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Technical Writing, September 26th, 2013


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Technical Writing, September 26th, 2013

  1. 1. TODAY 1) Where we’re going 2) What matters as we move forward 3) Let’s storm some brains! 4) Let’s talk to people about it 5) Homework
  2. 2. The rest of class… I know we’re not even to midterm, but after the instruction assignment, everything until your final submission will be focused on a specific line of thought.
  3. 3. Deep inquiry We will be looking at an issue or topic in your field of study. I want this to be something that matters to you, but there are a bunch of caveats. I’ll talk to you about those in a second. I don’t want them to initially limit your thinking.
  4. 4. Deep inquiry There will be three interlocking assignments. 1) The first piece is a “demographic case study,” which is me using buzzwords to say “profile of who you’re writing for” 2) The second piece is a researched report 3) The third piece is a research supported proposal
  5. 5. What is key, now, then… …is finding the best possible topic to research and attempt to craft a proposal about. Some things to remember: 1.This is a technical report– facts only– followed by a proposal– a suggested plan of action– based on the facts you found 2.No opinions! This is about facts 3.This will be intimately audience specific
  6. 6. Let’s brainstorm On the next several slides, I’m going to give you brainstorming prompts. What I want you to do, as you read them, is create lists– either lists of short phrases or sentences, each on their own line. This is free-writing, which means you should write as much as you can for each prompt, without worrying about spelling or grammar errors. Keep going!
  7. 7. Prompt 1: What are key issues in your field of study?
  8. 8. Prompt 2: What are key issues you imagine you’d face working in your field?
  9. 9. Prompt 3: What are questions people might bring to someone with your skills looking for an answer?
  10. 10. Prompt 4: What are issues or topics in your field of study/potential profession that are particularly interesting to you?
  11. 11. Look at your lists Some things to use to “screen”: 1)Remove anything that is highly emotionally charged/opinion-based. Those will only bring you problems. 2)Think about reports of 4-7 pages. What can you cover entirely in that space? Remove things that are too “big.” 3)How many of your ideas are things you CAN research without major issues?
  12. 12. Now look at what’s left… From what is left on your lists– all of them– pick the 4 things you are most interested in writing about. Copy them down to start a new list. Number them in the order you think is their order of importance.
  13. 13. More ‘storming Each of the next prompts is tied to your four chosen potential topics. For each slide, answer the prompt given for that numbered topic (e.g. slide 1 is for the first thing on your list, slide 2 for the second, etc.). Write in paragraph form this time. Write as much as you can before I prompt you to switch.
  14. 14. Prompt 1: Write down everything you know about this topic already, without doing any research.
  15. 15. Prompt 2: If you were to choose this topic for your research project, what would your proposal be? What would you be solving?
  16. 16. Prompt 3: Who would the audience be for this research and proposal? What would their expectations be?
  17. 17. Prompt 4: How would you start this project? Where would you go first? What would you be after?
  18. 18. Now Look at what you have in your four paragraph chunks. If what you wrote makes you think the topic is a potential keeper, put a + next to it. If you struggled to answer/feel the topic is no longer a good idea, place a – next to it.
  19. 19. Compile your potential topics Make a new list of your potential topics. Just the ones that got + on the last stage. Place each on a sheet of paper, along with your name so we know where the paper goes.
  20. 20. Tornado This is going to literally be a brain-storm; a topic tornado. Assuming you have two sheets of paper, pass one in each direction. If you have more– pass them, too, alternating ways. When you receive the sheet, read the topic at the top and write a question about it (as quickly as you can). Make sure it’s a rigorous, thoughtful question. Then pass it on. Keep going, writing questions as fast as possible and passing.
  21. 21. We’re almost out of time… Make sure you get your respective papers back, so you have your questions to look at/think through. For Tuesday: read: Anderson, Chapter 3 watch this and this. And bring these brainstorming sheets back!