Categories > Student Work > check “Collaboration Project.” The title of your post should be: “Collaborative Project: Title of Your Report.” In the body of your post, write it in a memo format like this:

TO: Prof. Ellis
FROM: All team members' names
DATE: Dec. 17, 2019
SUBJECT: Collaborative Project: Your Report's Title

Write one short paragraph summarizing your project's problem and identified solutions.

Below we are including links to our project deliverables:

REPORT, Your Report's Title > link to your research report Google Doc's sharable link
PRESENTATION > link to your Google Slides' sharable link
WEBSITE > link to your OpenLab Project Site's URL (note: the URL should be to your Project site, not your Project Profile--if the directory "groups" is in your URL, then you are on the Project Profile. Click the Visit Project Site link to go to your Project Site)
REPORT ON COLLABORATION > link to your report on collaboration Google Doc's sharable link

Double check your links and then click Publish and then click Publish on the screen that pops up. Have another teammate verify that the post is published on our OpenLab site and click all four links to verify that they work and open the correct documents. If anything is wrong, the team member who created the Submission Post can click the title of the post, scroll to the bottom and click “Edit,” make the necessary changes, and then click “Update” in the upper right corner.

Finally, we will discuss all of this during class tonight. Take that opportunity to ask Prof. Ellis questions. Email Prof. Ellis with questions after class. He is available by appointment with individuals or teams, too (time permitting). Also, we can resolve last minute issues during our last class either before or after the presentations are completed.

Project: Collaboration, Presentation

We’ll talk about other elements of the presentation, which I will include below following discussion:

7 to 10 minutes

1 page, double-spaced = 2-2.5 minutes reading time

3-5 pages, double spaced = 7-10 minutes spoken presentation material

Scripts are okay—printed, not handwritten.

Use Google Slides (for collaborative writing and getting a sharable link to submit your work)

Images that you use must be your own

No text-heavy or many bulleted list text

Let the slidedeck anchor what you have you to say.


Project: Collaboration, Research Focus on Problem and Solutions

Remember that your project should first identify a problem of a scientific or technical nature.

Your research using the library, other sources, and primary research with interviews and surveys, should explore what the problem is, how it came to be a problem, what is its history, and what is its context (what does it impact, relate to, etc.).

The next phase of your research should focus on solutions to the problem. Of course, you need to understand the problem well before delving too deeply into possible solutions, so do research on the problem first. Then, armed with that knowledge, research possible solutions to the problem.

The results section should present the facts/quotes/figures from your research. The discussion section should talk about what these mean and how they related to one another (you can combine the results and discussions sections if your team would like to do so–just label it as such). Conclusions establishes why your research is important–why is the problem and its solutions important? Finally, recommendations are your synthesis of the problem and solutions into actionable recommendations that should be implemented, based on your research and expertise, to solve the problem.