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).

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.

Announcements: New Due Dates, Office Hour Changes, Team Projects

Please pay attention to these upcoming changes:

  • The 1500-2000-word instruction manual project is now due before class on Nov. 12. This gives everyone an extra week to turn in their very best work on this assignment.
  • We will use class on Nov. 5 for studio time. This means that class time will be reserved for working on your instruction manual–including receiving feedback through user testing.
  • I highly recommend that everyone attend class on Nov. 5 so that you can receive your team assignments for the final phase of the semester. Even though we won’t begin the team projects until Nov. 12 due to the new instruction manual due date, it would be advantageous to meet your team members and exchange contact information with them ahead of Nov. 12.
  • I have been assigned School of Arts and Sciences advisement during my regular office hours. Therefore, I am changing my office hours from Nov. 26 through the end of the semester to Tuesdays, 3:00pm-4:00pm.
  • For the screenshots that I make for our class, I use Greenshot.

Announcement: No Magazine Article for Next Week’s Class, 10/30

During next week’s class, we will focus on the instruction manual project. We will go over how to lay out the instruction manual using Google Docs (make sure you have a Google Account that you are comfortable using with this assignment). To maximize our in-class time on the project, we will not have a beginning of class writing assignment using a magazine article on 10/30. We will resume these assignments the week after next.

Announcement: Important Latin Terms and Abbreviations

You might have noticed in my writing and lecturing, I use a few Latin terms that you should know:

NB, nota bene. This means “note well” or “pay attention to this.”

e.g., exempli gratia. This means “for the sake of an example” or “for example.” It is used to show examples.

i.e., id est. This means “that is.” It is used to explain or restate or clarify a point.

Welcome to Technical Writing!

Astounding May 1951 cover
Cover artwork by Rogers, Astounding Science Fiction, May 1951. Note the sliderule bisecting the cutaway of the human head in the image, which evokes technology as a mind amplifier, or the cyborg-like fusion of human and computing-augmentation artifact.

I would like to welcome you all to our Fall 2019 Technical Writing class!

We’re going to work together to learn what technical writing and technical communication is, and how you can leverage technical writing in your other studies and future career.

We’ll use this OpenLab site to coordinate what we’re doing each class, post assignments, share opportunities and resources, and collect some of your work.

Use the menu on the left to find important information about the class in the Syllabus, explore Examples of Technical Communication, read urgent Announcements about the class, find Daily Writing assignments for the beginning of class, follow the workflow of the major Projects in the class, and finally, discover invaluable Opportunities for your success.


And, you can email me at jellis at or visit my office in Namm 520 (at the end of the hallway). My office hours at between 4:00PM-5:00PM on Tuesdays, but I’m happy to arrange other times to meet if you let me know what your availability is over several days.