English 362: Foundations of Technical Writing
Hybrid Course Lessons

Module 13: Careers, or How to
Make Clients and Employers Want to Hire You

Module Contents:
    Textbook Readings
    Supplementary Readings
    Discussion
    Assignments
    Peer Review
    Checklist
    Back to Syllabus
    Back to Course Index Page

This module covers the following topics:

  • People, project, and program management.
  • Writing and editing careers.
  • Resumes.
  • Interviewing.

 

Textbook Readings

Finish the textbook readings before the discussion starting on Monday at noon.

Supplementary Readings

Finish the supplementary readings before the discussion begins on Monday. These and lots more are also available on the Handouts page.

This Week's Discussion

Topics to include in this week's Blackboard discussion:

  • What stands out in the readings?
  • People, project, and program management.
  • Writing and editing careers.
  • Resumes.
  • Interviewing.
  • We will also workshop student resumes online. Let's plan to critique at least 3-4 resumes, live, as part of this week's discussion.

Discussion leaders: Start the conversations by noon on Monday. Everyone else: Get involved right away, but feel free to continue dropping in to read and respond to new posts throughout the week. Everyone is required to lead at least one discussion, and everyone is required to participate in these discussions by posting useful responses to the student leaders' prompts, or at least in response to other comments in the discussion forum. Your participation level - even when not leading discussions - strongly affects your semester grade, so get fully engaged every week!


We will also workshop student resumes online, on the Blackboard Discussion Forum named "Resume Workshop." Post yours there as a new thread using your name.

Let's plan to critique at least 3-4 resumes, on an ongoing basis, as part of this week's discussion - or more if you'd like feedback on yours! I'll give my talk about what employers look for in employees during our live meeting.

Assignments

The documentation plan for your final project is due to Blackboard by Sunday at 5:00pm.


Final project is due during Finals Week.


After completing each assignment, make sure to back it up (I recommend using a low-cost USB flash device like this or a Web service like Dropbox) before you turn it in or send it to your peer-review partner. Even if you are late creating a project, you can often avoid getting zero points for that assignment by completing it and turning it in to Blackboard late. Be aware that turning in late projects could harm your peer-review partner's score, as well, so be thoughtful.

Upload all exercises and assignments to Blackboard only after you address your peer-review partner's suggestions.

Peer Review

Bonus opportunity: (not required) Exchange your documentation plan for your final project (due by this Sunday evening) with your developmental peer-review partner to help one another with progress on developing the final project (due Finals Week). Due before class on Wednesday - earlier is better!

To maintain feedback consistency and offer ongoing feedback from problem statement through final-project handoff, you will work with the same partner from now through the end of the semester. Treat this as a developmental-editing project, where you get involved from the early planning stages through final delivery. Don't just think of these as single-stage reviews; instead, continue your peer-review relationship with your partner - or partners - through Finals Week. When you have completed your responses, turn in the peer-review that you wrote for your partner's project in the appropriate Blackboard assignment slot ("Doc Plan Peer Review"). If you want more feedback - or if your partner is a deadbeat - by all means just drop a note to whomever gave you the most-useful feedback so far, or let me know and I can suggest a second reviewer.

Whenever you contact your partner, it's important to share your most-recent planning documents and draft content so she can offer the best feedback. This should be great!

Note: If you don't have a partner you'd like to work with in developing your final project, let me know and I'll help you find a peer-review partner this week.

If you haven't gotten useful feedback from your partner, or if you want more feedback, by all means just drop a note to whomever gave you the most-useful feedback so far, or let me know and I can add a second reviewer. If you give a second peer-review, you get bonus points: Just make a second "attempt" to turn in your peer-review assignment, and I'll give you twice the score!

Stay in touch throughout the process. You're helping one another develop and create the best possible final projects. Don't forget to take advantage of the Measures of Good and Stand-out Technical Communication page, including the handout with detailed descriptions of each measure. Address every one of the necessary ones, and strive for the stand-out measures! At this point, use questions appropriate for the "Developmental Edit" section of the Editing process handout. Ask lots of questions in both directions - getting or giving the review. Here are some typical getting-started questions:

  • From the reviewer's POV:
    • Who is your audience?
    • What problems do they most need to solve?
    • Consider using [certain kinds of callouts, illustrations, screenshots, charts, video, and so forth].
  • From the manual-writer's POV:
    • What do you think is the best type of manual to present this information?
    • Would it be helpful to add a [element] here?"

Whenever you contact your partner, it's important to show her the most-recent planning documents and draft content so she can offer the best feedback. This should be great!

Checklist

  • Read the textbook and supplementary readings by Monday at noon.
  • Participate in this week's Blackboard forum discussion starting on Monday.
  • Exchange the documentation plan for your final project with your partner for peer-review during or before class on Wednesday.
  • To earn bonus points, turn in your peer-review of your partner's work and the peer-review guide document to the appropriate peer-review assignment slot on Blackboard at the same time you return it to your partner by Thursday at 5:00pm - earlier is better.
  • Participate in this week's Blackboard workshop of resumes; offer suggestions on at least 3 offerings.
  • Turn in the documentation plan for your final project on Blackboard by Sunday at 5:00pm.
  • Turn in your Reading Response on this Module's required readings before class on Wednesday.
  • Earn a bonus point by uploading a second Reading Response to reflect your thoughts on more readings and reflections on the week's discussions. Due by Sunday at 5:00pm.

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Last updated 9/15/2015.