Course Guide

All course content, projects, readings, and other handouts are collected in this Course Guide.

Course Description

ENGLISH 3140: Technical Writing

Dr. David Blakesley
Email: dblakes@clemson.edu
Office: Strode 616; Phone: 765.409.2649 (c); also for text messages
Office Hours: Online daily, via email.
Google Hangout: david.blakesley@gmail.com
Gmail: david.blakesley@gmail.com (also for Google Chat)
Course Contact Form: user/2/contact (must be logged in)

Course Dates and Information

Tuesday, June 21, 2016 to July 11, 2016
Last day to turn in course projects: Friday, July 8
ENGL 3140 407
CRN: 55089

Course Website

http://parlormultimedia.com/techcomm

Reading List

Writing 2e cover

The main course text contains required readings and activities that will be referenced daily for the duration of the course. The text is available for purchase or rental at the Clemson University Bookstore, Cengage website, Barnes and Noble, and Amazon. The course calendar specifies what should be read and when.

  • Blakesley, David, and Jeffrey Hoogeveen. Writing: A Manual for the Digital Age, 2e. Boston: Cengage, 2012. [Be sure that you get the Brief, 2nd Edition only; the print and digital versions should be identical.]

Digital Readings: Several course readings will be made available electronically via the course website or a shared folder in Dropbox. They will include timely articles on technical writing and other subjects under discussion throughout the course. All required readings for the course are listed on the course calendar.

Course Goals and Objectives

In this section of English 3140 (Technical Writing ), students will apply the rhetorical principles of technical writing in individual and collaborative projects that advance understanding of effective communication in contexts that matter. At the end of the course, students will have earned valuable experience as writers, content developers, information architects, and digital designers.

Course Technologies

The course website uses Drupal, an open source content management system used widely across industries and organizations, from NASA to the White House. In addition to proficiency with email and a browser, you will need to use a word processor (Word, Google Docs, Open Office, Pages), a text or HTML editor, such as Dreamweaver, Notepad ++ (Windows; free), TextWrangler (Mac; free). The class will use Box for some file sharing (each student will receive an invitation by email to join the shared Box folder.) Some class time will be devoted to teaching you to use more complex software for producing and designing your writing, but you should also take the initiative to master these programs on your own as you work through course projects. The textbook provides a large number of Technology Toolboxes that you can use to learn techniques or processes that may be new to you.

Note: All Clemson students now have free access to the Adobe Creative Cloud suite of high-end software, so you should set up Adobe CC now. It includes Dreamweaver (mentioned above), Acrobat, InDesign, Muse, Spark, Behance, and Photoshop—each of which you will find useful for completing projects in this course. Find instructions and downloads here: http://www.clemson.edu/ccit/software_applications/software/licenses/Adobe1.html?  You will need to use your Clemson credentials and will be asked to verify that you have access to the Creative Cloud suite of tools by Day 3 of the course.

Course Competencies

Students will find that most of the projects completed in ENGL 3140 provide them with quality artifacts for their professional portfolios. With its focus on effective communication across contexts and media, ENGL 3140 also teaches students effective written and oral communication, the means by which you demonstrate all competencies across the general education competencies.

Coursework

Further details about each of these project will be discussed in separate project descriptions.

Reading Responses and Comments

You'll be asked to post six (6) reading responses during the semester (two per week; each worth up to 20 points). I want you to respond to questions or readings listed on the calendar with a short (250-word) semi-formal response posted to your blog at the course website. These responses will need to be posted by midnight on the due date, and you may work ahead of schedule if you choose. All reading responses should follow the Principles of Reading Responses and the Principles for Posting to Your Weblog. You will also need to comment/reply to reading responses of your peers, reflecting on what they say, suggesting alternatives, or sharing additional information or links. For each reading response assignment, you should write at least two comments (for a total of at least 12 during the course; each worth up to 10 pointss). As an author, you should reply whenever someone comments on one of your reading responses. (240 points, or 24% of course grade.)

Self-Paced Learning Modules

Self-Paced Learning Modules (identified on the course calendar) will help you learn rhetorical principles, explore ideas in depth, or become proficient with the software and hardware useful for creating, designing, and presenting technical information in print or on the Web. Each module gives you a specific challenge or task that you need to complete and then verify (sometimes with a blog post and attachment or screenshot).There will be six (6) modules over the course of the semester, each worth up to 20 points. All will be due by midnight on the day listed on the calendar but you may work ahead to complete them if you wish. (120 points or 12% of course grade.)

Peer Review

In each of the three main course projects (Resume, Documentation, Case Study), you'll be asked to read and respond to the work of your peers. Authors will be encouraged to elicit feedback, and peer reviewers will be encouraged to respond to author questions or to complete peer review sheets. There will be eight (8) peer responses total (four in the resume project and two in each of the other projects). Some will involve reading full drafts and completing review sheets. (80 points or 8% of course grade.)

Resume Project Across Media

The goal of the Resume Project Across Media will be to develop content for a professional resume and portfolio for a specific job, internship, or grad school application and to present the information in multiple formats: print (using Adobe InDesign), professional network (like LinkedIn, Behance, Slated) with an "About Me" story, and one additional form chosen from among multiple alternatives (ePub for the iPad or smartphone, video (using Adobe After Effects, Adobe Spark, Animoto, Wordpress portfolio, or an alternative type of print or digital media; PowerPoint, Prezi, or slide presentations are not good options). In addition to keeping a project log during this project, you'll participate in peer review and submit a reflective document with the final project that addresses questions about how the three versions of the resume/portfolio change across media as well as any other technical and design details useful for understanding and evaluating the project as a whole. (Individual; 300 points or 30% of course grade.)

Documentation Project

In the Documentation Project, you will research a process or procedure associated with some aspect of composing, designing, sharing, or publishing information, which may include visual content (images, video, or animation) then write documentation that teaches users how to complete five (5) important, interesting, or challenging processes or procedures. The focus will be on some aspect of one of your new Adobe tools in the Creative Suite and should teach fellow students how to use the feature in a way that contextualizes it. (So, for example, "Top Five Ways to Use Adobe Acrobat to Comment on Peer Drafts" or "Five Ways to Use the Adobe Voice App to Enhance Your Projects.") Your finished project will be an effectively designed example of user documentation that teaches users efficiently. (Individual; 120 points or 12% of course grade.)

Technical Case Study

In the Technical Case Study project, you'll work with one or two peers to research a successful application of some form of technology (software, Web-based application, or social networking, for example) used by an organization to solve a real world problem or achieve its goals. The organization may be a nonprofit or for-profit company, an on-campus group, or a community with which you may be affiliated. Your finished case study will provide background information on the organization, a description of the problem or goal, a detailed overview (supported by visual content) of the steps taken to solve the problem or achieve the goal, and then a discussion of how well the solution has worked. You'll be asked to complete a Collaborative Project Evaluation Form in PDF format using Adobe Acrobat. at the end of the project. (Collaborative; 140 points or 14% of course grade.)

Final Examination

There will be no final examination in the course, so the last day of our semester will be Friday, July 8. All work still due will need to be submitted by 11:59 pm on that day.

Notes on Self-Pacing and Peer Response

The course will consist of both modular (self-paced) and interactive work, so while some assignments can be completed in advance of their due date, other "work in progress" (such as project drafts and peer review) will require that you respond to or interact with your peers or me as the work is completed. 

  • Students may work ahead on reading responses and comments/replies.
  • Students or groups may work ahead within each project, but only within that project, and they must submit peer reviews in a timely manner, when due.
  • Students or groups can not work ahead on peer reviews. Begin reviewing and responding on the day that drafts are due.
  • In group work, each student must maintain contact with other group members. Check your email daily, and use the group's project log effectively. When collaborative projects fail, it's usually because of poor communication among group members. Since effective communication is a central focus of this course, your successful communication with group members is key ingredient of what you're expected to learn.
  • Reading responses, comments, and give-and take in the blogs must be submitted by midnight on the day they are due. The requirement is that you submit two reading responses per week and that you write four (2) comment responses per week to blog posts submitted by your peers. When people comment on your responses, take the initiative to respond (and possibly extend the discussion).

Feedback and Response Time

Your instructor will respond within three (3) days to major course projects with feedback in written, video, or aural form. Grades on reading responses and self-paced learning modules will be sent to you at the start of each week but may not include additional feedback. The instructor may also join reading discussions online as a participant.

Grading

Assignment Points
Reading Responses and Comments 240
Self-Paced Learning Modules 120
Peer Review 80
Resume Project 300
Documentation Project 120
Technical Case Study 140
Total
1000

This course follows the typical grading scale:

A = 90 to 100%
B = 80 to 89%
C = 70 to 79%
D = 60 to 69%
F = 0 to 59%

To earn full credit for reading responses, modules, and peer review, you will need to complete all of them and, in the case of reading responses, actively respond to your peers on the course website. Your reading responses and replies should show that you are engaged with the topic and open to new possibilities and ideas. The criteria for evaluation of the individual and collaborative projects will be spelled out on the full description of each. For the collaborative project, you'll be asked to complete a Collaborative Project Evaluation Form andsubmit it privately to me on or before the project's due date.

You'll receive feedback along the way throughout each project from your peers and a grade on the projects after they're completed. The Resume Project (involving three main parts) can be revised until all three parts are due at the end of the semester.

Attendance

Since this is an online course, your attendance at a physical location is not required. However, you will need to demonstrate active involvement in the course activities by keeping up with reading responses, project logs, and other coursework. You will also need to respond to course email promptly to ensure that good communication flows in all directions. More than three continuous weekday absences from course activities is grounds for failure of the class. Since late work is not accepted (including peer responses) being virtually absent will significantly affect your course grade.

Decorum and Professional Communication

All students are expected to behave responsibly and collegially in the course's online space, via email, or in any other interactive course communication (e.g., Skype, if used), just as they would in a face-to-face course. Everything you write in the course, including email with each other and the instructor, blog posts and replies, peer responses, and even text messages should be conducted professionally and (probably) more formally than you might expect. As a technical writer, you should be especially mindful of decorum, which is alertness to the ethical practices of a community. Harassment of any kind in email, blog post, or other communication will not be tolerated and may be subject to a warning from the instructor, dismissal from the course space, or referral to the Dean of Undergraduate Studies. Students who feel they have been harassed in some way should contact the instructor privately by email, Skype, or phone.

Clemson University Title IX (Sexual Harassment) Statement

Clemson University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, pregnancy, national origin, age, disability, veteran's status, genetic information or protected activity (e.g., opposition to prohibited discrimination or participation in any complaint process, etc.) in employment, educational programs and activities, admissions and financial aid. This includes a prohibition against sexual harassment and sexual violence as mandated by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. More on Title IX policy: http://www.clemson.edu/campus-life/campus-services/access/title-ix/. Mr. Jerry Knighton is the Clemson University Title IX Coordinator, and is also the Director of Access and Equity. His office is located at 111 Holtzendorf. Hall, 864.656.3181 (voice) or 864.565.0899 (TDD).

Academic Integrity

Clemson students and their instructors are expected to adhere to the community and ethical standards for behavior and academic integrity at the University:

"As members of the Clemson University community, we have inherited Thomas Green Clemson's vision of this institution as a "high seminary of learning." Fundamental to this vision is a mutual commitment to truthfulness, honor, and responsibility, without which we cannot earn the trust and respect of others. Furthermore, we recognize that academic dishonesty detracts from the value of a Clemson degree. Therefore, we shall not tolerate lying, cheating, or stealing in any form."

"Therefore, we shall not tolerate lying, cheating, or stealing in any form. In instances where academic standards may have been compromised, Clemson University has a responsibility to respond appropriately to charges of violations of academic integrity."

Unless otherwise noted in assignment guidelines, you should not submit work for this course that has been submitted for a grade in other courses.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Student Disability Services coordinates the provision of accommodations for students with disabilities in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Reasonable and specific accommodations are developed with each student based on current documentation from an appropriate licensed professional. All accommodations are individualized, flexible, and confidential based on the nature of the disability and the academic environment. Housing accommodations for a disability or medical condition are also coordinated through this office. Visit the Student Disability Services website for location, contact information, as well as official policies and procedures. To learn more information or request accommodations contact Student Disability Services (SDS) at sdsl@ clemson.edu or 864.656.6848 or visit SDS's website: (http://clemson.edu/sds).

Privacy Statement

For any publicly accessible student-created content (e.g., social media, multimedia posted in YouTube, responses on course website) included in the course assignments, an alternate activity will be offered upon student request. This option ensures students have a choice to meet learning outcomes (students are given an option on how to meet the learning outcomes) when there is any potential risk to student privacy resulting from applications that may be discoverable outside of the course website. Students may perform and display their multimedia projects for educational uses in the course for which they were created or may use them in their own portfolios as examples of their academic work. Students are reminded to credit the sources and display the copyright notice (©) and copyright ownership information, if this is shown in the original source for all works incorporated as part of educational multimedia projects.

In Case of a Campus Emergency

In the event of a major campus emergency, course requirements, deadlines and grading percentages are subject to changes that may be necessitated by a revised semester calendar or other circumstances. You can acquire updated information from the course website, by emailing, texting, or calling me using the information provided on this course description, or by contacting me through the English Department at (864) 656-3151.

Late Work

All course work is due when listed on the course calendar. Assignments turned in late will not receive credit, and missed class assignments cannot be made up. Sketchy internet access or computer problems aren't acceptable excuses. If a serious and unavoidable problem arises, however, you should contact me in writing prior to the deadline to determine whether or not an extension for the work can be granted.

Calendar

Follow the links at the bottom of this page for a schedule of readings, assignments, and due dates for each day of this semester. Unless specifically noted otherwise, all assignments are to be completed by midnight Eastern Daylight Time on the day listed.

This course calendar may be updated throughout the semester. I'll notify you about any major changes, but you are still responsible for keeping up with the current schedule.

IMPORTANT: You must visit all of the links provided within the course calendar. There are many links to follow and read. Make sure you visit all of them. Some links provide easy access to other parts of the class site which will help you in your coursework. Some links are to required readings. Others provide you with detailed instructions on completing projects. Eventually, you may come to know the instructions that supplement assignments repeated throughout the course, but it's still a good idea to continue to revisit the instructions to make sure that you are satisfying all of the course requirements.

Day 1: Tuesday, June 21

Day 1: Tuesday, June 21

All activities and readings should be completed by midnight EDT today. It's best to complete the readings and activities in the order listed because some activities depend on knowledge acquired in earlier steps.

Goals for Today

  • Introduction to the course and each other.
  • Acquire the main textbook, Writing: A Manual for the Digital Age, 2e (print or digital format; see the course description for purchasing details)
  • Review carefully the description, paying particular attention to all requirements. It is important that you become very familiar with the course policies so you can understand what is expected of you in this class.
  • Download the Adobe Creative Cloud tools.
  • Send an email to Dr. Blakesley (dblakes@clemson.edu) after you've completed the reading and activities for the day to let him know that you've begun the course.

Reading

  • Writing: A Manual for the Digital Age 2e, Chapter 22, "Writing for Online Courses" (367-382). Pay particular attention to pages 367-371 ("The Rhetorical Situation of Online Courses" and "Managing Your Identity in an Online Course"); you should also study pages 341-343 (in Chapter 20, "Networking with Others on the Web") so that you can use what you learn about effective email when you write Dr. B. (See below; your email should be professional.)

Activities to Complete Today

Downloading the Adobe Creative Cloud Tools
http://www.clemson.edu/ccit/software_applications/software/licenses/Adobe1.html. For this class, you'll want, at least, Acrobat, InDesign, Dreamweaver, and Photoshop. Muse, Premiere, After Effects, and Illustrator may also prove useful. You also may want Adobe Captivate (http://www.clemson.edu/ccit/software_applications/software/web_downloads.html), which isn't in the Creative Cloud suite but we can get free through Clemson.

Important Note! You must use your institutional email address (also called "Federated ID") to use all the tools in the Creative Clouds suite. That means you should use your @clemson.edu address as your Adobe ID. You can use any password you like for your Adobe password.

Exploring the class website: Before tomorrow (Wed., June 24), please complete all of these steps:

  • Complete Getting Started 1: Registering on the Site, Getting Started 2: Logging in for the First Time, and Getting Started 3: Editing Your Account for the First Time
  • Read Learning to Navigate the Site. Then explore the class website. Make sure that you login; some class website features are not available to guests. It'll be easier as we move forward if you take the time now to explore. Get familiar with where things are located, which links take you further into the class website and which take you outside to other resources.
  • I've created a post on the course home page (Introductions) inviting you to introduce yourself. Post a comment to that post in which you
    • describe where you are from
    • give your course of study and year in the your major program
    • talk about your areas of interest and career goals
    • let us know if you've ever taken any online course and, if so, what advice you would give to rookies
    • tell what you would like to get out of this course
    • describe one of your favorite books and what you like about it
  • Send an email to me (dblakes@clemson.edu) to let me know that you've begun the course successfully, which means that you've completed all of the above and have downloaded the Creative Cloud software. Your email should be sent by midnight. I will reply (normally within 24 hours, often much faster). Your email should follow the principles and conventions discussed in Writing 2e, pages 341-343, which cover subject lines, greetings, body, signature, and more.

Looking Ahead

On Day 2, you'll begin the first course project, the "Resume Project Across Media," read more from Writing 2e, join the shared Box folder for the course, and post your first Reading Response.

Day 2: Wednesday, June 22

Day 2: Wednesday, June 22

All activities and readings should be completed by midnight EDT today. It's best to complete the readings and activities in the order listed because some activities depend on knowledge acquired in earlier steps.

Goals for Today

  • Read all and respond to some of the Introductions posted by your peers.
  • Join the shared Box folder for the course after receiving the invitation. Install the Box client for easy access if you haven't already.
  • Review the Resume Project Across Media project assignment.
  • Complete assigned readings and post your first Reading Response

Reading

Reading Response Prompt 1: After completing the readings for today, post one reading response to your blog that responds to these prompts:

  1. Identify and explain the four main components of the rhetorical situation; and
  2. Describe the rhetorical situation of a job application letter and resume using the concepts explained in Chapter 1, "Writing and Rhetoric in Context."

Tag your reading response with "reading response" and "rhetorical situation" (without the quotation marks and all in lowercase; separate tags with a comma). It's critical that you tag your reading responses properly or they will be overlooked and you won't receive credit.

Activities to Complete Today

  • Read all and respond to some of the Introductions posted by your peers.
  • Join the shared Box folder for the course after receiving the invitation. Install the Box client for easy access if you haven't already.
  • Review the Resume Project Across Media project assignment. Note all the important due dates on your own calendar.

Looking Ahead

On Day 3, you'll complete the first steps of the "Resume Project Across Media," learn about the job application process and resumes in Writing 2e, and post your first comments and replies in the course blogs.

Day 3: Thursday, June 23

Day 3: Thursday, June 23

All activities and readings should be completed by midnight EDT today. It's best to complete the readings and activities in the order listed because some activities depend on knowledge acquired in earlier steps.

Goals for Today

  • Read and respond to the reading responses of your peers and reply to any comments on your own reading response.
  • Learn about the job application process and resumes in Writing: A Manual for the Digital Age 2e.
  • Complete the first steps of the Resume Project Across Media.

Reading

  • Writing: A Manual for the Digital Age 2e, Chapter 8, "Writing for Business and the Workplace" (100-114); no reading response required, but you'll be expected to apply the principles to your resume and other projects throughout the course.

Activities to Complete Today

  • Read and respond to the reading responses of your peers and reply to any comments on your own reading response. Your goal is to write comments in response to at least two of the reading responses of others. Follow the protocols for participating in online class discussions described in Writing on page 379.
  • Learning Module 1: Post a blog entry (Tags: learning module 1, skills inventory) in which you respond to the nine questions about Work and Educational Experience on pg. 101 of Writing (sect. 8a). Try to be as thorough as possible since the goal is not simply to answer the questions but to elaborate your answers as you explore and articulate your wide range of experiences. Think of this post as a brainstorming session, so be as thorough and detailed as possible.
  • Resume Project: Begin your search for two job ads well suited to your experience and career goals. Use the Job Search Resources on our class site to help guide your search. Your goal today is to find at least two (2) job ads that interest you. The ads may be for jobs or internships. Take a screenshot or copy and paste the content of both ads to a blog post (tag: job ads). Your resumes will be tailored to respond to these contexts (i.e., the ads help define the rhetorical situation for your resumes). Tip: You can use Adobe Captivate (see Day 1 for download directions) to take a screenshot easily, or to take a screenshot on a Mac, use the keystroke CMD+Shift+4; in Windows, you can use the Snipping Tool in Accessories, or follow one of these methods. Or you can load the page on your smartphone and capture the screen (e.g., on an iPhone, press the power and home buttons simultaneously).
  • Review the Sample Job Ad in Writing (104-105), then in a comment on your Job Ads post, answer the two questions on page 105. Use the sample response (also on page 105) as your guide to how thorough you should be.

Looking Ahead

On Day 4, you'll study the components and design of resumes, complete Learning Module 2 (Job Skills Checklist) and Reading Response 2 in which you read about professional networks and complete an assessment of your own network, as it exists right now.

Day 4: Friday, June 24

Day 4: Friday, June 24

All activities and readings should be completed by midnight EDT today. It's best to complete the readings and activities in the order listed because some activities depend on knowledge acquired in earlier steps.

Goals for Today

  • Read about the different ways of describing your job skills at the Purdue OWL for Learning Module 2.
  • Post Reading Response 2, on building a professional ethos and network and your digital identity

Reading

"My dream is to have a plumber read this book and figure out how he can show his work and get a following and an audience for what he does to help his business along. I want to see a plumber with an Instagram account, teaching me how to fix the aerator on my sink, and then I go to him when I have a really big problem."—Austin Kleon


Watch this short interview with Austin Kleon.

Reading Response Prompt 2: (Tag: reading response 2, digital identity, networks) After completing the readings for today, post one reading response to your blog that responds to these prompts:

  1. After reading the five short articles, watching the Austin Kleon interviews, and thinking about your own ethos and networks, how would you summarize your digital identity and ethos? You should cite examples from online sources (the usual, like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, or more remote sites). You should also Google your name(s) to see what shows up in a Web search (called "egosurfing"), a news search, and an image search. You do not (and should not) reveal anything that might be uncomfortable in your response (everyone has those awkward aspects of their digital identity, more than likely). You goal is to summarize what you learn.
  2. Now that you've thought more about your digital identity, what steps can or will you take to change or improve it, given your goals for college and your career? How might you share your work with your (professional) networks (as Austin Kleon suggests)?

Activities to Complete Today

  • Learning Module 2: Review the Job Skills Checklist at Purdue's Online Writing Lab (OWL): http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/626/01/. In a blog post, list at least ten (10) skills from the inventory and then for each skill an example from your experience that demonstrates the skill. Tags: learning module 2, job skills.
  • If you haven't already done so, be sure to post 4 comments to the reading responses or learning modules of your peers by midnight today.
  • To get some inspiration for alternative resume formats, check out this one, made with Adobe Premiere and AfterEffects. Pretty clever!

Looking Ahead

On Day 5, you'll assess the content and design of your print resume in preparation for posting a polished draft of your resume by the end of the day. You'll read about resume and document design (including arrangement, layout, and typography) to help you. You'll also learn about how to elicit good responses to drafts of your work and how to be a good peer reviewer.

Day 5: Monday, June 27

Day 5: Monday, June 27

All activities and readings should be completed by midnight EDT today. It's best to complete the readings and activities in the order listed because some activities depend on knowledge acquired in earlier steps.

Goals for Today

  • Read about the content and design of resumes and other printed texts, then apply these principles to your resume.
  • Learning Module 3 will help you evaluate your resume's design and content.
  • Post a draft of your printed resume to your blog in PDF format.
  • Learn how to elicit good responses from peer reviewers.

Reading

  • Review: Writing: A Manual for the Digital Age 2e, "Writing and Designing a Resume" (107-110). Pay special attention to the sample resume by Jennifer Norman, and use the Technology Toolbox (110) to help use columns and tables to design your resume.
  • Resume Design: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/631/1/ (Purdue's OWL). There are some excellent suggestions here for using the quadrant and column tests and the twenty second review.

Quick Resume Design Tips

  1. Generally speaking, a resume should balance content in each of the four quadrants on a page;
  2. Columns should align throughout the resume, and you normally want at most three to four columns in play;
  3. Also try the squint test, which involves squinting at your resume on screen or paper to see what might (or might not) stand out);
  4. It's best not to rely on templates (in Word, for example); one problem with them is that a lot of other people use them, too, so if you want to stand out in a good way, show that you understand design principles and good communication, or that you really are an expert with MS office, you shouldn't rely on a (often poorly designed) template that keeps you with the herd. Employers will recognize when a resume uses a Word template since they read so many resumes; and
  5. Remove those blue hyperlinks (on email addresses or URLs) if Word inserted them automatically. Hyperlinks on a printed document are useless and simply convey that you don't know how to fix Word's auto-correct function. To learn how to remove them (and turn this feature off permanently), see the Technology Toolbox (p. 245) in Writing 2e.

Activities to Complete Today

  • Learning Module 3: Evaluate your resume's content and design by completing the Project Checklists in Writing 2e (108-109), "Evaluating Your Resume's Content" and "Evaluating Your Resume's Design." Systematically go through the checklists and revise your resume to make sure you've met all of the goals the checklists describe. For the "Content" checklist, you should just make the revisions directly on your resume, as needed. In the "Design" checklist, there are 7 questions about the resume's design that you can ask. To verify that you've completed this module, post a message to your blog (tags: learning module 3, resume design and content) in which you 1) describe how you revised your resume's content as you completed the content checklist; and 2) answer the 7 questions in the design section (write your answers in complete sentences and elaborate as much as possible on what you've learned)
  • Submit the draft of your printed resume as a PDF file attachment to a blog post with the subject title "Resume Draft for Review" and tagged: resume draft. Your post should include submission notes that follow these principles of eliciting good response. (Your notes are addressed to readers and reviewers.) To convert your resume draft to a PDF file (which preserves the layout/design and is critical for a resume), you can do the following:
    • MacOffice: On a Mac: Go to Print, and select the PDF > Save as PDF option (lower left of the print dialogue box).
    • MS Word: In Windows (Office 2010, later): Go to File > Save as and choose PDF.
    • InDesign: File > Adobe PDF Presets > Smallest File Size

Looking Ahead

On Day 6, you'll review the resumes of two peers and complete a peer review sheet, receive two reviews of your resume, and learn about the Documentation Project. Instructor feedback on your resumes will come on the weekend or sooner.

Day 6: Tuesday, June 28

Day 6: Tuesday, June 28

All activities and readings should be completed by midnight EDT today. It's best to complete the readings and activities in the order listed because some activities depend on knowledge acquired in earlier steps.

Goals for Today

  • Read about peer review in Writing 2e.
  • Review the resume drafts of two peers using a Peer Review sheet (counts as Peer Reviews 1 and 2)
  • Read the description of the Documentation Project and begin to formulate a topic.
  • Post your topic proposal for the Documentation Project.

Reading

  • Before you complete the peer review of resumes, read about "Peer Review" in Writing 2e (41-43).

Viewing

  • To inspire you to think of creative ways for documenting a process, watch this short YouTube video about "Introducing the Book" to imagine what it would be like to create user documentation on how to read a printed book to someone who had only read digital books.

Activities to Complete Today

  • Review the resume drafts of two peers using the Peer Review of Resumes questionnaire that is attached below ("peer_resume.doc"; right click and choose "Save link as" to get the Word document; there's also a copy in our shared Box > Review Forms folder). You will need to first stake your claim on two resumes as the reviewer by posting a comment to a peer's submission. Your comment should say "I am reviewing this resume" and anything else you'd like to say. Each resume should only have two reviewers, so you may need to look around a bit. You can find all draft submissions by a) searching for "Resume Draft"; or b) clicking on the tag "resume draft" that will appear at the bottom of each submission. (Dr. B. will promote one draft to the front page so that it will be easy to locate a tagged post.) Complete your peer review by the end of the day and then email it as an attachment (filename: yourlastname-username_of_author_review.docx) to the author (you can find the author's email address at his/her profile) and copy Dr. B with your email (dblakes@clemson.edu) so that you can earn credit for the two peer reviews (counts as Peer Reviews 1 and 2).
  • Read about the Documentation Project and complete Step 1 (Topic Proposal) by midnight. In a blog post (tag: documentation topic) identify your topic and a working title and then explain in about 100 words why you've chosen the topic and why you're clever enough to document it. If you're collaborating on this project, the post should name the collaborators by username and be co-authored.

Looking Ahead

On Day 7, you'll read peer reviews of your resume, revise it, and then submit the new version to our shared Box folder. You'll collect and create assets for the documentation project and read about how to integrate images into a text in Writing 2e. You'll also develop your network profile and About Me story for deliverable 2 of the Resume Project.

Attachments: 

Day 7: Wednesday, June 29

Day 7: Wednesday, June 29

All activities and readings should be completed by midnight EDT today. It's best to complete the readings and activities in the order listed because some activities depend on knowledge acquired in earlier steps.

Goals for Today

  • Read the two resume peer review sheets that you should have received and consider the revision suggestions.
  • Read about integrating images into texts in Writing 2e and then find a good example to write about.
  • Upload a polished draft of your print resume (in PDF format) to the "Resume Project Across Media Deliverables" subfolder of our shared Box folder.
  • Read and respond to the topic proposals of your peers, which will help you refine your own topic idea and help them polish theirs.
  • Start the process of researching your Documentation Project topic and collecting assets to use.

Reading

  • Writing: A Manual for the Digital Age 2e, Chapter 17, "Using Visuals to Inform and Persuade" (315-321. Both the Documentation Project and Case Study (Project 3) ask you to integrate visual content into your documents, so this chapter gives you good advice for how and when to do that to achieve certain effects (to inform, persuade, clarify, etc.). In both projects, you're likely to use screenshots, photographs, or illustrations, so the Technology Toolbox "Tips for Integrating Images and Tables into Text" (316) will also be helpful.

Reading Response Prompt 3: (Tag: reading response, visual content) After completing the readings for today, post one reading response to your blog in which you

  1. provide the URL of an example of user documentation (something that explains a process, procedure, or complex information) that you think integrates visual content effectively with text to inform the reader;
  2. identify the author and title of the source;
  3. explain and analyze why you think it is a good example of user documentation and the effective use of visuals to inform and (even) add visual interest.

Here are a couple of places where you can find some interesting examples of information graphics (not exactly documentation, but visually rich and informative):

Search on Pinterest for examples of information design and posters:
http://pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=information+design
http://pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=poster+design

ProfHacker
http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/

Activities to Complete Today

  • Upload a polished draft of your print resume (in PDF format) to the "Printed Resumes" subfolder of our shared Box folder. Name your file as follows: "Lastname_PrintResume.pdf"
  • Read and respond to the topic proposals of your peers. Everyone appreciates a little feedback, so try to be helpful and constructive!
  • Begin Step 2 of the Documentation Project (Research), with a goal of posting a 200-word summary of your research on Thursday, July 2. See Step 2 of the project for details.
  • Create a Box folder (of your own, not in the class's shared folder) called "Documentation Project Assets" so that you can store screenshots or other images to use as you create your user documentation. (See Step 3 of the Documentation Project for Details.)
  • Continue to work on the "Professional Network Profile Including an 'About Me' Story" (at LinkedIn, Behance, Slated, Pinterest, Twitter, or other network), with a goal of posting a draft on June 30 (tomorrow) by midnight. For a good LinkedIn version of a resume, see how Lea Anna Cardwell (https://www.linkedin.com/in/leaannacardwell) and Kate (Bouwens) Cochran do it (Both are former great students of mine; Kate started her LinkedIn profile after a project like this one): https://www.linkedin.com/in/katecochran. Lea Anna's is especially thorough and what you should aim for as much as possible.

Looking Ahead

On Day 8, you'll continue to work on your Documentation Project, read about the Case Study Project, and post a draft of your "Professional Network Profile Including an 'About Me' Story."

Day 8: Thursday, June 30

Day 8: Thursday, June 30

All activities and readings should be completed by midnight EDT today. It's best to complete the readings and activities in the order listed because some activities depend on knowledge acquired in earlier steps.

Goals for Today

  • Read about Case Studies (handout) and "Intellectual Property and Copyright Issues" (Writing 2e)
  • Read the project description for the Technical Case Study, contact your team member(s) (assigned by email from Dr. B), and begin developing a topic proposal, which is due on Friday, July 1.
  • Post a link to and submission notes about your "Professional Network Profile Including an 'About Me' Story." Include submission notes that will elicit good responses from peer reviewers. (Tag: network profile, resume)
  • Post what you've learned about the subject of your Documentation Project (Step 2).

Reading

  • Reading: Read about the format and guidelines of case studies as described in the handout, "Writing Effective Case Analyses," which you'll find in our shared Box folder 314 Technical Writing > Readings.
  • Reading: "Intellectual Property and Copyright Issues" (pp. 362-364 in Writing 2e) and watch this (great) video by Eric Faden, "A Fair(y) Use Tale" (nice example of a remix that tells a story).

Reading Response Prompt 4: (Tag: reading response 4, intellectual property) After completing the reading and watching the video ("A Fairy Use Tale" by Eric Faden), post one reading response to your blog in which you discuss at least two of the following questions, each of which has bearing on content creation and use in technical writing:

  1. Why do you think it's important that authors and content creators protect their intellectual property?
  2. When might these protections over-reach and prevent the fair use of intellectual property (as discussed in the video)?
  3. What steps can you take to protect your own intellectual property or copyrights?
  4. What steps can you take to make sure that you cite the work of others ethically?
  5. What is Creative Commons licensing, and how can you use it for your own work or when you cite or use the work of others?

Activities to Complete Today

  • Read the project description for the Technical Case Study, contact your team member(s) (assigned by email from Dr. B), and begin developing a topic proposal, which is due on Friday, July 1.
  • Post a link to and submission notes about your "Professional Network Profile Including an 'About Me' Story." Include submission notes that will elicit good responses from peer reviewers. (Tag: network profile, resume)
  • In a blog post (tag: documentation research), summarize in 200 words what you researched about your documentation project topic and what you've learned that you didn't know before. (Step 2 of the Documentation Project; if collobarating, each team member must complete this step individually.)
  • Learning Module 4: Creating hyperlinks: After reading about linking in Writing 2e (pp. 393, 394), insert at least two good hyperlinks in your reading response for today (Reading Response 4). The links can go to sources or sites relevant to your response and should be integrated into your text seamlessly (not as an actual URL), much like this link to a good overview of Creative Commons licensing. To indicate that you've successfully completed the module, post a comment to your reading response saying that you've added and tested the links.

Looking Ahead

On Day 9 (Friday, July 1), you'll write peer reviews of each others' network profile and post your topic proposal for the Technical Case Study with your teammate(s). Before Tuesday, July 5, you should have also completed on your own Step 3 of the Documentation Project (Collect Assets).

Day 9: Friday, July 1

Day 9: Friday, July 1

All activities and readings should be completed by midnight EDT today. It's best to complete the readings and activities in the order listed because some activities depend on knowledge acquired in earlier steps.

Goals for Today

  • Complete peer review of the "Professional Network Profile Including an 'About Me' Story."
  • Post the full rough draft of your documentation project for user-testing.
  • Post your team's topic proposal for the Technical Case Study

Activities to Complete Today

  • Read and respond in a blog post to the professional network and "About Me" story of one (1) of your peers (you can "stake your claim" first with a quick comment, then complete your review). Your peer review should be posted as a comment to the person's posted URL/submission notes.. In your review, respond directly to the author's requests for a response to particular aspects of the network profile, and also address these questions:
    1. How and why does the network profile stand out from others?
    2. Do all links function as expected?
    3. Does the network profile convey a professional ethos? Are there any sections or lines that might be pruned to help ensure this ethos?
    4. Does the About Me story have the right tone for a professional profile? What can the author do to improve the professionalism?
    5. Does the network profile include enough examples from the author's portfolio of work? What should the author add?
    6. What's one thing the author can do to improve the overall quality of About Me story.
  • Be prepared to post the full rough draft of your documentation project for user-testing to your blog by Tuesday, July 5 (tag: documentation draft)
  • Topic Proposal for Technical Case Study (Step 1): In a blog post (tag: case study topic) identify your topic and a working title, then describe in about 100 words why it's an interesting case. Also list the members of the team by first name or user name. Due: Today, Friday, July 1 (by midnight). All team members should read the post and comment to add details as needed.
  • If you haven't already done so, be sure to post 4 comments to the reading responses or learning modules of your peers by midnight today.

Looking Ahead

On Day 10, you'll celebrate the Fourth of July (no work due). On Day 11, you'll start peer review (user-testing) of Documentation Project drafts, complete research and collect assets for the Technical Case Study, continue to develop your alternative/creative media resume, and read about revision strategies and writing for readability in Writing 2e.

Day 10: Monday, July 4 (Holiday)

Day 10: Monday, July 4

July 4th holiday.

On Day 11, you'll complete peer review (user-testing) of Documentation Project drafts, complete research and collect assets for the Technical Case Study, continue to develop your alternative/creative media resume, and read about revision strategies and writing for readability in Writing 2e.

Day 11: Tuesday, July 5

Day 11: Tuesday, July 5

All activities and readings should be completed by midnight EDT today. It's best to complete the readings and activities in the order listed because some activities depend on knowledge acquired in earlier steps.

Goals for Today

  • Post the full rough draft of your documentation project for user-testing to your blog by midnight tomorrow (was today before extension)(tag: documentation draft)
  • Complete peer review (user-testing) of Documentation Project drafts on Tuesday and Wednesday.
  • Complete research and collect assets for the Technical Case Study
  • Read about revision strategies and writing for readability in Writing 2e, then complete the associated Reading Response 5. Post no later than tomorrow (extension).
  • Complete Learning Module 5 on analyzing and improving your writing for readability using the Paramedic Method. Post no later than tomorrow (extension).

Reading

  • Read Chapter 3, "Revising, Editing, and Proofreading" in Writing 2e (36-45)

Reading Response 5: With reference to your Documentation Project and to help you with its revision, submit a blog post in which you answer the questions on the Project List, "Revising for Context" (p. 37). (tag: reading response 5, revising for context) Post no later than tomorrow (extension).

Activities to Complete Today

  • Post the full rough draft of your documentation project for user-testing to your blog by tomorrow, July 6 (extension) (tag: documentation draft)
  • Complete user-testing and peer review of two (2) documentation projects following the guidelines for Peer Review and User-Testing of Documentation Project. You should "claim" your two reviews with a comment on the person's submission before you begin. Each documentation project should have only two reviews/user tests. Your feedback will be posted to the person's submission as a detailed comment following the directions provided. Try to post your responses by the end of the day (some allowances will be made since not all drafts will have been submitted; don't worry . . . you'll still get credit if your response is submitted within 24 hours after getting your draft to review).
  • Technical Case Study Step 2: In a blog post (tag: case study research), one member of the team should summarize in 150 words what you and your collaborators researched and what you've learned that you didn't know before. Due: Tuesday, July 6 (by midnight) (extension). All team members should read the post and comment to add details as needed.
  • Technical Case Study Step 3: By today, you should have collected all the assets for this project. Create your own Box folder to store and share your assets among team members and Dr. B. if you want feedback. (Be sure to give it a name that clearly identifies what it is and who owns the folder, e.g., YourLastNames Case Study Assets.)
  • Learning Module 5: Apply the steps of the Paramedic Method (in Writing 2e, p. 41) to the revision of your "About Me" story (Resume Project) and Documentation Project. You should examine all of the sentences in those documents, trying to ensure that you use an agent-action style. To verify that you've completed the module, create a blog post (tag: learning module 5, paramedic method) in which you explain how this process improved your draft and provide two examples of revised sentences from each project, the before and after versions of each. Due date extended to Wed., July 6

Looking Ahead

On Day 12, you'll work on the revision of your Documentation Project, with a goal of submitting a final draft by Friday, July 8. You'll post a full draft of your Technical Case Study for peer review. You'll also post a draft of your Alternative/Creative Media Resume to your blog (as a link or attachments) for peer review, and complete Learning Module 6 on the Principles of Readability.

Day 12: Wednesday, July 6

Day 12: Wednesday, July 6

All activities and readings should be completed by midnight EDT today, unless an extension is indicated. It's best to complete the readings and activities in the order listed because some activities depend on knowledge acquired in earlier steps.

Goals for Today

  • Revise your Documentation Project using feedback from peer review.
  • Post a first draft of your Technical Case Study for peer review
  • Post a first draft of your Alternative/Creative Media Resume to your blog (as a link or attachments) for peer review
  • Complete Learning Module 6 on the principles of readability (Writing 2e)

Reading

  • Reading, Chapter 24, "Sentences in Context," Writing 2e (405-407), which focuses on "The Five Principles of Readability."

Activities to Complete Today

  • Using the results of user-testing and what you learn about revising for context, revise and polish your documenation project (due Saturday, July 9; extended).
  • Learning Module 6: Apply the five principles of readability to at least two paragraphs in your Technical Case Study (such as the the "Statement of the Problem," "Overview of the Context," "Proposed or Actual Solution," or "What We Learned" paragraphs). You should coordinate with your team member so that each of you revises different paragraphs. Then ask yourself these questions: Does each sentence meet the five principles of readability? For any sentence that does not, consider whether revising it to meet the principles would improve the writing. Make any revisions you think would improve the sentences, then post the "before" and "after" versions to a blog post (tag: learning module 6, readability). Answer these questions in some followup commentary: What effect do your revisions have on your previous draft? Have you been able to make your revision easier to read? What did you do to make it easier to read for your audience? Be sure to use the better paragraphs in the actual Technical Case Study! Extended: Due no later than Thurs., July 7.
  • Post a full draft of your Technical Case Study (Step 4) for peer review to a team member's blog as a PDF file (or URL, if relevant). Extended: Due no later than Thurs., July 7. Provide some notes that elicit good responses from peer reviewers. All team members should read the post and comment to add details as needed. Be sure to review the details under Step 4 in the project description to make sure your draft has all the required sections. (tag: case study draft)
  • Post a draft of your Alternative/Creative Media Resume to your blog (as a link or attachments) for peer review (tag: media resume draft). See "Deliverable 3" in the Resume Across Media project description for details on what you should be submitting for review. Extended: Due no later than Thurs., July 7.

Looking Ahead

On Day 13, you'll watch and respond to a a video that is a mock case study of Microsoft and Apple design (Reading Response 6) and complete peer reviews of Case Study and Alternative/Creative Media resume drafts. You'll also submit the final drafts of your Documentation Project.

Day 13: Thursday, July 7

Day 13: Thursday, July 7

All activities and readings should be completed by midnight EDT today unless an extension is indicated. It's best to complete the readings and activities in the order listed because some activities depend on knowledge acquired in earlier steps.

Goals for Today

  • Watch a video and write Reading Response 6.
  • Complete a review of a Case Study
  • Complete a review of an Alternative/Creative Media Resume draft
  • Submit all deliverables for the Documentation Project by Saturday, July 9 at midnight (extended).

Reading ('Viewing" today, actually)

  • Watch this three-minute video, "Microsft Re-Designs the Ipod Packaging" at YouTube. It's an example of a satiric case study (sort of like a mockumentary at a frenetic pace).

Reading Response 6: This video was created by Microsoft employees! What's your impression of the critique presented in the video? What deisgn principles do you think this "case study" wants to emphasize (value) and what's the basis for the self-critique of MS? Why do you think things like feature creep and information overload can compromise technical writing's goal of communicating clearly and effectively? (Tag: reading response 6, packaging the ipod). Due by Friday, midnight (extended)

Activities to Complete Today

  • Using the results of user-testing and what you learn about revising for context, revise and polish your Documenation Project and submit it. Your final document(s) should be submitted to the "Documentation Deliverables" subfolder in the "314 Technical Writing" folder in Box. Your project submission should consist of a single PDF document or (if you use another media for your presentation, such as HTML) a folder with supporting files, images, etc. (Due Saturday, July 9 by midnight). The file or folder should be named as follows: Lastname_DocumentationProject
  • Each Case Study team should complete a peer review of another team's full draft (so the authoring team should receive two reviews from a two-member team). Review pairings will be assigned by email. Each review should respond to these Peer Review of Case Studies questions in the form of a comment on the draft submission post, which is already tagged "case study draft." (You can copy and paste the questions into your comment, then address them.) The review itself shouldn't be collaborative (each reviewer writes his or her own, in other words).
  • Complete a peer review of one (1) draft of a Alternative/Creative Media Resume draft (already tagged as "media resume draft"). Stake your claim to a review by commenting on the Author's submission post. Each review should respond to these Peer Review of Alternative/Creative Media Resume questions in the form of a comment on the draft submission post. (You can copy and paste the questions into your comment, then address them.)

Looking Ahead

On Day 14 (Friday, July 8), you'll finish the course, submit all work that is due (final drafts of the resume and case study projects via Box, collaborative project evaluation forms), and head off for greener pastures.

Day 14: Friday, July 8

Day 14: Friday, July 8

All activities and readings should be completed by midnight EDT tomorrow (extended). It's best to complete the readings and activities in the order listed because some activities depend on knowledge acquired in earlier steps.

Goals for Today

  • Submit the final draft of the Technical Case Study (via Box) by Saturday, July 9 by midnight.
  • Submit the final drafts of the Resume Across Media Project (via Box) by Saturday, July 9 by midnight.
  • Complete and submit the Collaborative Project Evaluation Form for the Case Study Project by Saturday, July 9 by midnight.

Activities to Complete Today

  • If you haven't already done so, be sure to post 4 comments to the reading responses or learning modules of your peers by midnight today.
  • Submit the final draft of the Technical Case Study. Your final document(s) should be submitted to the "Technical Case Study Deliverables" subfolder in the "314 Technical Writing" folder in Box. Your project submission should consist of a single PDF document or (if you use another media for your presentation, such as HTML) a folder with supporting files, images, etc. The file or folder should be named as follows: Lastname1-Lastname2_CaseStudy (put the last name of each team member in the file name for easy identification). The person submitting the file in Box should then send an email to Dr. B and team members verifying that the final version has been submitted, no later than midnight Friday, July 8 (the last day of class). Always include all members of your team in email correspondence about collaborative projects.
  • Submit the final drafts of your Resume Project Across Media (all our deliverables, including your submission notes as a separate document) via our shared Box subfolder, "Resume Project Across Media.". You should not submit documents for review in Word or RTF format since the documents will display unpredictably on different computers or displays. Your Submission Notes (Step 4) should summarize your work on this project, describe how your resume changes across media, report any technical challenges you faced, and explain in what ways it's well suited to the rhetorical situation of your present or future search for a job, internship, or graduate school. There can be multiple attachments (in PDF format, for example) and you can embed links to outside sites in your submission notes. Submit this project no later than Saturday, July 9 by midnight.
  • Collaborative Project Evaluation Forms: Each team member should complete this form for the Case Study project and submit it by email to Dr. B. (dblakes@clemson.edu) no later than Saturday, July 9 by midnight. You should not share this evaluation with team members. If you worked collaboratively on the Documentation Project, you should submit a separate form describing your work on that project.

Handouts Contents

Course handouts, guides, tips, and miscellany will be collected here.

Getting Started 1: Registering on the Site

To get started with your course, you'll need to complete a few steps, which include

  • Registering for the course website (here).
  • Logging in for the first time.
  • Editing your account for the first time.

Registering for the course website

  1. Go to the course website.
  2. Click on "create new account" under "User Login" in the User Menu block on the right.

  3. Create a username that will identify you in the system and that you will use for logging in. Because this site is public on the Internet, your username should not include your last name. You are welcome to use any username or screenname that would not be offensive to others or otherwise inappropriate for a course website. Capitalize your username as you intend to use it; usernames are case sensitive.

  4. Enter your email address. You may use your Clemson email address. If you have an alternate one, use the one that you check most regularly.
  5. Provide your real name. Note that your real name will only be visible to students registered at the site.
  6. Provide your contact information so that your peers and instructor can contact you. This information will only be visible to students and the instructor.
  7. Provide the URL of your homepage, portfolio, or blog.
  8. Tell us about your interests. You will also see a box asking about your prior experience with online courses.
  9. Check whether or not you grant permission for your instructor to send you grades via your registered email address.
  10. Click on "Create new account" at the bottom of the page. If moderated registration is turned on, registration information will be sent to the email address you listed, so check your email soon after you register. You will need the password that it sends you. Your instructor will approve your registration (if new account requests are moderated), and then you will be able to log in to use site features. If moderation is off, you will be able to use the site immediately.

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Getting Started 2: Logging in for the First Time

To get started with your course, you'll also need to complete this second step:

Logging in for the first time

  1. If new accounts are moderated at your class site or confirmation is required, you should have received an email from the system with directions for completing the process. With that email handy, return to the course website.
  2. Enter your username and password in the "User login" box. Your initial password can be retyped or cut-and-pasted into the password box. If you cut-and-paste it, make sure you don't include any extra spaces before or after the password characters. The password and user name are case sensitive.

  3. Click on Log in. When you've successfully logged in, you will see your name in the upper-right corner of the page and then "My Account" and "log out" in the User Menu on the right side of the page (at the bottom on a smartphone). After logging in, you will also see additional links and options that aren't available to anonymous users. If you are unable to log in successfully, try re-entering your password. Remember that usernames and passwords are case sensitve, so make sure you don't have Caps Lock turned on by accident and that (if pasting in your password) that you don't include extra spaces. You may also click on "Request new password" if you ever forget yours.

    user menu

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Getting Started 3: Editing Your Account for the First Time

To get started with your course, you'll also need to complete this third step, which will take a bit more time than the previous two.

Editing your account for the first time

Once you've logged in successfully, you need to edit your account and provide some additional information about yourself.

  1. Click on my account link on the upper-middle of the page, next to the log out link.
  2. On the next screen, click on the edit tab.

  3. On the account settings screen, you can change your username, email address, password, and more.
  4. Scroll to the Picture area.
  5. Upload a picture of yourself or avatar (an image that represents you well) that you would use in a public context. You may have to find one and edit in an image editor. If you need help editing an image, send a copy to your instructor for help.
  6. Scroll down the page to enter or change information in the Real Name or Contact Information boxes.
  7. Scroll to the Contact settings region.
  8. Check the Personal contact form box if it is unchecked. This will allow the instructor and other students only to contact you via the course site.
  9. In the Comment Follow-Up Notifications Settings box, check whether you'd like to receive email notifications when people comment on your posts.

  10. When you have made all of your changes, click on the Submit button at the bottom of the page.

That's it! You have completed all the steps of the Getting Started process. If you ever need to change any of the information, you can always edit these pages again.

If you have any trouble along the way, please be sure to let your instructor know.

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Learning to Navigate the Site

On or after the first day of class, you'll want to explore some of the features of the site. This document gives an overview of a few features you might want to take a look at that will help you to navigate the site.

Navigation

Once you've logged in to the site, you'll also find one or more "blocks" that contain additional site navigation or other content boxes. These boxes may be located on the left or the right side of the page, depending on the site's design.

The navigation block is your gateway to many areas of the site useful for creating and viewing content and managing your work. For example,

  • Add content
    From here you can post to your individual blog ("blog post") or the front page (called an "article").
  • Blogs
    Lists all the blogs on the site and includes a direct link to your blog in its submenu.
  • Compose tips takes you to a page that walks you through various methods of posting content to the site.
  • Recent content
    This display allows you to access all of the recent content posted by everyone. In the content listing, the red asterisks denote pages you have yet to read and notices of new unread comments.
  • Feed aggregator collects (via RSS feeds) content that has been published elsewhere and may relate to course content. There may be a few blocks on the front page that include feed summaries.
  • Contact allows you to contact the instructor via the course site. (You can also click on a person's name when you see it above a post to contact him or her this way.)

Book Navigation

All course materials on the site are integrated into the course guide, which you can reach via the main menu bar near the top of the page.

The course guide is a hypertext with many levels of pages.

  • You can use the book navigation links that show previous and next pages below the main text or use the breadcrumb navigation at the top.
  • Use the printer-friendly version link beneath any page to get single-page version of that page and all of its subpages collated into one. For example, if you go to the top page of the guide and click on printer-friendly version, you will see the entire course guide, including the calendar, handouts, project descriptions and more all on one screen (a very long one).

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Principles of Reading Responses

Throughout the semester, you will be responsible for writing reading responses. Each reading response should be specifically focused on the reading and the prompt provided on the calendar, clearly indicate that you have read and thought seriously about the reading, and be sufficiently developed. Reading responses should be 250 words or more. Post your reading response as a blog entry and tag it with "reading response" (lowercase) and the tag provided in the prompt itself on the calendar.

In composing your reading response you should:

  • Be sure to focus your response on the subject of the prompt.
  • Link your response to recent class discussions online, your current project work, something you might have read elsewhere, and/or previous professional, academic, or personal experience writing and communicating in other contexts.
  • Discuss how the reading contributes to your understanding of the current project, expands your understanding of recent discussions, or suggests ideas for your work in the class.
  • Be sure to properly cite the original reading and any other sources you might mention. Good citation practice is critical in all writing and especially so on the Web.
  • You can apply the rhetorical considerations discussed in Principles for Posting to Your Weblog to your reading responses.

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Principles for Posting to Your Blog

You'll do a lot of the writing for this class in your individual blog space on the course website. You can access your blog via your my account page.

One way to think of a weblog or blog is as a journal. However, unlike a journal that you might keep at home (as well as most if not all of the writing you have done in school before), your blog space is public. Your fellow class members will be invited to read your blog. Classmates may respond to your posts with comments and replies. Group members will review notes you take when doing research. And, of course, since it's on the Internet, other Web readers may encounter your writing and take a look at what you have to say.

There are many uses for blogs, but we'll only use them for a few things here. During this class, you'll be asked to use your course blog to

  • respond to readings
  • share drafts of your work-in-progress for peer review
  • keep a project log

Good Blogging Practices

  • Titles for blog posts should reflect the context of what you have written, not merely restate the name of the title of the assignment or reading. Interesting and informative titles draw more interesting responses from others.
  • Blogs should demonstrate the principles of writing for the Web as they are covered in this course.
  • Bloggers link. Use hyperlinks when referring to another post on the public Internet and follow good attribution practices. Hyperlinks require converting text to a link, not merely cutting and pasting in an URL. The Drupal site is set up to automatically convert URLs into hyperlinks, and you can also use the "Insert/edit link" button above the Body box where you enter content. A hyperlink should be accompanied by some descriptive text that explains where the link goes and what it shows ("click here" is not a good form for a hyperlink)
  • Good bloggers always keep in mind that they are writing for a public audience.
  • Use images and screenshots to enliven your posts or provide examples.

To Learn More

  • To receive credit for your work, be sure to follow the course requirements for reading responses.
  • Review the discussion of weblogs in Writing: A Manual for the Digital Age (pp. 350-354).

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Eliciting Good Response

Imagine the following scenario:

You have a great idea for a project for your department at work. Because it will require significant resources and funding, the senior manager in your department has asked you to prepare a ten-page proposal.

After working on the proposal for a while, the senior manager sends you an email requesting to see your draft in progress. The proposal is far from complete, but you fire off a reply saying "Here is my working draft," and attach it. The next day, you receive another email from the senior manager full of feedback which you are obligated to take. However, the feedback asks you to revise your proposal in new directions, quite contrary to what you had planned, effectively taking over the direction of the proposal. You now have to discard many good ideas you had for development. Those sections where you knew you needed the most help--they were not addressed at all.

This happens all the time in getting response to our writing. We get proofreading corrections when we need ideas; we get heavy revision suggestions when the draft needs to be proofread to meet a deadline.

To elicit useful and focused responses from readers (during peer review, for example), we must solicit good response. In the above scenario, if the writer had explained to the senior manager where she needed help in the draft and what her plans were for further development, it's quite possible that the feedback would have been more focused and helpful. So when asking for feedback on a document, explain to the responder

  • your concerns about the current state of the draft (i.e., where, specifically, you need help)
  • where you are in the process of drafting (i.e., ready to polish to meet a deadline, planning to do more revision)
  • your target audience
  • any plans you might have for further development of the text

Once you've defined your needs, your reviewer is more likely to shape their feedback effectively for you. As a reviewer, it's much easier to address the writer's concerns than to try to guess what might or might not be useful to the writer.

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Job Search Resources

Once you've taken inventory of your skills, interests, and goals, begin to narrow your search for a suitable position. You can find job listings in your local newspaper (online or offline) and in your college's employment or career center. In addition, you may find these Internet resources helpful.

Resources at Clemson
Center for Career and Professional Development: http://career.clemson.edu/
Clemson Job Link: http://career.clemson.edu/clemsonjoblink/

Background Information on the Job Search
The Riley Guide: http://www.rileyguide.com
Lifehacker Interviews with Bright.com CEO: http://lifehacker.com/ask-an-expert-all-about-online-job-hunting-560885153

Salary Comparisons
Salary.com: http://www.salary.com

Apps
LinkedIn Job Search (new 6/19/2014; iTunes): https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/linkedin-job-search/id886051313

Networks
LinkedIn: http://linkedin.com

Job Boards and Listings
AboutJobs: http://www.aboutjobs.com/
Association of American University Presses: http://www.aaupnet.org/resources/jobs-list
Behance Joblist: https://www.behance.net/joblist
Career Magazine: http://www.careermag.com
CareerBuilder: http://www.careerbuilder.com
ComputerJobs: http://www.computerjobs.com
EngineerJobs: http://www.engineerjobs.com/
Internships: http://www.internjobs.com/
InternWeb.Com: http://www.internweb.com
Journalism Jobs: http://journalismjobs.com
LinkedIn Jobs: https://www.linkedin.com/job/home
Manpower: http://www.manpower.com
Monster.com: http://www.monster.com
Overseas Job Web: http://www.overseasjobs.com
Summer Jobs: http://www.summerjobs.com/
TechCareers: http://www.techcareers.com/

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Sources for Royalty-Free Photos, Illustrations, Content

There are quite a few excellent repositories for images and other visual content on the Web that are either in the public domain or Creative Commons licensed, allowing publishers and authors to use the work without paying permission fees. While free to use, all of these sources require attribution, meaning that the creator or rights owner must still be cited, even when the work is in the public domain. Typically, publishers include credit lines directly in the captions that accompany the work.

Open Source, Public Domain, and Creative Commons Licensed Sources

Some of these sources might only be usable on the Web (check the licensing terms)

Atlantic Monthly's Survey of Free Image Sources (2013)
http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/08/a-guide-to-the-webs-growing-set-of-free-image-collections/278655/

Behance (look at the bottom of a work to check its licensing terms)
https://www.behance.net/

British Library (on Flikr)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/britishlibrary/

Creative Commons
http://search.creativecommons.org/

Flikr Creative Commons
http://www.flickr.com/creativecommons/

From Old Books
http://www.fromoldbooks.org/

Getty Images (usable on the Web, with embedded link to source, via iframe; must be noncommercial use)
http://www.gettyimages.com/

New York Public Library (Public Domain Collections)
http://www.nypl.org/research/collections/digital-collections/public-domain

Pexels: https://www.pexels.com/

Stock Photos That Don't Suck
https://medium.com/@dustin/stock-photos-that-dont-suck-62ae4bcbe01b#.rykk81rud

UnSplash (great photography)
http://unsplash.com/

Wikipedia: Public domain image resources
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Public_domain_image_resources

Wikimedia Commons
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

Royalty-Free Stock Photography, Video, Illustrations, Vector Graphics, Themes

Envato Market (includes code, video, audio, graphics, 3D, animations)
http://market.envato.com/

GraphicStock (images, illustrations, vector graphics)
https://www.graphicstock.com/

iStockphoto.com (images, illustrations, vector graphics, video, animations)
http://iStockphoto.com

Music

Dan-o
http://www.danosongs.com/#music

Books

Project Gutenberg
http://www.gutenberg.org/

HTML 5 and Related Resources

Here are some resources for learning and using HTML 5

Smashing Magazine (HTML 5 Cheat Sheet)
http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/07/06/html-5-cheat-sheet-pdf/

W3C HTML 5
http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/spec.html

20 Things I Learned about Browsers and the Web:
http://www.20thingsilearned.com/home

HTML Living Standard (technical specification resource)
http://www.whatwg.org/specs/web-apps/current-work/multipage/

Marcin Wichary's Tools of Change Presentation (Tools and Resources)
http://www.aresluna.org/toc/

HTML 5 Rocks (from Google; examples, introductions, code)
http://www.html5rocks.com/en/

Repository of Examples and Experiments
http://www.chromeexperiments.com/

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Learning Module Summaries

Learning Module 1: Post a blog entry (Tags: learning module 1, skills inventory) in which you respond to the nine questions about Work and Educational Experience on pg. 101 of Writing (sect. 8a). Try to be as thorough as possible since the goal is not simply to answer the questions but to elaborate your answers as you explore and articulate your wide range of experiences. Think of this post as a brainstorming session, so be as thorough and detailed as possible. (June 25)

Learning Module 2: Review the Job Skills Checklist at Purdue's Online Writing Lab (OWL): http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/626/01/. In a blog post, list at least ten (10) skills from the inventory and then for each skill an example from your experience that demonstrates the skill. Tags: learning module 2, job skills. (June 26)

Learning Module 3: Evaluate your resume's content and design by completing the Project Checklists in Writing 2e (108-109), "Evaluating Your Resume's Content" and "Evaluating Your Resume's Design." Systematically go through the checklists and revise your resume to make sure you've met all of the goals the checklists describe. For the "Content" checklist, you should just make the revisions directly on your resume, as needed. In the "Design" checklist, there are 7 questions about the resume's design that you can ask. To verify that you've completed this module, post a message to your blog (tags: learning module 3, resume design and content) in which you 1) describe how you revised your resume's content as you completed the content checklist; and 2) answer the 7 questions in the design section (write your answers in complete sentences and elaborate as much as possible on what you've learned). (June 29)

Learning Module 4: Creating hyperlinks: After reading about linking in Writing 2e (pp. 393, 394), insert at least two good hyperlinks in your reading response for today (Reading Response 4). The links can go to sources or sites relevant to your response and should be integrated into your text seamlessly (not as an actual URL), much like this link to a good overview of Creative Commons licensing. To indicate that you've successfully completed the module, post a comment to your reading response saying that you've added and tested the links. (July 2)

Learning Module 5: Apply the steps of the Paramedic Method (in Writing 2e, p. 41) to the revision of your Documentation Project. You should examine all of the sentences in the document, trying to ensure that you use an agent-action style. To verify that you've completed the module, create a blog post (tag: learning module 5, paramedic method) in which you explain how this process improved your draft and provide two examples of revised sentences, the before and after versions of each. (July 7)

Learning Module 6: Apply the five principles of readability to at least two paragraphs in your Technical Case Study (such as the the "Statement of the Problem," "Overview of the Context," "Proposed or Actual Solution," or "What We Learned" paragraphs). You should coordinate with your team member so that each of you revises different paragraphs. Then ask yourself these questions: Does each sentence meet the five principles of readability? For any sentence that does not, consider whether revising it to meet the principles would improve the writing. Make any revisions you think would improve the sentences, then post the "before" and "after" versions to a blog post (tag: learning module 6, readability). Answer these questions in some followup commentary: What effect do your revisions have on your previous draft? Have you been able to make your revision easier to read? What did you do to make it easier to read for your audience? Be sure to use the better paragraphs in the actual Technical Case Study! (July 8)

 

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Ethical Guidelines for Conducting an Interview with a Client

  1. Spend some time doing some background research on the client and client context so that you're prepared to address the client as a well-informed, professional researcher.
  2. Request an interview in advance. Explain why you want the interview, how long it will take, and what you hope to accomplish. Be professional with this request and formal with all subsequent interaction so that the client knows you are conducting research and not just "chatting."
  3. Although a live interview may work best, you can also consider interviewing the client by Skype if it is more convenient for him or her.
  4. Come to the interveiw prepared with a list of written questions. It’s usually a good idea to give clients some questions in advance so that they can be prepared as well
  5. If you wish to record the interview (audio and/or video), you must ask permission first.
  6. Take notes during the interview, even if you use a recorder. Your notes will help refresh your memory when you don't have tune to review the entire recording; they can also help you identify the most important points of discussion. Because give-and-take is important, it's often a good idea to have two people on the interviewing team present; one to take notes, one to conduct the interview.
  7. Be flexible. Don't try to make the person you are interviewing answer all your prepared questions if he or she doesn't find some of them appropriate or interesting. If your interviewee shows more interest in a question than you had anticipated or wants to discuss a related issue, just accept this change in plans and return to your list of questions when appropriate.
  8. Try a variety of questioning techniques. People are sometimes unable or unwilling to answer direct questions. So try rephrasing questions. Be more general or specific, depending upon what you think your client will respond to well.
  9. If you transcribe the interview and use it for any other purpose, you must give the client the option to review a transcript and the option to revise where necessary. Under no circumstances should you publish (to the Web or elsewhere) an interview with the client without the client’s consent. (In journalist interviews, that permission is normally granted implicitly; good journalists, though, will often take the time to confirm quotations.)

Expanded and adapted from from Lisa Ede’s Work in Progress, 4th Edition. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998.

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Peer Review and User-Testing of Documentation Project

The goal of user-testing (sometimes called usability) is to test the functionality and usefulness of documentation or an actual product. It's a step on the way to improving product design and documentation--the overall usability--of something, then to use the results of the testing to improve the product and its documentation. In this instance, your goal is to test your documentation to see if average users can make sense of it, can follow the directions or guidelines to complete a task, and can do so efficiently. In many cases, user testing is conducted F2F, live, but since that's not an option in this case, here are some steps you can take. Authors/designers can use this information to improve the documentation before it is distributed to the world.

Setting Up User-Testing

1. Prepare the documents you want your subjects to use in easily accessible digital form (e.g., PDF, HTML).

2. In a cover message (in your blog post), very briefly explain to the users what the documentation will show them, then tell them what software (or product) they need to reference to complete the testing.

Conducting the User-Testing (15-20 minutes)

3. User-Testers should attempt to follow all the steps described in the documentation to complete the process. Take notes whenever the documentation seems to break down or is hard to follow. If you don't understand something, make a note of it and attempt to proceed.

Responding to the Documentation (15-20 minutes)

4. In a comment to the author's submission (blog post), describe your process of testing the documentation in some detail, complete these steps and answer the associated questions:

  • Consider what the documentation asks you to do: What is its overall purpose or goal?
  • Respond to each step with a note about whether the directions were clear and easy to complete, or not. If not, try to explain what information was needed, or what happened when you attempted to complete the step.
  • Review the use of visuals. Were the supporting visuals easy to read and clearly labeled? Which ones, if any, need revision in terms of quality and appearance?
  • Did all of the visuals help you complete the documentation successfully? Which one worked best?
  • Check to see if the visuals were annotated (tagged, labeled). Were annotations on the visuals clearly legible? Did they provide useful information?
  • Is the writing generally clear and error-free? If there are any major mistakes in punctuation, spelling, or mechanics, point to them.
  • Is there a good balance between visual and verbal content?
  • Sum up: what's the most important thing the author can do to improve the documentation?

Follow-Up

5. After the user-testing has been completed, the author should review the results and revise, making note of what seemed to be the most difficult steps, what might need more explanation, and which visuals ought to be improved or annotated.

Peer Review of Alternative/Creative Media Resume

Peer Review of Alternative/Creative Media Resume

Directions for Reviewers: Complete a peer review of one (1) draft of a Alternative/Creative Media Resume draft (already tagged as "media resume draft"). Review pairings will be assigned by email. Each review should respond to these questions in the form of a comment on the draft submission post. (You can copy and paste the questions into your comment, then address them.)

Author's Request for Response

Begin your feedback by responding to the author's request for feedback on particular aspects of the resume.

Content

Does this version of the resume convey a professional ethos? (Bear in mind that the ethos can express creativity, design skills, or other characteristics of the writer and still be "professional.") How would you describe that ethos?

Does the resume communicate all the important information clearly?

What information do you remember most vividly?

What information could be highlighted more?

Design and Presentation

Is the overall visual design (images, color, typography) pleasing to the eye?  Make at least one suggestion for improving it.

Does the design and layout (arrangement) prompt you to read or view the resume as the author seems to intend? Comment on the layout and make one suggestion for improving it.

Peer Review of Case Studies

Directions for Reviewers: Each Case Study team should complete a peer review of another team's full draft (so the authoring team should receive two reviews from a two-member team). Review pairings will be assigned by email. Each review should respond to these Peer Review of Case Studies questions in the form of a comment on the draft submission post, which is already tagged "case study draft. (You can copy and paste the questions into your comment, then address them.)

Author's Request for Response

Begin your feedback by responding to the author's request for feedback on particular aspects of the resume.

Written Content

Does the case study draft include all the required sections (Statement of the Problem/Scenario/Challenge, Summary of the Context, Proposed (or Actual) Solution, Recommended Solution/What We Learned, Sources, Authorship)?

What was the problem, scenario, or challenge? What don't you know about it that you'd like the authors to explain further in their revision?

Does the case study provide enough information about the solution for you to understand the process? What can the authors add to clarify these steps?

After reading the case study, what do you remember most vividly?

Visual Content

Are all of the images of good quality? Which ones could be better?

Are the images place in a good location (e.g., after or alongside the corresponding written explanation)? Which ones could be moved? Where?

Do all images include a figure number, description, and source information (e.g, Figure 1. Adding a shopping cart to the website. Screenshot by ______.

Name one thing the authors could do to improve the visual presentation of the case study (design, images, layout, typography, etc.)

Frequently Asked Questions

Students ask great questions by email, so in the interest of sharing, I will assemble questions and responses here over the course of the semester.

Reading Responses

What's the format, purpose, and audience for reading responses, and how do we handle citations?

Here are some answers to your questions. Some additional information can be found in Principles of Reading Responses and Principles for Posting to Your Weblog.

In terms of format, you're writing a response to the reading in which you try to address the prompt as directly as possible, drawing from what's discussed in the reading. You may not have to cite the text directly, but it's certainly not a bad idea to quote from it if there's something in particular you want to focus on. If you do quote directly, you would provide a page number (in parentheses) and just make sure it's clear in your response what you're citing. (See pp. 351-352 in Writing 2e for guidance on this.) MLA is the normal citation style. However, you're writing about something in the course textbook, so in this more informal type of writing, you wouldn't need to provide a "Works Cited" page or anything like that. (There are examples on pp. 351-352 also.)

You should aim for at least 200 words (that's about 2 paragraphs normally).

Purpose and audience: you're writing to share your thoughts about the prompt (in this case, what you understand about the rhetorical situation after reading that section from the text). Your audience: that would be your peers and me--other people who've read what you've read and have an interest in what you say.

Where's the most concise discussion of "The Rhetorical Situation" in Writing 2e?

The four elements of the rhetorical situation are threaded throughout the reading, but they're most directly presented in the rhetorical triangle on page 3. The checklist on page 9 focus on more specific elements of that, such as audience (the Reader), purpose (the Writer) and subject (the Text). All together, the idea is to understand that in any communication situation there are lots of ways to describe what's involved (who's saying what to whom and why, where, when, etc.)

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Email Announcement: Preview of English 3140 (13 June 2016)

Greetings!

I'll be your instructor for English 3140 (Technical Writing) during Minimester C (June 21 - July 11) at Clemson. As you know, the section in which you are enrolled is an online course, so all of your coursework and our communication will occur virtually. I wanted to send you this brief note before the course starts to let you know how to acquire the required text, where to get the (free) Adobe Creative Cloud software you’ll need for the course, and when you'll be able to learn more about the course.

Course Text
You should get the course text as soon as possible and definitely before the class begins on Tuesday, June 21 so that you don't miss any coursework. We have a very short, three-week semester, so if you fall behind out of the gate, you won't be able to catch up. The text is available at the Clemson University Bookstore and can also be purchased online (for those not in the area). I'd recommend the digital version (much cheaper), but some people might prefer having a printed copy.

Blakesley, David, and Jeffrey Hoogeveen. Writing: A Manual for the Digital Age, 2e. Boston: Cengage, 2012. [Be sure that you get the Brief, 2nd Edition only; the print and digital (PDF) versions are identical. I would not recommend getting the Kindle version because the layout isn’t great.]

Cengage (print and digital options)
http://goo.gl/S3Xot9

Barnes and Noble
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/writing-david-blakesley/1114989630?ean=9...

Amazon
http://www.amazon.com/Writing-Manual-Digital-Age-Brief/dp/0495833371/

The course calendar, available just before the course starts, will detail what you should read and when. If you want to get a head start (and learn more about writing in online courses generally), read Chapter 22, "Writing for Online Courses."

Course Website
I will send everyone a link to the primary course website two days before the class starts. We won't be using Blackboard for the class but instead a site that I've created using Drupal, a well-known content management system used in many contexts where technical writing plays an important role, from business and industry to entertainment and government.

Course Software
3. Adobe Creative Cloud Software: All Clemson students have free access to Adobe’s Creative Cloud software. If you don’t have the Creative Cloud desktop app, start here: https://www.adobe.com/creativecloud/desktop-app.html. Download and install this app. Then, login using your Clemson email address (e.g., dblakes@clemson.edu; called your “Enterprise ID”). DO NOT use your g.clemson address! After you enter your Clemson email address (“Enterprise ID”), you will need to login via Clemson (only this first time). Your Adobe ID password doesn’t have to be the same as your Clemson password. For complete directions, look here: http://www.clemson.edu/ccit/software_applications/adobe.html. You’ll use Adobe InDesign, Behance, Photoshop, Portfolio, Acrobat, and possibly other software during the course.

Course Format
The course will consist of both modular (self-paced) and interactive work, so while some assignments can be completed in advance of their due date, other "work in progress" (such as project drafts) will require that you respond to or interact with your peers and me as the work is completed.

In the meantime, please contact me privately by email if you have any questions or trouble getting the course text. Most of your questions will likely be answered on the course site when it's available.

I'm looking forward to e-meeting all of you very soon!

Dr. B.

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Email Announcement: English 3140--Welcome to Technical Writing Online (20 June 2016)

Greetings!

Welcome to ENGL 3140 (Technical Writing), "Minimester C" in Summer, 2016, running from June 21 through July 11 (three short weeks!). Here are a few pieces of information and some suggestions for making your experience a successful one. Please note that I will also be posting copies of announcement emails on the course site (tag: announcements)

The class starts tomorrow, Tuesday, June 21.

The course website is here: http://parlormultimedia.com/techcomm. It is ready to go, but please read and follow the directions below before you start exploring too far. The calendar and coursework are listed through the entire semester. There will be some additions to the calendar, but those will just be additional resources or corrections to help with your projects. To view the course description, which contains my contact info, coursework, and guidelines, just click on the "Description" link on the menubar.

Communication/Interaction
English 3140 will never meet face-to-face, nor will we meet synchronously (in real time) unless you schedule an online meeting with me or your peers. You must be comfortable working online because all communication for this class will occur electronically.

It will be your responsibility to check your email and the class website daily and respond to instructor or peer email promptly (usually within 24 hours; ideally, much more quickly).

Course Text
As I mentioned in an introductory email on June 13, you should have the course textbook in either printed or digital form at the start of class. Once again, the course text is Writing: A Manual for the Digital Age, 2e (Blakesley and Hoogeveen), Boston: Cengage, 2012. Be sure that you get the Brief, 2nd Edition only; the print and digital versions are identical. You can get the book at the Clemson University Bookstore. If you are not in the area or want a digital version, go to Cengage (for print and digital options: http://goo.gl/S3Xot9), Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/Writing-Manual-Digital-Age-Brief/dp/0495833371/) or Barnes and Noble (http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/writing-david-blakesley/1114989630?ean=9...).

You are responsible for access to a computer and the Internet and for ensuring that your access is not interrupted. (If a computer fails or you lose your Internet access, you'll need to find a library or lab or other venue.) Make sure that your Web browser is up-to-date and functions properly. You will also need to have regular access to your email, through Clemson's system or Gmail, so please make sure your accounts are functioning normally (and aren't over quota or blocked for some reason).

Getting Started
You can now sign up for a new account and complete registration on the course website. You don't need to complete this process until Tuesday at midnight, but if you want to start early, go to the Getting Started page here: http://parlormultimedia.com/techcomm/gettingstarted1. For the next few days, new accounts have to be moderated, so I will check those daily. You'll receive an email letting you know when your account has been approved (we have to do it this way so spammers don't sign up for the course!).

Calendar
After you've successfully registered, go to the main calendar page (http://parlormultimedia.com/techcomm/calendar) and read the instructions there. When you're ready to begin, go to Day 1: Tuesday, June 21 (http://parlormultimedia.com/techcomm/day1) on the calendar and follow the instructions there to learn more about the course, the course site, and each other. There are directions on the Day 1 calendar for downloading and installing the Adobe Creative Cloud tools, some of which you’ll need for the course (they are all free for Clemson students!).

Always begin your work by reviewing the course calendar, which provides directions, links, and more that explain what you need to be working on, what's due, and so on. Tip: If you go to the top page of the calendar, you can view the complete three-week sequence by clicking on the "Printer-Friendly Version" links.

Questions
If at any time you have questions about the course, please let me know by email, through the class website (use the Contact link or click on my name to get to a contact form), or by any of the other methods you see listed on the course description. This contact information is also copied below in my signature.

Nice to e-meet you!

David Blakesley (aka Dr. Blakesley or Dr. B. for "official" communication; otherwise, “Dave” is what I normally answer to)

---
Campbell Chair in Technical Communication
Adobe Education Leader
Publisher, Parlor Press
Professor of English
Department of English
Clemson University
616 Strode Tower
Clemson, SC 29634
765.409.2649 (c)

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Course Projects

Resume Project Across Media

The goal of the Resume Project Across Media will be to develop content for a professional resume for a specific job or internship and to present the document in multiple formats: print, HTML (on the Web or LinkedIn), and one additional form that you choose from among multiple alternatives (ePub for the iPad or smartphone, video, HTML 5, Adobe Muse website, mobi for the Kindle, Animoto, Wordpress portfolio, or an alternative type of print or digital media). In addition to keeping a project log during this project, you'll participate in peer review and submit a reflective document with the final project that addresses questions about how the three versions of the resume change across media as well as any other technical and design details useful for understanding and evaluating the project as a whole. (Individual; 20% of course grade.)

Documentation Project

In the Documentation Project, you will research a process or procedure associated with some aspect of composing, designing, sharing, or publishing information, which may include visual content (images, video, or animation) then write documentation that teaches users how to complete one important, interesting, or challenging process or procedure. The focus will be on some aspect of one of your new Adobe tools in the Creative Suite and should teach fellow students how to use the feature in a way that contextualizes it. (So, for example, "How to Use Adobe Acrobat to Add Comments to a Peer Draft.") Your finished project will be an effectively designed example of user documentation that teaches users efficiently. If you choose the collaborative option, you'll be asked to complete a Collaborative Project Evaluation Form in PDF format using Adobe Acrobat. (Individual or Collaborative; 20% of course grade.)

Technical Case Study

In the Technical Case Study project, you'll work with one or two peers to research a successful application of some form of technology (software, Web-based application, or social networking, for example) used by an organization to solve a real world problem or achieve its goals. The organization may be a nonprofit or for-profit company, an on-campus group, or a community with which you may be affiliated. Your finished case study will provide background information on the organization, a description of the problem or goal, a detailed overview (supported by visual content) of the steps taken to solve the problem or achieve the goal, and then a discussion of how well the solution has worked. You'll be asked to complete a Collaborative Project Evaluation Form in PDF format using Adobe Acrobat. at the end of the project. (Collaborative; 20% of course grade.)

Resume Project Across Media

Prompt

Create a professional resume or CV and "About Me" in three formats: print, professional network, and multimedia or creative media.

Discussion of the Prompt

The goal of the Resume Project Across Media will be to develop content for a professional resume and portfolio for a specific job, internship, or grad school application and to present the information in multiple formats: print (using Adobe InDesign), professional network (like LinkedIn, Behance, Slated) with an "About Me" story, and one additional form chosen from among multiple alternatives (ePub for the iPad or smartphone, video (using Adobe After Effects, Adobe Spark, Animoto, Wordpress portfolio, or an alternative type of print or digital media; PowerPoint, Prezi, or slide presentations are not good options). In addition to keeping a project log during this project, you'll participate in peer review and submit a reflective document with the final project that addresses questions about how the three versions of the resume/portfolio change across media as well as any other technical and design details useful for understanding and evaluating the project as a whole. 

Deliverables

1. Print-Based Resume: This should be a printable resume that tailors your experience and qualifications to a specific job or internship ad you might apply for now or in the future. You could also create a resume suitable for a graduate school application. Your resume should be well written, following guidelines and suggestions in Writing 2e, with specific information regarding your experience and qualifications for the position. The design and layout should be suitably professional (kairotic) and should help emphasize important information for the reader. As you produce your print resume, you'll receive (and offer) peer review, brainstorm possible items for the resume, and apply design principles that will help you revise it. Although everyone may already have some form of resume, you're expected to compose a new and better version for this course, which may require you to rethink everything you've ever been told about resumes (!). I would like you to use Adobe InDesign to create your print-based resume after studying these two tutorials: "Designing a Creative Resume" (https://helpx.adobe.com/indesign/how-to/creative-resume-design.html) and "Snazz Up Your Resume" (Adobe.TV).

2. Professional Network Profile Including an "About Me" Story: Starting with your print resume, you should develop a professional social network profile and "About Me" story that does more than merely reproduce the printed document (as a PDF, for example) but that is tailored to the screen and takes strategic advantage of linking to provide readers additional important information about you. The design should be again suitably professional and can include samples of your work (from courses, previous jobs, volunteer work, etc.). Some networks or portfolio options include LinkedIn, Behance, Slated, or Pinterest. In each case, these sites also include an "About Me" section where you should tell your "story." Please review these articles at 99u for examples and advice: "How To Write an "About Me" Page That Gets You Hired" and "How To Break The Mold & Reinvent Your Resumé"

3. Alternative/Creative/Multimedia: Drawing inspiration from examples shared in the course blogs, develop your resume or CV for a third platform or interface, such as ePub for the iPad or smartphone, rich media PDF, video (using Adobe After Effects), Adobe Spark, Animoto, Wordpress portfolio, or an alternative type of print or digital media; PowerPoint, Prezi, or slide presentations are not good options).The design of this resume may be creative or daring, but it should still be professionally suited to the kind of position you may be looking for. You may be able to submit this resume in Box or as an URL or attachment to a blog post (such as a link to a YouTube video).

Examples
Here are some creative samples of creative/multimedia resumes for inspiration:

10 Creative Social Media Resumes To Learn From
Mashable's "4 Digital Alternatives to the Traditional Resume" by Sharilyn Lauby
Hagan Blount's "4 Clever Ways to Use an Infographic Resume to Get Hired"
Spark Resume: https://spark.adobe.com/gallery/education/example/meet-kate-krieger/
Creative Resumes: https://www.pinterest.com/search/pins/?q=creative%20resumes
Pinterest Living Resume: https://www.pinterest.com/rachaelgking/the-living-resume/
YouTube CV: https://youtu.be/7xUguYh5Qs0
How to Create a Successful Video CV: https://youtu.be/KxLKPQO3z1I
Google Maps CV: https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/viewer?hl=en&msa=0&z&ie=UTF8&mid=1ik5G4I2ozJr3Hl3rfuj5wfyS8oM

4. Submission Notes: At the end of the semester, you should include submission notes with your final drafts of each deliverable. Your submission notes should summarize your work on this project, describe how your resume changes across media, report any technical challenges you faced, and explain in what ways it's well suited to the rhetorical situation of your present or future search for a job, internship, or graduate school.

Directions for Submitting Deliverables

The course calendar provides specific directions for submitting deliverables for this project on the day each is due. Generally speaking, all drafts will be submitted as blog posts with submission notes (which may include URLs to off-site resources) and attachments in PDF format (if relevant, and for print-based materials). Submit the final drafts of your Resume Project Across Media (all your deliverables, including your submission notes as a separate document) via our shared Box folder Resume Project Across Media Deliverables. You should not submit documents for review in Word or RTF format since the documents will display unpredictably on different computers or displays. (In Word or InDesign, it's easy to choose Save As or Export as PDF). Your Submission Notes (Step 4) should summarize your work on this project, describe how your resume changes across media, report any technical challenges you faced, and explain in what ways it's well suited to the rhetorical situation of your present or future search for a job, internship, or graduate school. There can be multiple attachments (in PDF format, for example) and you can embed links to outside sites in your submission notes. Submit this project no later than midnight, Friday, July 8.

Grading

Your resume project will count for 30% of your course grade, or 300 points. On this project, the deliverables 1-3 each count as 30%. Your submission notes count as 10%. You must complete all intermediary steps (peer review, brainstorming, design analysis, etc.) in order to receive a passing grade on the project. Your resumes in all three formats will be evaluated in terms of content (relevance and specificity of the information, quality of the writing), design/layout (presentation, suitability to the media/interface), and kairos (suitability of the resume to the occasion of your search).

Due Dates for Drafts and Complete Resume Project

The completed and revised project is due on Friday, July 8 by 11:59 pm. There will be intermediate due dates for drafts of each deliverable spaced out during the process, with each draft ready for peer review on the day(s) specified on the course calendar.

Due Dates for Steps 1-3 (including drafts for peer review)

  • Step 1: Print Resume (draft): Monday, June 27 by midnight
  • Step 2: Print Resume (revision): Wednesday, June 29 by midnight
  • Step 3: Professional Network Profile Including an "About Me" Story (draft): Thursday, June 30 by midnight
  • Step 4: Alternative/Creative Media Resume (draft): Wednesday, July 6 by midnight

Privacy Issues

Please do not post any personal information (like phone numbers and personal addresses) with your online resume. You may include your email address if you want to be contacted that way. If you want your online resume to be "live," you can, if you choose, include additional contact information.

A Few Additional Examples of Alternative Media Resumes

Check back here; we'll add more as we go along . . .

Crysta Timmerman's Video Resume
Animoto Resume
Flash CV
10 Creative Social Media Resumes To Learn From
Themeforest Resume Site Templates (for ideas; most require a small fee to use if you like them; for Wordpress sites)
Infographic Resumes

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Documentation Project

Documentation Project

In this project, you will research processes or procedures associated with some aspect of composing, designing, sharing, or publishing information, which may include visual content (images, video, or animation), then write documentation that teaches users how to complete five (5) important, interesting, or challenging processes or procedures. The focus should be on some aspect of one of the Adobe tools in the Creative Cloud (including Apps) and should teach fellow students how to use the tool in a way that contextualizes it. (So, for example, "Top Five Ways to Use Adobe Acrobat to Comment on Peer Drafts" or "Five Ways to Improve your Behance Profile.") Your finished project will be an effectively designed example of user documentation that teaches users efficiently. (See some examples below.)

You may collaborate on this project if you wish, but please notify Dr. B. and explain how you think your collaboration would produce an even better project and copying the other member of your team. Your documentation should also teach users how to complete ten (10) important steps if you decide to collaborate. If you choose the collaborative option, you need to complete a Collaborative Project Evaluation Form in PDF format using Adobe Acrobat and submit it when the project is due. (Individual or Collaborative; 120 points; 12% of course grade.)

Prompt

Write user documentation that teaches people processes or procedures associated with some aspect of composing, designing, sharing, curating, or publishing information, or that helps people solve an interesting or recurring problem. Any of the Adobe tools or apps in the Creative Cloud are fair game. Choose an application that you want to learn more about and that will teach users how to do something new, creative, or interesting.

Discussion of the Prompt

You can interpret what this prompt asks broadly. Here are some suggestions:

  1. To choose your topic, rely on expertise, experiences, and interests you already have. You needn't already be an expert user of the Adobe software or app, but you need to be eager to learn more about it and do a little online research. Use the software or app to create something, and read/watch what others say about it. See Adobe.tv for lots of demonstrations about a wide range of tools. (In fact, you should include links to Adobe documentation, which is very good, in your own project (e.g., "For Further Reading")
  2. Some good examples of this sort of documentation can be found at ProfHacker or LifeHacker (see Examples section below). You can also look here for some good examples by Clemson students: http://parlormultimedia.com/futurebook/taxonomy/term/115
  3. Try to come up with creative, crafty, witty, tricky, or ingenious "hacks" of one of the Adobe tools/apps (a technology, game, app, etc.) that busy college students might need to learn how to use, then show them how it's done. (Needless to say, the process or procedure should be legal and within the bounds of good taste.)
  4. Your subject should be well focused so that you can document the processes or procedures efficiently using images, screenshots, and words in the equivalent of 4-5 printed pages, or 4-5 screens of information on a Web page. You could use Adobe Captivate to create your documentation (Captivate is screen capture software that helps you use images, motion, and audio to communicate.)
  5. Your audience for the documentation is an active and interested user of the media, social network, technology, or device (a college student like you).
  6. To help you think of a topic, plug some possibilities into the blank: "How to do five cool things with __________." (Plug-in things like "Adobe Ideas App," "Captivate," "Photoshop," "MyPortfolio.com," etc.

Some Examples

These examples are about the right length and include both images and text in good proportion. They aren't focused on Adobe tools or Apps, but you'll get the idea regarding length and presentation. More examples will appear on the calendar.

Why Adobe Connect? or The Top 9 Cool Things You Can Do in Adobe Connect

21 Incredibly Simple Photoshop Hacks Everyone Should Know

Here's what an eavesdropper sees when you use an unsecured Wi-Fi hotspot (PC World) << New!
http://www.pcworld.com/article/2043095/heres-what-an-eavesdropper-sees-when-you-use-an-unsecured-wi-fi-hotspot.html

Video Presentation: Illustrator: 5 cool tips and tricks in Adobe Illustrator

How to Send an RSS Feed to Your Email Account (George Williams at ProfHacker)
http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/send-an-rss-feed-to-your-email-account/50319

Host a Website on Google Drive (George Williams at ProfHacker)
http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/host-a-website-on-google-drive/46737

Nikola Tesla's Best Productivity Tricks (Thorin Klosowski at LifeHacker)
http://lifehacker.com/nikola-teslas-best-productivity-tricks-511266179

How to See Who Views Your Facebook Profile (Garth Sundem at HowStuffWorks)
http://computer.howstuffworks.com/internet/tips/how-to-see-who-views-your-facebook-profile.htm

Steps in the Process

1. Topic Proposal. In a blog post (tag: documentation topic) identify your topic and a working title (like those above) and then explain in about 100 words why you've chosen the topic and why you're clever enough to document it. Due: June 28 (by midnight)

2. Research. Find out everything there is to know about your topic:

  • Read any existing user documentation relevant to your topic that you can find, including user documentation that might already be provided with the product or process.
  • If your topic is a "lifehack" of some sort, find out what other people say about it.
  • Ask someone (in person or online) what s/he knows about some specific aspect of your topic
  • Read the replies to your topic proposal written by your peers.

In a blog post (tag: documentation research), summarize in 200 words what you researched and what you've learned that you didn't know before. Due: June 30.

3. Collect Assets. You'll need images and screenshots for your project, ones that you create yourself (with a camera or screencapture software) or that you use from other sources. If you use images from another source, you must have permission to use it in your project, which means that you'll want to use Creative Commons licensed, public domain, or royalty-free content. Here's a page with Sources for Royalty-Free Photos, Illustrations, Content. You'll also want to have some screen capture softward (onboard in both Mac and Windows) to collect screen shots. (Adobe Captivate will help with that also.) Due: On your own, but suggested completion by July 3.

  • Asset Collection: Using authentic content, produce samples and screenshots that you'll use later to illustrate key steps in the process or procedure.
  • Screen capture: Install a Google Chrome browser extension for making screenshots. Try "Screen Capture" by Google or "Awesome Screenshot: Capture and Annotate" by Diigo, or Skitch (for marking up screenshots). Practice using it to create annotated images. Or use GrabIt (a pre-installed app in Mac OS) or check out this list at The Best Screen Capture Tool for Windows at LifeHacker.
  • Create your own Dropbox folder to store your assets and if you are working collaboratively or need Dr. B.'s assistance, share the folder. Be sure to give it a name that clearly identifies what it is and who owns the folder, e.g., YourLastName Documentation Assets. Do not create this folder in the class's shared Dropbox folder or else everyone in the class will share these files.

4. Plan and Compose Your Documentation. July 1-5

  • Your documentation should have clearly defined sections:
    • Opener that captures someone's interest, explains the need (called "exigency"), and communicates what knowing this process will help the reader accomplish.
    • Concise overview or summary of the process, procedure, or problem including list of recommended or required software (platform, version, availability), tools, etc. (whatever the user might need)
    • Scenarios for use (how or when have real people, including you, needed this information? why would they follow the procedure, how has someone used this process to solve a problem?)
    • Steps for each "tip" (broken into discrete steps as needed), supported by visual examples and samples; all images and screenshots should have explanatory captions and be numbered sequentially (e.g., Figure 1. Adjusting brightness level on a Kindle Paperwhite).
    • Sources used and/or resources for additional help
    • Authorship information
  • Compose your documentation in a word processor (e.g, Google Docs preferred so that you can share it easily), Adobe InDesign (highly recommended), Dreamweaver, or similar Web authoring tool or (if you're adventurous) a program like Adobe Captivate, Prezi, Keynote, Haiku (Windows app), or Camtasia (available for 30-day free trial download).

5. User-Test Your Documentation. Find out if a typical user can follow your directions well enough to successfully complete the process. Post your full draft by Tuesday, July 5 (tag: documentation draft). Peer review will involve having two peers user-test the documentation and provide feedback using a review sheet provided via the calendar

6. Polish the Documentation. Using the results of user-testing, revise and polish the documentation.

Your final document(s) should be submitted to the "Documentation Project Deliverables" subfolder in the "314 Technical Writing" folder in Box. Your project submission should consist of a single PDF document or (if you use another type of media for your presentation, such as HTML) a folder with supporting files, images, links, etc. all collected in a zip (compressed archive) file. (Due Friday, July 8). The file or folder should be named as follows: Lastname_DocumentationProject

Collaborative Option

You may choose to collaborate with a peer on this project. If you do, you should complete the Collaborative Project Evaluation Form at the end of the project and submit it to Dr. Blakesley separately by email no later than July 8, 2015 (the last day of class).

Grading

Your project will be graded based on the quality and accuracy of your documentation, as well as its presentation and usability. You must complete all steps in the process on time, including the collaborative evaluation form, to earn a passing grade on the project. The project counts for 12% of your course grade, or 120 points.

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Technical Case Study

Technical Case Study Project

In this project, you'll work with one or two peers to research a successful application of some form of technology (software, Web-based application, or social networking, for example) used by an organization to solve a real world problem or achieve its goals. The organization may be a nonprofit or for-profit company, an on-campus group, or a community with which you may be affiliated. Your finished case study will provide background information on the organization, a description of the problem or goal, a detailed overview (supported by visual content) of the steps taken to solve the problem or achieve the goal, and then a discussion of how well the solution has worked. You'll be asked to complete a Collaborative Project Evaluation Form at the end of the project. (Collaborative; 14% of course grade, or 140 points.)

Prompt

Working with one or two peers collaboratively, write a case study following the format and guidelines described in the "Writing Effective Case Analyses" reading, which you'll find in Box: 314 Technical Writing > Readings folder (Case Analysis.pdf). The "case" should be an example of an organization's or company's successful application of a technology to solve a real world problem or achieve an important goal. The length of your case study should be about 750-1,000 words, not counting images or screenshots, but including all sections, references, captions, and descriptive headers (be concise, in other words, but very precise as well; see Social Media Examiner examples below for examples of concision).

Topic Selection

You should chat with your collaborator(s) promptly to settle on a topic and approach. The key will be to pick an organization or company with which someone in your group has a connection that will give you insight into their operations. It's okay if you choose an organization or company with which one or more of you is associated.

  1. To choose your topic, rely on expertise, experiences, and interests you already have.
  2. Read through some of the examples below to get an idea of what you'll be writing about.
  3. Choose a topic you care about and that you have a reasonable chance of learning a lot more about, both through research (online or even onsite) and (if possible) interviews with participants.
  4. Discuss possible topics with your collaborator(s) by email, phone (e.g., Skype), chat (e.g., Google or Facebook chat), or some other method that allows you to exchange ideas quickly and easily.
  5. Once you've settled on the focus of your case study, one person in your group should post a title, description, and list of team members (by first name or user name) in a blog post (see Step 1 below for details)

Some Examples

These examples include both images and text in good proportion, and each describes the successful application of some technology to solve a problem or achieve a goal. Some of them are longer than yours will need to be, and some much more technical, but they will still give you a good sense of the genre. Notice how the writers articulate problems and then show you how they approached solving them.

MAPC Theses (Clemson Students)
Matt Russell, "From Analogue to Digital Updating and converting print training content to an effective web resource for Choice University"
Jack Butts, "The Happy Berry Website Redesign"

Drupal Case Studies (Website development; entrepreneurship; lots to choose from; about the right length)
https://drupal.org/case-studies

Case Study: Find Your Way to Oz (computer game development; highly detailed)
http://www.html5rocks.com/en/tutorials/casestudies/oz/

Seven Creative Social Media Marketing Mini Case Studies (short, but well presented; yours could be a bit longer than the minis)
http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/7-creative-social-media-marketing-mini-case-studies/

Social Media Examiner (lots of great ones here, so just pick a topic you like; about the right length, with good use of visuals)

Startup Company Eliminates the Cold Call With Twitter (at Social Media Examiner)
http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/startup-company-eliminates-the-cold-call-with-twitter/

Steps in the Process

1. Topic Proposal. In a blog post (tag: case study topic) identify your topic and a working title (like those above) and then describe in about 100 words why it's an interesting case. Also list the members of the team by first name or user name. Due: Friday, July 1 (by midnight). All team members should read the post and comment to add details as needed.

2. Research. Find out everything there is to know about your topic:

  • Read any existing company or organizational documents relevant to your topic.
  • If possible, write some interview questions and ask someone in the organization if he or she would be willing to answer them briefly. Important: Follow these Ethical Guidelines for Conducting an Interview with a Client. Given the time constraints, you may have to do this by email or phone.
  • Read the replies to your topic proposal written by your peers.

In a blog post (tag: case study research), one member of the team should summarize in 150 words what you and your collaborators researched and what you've learned that you didn't know before. Due: Tuesday, July 5 (by midnight). All team members should read the post and comment to add details as needed.

3. Collect Assets. As with the documentation project, you'll need images and screenshots for your project, ones that you create yourself (with a camera or screencapture software) or that you use from other sources. If you use images from another source, you must have permission to use it in your project, which means that you'll want to use Creative Commons licensed, public domain, or royalty-free content. Here's a page with Sources for Photos, Illustration, and Content. Due: On your own, but suggested completion by July 5.

  • Asset Collection: Using authentic content, produce samples and screenshots that you'll use later to illustrate key steps in the case study.
  • Screen capture: (Repeated from the documentation project): Install the Google Chrome browser add-on for making screenshots. Try "Screen Capture" by Google or "Awesome Screenshot: Capture and Annotate" by Diigo. Practice using it to create annotated images. Or use GrabIt (a pre-installed app in Mac OS) or check out this list at The Best Screen Capture Tool for Windows at LifeHacker.
  • Create your own Dropbox folder to store your assets and if you are working collaboratively or need Dr. B.'s assistance, share the folder. (Be sure to give it a name that clearly identifies what it is and who owns the folder, e.g., YourLastNames Case Study Assets.)

4. Plan and Compose Your Case Study. Draft due by midnight on July 6, posted to a team member's blog as a PDF file (or URL, if relevant). Provide some notes that elicit good responses from peer reviewers. (Tag: case study draft)

  • Your case study should have clearly defined sections (some of which are described in the "Features of a Case Analysis" section of the "Writing Effective Case Analyses" handout):
    • Clear "Statement of the Problem" (can be called "The Scenario," "The Challenge," or another appropriate header)
    • Summary of the Context (background on the organization, nature of the problem, the goal; what do readers need to know in order to understand the solution/case?
    • Proposed solution or actual solution (described as a series of steps that were taken); also called "Steps in the Process" (broken into discrete steps), supported by visual examples and samples; all images and screenshots should have explanatory captions and be numbered sequentially (e.g., Figure 1. Adjusting brightness level on a Kindle Paperwhite).
    • Recommended Solution or "What We Learned," a section that summarizes what was learned by the developers (people who tried to solve the problem, not you the writers)
    • Sources used and/or resources for additional help; imagine that you're writing this case study for someone who wants to learn about X (your topic). What resources can you point them to?
    • Authorship information (writers of the case study).
  • Compose your case study in a word processor (e.g, Google Docs preferred so that you can share it easily), Adobe InDesign (highly recommended), Dreamweaver or similar Web authoring tool (using simple HTM)L, or (if you're adventurous) a program like Prezi, Keynote, or Haiku (Windows app).

5.Complete Peer Review: Each person should write peer reviews of two (2) other case study drafts. Dr. B. will identify who should review which cases on the course calendar (July 6). The peer response form will be attached to the calendar for July 6 also. Each team will receive two peer reviews on July 6 and should then incorporate suggestions.

6. Polish the Case Study. Using the results of user-testing, revise and polish the case study.

Your final document(s) should be submitted to the "Case Study Deliverables" subfolder in the "314 Technical Writing" folder in Dropbox. Your project submission should consist of a single PDF document or (if you use another media for your presentation, such as HTML) a folder with supporting files, images, etc. The file or folder should be named as follows: Lastname1-Lastname2_CaseStudy (put the last name of each team member in the file name for easy identification). The person submitting the file in Dropbox should then send an email to Dr. B and team members verifying that the final version has been submitted, no later than midnight on Friday, July 8 (the last day of class).

Collaboration

Please complete the Collaborative Project Evaluation Form at the end of the project and submit it to Dr. Blakesley separately by email no later than July 10, 2015 (the last day of class). The form is also available in the class's Box folder.

Grading

Your project will be graded based on the quality and accuracy of your case study, as well as its presentation and usability. You are expected to be a good collaborator, someone willing to do his or her share and to make sure that everyone is involved and productive. You must complete all steps in the process on time, including the collaborative evaluation form, to earn a passing grade on the project. The project counts for 20% of your course grade.