Week 1, Weekly Writing Assignment

As described in the second lecture video for Week 1, your first Weekly Writing Assignment is to send an email of introduction to Prof. Ellis (jellis at citytech.cuny.edu, of course, replace the “at” with the at sign–@) from your City Tech email account. If you’ve forgotten the password to your City Tech email account, visit this site to reset your password.

Below are the guidelines for your email of introduction:

  • Send an email to Prof. Ellis at jellis@citytech.cuny.edu from your City Tech email account.
  • Subject line: ENG2575 Student Introduction
  • Salutation (e.g., Dear/Greetings/Hi/Hello Prof. Ellis,)
  • Body: Tell me about yourself, your major, career goals, hobbies, what you want to get out of our class
  • Closing: (e.g., Best, Best wishes, Cheers, Sincerely [your name or how you would like me to refer to you]

The goal is to complete each Weekly Writing Assignment before the next week’s lecture so that you do not get behind.

I look forward to hearing from you all! I will reply to each student’s email as they are received.

Also, while we are all getting acquainted with the class and how we do things, please remember to scroll down to make sure that you don’t miss the lecture videos, or you can click on the links to the left to find them.

Week 1, Lecture

Since this is the first week, there are a lot of things that we need to cover. This means that these lectures are longer than most lectures this semester will be. In the videos below, I cover how to join our OpenLab course site, the syllabus, my background, rhetoric basics, and the first weekly writing assignment.

You will want to review the syllabus and look at the schedule on it for the tasks that need to be done this week. This includes watching and note taking on the lectures, reading and note taking on two assigned readings, and completing the first weekly writing assignment.

00:00 Welcome
03:46 Join our class on OpenLab
21:47 Syllabus

00:00 Background on Prof. Ellis
17:43 Communication and Rhetoric Refresher Lecture
35:11 First Weekly Writing Assignment


Prof. Ellis wearing a mask before getting on a subway train.

I would like to welcome you all to our Fall 2020 Technical Writing (ENG2575 OL70) class.

Since our class is completely online and we meet asynchronously, we will use OpenLab as our primary meeting place online for lectures, weekly writing assignments, and coordinating the major projects.

Each week, I will post video lectures that you should find time to watch and make notes from at some point during the week before the next week begins. I have detailed how this works on the schedule available at the bottom of the syllabus linked in the menu to the left.

In addition to deadlines for the major projects in the class, there are weekly writing assignments that help develop your reading and writing skills both in general and in ways specific to the major projects that we are doing.

Please keep in mind that an online class is a marathon and not a sprint. Like a normal class, the benefit that you get out of it comes through consistent effort applied across the semester. Cramming and short cuts deprive you of the long term benefits of the class. Hang in there and be tenacious. We will see the class through together.

Budgeting and scheduling your time is key to your success in this class. Making notes from lecture and paying attention to details relating to your projects will keep you focused on doing things right to the best of your ability.

Of course, there’s nothing normal about the present. I understand that both as your professor and as a fellow human being. I want you all to succeed in the class, so if something comes up that might get in the way of your success, please reach out to me by email (jellis at citytech.cuny.edu) or come to my weekly video office hours (I post a link on our OpenLab site each Wednesday before they begin) to discuss things with me. We can come up with a plan that can keep you on track or get you caught back up.

Be well, stay safe, and good luck!