Announcement, Office Hours on Sept 8

Hello, all!

I hope that you’re all well and beginning your 500-Word Summary Project’s research.

As I mentioned in last week’s lecture, I will post our Week 3 Lecture on Sept. 23.

In the meantime, send me your questions via email to jellis at or talk with me during office hours on Wednesdays from 3:00-5:00pm here:

Stay tuned to your email for info about teams, which I will send out soon.

Lecture, Week 2

Remember to take notes while watching the lecture. And, watch the lecture before proceeding with the Weekly Writing Assignment and other homework.

If you have any questions, email Prof. Ellis, visit the weekly office hours on Wednesday 3-5pm (link to the left), or email Prof. Ellis to make an office hour appointment.

Follow the Syllabus schedule to keep up with the class. Due to the college’s academic calendar, there will not be a lecture posted for the next two weeks. Lecture 3 will be posted on Sept. 22. In the meantime, Prof. Ellis will be holding weekly office hours and will respond to emails ASAP.

Weekly Writing Assignment, Week 2

This week’s writing assignment will help you develop the scaffolding for your 500-word summary project by creating a reverse outline of the article that you find in your research on a topic related to your field of study and eventual career field. This is due by our next week of lecture on Wednesday, Sept. 22.

Watch this week’s lecture and make notes before proceeding!

For this Weekly Writing Assignment, do the following (detailed in this week’s lecture):

  • Find an article in the library’s databases on an appropriate topic and of sufficient length (Remember: go to > Find Articles > click on “A” for Academic Search Complete and Academic OneFile or click on “I” for IEEE Explore)
  • Create a new document in your word process of choice (Google Docs, Microsoft Word, Apple Pages, LibreOffice, etc.).
  • Write a memo addressed to Prof. Ellis with the subject “Reverse Outline.”
  • Under the memo header, type “1.” followed by one sentence in your own words summarizing the first paragraph of the article that you chose. Then, type “2.” on the next line followed by one sentence in your own words summarizing the second paragraph. Write an enumerated sentence for each paragraph until you reach the end of your selected article. Do not make the mistake of using the author’s words in your one sentence summary–put away the article when you write each summary sentence so that you express the main idea of each paragraph using only your own words.
  • Conclude with a section titled “Reference” followed by an IEEE formatted reference entry for the article. See my example in the lecture, and use this, this, and this for additional help.
  • Copy-and-paste your memo into a comment made to this Weekly Writing Assignment post.

Also, you have some homework to accomplish before Wednesday, Sept. 22.

First, “reply-all” to the “Team Assignment” email that I will send you during the next two weeks. Follow the directions contained in the email to meet your fellow teammates and to show Prof. Ellis that you are actively taking part in establishing rapport with your teammates.

Second, take your reverse outline that you prepared for this week’s Weekly Writing Assignment and paste it into a new document on your computer or in the cloud. Remove the numbers before each summary sentence. Consolidate the sentences into paragraphs or one large paragraph. Read the sentences and edit as needed to create flow from one sentence to the next. Then, add a memo header as shown below (edit the subject according to my directions in the lecture or as you see below–meaning the main topic of your selected article), add an introductory sentence explaining what the document is (see the example first sentence below), and add a significant quote from your selected article with an in-text citation in IEEE Style as shown in the first paragraph below. This will yield a rough draft of your 500-word summary for the first project, which we will conduct peer review on during the week beginning on Sept. 22. Save this document until Sept. 22. We will use it for that week’s Weekly Writing Assignment

TO:       Prof. Ellis
FROM:     Your Name
DATE:     Oct. 6, 2021
SUBJECT:  500-Word Summary of Article About Virtual Reality

The following is a 500-word summary of a peer-reviewed article about tracking human bodies in virtual reality. The authors discuss the body tracking software that they developed called Pfinder by showing how the software was developed, tested, and improved. According to Wren et al., “To  address  this  need  we  have  developed  a  real-time  system called   Pfinder   (“person   finder”)   that   substantially   solves   the problem  for  arbitrarily  complex  but  single-person,  fixed-camera situations” [1, p. 780]. 

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Proin iaculis pharetra diam, eget condimentum nulla aliquam at. Duis interdum commodo est nec faucibus. Pellentesque porttitor ipsum in urna tempor rhoncus. Donec at nisl sagittis, tincidunt arcu sed, porta ex. Aliquam vehicula eget nisl quis egestas. Phasellus condimentum, dui nec blandit pretium, mauris est venenatis sapien, sed dictum dolor felis non eros. Morbi in sodales ex.

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[1]     C. R. Wren, A. Azarbayejani, T. Darrell, and A. P. Pentland, (1997). “Pfinder: Real-time tracking of the human body,” IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, vol. 19, no. 7, pp. 780-785, July 1997, doi: 10.1109/34.598236.

Weekly Writing Assignment, Week 1

After watching this week’s lecture (embedded in the post above) and reading this article on best practices for emailing professors, complete your first Weekly Writing Assignment by sending an email of introduction from your official City Tech email account to Prof. Ellis at according to the following parameters:

  • Send an email to Prof. Ellis at from your City Tech email account.
  • Subject line: ENG2575 [Your Section] Student Introduction
  • Salutation
  • Body: Tell me about yourself, your major, career goals, hobbies, what you want to get out of our class, and your availability for teamwork.
  • Closing: Sign with your name or how
    you would like me to refer to you.
  • If you need to reset your City Tech email password, go to

Welcome to Technical Writing, ENG2575 OL70!

Dear all,

I would like to welcome you to our Fall 2021 Technical Writing class! To make sure you’re in the right place, this is ENG2575 OL70. I am Prof. Ellis and I will be leading our class this semester.

It’s important that you read through this message carefully and follow my directions below to join our class on OpenLab.

Even though classes don’t begin until Wednesday, Aug. 25, the school asked faculty to reach out to students early to help everyone be ready to begin when classes begin. At any point, feel free to reach out to me by email with any questions that you might have.

Our class is completely online and we will not be meeting synchronously (meaning at the same time). Instead, our class is designated asynchronous, which means each student can watch lectures and do the work at times of their choosing as long as deadlines and due dates are met.

Furthermore, there are, required team-based projects in which students will have to collaborate with others and coordinate times to work together throughout the semester. Please bear in mind that this is required for all ENG2575 classes and is therefore non-negotiable.

We will be using City Tech’s OpenLab to coordinate our class and the work that you will be doing this semester. To get you setup with the OpenLab, you will need to create an account using your City Tech email address (if you haven’t already done so), which you can do here:

After you login to OpenLab with your account, you need to visit the Profile Page of our class and click on “Join Now” on the left side under the avatar image of a phonebooth:

Then, to access our class site where I will post lectures and assignments, and you will turn in many of your projects in the class, click on “Visit Course Site” (on the right) after you joined the course, or you can go there directly by following this link:

On our Course Site, you will see this Welcome message from me at the top of the page. On Wednesday, Aug. 25, I will post the first lecture video and weekly writing assignment. I explain a lot about how the class works and what we will be doing in that video. Watching each week’s lecture, taking notes, and completing assignments are required for success in the class.

Also, look at the menu on the left side of our Course Site to find the link to the class Syllabus: All of our class’ policies, major assignments and grades, and schedule can be found there. I go over the syllabus in detail in the first lecture video.

Finally, I will hold weekly virtual office hours on Wednesday from 3:00pm-5:00pm on Google Hangouts here: There is also a link to the weekly office hours on the left side of our Course Site. If you would like to meet with me at a different day and time, please send me an email with your availability for the coming week so that I can arrange a time that accommodates both of our schedules.

I’m looking forward to working with you all over the coming semester. Remember to contact me with questions or if anything comes up that affects your performance in the class at I want us all to complete the semester successfully!

Be well and stay safe!

Best, Professor Ellis