Worth 20% of your final grade
- Mar 28: Submit your writing plan for approval (counts as part of the in-class writing for that day)
- Apr 4: Draft due for peer review (draft and providing feedback counts as the in-class writing for that day)
- Apr 11: Due date for Project #3 (no in-class writing for that day)
- Apr 18: Deadline for Project #3 (the last day you can submit your work)
The Project Assignment
You may need a job or a scholarship or an internship. You may need to begin building a personal presence online. You may want to establish yourself professionally so you can network with future colleagues. No one assignment that I could design will ever fit what each one of you needs, so for this assignment, you will choose what kind of job application materials are relevant for your future. You will choose the task, do the necessary research, establish the criteria for excellence, and reflect on how well you do. This assignment is meant to be personally meaningful and useful. If it’s not, you have no one to blame but yourself.
Step 1: Choose a topic.
On Friday, March 28, your in-class writing will tell me about the job application project you have chosen. Your plan should be specific and personal. Some (not all) possible options are the following:
- Find a job posting you want to apply for and write the materials it requires.
- Find a internship posting you want to apply for and write the materials it requires.
- Find a scholarship you want to apply for and write the materials it requires.
- Create a personal website that provides a portfolio of your work and basic biography or resume.
- Clean up your online presence online and establish profiles in places that will help you network or get a job (like Academia.edu, LinkedIn or GitHub).
Step 2: Create the criteria.
Since everyone can do a different set of materials, you have to do some research and establish the criteria for your project. You need to provide the following for your work:
- A checklist of the required deliverables
- Supporting resources that you will use to guide your work
- An explanation of your personal goals (both what you want to do and how you will tell if you’ve done it well)
Step 3: Work on your documents in class and track your progress.
We’ll go over some general resources in class, but you will spend most of your time working on your project in collaborative groups. Expect to be in the classroom working every day. Bring what you need with you to work. Your in-class writings during this project will be summaries and reflections on your progress. We will go over what these writings will look like on Wednesday, March 26.
Step 4: Organize your materials for submission.
Organize your materials for submission and post them on your Google Drive. You will create a Google Doc that provides all the details on your project:
- Explain your topic specifically, and tell me where to find it.
- State the criteria you have set for yourself. If your criteria changed as you worked, explain how and why.
- Assess whether you met the criteria (I will provide some guiding questions to help with this part).
For this project, I want to see you deeply engaged in your project. Specifically, I am looking for these behaviors:
- Attendance: You need to be here every session. If you decide to skip sessions because we are “just working on the projects in class,” your grade will suffer.
- Timeliness: Don’t show up late, leave early, disappear for 15 minutes, and so forth. I want to see you in the classroom and working on the project.
- Readiness: Be in the classroom and ready to go. Have what you need with you to work, and be prepared to collaborate with classmates.
- Risktaking: You need to take risks and be willing to go back to a previous version if those risks don’t work out. Safe, easy choices are boring. I want to see you stretch yourself.
- Feedback: You need to listen to feedback from me and your classmates and then use that feedback to revise and improve your work. If you choose not to follow our advice, you need to have a very good reason that you can articulate.
Everyone starts this project with a B/C. How you participate changes that grade higher or lower. You can earn an A (see tips below). You’ll earn a B if you participate in good, but average ways. You’ll earn a C if you decide to skip classes or stop trying but still turn in the work. You’ll earn an F if you don’t try and/or don’t turn in the required work.
If you have questions about your grade potential, come by during office hours. I can’t discuss individual grades in the open classroom because of FERPA regulations. If I believe that you are on a trajectory toward a C, D, or F, I will let you know. If you are participating in the class, then you’re passing and just need to be concerned about your individual goals for earning a B or an A.
Tips for Earning an A
The grade of A is reserved for excellent work, the kind of work that knocks me down with its impressive nature. Excellent work does not equate with showing up every day, participating once in a while, and turning in your work on time. Those are average achievements, and average work earns a C. Here are some ways to earn an A:
- Produce an excellent project. Do something more than complete the terms of the assignment. Do something amazing. Create the kind of project that I will want to put up on the screen as an example of great work next term (or if this were a workplace, work that I would show to other employees as a model of what I expect from them).
- Participate excellently in class. Excellence in class participation means contributing in active and generous ways to the work of the class as a whole by asking thoughtful questions, graciously accepting challenges and feedback, and being a productive class member. Participating isn’t simply about contributing to discussion, but also about producing work by participating in the activities we do each day. If this were a workplace, participating is just coming to work and putting in your time. Participating excellently is going beyond that in ways that produce bonuses and “employees of the month.”
- Be an excellent scholar. Specifically, be able to demonstrate to me (through discussions, collaboration, and your drafts) that you understand and can reflect on the content of this class and show progress toward that knowledge in your final project. Be able to recognize what makes technical writing that is polished and professional. Finally, develop a capacity for self-assessment and transferable learning.
You might be an excellent student if you
- have a collegial attitude.
- bring your materials to class every day.
- ask for help in advance of a due dates.
- are attentive in class.
- ask your classmates (or Google) for help during class work time, then . . .
- . . . if you’re stumped, write your name on the board for help and wait patiently for help.
- use email or office hours for private or involved questions.
- understand that strategic (and sometimes maximum) effort results in excellent work.
The expectations and assessment sections of this assignment were adapted from Cheryl E. Ball’s undergraduate Multimodal Composition syllabus.