Daily Writing Assignment: Beginning Next Week, Bring a Magazine Article

After the first daily writing assignment, in which you write a professional email of introduction to me, we will use the first part of each subsequent class to write about a magazine article that you read and bring to class. Here are the details about what you should come to class prepared with:

  • Purchase or photocopy articles from print magazines that are relevant to your field of study or career.
  • The articles should be at least a full page or longer. Of course, longer articles are better in terms of you learning more and having more material to work with on these assignments.
  • After reading the article and making a note of its publication information (date, volume, number, title of publication), bring it to class for a short writing assignment at the beginning of class.
  • You will need a new article for each of our subsequent classes. These can come from the same or different magazine issues.

Barnes and Noble on Court Street (pictured above) has a huge selection of magazines for purchase. The City Tech Library has some magazines as do all of the NYPL and Brooklyn Public Library branches, which you can read and copy (with your phone or another device) for free or photocopy for a small fee.

Daily Writing Assignment: Introductory Email

For your first daily writing assignment, please send an email of introduction to me (Professor Ellis) before we meet next week.

  • Write an email from your City Tech email address to Prof. Ellis (jellis at citytech.cuny.edu).
  • Subject: Greetings from Your First and Last Name in ENG2575
  • Body:
    • Salutation: Dear Professor Ellis, or Hello Professor Ellis, or Hi Professor Ellis,
    • Pleasantry sentence.
    • Content paragraph:
      • Topic Sentence (Why are you writing? What is the purpose of the email? You don’t want to write: You told me to write you this stupid email. Instead: I wanted to introduce myself to you and let you know a little bit more about my interests and goals.
      • Several Supporting Sentences (Tell me about yourself)
        • What is your major?
        • What kind of job do you want to get? Not just “electrical engineer,” for example, but where do you want to work, what kind of firm, do you want to use this job to lead to something else in the long term?
        • What are your hobbies and interests?
        • What would you like to gain from our Technical Writing class? Is there a particular skill or ability that you want to focus your efforts on in our class?
    • Closing: Best wishes, Best, Sincerely, Cheers,
    • Your Name

Project: 500-Word Summary Phase 1

According to the syllabus, the first major project in Technical Writing is the “500-Word Summary.” The parameters for this deliverable (the document or artifact that you are making to specification) are:

Individual: 500-Word Summary, 10%
Individually, you will write a 500-word summary of a technical or scientific article that demonstrates: 1. ability to identify key processes and concepts in a professional science or technology article. 2. ability to describe complex processes and concepts clearly and concisely. an awareness of audience. The summary should cite the article and any quotes following APA format.

To accomplish this project, we will break it into several phases.

For the first phase, you will want to find five articles. Avoid book reviews and correspondence. We will work with these five articles to narrow down the one that you will summarize for this project in our next class.

Before we meet next week, your task is to find and print and/or download five articles relevant to your major or career from the library’s database holdings. You may not use articles found through a basic Google search or on random websites. The articles must come from vetted journals provided through City Tech’s library.

These links will help you begin searching for articles:

Keep track of possibly useful articles and journals in your notes. Also, download and save PDFs of all the articles that you find to look back at. Information to note: authors, title of article, title of journal, volume and number of journal issue, year of publication, and page numbers of the article.

So, for our next class:

  1. Find five possible articles.
  2. Print or download them to a flash drive or cloud storage so that you can easily view them on a computer in the classroom.
  3. Read each article’s abstract (if there is one) or skim the article to learn its gist or main idea.
  4. We’ll use these articles in our next class for discussion and the next phase of this project.

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 citytech.cuny.edu 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.