Sample Major Assignments Description and Timeline

Major Assignments Description and Timeline – Spring, 2011 – K. Kiefer

I. Project Proposal Memo – due February 17
This 1-2 page single-spaced memo (I’ll show you the format in class) addressed to your site partner and to me will serve basically as a preliminary contract with your site partner about the document(s) you’ll produce.

The memo will include a thorough description of the document(s) to be completed by the end of the term with details about

  • the site partner’s goals and expectations,
  • the reading level and expectations of target readers of the document(s),
  • the planned or required format for the document(s), including overall projected length.

If you’re writing multiple documents, you will probably need to describe each document separately – especially if each document is geared toward a different audience and goal.

If your site partner hasn’t asked for materials that will result in about 4500-5000 words, explain how you’ll reach this requirement for the project in CO301B. (You may need to be pro-active in suggesting additional documents your site partner could use.)

Please also include for me photocopies of your sample site partner documents so that I can see the sample texts you’ve worked with so far.

Where will all the details for your description come from? Read carefully through your detailed rhetorical, genre, and textual analysis of sample site documents as well as interview questions and responses. Glean the most useful details to describe in detail the work you’ll do for the site partner project.

II. The Site Partner Project (the site partner material) is due in class on April 21. Your full project should include the equivalent of about 4500-5000 words (the equivalent of 15 double-spaced pages of text). Grading criteria with fuller details about the site partner project are posted on our Writing Studio class page under Materials.

  1. Include each final, formatted document.
  2. If you have not sent them to me electronically, also include in your folder all workshop sheets and drafts of the document in progress. If you have more than one document you’ve prepared, be sure to include drafts and review sheets for all documents.
  3. Your list of works cited in or referred to for the documents.
  4. Photocopies or URLs for the major sources you’ve relied on. I won’t guarantee that I’ll have time to fact-check thoroughly, but I want to be able to do spot-checking when any questions arise.

III. Synthesis assignment due in class on May 5
Write about 1000 words about one of the following topics. Please pull in relevant insights from the readings and discussions this term, as well as any details that emerge from Forum postings and your own experience working with the site partner. (You must incorporate substantially at least 2 of our readings.) Please write your paper to the students who will take this class next semester (who, at the beginning of the semester, could be considered experts in their science disciplines but not in matters of rhetoric).

  1. Explain in detail how you would define rhetorical context and its relationship to writing about science. The range of audiences/contexts might include all possibilities except technically expert readers.
  2. What considerations must you take into account as a writer of science writing when you match some element(s) of style, framing, or explanation to a target audience? For example, you might focus on the writing and revision processes needed to use metaphorical framing effectively in your writing. Trace both your processes and analytic decision making.

Grading criteria: Your final draft must

  • speak appropriately to its target audience,
  • include specific details drawn from sources as noted above,
  • be both focused and coherent; writer control must be obvious, and
  • be edited for clarity and readability.