COM 510 Projects

All projects in this course will be executed in two phases: (1) project preview and (2) project production. Each project will consist of two written components: (1) a sample of technical writing and (2) a critical self-assessment of the sample. For example, your project 1 will consist of a sample of instruction writing and a self-assessment of that sample. Each sample of technical writing should be 400 to 500 words and each self-assessment 300 to 400.

Project Preview 1: Instruction Writing

Directions:

1. Consider some of the innovations in the tools or products of your area of study (e.g., scientific and industrial test equipment, business software programs, health care devices, consumer electronics, etc.).

2. Identify some unique key words for these items, and use them to search the U.S. Patent Office website to locate an original patent for one of these tools or products.

3. After studying this document, consider these questions:

4. Using the answers to the above questions, send me an email in which you describe the piece of instruction writing you will submit for project 1.


Project 1: Instruction Writing  

Directions:
 
1. Draft, revise and edit your document as you see fit.

2. Take moment to review the current readings relevant to this project, and consider how they relate to the document you've written. Attach a memo to me about your document in which you critically assess the project. For example, you might select Loorbach's notion of "motivational elements" and assess your use of them in your instruction writing. Include in the memo the source ( i.e., patent number) of the information about the product.

 

 
Project Preview 2: Correspondence
 
Directions:
 
1. Take a moment to consider the products or services that directly or indirectly result from the efforts of people who have majored in your field of study. Select three or four of these products, and find examples that have been formally recalled by their manufacturers. To find such products, search the following web sites:

Now imagine that you are a member of the team that initially designed and prototyped this recalled product.

Imagine further that after your design went into production, you discovered evidence of a defect that would cause harm to humans. You present this evidence to your immediate supervisor, but she squashes it, saying any interruptions in production at this point will cost the company millions of dollars in lost revenue and will damage your department's reputation.

Using the information about the product's recall, an understanding of the company's mission and code of conduct, and your own awareness of the political and ethical implications of your actions, consider how you would write a letter to a higher-up in the company that "blows the whistle" on this situation.

2. Identify the specific person in the company who is most likely to be able to act on your message. See the company's website or Hagerty's business information databases.

3. Consider strategies for writing "bad news" letters, and sketch the points you would make in writing the proposed letter.
 
4. Summarize the ideas that result from the above steps, and send me an email in which you describe the piece of correspondence you will submit for project 2.

 

Project 2 : Correspondence

Directions:
 
1. Draft, revise and edit your document as you see fit.

2. Take moment to review the current readings for relevant to this project, and consider how they relate to the document you've written. Attach a memo to me about your document in which you critically assess the project. For example, you might select Limaye's notion of "explanation in negative messages" and assess your use of it in your correspondence.

 

 

Project Preview 3: Proposal

Directions:

1. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the specialty journals in your major field of study. One way to assemble a fairly complete list is to search the on-line catalog at Penn's library for journals on a keyword like entomology. Then, review the journals available in Hagerty Library relevant to your major, and identify one that is missing from the collection (this shouldn't be difficult).

2. Mindful of the principles of persuasion in proposals, craft a strategy for proposing the purchase of the missing journal. The proposal should call for a specific action and be addressed to a specific reader with the authority to approve, recommend, or fund the proposal.

3. Plan a document that consists of the following:

4. Summarize your ideas that result from the above steps, and send me an email in which you describe the proposal you will submit for project 3.

 

Project 3 : Proposal

Directions: 

1. Draft, revise and edit your document as you see fit.

2. Take moment to review the current readings for relevant to this project, and consider how they relate to the document you've written. Attach a memo to me about your document in which you critically assess the project. For example, you might select Lituchy's notion of "masculine and feminine speech patterns" and assess your use of them in your proposal.


Project Preview 4: Report

Directions:

1. Reflect on the experiences you've had in your major field of study so far, and identify any recent significant projects, experiments, field trips, or product/service trials.

2. Select one of the above situations as the basis for writing a report.

3. Consider how you would address the following issues in writing the report:

4. Summarize the ideas that result from the above steps, and send me an email in which you describe the report you will submit for project 4.

  

Project 4: Report

Directions:

1. Draft, revise and edit your document as you see fit.

2. Take moment to review the current readings for relevant to this project, and consider how they relate to the document you've written. Attach a memo to me about your document in which you critically assess the project. For example, you might select Rude's notion of decision making and assess its role in your report.