540 Projects

The written projects in this course will require you to familiarize yourself with a scientific or technical discipline. Try to select an area in which you already have some knowledge or experience by virtue of your education or work experience. From this area you will select one multipage document that includes both text and graphics. This document will be the basis of all three projects in this course. Some possible candidates are: instructions, research proposals, product recalls, research reports, feasibility reports, research presentations, and adaptations of science to general readers.

 

Project 1: Profile of Document

After you have obtained an appropriate document to work with, take some time to explore its rhetorical situation. Your goal in this project is to write a descriptive profile of your document, which includes its purpose, audience, and context. Length: 500 - 750 words.


1. Gather as much information as you can about the context including the institution behind the document and its mission, values, goals, and audience.

2. Consult a standard textbook on science or technical writing, and review the general characteristics of the type of document you have.

3. Using the visual language matrix in your textbook as a guide, examine your document at all four levels of design and find specific attributes about which you can make descriptive comments.

4. Now write a formal report to me in which you describe (but not evaluate or recommend changes for) the document, using the vocabulary of typography, page layout, illustrations, and document design.

5. Post a PDF file of your document (either scanned from the original or created by "print to file") on Bb Vista.

 

Project 2: Evaulation of Document

Your goal in this project is to write a critical analysis of your document, which includes its purpose, audience, and context. Length: 500 - 750 words.


1. Review the audience, purpose, and type of document.

2. Using the visual language matrix in your textbook as a guide, examine your document at all four levels of design and find specific attributes about which you can make evaluative comments.

3. Now write a formal report to me in which you evaluate (but do not recommend changes for) the document, using the vocabulary of typography, page layout, illustrations, and document design.

4. Post an annotated PDF file (in which you highlight and comment on the parts of document you mention in your report) on Bb Vista.

 

Project 3: Recommendations for Document

Your goal in this project is to write a recommendation report for your document in which you suggest changes that will improve the visual language. Length: 500 - 750 words.


1. Using the visual language matrix in your textbook as a guide, examine your document at all four levels of design and find specific attributes about which you can recommend changes.

2. Now write a formal report to me in which you recommend changes for the document, using the vocabulary of typography, page layout, illustrations, and document design.

3. To strengthen your argument, cite at least one research article that we have discussed in class that justifies your proposed changes.

4. Post an annotated PDF file (in which you highlight and comment on the parts of document you mention in your report) on Bb Vista.