English 222: Technical Writing — Course Assignments

Refresh/Reload This Page

I update this page as often as possible. Therefore, to make sure you are looking at the most recent version of Current Assignment(s), be sure to click Refresh (for Internet Explorer) or Reload (for Netscape). This will give you a current version of the assignments, rather than any old versions which might still be sitting in your computer’s memory. I will list the most current assignment (or assignments) near the beginning of this page.

Please also note that I do occasionally fall behind in updating this page. It is therefore highly important that you attend class regularly in order to get the most current assignments which I always discuss at the end of each class session.

Current Assignment(s)

Final Project Deadlines & End of Semester Schedule

Dec. 3-7
in Sutton 355 (Dr. Pagnucci’s office)

  • Individual Project Review Meetings
  • Meetings will be held in Sutton 355 not our regular classroom
  • Bring $2 for our Business Luncheon
  • If you did not turn in your job application materials yet, please bring them to your project review meeting

Dec. 10 Mon.
on your own

  • Last Regular Class Day
  • No meeting
  • Use this time to work on final revisions to your project

Dec. 12 Wed. (10:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.)
in Leonard 213 Computer Classroom (our regular classroom)

  • Final Exam Meeting
  • Final Project Due
  • Bring $2 for our Business Luncheon (don’t get labeled a freeloader!)
  • Class wrap up activities (no written exam)

Course Unit Assignments

Week 1

Assignment: Technical Writing Sample
due Aug. 29 Wed.

Find a 1 page example of something you believe to be technical writing:

  • Type a paragraph explaining why you selected this sample.
  • Make enough Xerox copies of your sample and your explanation for all class members and the instructor (about 15 copies).

Assignment: None
for Aug. 31 Fri.

  • No assignment due for this coming class.

Week 2

Sep. 3 Monday
Labor Day
NO CLASS

  • No regular class meeting.
  • No assignment due for this coming class.

Assignment: Definitions of Terms
due Sep. 7 Fri.

  • Pick 3 complicated terms related to your major.
  • Write an elaborated definition for each of these terms. Use the most basic characteristics and categories to define these terms.
  • Use the Basic Definition Pattern of:
    • X term is a category Y with characteristics A, B, and C.
    • IUP is a university which is public and state funded.
  • Include illustrations if needed to help define your terms.
  • Each of your definitions should be about 1 full paragraph in length for a total of 3 paragraphs for the 3 definitions.

Week 3

Assignment: Get a Magazine
due Sep. 10 Mon.

  • Bring a magazine to class with you. We’ll be analyzing graphic images in class, so bring along a magazine to use as a resource. Don’t worry, we won’t be cutting up the magazine! (And yes, that really is all you have to do for this assignment: remember to bring some type of magazine along with you to class.)

Assignment: Magazine Ad Review
due Sep. 12 Wed.

Find two ads, one that follows a basic graphic design principle and one that breaks one of the main graphic design principles. Label the pages for these ads and be ready to discuss what you found in class.

Week 4

Assignment: Graphic Ad Redesign
due Sep. 17

You will need to select 1 poorly designed ad for this assignment.

  • Find 1 ad that has poor graphic design. Make a Xerox of this original ad to turn in (or tear the original out of your magazine; make sure the magazine belongs to you and not someone else!). Do NOT use the ad you were working on in class. Find a different ad to redesign.
  • Redesign this ad to make it better:
    • It is preferable to use Microsoft Publisher to create your redesigned ad. Publisher is available in many of the campus computer labs, though not all of them.
    • If you can’t get access to Publisher, try working in Microsoft Word. Another option is to make a Xerox copy of your ad, cut it apart, then paste it back together using your redesigned format.
    • Print out a copy of your redesigned ad.
  • Type an explanation why you made your various changes to the original poor ad.
  • Turn in the original ad, your redesigned ad, and your explanatory page. Make sure you put your name on all three items.

Assignment: Poorly Formatted Text Examples
due Sep. 21 Fri.

  • Find 3 examples of text that is poorly formatted
  • Make sure the examples are mostly text (rather than graphics)
  • On a separate sheet of paper, type the following:
    • your name
    • a title and brief description for each problem document you found
      • for example: English Department Agenda (information for department meeting on Jan. 31st)
    • after each item name, type an explanation of what formatting problems you see in each example

Week 5

Assignment: Textual Redesign
due Sep. 24 Mon.

The goal of this assignment is to see how well you can put into practice the rules of effective page design that we’ve been talking about in class. To complete this first project, follow the steps outlined below:

1. Click the link below to pull up a poorly designed textual example:

  1. Copy and paste the sample text into Microsoft Word.
  2. Next reformat the text by applying the principles of effective textual design we discussed in class.
  3. On a separate page, type a list of the improvements you made to the original text. List these improvements in an organized fashion.
  4. When you are finished, turn in both pages (your redesigned text example and your explanatory page).

Assignment: None
for Sep. 26 Wed.

  • No assignment due for this coming class.
  • We’ll be working on the Recruitment and Retention Proposal writing project collaboratively in class.

Assignment: None
for Sep. 28 Fri.

  • No assignment due for this coming class.
  • We’ll be working on the Recruitment and Retention Proposal writing project collaboratively in class.

Assignment: None
for Oct. 1 Wed.

  • No assignment due for this coming class.
  • We’ll be working on the Recruitment and Retention Proposal writing project collaboratively in class.

Week 6

Assignment: Technical Writing Project Proposal
due Oct. 3 Wed.

NO CLASS
on Oct. 5 Fri. & Oct. 8 Mon.

Dr. Pagnucci has to give 2 conference presentations which will take him out of town. So there will be NO CLASS on Oct. 5 and Oct. 8.

Week 7

Assignment: Technical Writing Project Background Research
due Oct. 10 Wed.

Find 3 models of projects similar to your own project. On a sheet of paper to be turned in, type the following information:

  • Technical Writing Project Background Research
  • Your Name
  • Model #1, #2, or #3 (record the information below for each of your 3 models)
    • Title of model
    • Brief description of the model
    • Web address for the model if applicable
    • 3 elements of the model which you could make use of for your project
    • 2 elements of the model you will want to avoid with your own project

Assignment: Technical Writing Project Introductory Statement
due Oct. 12 Fri.

  • Write a 1 page of Introduction/Overview for your Technical Writing Project. Your introduction should be 2 to 4 paragraphs long and should explain the purpose of the document, who it is intended for, what’s in the document, and how the document should be used. In other words, this is the first thing a person will read when they visit your web site or open your manual. It’s the welcome statement. Be sure to pick a writing style suitable to your audience. For instance, a Stock Accountant’s Guide would probably have a very serious, business style, whereas a Day Care Center Information Handbook for Parents would probably be written with light, happy style. (We’ll be discussing writing style more in class.)
  • Email the Introduction to yourself or save it on a USB flash drive. Bring this electronic version of your Introduction to class. We’ll be doing some electronic analysis of your writing during class.
  • Also bring a printout of your Introduction to hand in.

Week 8

Assignment: Continue Working on Technical Writing Project
for Oct. 15

Keep doing work on your Technical Writing Project.

Assignment: Technical Writing Project Style Sheet
due Oct. 17

  • Create a Printed Style Sheet or Web Style Sheet for your Technical Writing Project depending on whichever format you are working in:
  • Be sure to include a sample paragraph in your style sheet and give the readability statistics for this sample paragraph so that it will be clear what type of writing style you want for your project
    • Revise your sample paragraph as necessary so that the statistics match the grade level and readability level you want for your document (revise so you get the correct language style, whether you are after a casual, moderately formal, or highly formal style)

Week 9

Assignment: Technical Writing Project-Instructional Writing
due Oct. 24

  • For your Technical Writing Project, write up one set of instructions for doing some task/procedure that relates to the project
  • If you project does not require this sort of instructional writing, then pick a process/procedure related to your major and write instructions for doing that process/procedure
  • Bring a printed copy with you to class so we can critique it

Assignment: Campus Directions Project Team Meetings (No Regular Class)
for Oct. 26

There will be no regular class meeting for this day. Instead your assignment is to use our regular class time to meet with your team and post your Campus Directions Project materials:

  • Arrange a time for your team to meet and walk the path of your directions project.
  • Check your directions for accuracy.
  • Make necessary corrections to your directions. They will be evaluated in part based on accuracy.
  • Once you have edited your directions, post 3 copies of both your directions and your quotes.

Week 10

Assignment: The Campus Directions Project
BEFORE class on Oct. 29

This can be a really fun project, but it really sucks when people don’t do their share and forget to post their part of the directions. PLEASE be responsible and get your materials posted correctly BEFORE class time.

Write directions for navigating among the buildings you’ve been assigned by your team.

  • Print 1 copy of your directions to turn in; make sure your name is on this copy.
  • Post 3 envelopes at each location your team has assigned you (each envelope should contain a part of your quotation and a set of directions to the next clue). You need to post enough copies for all the other teams in the class to try out your directions.
  • People who have not posted their assigned envelopes will be penalized!
  • Make sure your team brings 3 copies of its starting set of directions to class. Make sure every team member has a copy of the starting directions. It’s a good idea to email the starting directions to all team members. Do not allow your team to get derailed because the team member with the starting directions was sick! Make sure you have backup copies of the starting directions (and make sure ALL the other directions get posted before the class meeting)!!!
  • Bring an umbrella with you to class if it looks like rain because you will be walking and following the other teams’ clues during class.

Assignment: Continue Working on Technical Writing Project
for Oct. 31

Keep doing work on your Technical Writing Project.

Assignment: Continue Working on Technical Writing Project
for Nov. 2

Keep doing work on your Technical Writing Project. Bring a draft of your project with you to work on it in class.

Week 11

Assignment: Progress Report
due on email by Nov. 5

  • Please prepare a progress report that updates me on how your Technical Writing Project is going. You can send me your progress report on email once you complete it:

Assignment: Resume Draft
due Nov. 5 Wed.

  • Create a rough draft of your resume:
    • Include as much information as possible
    • Use only real information (do NOT make anything up)
    • If you already have a resume, that’s great; just look it over and add to or revise it as necessary
  • Make 16 copies of your resume so that you can give a copy to every member of the class (16 copies are required)

Assignment: Continue Working on Technical Writing Project
for Nov. 9

Keep doing work on your Technical Writing Project. Bring a draft of your project with you to work on it in class.

Week 12

Assignment: Job Application Letter
due Nov. 14 Wed.

Write a Job Application Letter for a real job advertisement.

  • Base the letter on your own real background (don’t make anything up)
  • You can write a letter to apply for
    • an entry level job (the type of job you might apply for when you graduate from IUP)
    • a Graduate Assistantship or Teaching Assistantship position (the type of job you might apply for in graduate school)
    • an internship or co-operative experience
    • a campus job
    • a summer job
    • any other type of real job to which you might want to apply
    • do not select a job for which you are not qualified (in other words, don’t try to apply for a Vice President job which requires 10 years of work experience; go after a job you would have a chance of getting once you graduate)
  • Make a copy of the Job Advertisement
  • Make 2 copies of your job application letter to bring to class for peer review

Technical Writing Project Work Day
NO CLASS
for Nov. 16 Fri.

  • Use class time to work on your Technical Writing Project
  • No regular class meetings

Week 13

Thanksgiving Break (NO Class)
for Nov. 19-23

  • Use class time to work on your Technical Writing Project
  • No regular class meeting

Week 14

Assignment: Working Copy of Technical Writing Project Draft
due Nov. 26 Mon.

  • Keep working on your Technical Writing Project
  • Bring a current draft (either printed or stored online) of your Technical Writing Project to class. We’ll be doing critiques of these drafts in class.

Assignment: Job Application Packet–Final Version
due Nov. 28 Wed.

Revise all your job application materials based on the class lectures and your peers comments. You will need to turn in the following Job Application Packet:

  • your resume
  • a job advertisement
  • a job cover letter applying for the job in the advertisement

Treat these as REAL job application materials. Appearance counts! Points will be deducted for crumpled or badly printed pages. In the real world, sloppy looking application materials usually end up in the waste basket!

Assignment: Working Copy of Technical Writing Project Draft
due Nov. 28 Wed.

  • Keep working on your Technical Writing Project
  • Bring a current draft (either printed or stored online) of your Technical Writing Project to class. We’ll be doing critiques of these drafts in class.

Assignment: FULL Technical Writing Project Draft
DUE Nov. 30 Fri.

  • Full Project Draft Due

Final Project Deadlines & End of Semester Schedule

Dec. 3-7
in Sutton 355 (Dr. Pagnucci’s office)

  • Individual Project Review Meetings
  • Meetings will be held in Sutton 355 not our regular classroom
  • Bring $2 for our Business Luncheon
  • If you did not turn in your job application materials yet, please bring them to your project review meeting

Dec. 10 Mon.
on your own

  • Last Regular Class Day
  • No meeting
  • Use this time to work on final revisions to your project

Dec. 12 Wed. (10:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.)
in Leonard 213 Computer Classroom (our regular classroom)

  • Final Exam Meeting
  • Final Project Due
  • Bring $2 for our Business Luncheon (don’t get labeled a freeloader!)
  • Class wrap up activities (no written exam)