Technical Writing, September 5th, 2013Presentation Transcript
2) Looking at a less-than-conventional resume
3) Discussion: Anderson and what tech writing “is”
4) Activity: drafting a cover letter: the opening
5) Share and discuss
Another quick Icebreaker: give us your name and tell
us the first television program you remember rushing
home/making sure you were in front of the TV to see
as a kid.
A Resume Less Ordinary
For today, I had you look at a unique resume. It’s on
the next slide (and I’ll open it on screen), but what I
want us to do with it is mimic the rhetorical analysis
we did last time. What’s good here? What’s bad?
What is the audience? What are the risks and
rewards? What do we think of this less conventional
method of delivery?
And now… Anderson
You have, so far, read 3 chapters of the Anderson
book: 1, 2, and 8.
Time for a quick reading check break!
What is chapter 1 about?
Someone name one major concept that is discussed.
What is the main thrust of chapter 2?
And finally, what’s the main idea of Chapter 8?
If we did okay there…
…awesome. If not, expect a quiz in your future. YOU
HAVE TO DO THE READINGS! I don’t just assign them
to be assigning them; there’s key information there
To those ends, we’re going to have a discussion and
then do an activity, and I’m going to pull stuff from the
book to show you how it applies to what we’re doing.
A key point in chapter 1
Look on page 18, at Anderson’s first set of reader centered
strategies. There are four.
Would someone like to read them aloud? Don’t be shy!
Another key point: page 20
On page 20, Anderson begins a discussion of ethics. I’d
like you to take about three minutes here– nothing
super significant yet– and list out what you
understand to be the ethical stance of your chosen
I’m an educator, in the field of rhetoric and writing, usually
housed in an English department. As such, we value general
honesty, but we are particularly concerned, ethically, with a
1)The treatment of text/plagiarism
2)Access for those with less economic means
3)Understanding and education about cultures and cultural
4)Keeping information free and free-flowing
There’s SO MUCH useful stuff in chapter 2, like the
resume guidelines (particularly the information from
page 30-34, though it’s all very valuable, hence the
choice of this particular book).
But what I want you to zoom in on right now is page
50 and 51. Look at the two yellow break-out boxes.
Let’s talk about them.
And Chapter 8
I want you to look at the guidelines on pages 209-216 or so,
paying particular attention to guidelines 3, 4 and 5 on pages
Think about these in relation to your job ad.
… as we move into this activity that technical writing is
concise, clear, usually if not always free from opinions
and bias, rarely if ever employs pathos, etc.
You, as a technical writer, preside over facts, and your
job is to share them as clearly and concisely as
possible. Do not try to impress with big words. Don’t
talk around ideas. Head first, clear as possible.
Based on what we’ve read over and what we’ve discussed, I
want you to spend the next 10-15 minutes (or so) drafting a
first pass at the opening paragraph (or paragraphs if you
want to split things up) of your cover/job letter.
Take your time; think through your decisions. Write! Ask
questions if you have them. I’ll be right here.
Partner up, or form groups of three. Trade
introductions (email is fine– no need to waste paper
unless you chose to write on paper). As you read your
partner’s material, remember everything we’ve talked
about. Ask questions, make suggestions, and let her
know what works and what could be more effective.
For next Tuesday:
1. Don’t forget your Tumblr posts! Check the course website
under “assignments” if you aren’t sure what you should be
2. Read for class: Anderson, Chapter 9
3. The BIG thing: bring a copy of your resume and your cover
letter, as they stand, to class. You can bring electronic copies
if you wish. We’ll be forming groups of 4-5 to workshop. I’ll
explain how that will work in class. Print copies are also fine
if you like the more material feel of comments.