Weekly Writing Assignment, Week 12

This week’s Weekly Writing Assignment continues to focus on the work that you are doing within your team on the Collaborative Project.

After talking with your team (synchronously or asynchronously), write a short memo together in your Google Drive Shared Folder in a new Google Doc. Address it to Prof. Ellis and use the subject, “Delegating Point Persons.” In the body of your memo, briefly write a few sentences that identify who is taking point on the each of the main parts of the Collaborative Project: orchestrating the Research Report, organizing the presentation, and setting up your OpenLab Project Site. These point persons are only responsible for communicating with team members about meeting self-imposed deadlines and responsibilities. Point persons are not responsible for all of the work. All of the work should be shared by all team members.

After completing the memo, all team members need to copy-and-paste the memo into a comment on this week’s Weekly Writing Assignment to receive credit (i.e., if you have four team members, all four team members need to copy-and-paste the one memo into a comment each added to this post for a total of four comments).

Weekly Writing Assignment, Week 11

This previous week, your team should have established a means of communication (e.g., text messaging, WhatsApp, Slack, Discord, etc.) in addition to campus email, and your team should have discussed and selected a problem as the topic of your team’s Research Report. If you haven’t done these things yet, it’s important that you take care of them ASAP so that you have as much time as possible to focus on the project.

After establishing team communications and picking your Research Project’s problem, your team needs to delegate how each team member should be conducting and reporting back their research contributions to the Research Report document in your Google Drive Shared Folder. As discussed in this week’s lecture, all team members might research both the problem and its solutions, or some team members might research just the problem and others the solutions. How you divide these responsibilities is up to each team as long as all team members are contributing equal amounts of research and writing to the Research Report.

For this week’s Weekly Writing Assignment, each team member should independently write a short memo of approximately 250 words and addressed to Prof. Ellis with the subject, “Research Responsibility,” that describing what research they will contribute/have found so far for the team’s research report.

Weekly Writing Assignment, Week 10

After watching this week’s lecture, your team should do the following:

  1. Establish another communication channel for team discussion besides email (you may use email, but you should have another channel that supports easier and faster communication among the team members).
  2. Discuss and decide amongst yourself which project your team chooses from last week’s brainstorming exercise.
  3. Create a shared folder on Google Drive and add all team members to the folder as Editors
  4. One team member should create a Google Doc in the shared folder. In this document, write a brief memo with TO (Prof. Ellis), FROM (all team members’ first and last names), DATE, SUBJECT (Collaborative Project Topic). In the content area, write a few sentences describing the scientific or technical problem that you will research for your collaborative project. Include any information about how your deliberations and discussion might have focused your topic from what one of your team members’ presented in the brainstorming exercise.
  5. Each team member should copy-and-paste your completed memo into a comment made to this Weekly Writing Assignment post. This demonstrates that all team members can access your shared Google Drive folder and its files.

For this week’s homework, you should discuss how to begin your research. Perhaps delegate one resource to each team member to find a few possible sources each. For example, one team member should look in IEEExplore, one team member should look in Academic Search Complete, etc. for library-based resources, including also General OneFile (Gale), Ebook Central, and others here.

Weekly Writing Assignment, Week 9

For this week’s Weekly Writing Assignment, I would like you to brainstorm some possible scientific or technical problems that you can discuss with your team. Specifically, I would like you to focus on scientific or technical problems related to your major and career goals. Perhaps it will involve problems relating to computing hardware or software, networking, electrical engineering challenges, applications of computing and networking to other real world problems (such as, smart power grids, driverless cars, Bitcoin energy use, etc.). There are many, many problems out there for you to think about, discuss, and choose among for your team’s project.

So, the Weekly Writing Assignment is to write at least 250-words in a memo format addressed to Prof. Ellis with the subject, “Team Project Brainstorming,” and discussing three possible technical or scientific problems relating in some way to your major and career goals. For each problem, clearly state what the problem is, who or what industry it affects, and some of your own thoughts about how the problem might be solvable. After you’ve written this memo, copy-and-paste it into a comment on this blog post AND circulate it via email (reply all) to the email that I will send to each team for peer review (on the Instruction Manual project).

Weekly Writing Assignment, Week 8

For this week’s Weekly Writing Assignment, write a memo addressed to Prof. Ellis with the subject, “Instruction Manual Challenges and Solutions,” and about 250 words in length. In the body of your memo, discuss challenges that you faced while drafting your instruction manual and explain how you overcame those challenges. The challenges can come from any part of the writing process so far or any aspect of the project. After you’ve drafted your memo some place safe, copy-and-paste it into a comment added to this post on our OpenLab site.

Remember that next week is Spring Recess, so you have two weeks to work on this. It is due Wed., April 7.

Weekly Writing Assignment, Week 7

You might find it beneficial to reflect on your experiences with a given type of document–including those you have made and those made by others that you have used. Let’s do this with instructions.

After watching this week’s lecture, I would like you to write a brief memo of at least 250 words reflecting on instructions. There are two main things that I would like you to respond to in your reflection: (1) Discuss a good set of instructions that you’ve used before, (2) Discuss a bad set of instructions that you’ve used before, and (3) Write some ideas that you have about how to make technical instructions useful and engaging.

When you have completed your memo, copy-and-paste it into a comment added to this post on our OpenLab Course Site.

Weekly Writing Assignment, Week 6

To begin your thinking for the Instruction Manual Project, use this week’s Weekly Writing Assignment to brainstorm three possible topics relating to your studies and future career for your instruction manual.

For this assignment, create a memo addressed to Prof. Ellis with the subject line of Instruction Manual Options. In the body of the memo, briefly discuss the pros and cons of each of your three options for the instruction manual. The pros would be the things that would support your success on the project (e.g., knowing a lot about the topic, having access to what your instructions would be about, etc.) and the cons would be the things that would make the project difficult (e.g., having to learn more about the topic, not having access, etc.). After weighing the pros and cons for each of your three options, state in the last sentence which topic you have selected for your instruction manual.

Write your memo in your word processor of choice, and then copy-and-paste it into a comment added to this post.

For your additional homework this week, engage in peer review on the Expanded Definition Project after Prof. Ellis sends emails to each team, and create a Google Doc using the Instruction Project outline below and begin writing the directions portion of your document. The lecture next week will go over more details for the other sections. And, your own review of instruction manuals will help you think through what information you should include in these sections.

1.0 Introduction
1.1 Purpose
1.2 Intended Audience
1.3 Scope
1.4 Organization Description
1.5 Conventions (abbreviations, left/right)
1.6 Motivation (answers the “so what” question)
1.7 Safety and Disclaimers
2.0 Description of the Equipment
2.1 Illustration of the Equipment
2.2 Description of the Equipment’s Parts
3.0 List of Materials and Equipment Needed
3.1 Illustration of the Parts Needed to Carry Out the Instructions
3.2 Tools needed
3.3 Table of the parts with description of each
4.0 Directions
4.1 The Task These Directions Are Designed to Show
4.1.1 Step 1 (don’t write Step 1--write a brief statement on what the first step is)
4.1.2 Step 2
4.1.n …Step n being some number (write as many steps--briefly--as you can think of--you can fill this list out later)
5.0 Troubleshooting
6.0 Glossary
7.0 Reference List

Weekly Writing Assignment, Week 5

This Weekly Writing Assignment is meant to help you vet or evaluate where some of your research comes from and report back what you find. Watch this week’s lecture before performing this assignment so that you learn more about the process that I suggest for discovering the information requested below.

For this assignment, refer to two journal articles from different journals that you came across in your research (or, search for your Expanded Definition term again in IEEExplore and/or Academic Search Complete to find two examples for this assignment).

Using the built-in tools in the databases where you found the article and search sites like Google, DuckDuckgo, or Bing, learn more about the specialization of the journal and the kinds of research that it publishes and find out the name of the editor-in-chief and their professional background (degrees, affiliation, and research specializations).

Then, type a short paragraph in your word process of choice that identifies the name of the two journals that you investigated for this assignment and describe in your own words what each journal specializes in. And, identify each journal’s editor-in-chief and describe their professional details, such as degrees and where they were earned, their affiliation (where they work/teach), and their research specializations (if possible to find).

Finally, copy-and-paste your paragraph into a comment added to this post.

This assignment should not take very long. Focus most of your time this week on completing a draft of your Expanded Definition essay.

Weekly Writing Assignment, Week 4

For this week’s Weekly Writing Assignment, compose a short memo (remember the memo header of TO, FROM, DATE, and SUBJECT) to Prof. Ellis with the subject, “Expanded Definition Research.” In the body of your memo, write and reflect on how and where you are finding sources for your Expanded Definition project. What databases and research websites are you using? Are you using The New York Times (signup for a free pass here) and Archive.org? No more than 250 words are needed. The main thing is to communicate to me that you are performing your due diligence to find useful definitions and contextual quotes of the term that you selected. Write your memo in your preferred word processor and then copy-and-paste your memo into a comment added to this post.

Weekly Writing Assignment, Week 3

After watching this week’s lecture above, use this week’s Weekly Writing Assignment to begin your initial research on the next project: 750-1000-Word Expanded Definition Project. This is the second individually-based project in the class. The goal is to write 750-1000 words that provide an extended definition of a term relevant to your field of studies and/or future career. Below is the synopsis of the assignment from the syllabus:

Individual: 750-1000-Word Expanded Definition, 15%

Individually, you will write a 750-1000 word expanded definition of a technical or scientific term, with cover memo, which demonstrates: 1. correct memorandum format. 2. knowledge of the etymology and historical development of the term. 3. examples of the term’s use in various written contexts. 4. ability to compare and contrast various uses of the term. 5. use and citation of sources with proper attribution. 6. awareness of audience. At least three library-sourced citations are required and should be cited following APA format.

As detailed and explained in this week’s lecture, your Weekly Writing Assignment this week is an opportunity to begin your research, settle on a term to focus on, and find three quotes that you might use in your project. With that in mind, add a comment to this post with the following before next week:

  • Begin with a short paragraph that begins with a statement about three possible terms that you considered and performed cursory research on for your project and concludes with the one term out of the three candidates that you ultimately decided to focus your expanded definition project on.
  • After using the library’s databases and reference guide shown in this week’s lecture, perform more focused research on the single term that you selected and copy-and-paste three quotes–each quote must come from a different source (e.g., one from a dictionary, one from an encyclopedia, and one from an ebook, or all three from different dictionaries, or all three from three different encyclopedias, or all three from journal articles, etc. All combinations will yield quotes that you might use in your expanded definition essay).
  • After each quote, write an APA bibliographic reference for your selection.
  • As always, write your Weekly Writing Assignment in a word processor, save your work, and then copy-and-paste it into a comment added to this post.
  • Remember to rely on the Purdue Owl APA Guide (and its sections listed on the left menu), and the APA Style Guide’s Dictionary References Guide.