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Archive for the ‘Weekly Updates’ Category

Posted by Quinn Warnick On April - 21 - 2011 Comments Off

The end of the semester is rapidly approaching, and you have just a few weeks to complete and deliver your oral presentations. I know how busy you’ll be with final projects in all of your classes, so I have eliminated all readings and homework assignments that aren’t part of Unit #4. I have also added several links to the Resources page that might be helpful as you look for images to illustrate your presentations. Here’s how we’ll spend our time during the last few weeks of the semester: On Tuesday, April 26, two Austin-based technical communicators from National Instruments will  [ Read More ]

Posted by Quinn Warnick On April - 15 - 2011 Comments Off

I really enjoyed our discussion about the best and worst PowerPoint presentations you’ve ever seen. Next week, we’re going to extend that discussion by focusing on some specific strategies you can employ to make sure that your oral presentation doesn’t become one of the Worst Presentations Of All Time. Before you come to class on Tuesday, please print out and read “The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint,” by Edward Tufte, and “In Defense of PowerPoint,” by Donald Norman. You can find PDF versions of both pieces on the Readings page. In class on Tuesday, we will look at a few more  [ Read More ]

Posted by Quinn Warnick On April - 1 - 2011 1 Comment

I was very happy to see how well our Green Team / Red Team review session went yesterday, and I hope that each team left class with a long list of suggestions for improving your reports/proposals. Next week I will be attending a professional conference, so we will not meet as a full class. You should, however, use our class time to meet with your teammates to put the finishing touches on all of your deliverables for Unit #3. As you work on your project, refer to three documents for guidance: (1) the original assignment sheet, (2) your team’s memorandum  [ Read More ]

Posted by Quinn Warnick On March - 25 - 2011 Comments Off

I hope that our in-class writing session yesterday was productive for everyone. From this point on, you should be directing your full attention to drafting the report/proposal and your deliverables. Remember that I am NOT the primary audience for these documents; your client is the primary reader, so write the documents with him or her in mind. Next Tuesday will be our last day for in-class team meetings. I will hold a short conference with each team, but otherwise you will have the hour to work on your documents. You should bring drafts of all of your documents (report/proposal, plus  [ Read More ]

Posted by Quinn Warnick On March - 14 - 2011 Comments Off

I hope all of you are enjoying Week 9, a.k.a., Spring Break. Before you left for the break, you and your teammates should have assigned individual tasks that need to be done during this week to maintain your momentum on the collaborative project. (That said, I hope everyone takes at least a few days of genuine vacation!) Next week, we will pick up where we left off and begin drafting sections of your reports and proposals. On Tuesday, we will discuss the basics of document design, then conduct an in-class workshop on using style sheets in Microsoft Word. Before you  [ Read More ]

Posted by Quinn Warnick On March - 4 - 2011 Comments Off

Next week, we will continue our discussion about reports and proposals, then examine what separates effective business writing from ineffective business writing. Along the way, you’ll have time to meet with your teammates to stay on track for Unit #3. Before you come to class on Tuesday, please read Chapter 8 in the textbook and the short IMRAD handout I gave you on Thursday. Come to class ready to apply those concepts to your team’s situation. On Thursday, we’ll talk about issues of style and readability. Business writing has a reputation for being dry and often confusing, but that doesn’t  [ Read More ]

Posted by Quinn Warnick On February - 25 - 2011 Comments Off

I loved eavesdropping on your first team meetings in class yesterday—I heard so many good ideas for potential collaborative projects. Over the next few days, keep thinking about your options and stay in touch with your teammates as new ideas come to mind. This weekend is the time to check with potential clients to see if they would be interested in having your team help them. As you do so, be careful not to commit to a project until your entire team agrees on its topic. By next Tuesday, your team should have a draft of its memorandum of understanding,  [ Read More ]

Posted by Quinn Warnick On February - 18 - 2011 Comments Off

The photos you brought to class on Thursday looked very promising, and at this point you should be editing (or in some cases, reshooting) those photos, then integrating them with the written text for your Instructable. During Week 6, we’ll wrap up the Instructables unit, then turn our attention to Unit #3, a collaboratively written recommendation report. To help me put you into balanced teams, please print out and complete the Teaming Inventory document (linked on the Readings page), then bring the results page with you to class on Tuesday. On Tuesday, we’ll conduct a peer-review workshop for the Instructables  [ Read More ]

Posted by Quinn Warnick On February - 11 - 2011 Comments Off

Several of you missed class on Thursday (is everyone OK?!), but for those of you who were there, I had fun watching you complete our visual instructions activity. I read through them last night, and given your time constraints (and my intentionally vague instructions), I was very impressed with what you produced. We’ll conduct a short debriefing exercise about this activity on Tuesday, and I would love to hear more about your successes (and your frustrations) with this activity. If you have not submitted a proposal for your Instructables project, please complete that task right now. I have responded to  [ Read More ]

Posted by Quinn Warnick On February - 4 - 2011 Comments Off

With the correspondence unit behind us, we are ready to move from business communication to technical communication. The instructions unit puts a new twist on a very old genre, and it will help us develop our visual rhetoric skills at the same time. I’m always amazed at what my students do with this assignment, and I can’t wait to hear your ideas. On Tuesday, we will compare various approaches to delivering instructions. To prepare for our in-class discussion, please read Chapter 10 in the textbook before you come to class. In addition, you should familiarize yourself with the Instructables website  [ Read More ]

Posted by Quinn Warnick On January - 28 - 2011 Comments Off

I hope Thursday’s peer-review session provided you with some usable ideas for revising your letters. We won’t spend any more class time on the correspondence unit, but if you have any questions before you submit your letters, you can come see me during my office hours or email me to set up an appointment. Next week, we will spend a day discussing the influence of social media on business communication, then dive into our second unit, which is a new twist on the traditional genre of instructions. For Tuesday, please read the following articles before you come to class: For  [ Read More ]

Posted by Quinn Warnick On January - 21 - 2011 2 Comments

We got off to a great start during our first week, and I’m excited to see what topics you choose for the correspondence unit. If you haven’t done so already, please download the file that contains the scenarios for Part 3 of the assignment and begin thinking about which letter you would like to respond to. We will focus on the correspondence unit for most of Week 2, with some discussions about audience and the writing process along the way. Here’s a detailed breakdown of what we’ll be doing each day: Before you come to class on Tuesday, please read  [ Read More ]

Posted by Quinn Warnick On January - 13 - 2011 15 Comments

Welcome to ENGW 3335: Technical and Business Writing. This website will function as the online headquarters for our class this semester. Each week, I will post an update to the website with details about coming week, deadline reminders, links to helpful resources, etc… I plan to use SEU’s Blackboard site to record your grades, but otherwise, everything related to this course will be posted here. If you ever wonder what’s due on a particular date, or what you need to read before you come to class, you can check this website for the answer. If you don’t find what you’re  [ Read More ]