Technical & Professional Communication
Wednesday, March 31, 2004
Thanks to the number of handouts that we received in today's class, I am beginning to feel much more confident about our assignments. Up until today I had felt just as confused as many of you had previously expressed. But I feel that our blog for this course will become really helpful throughout the progressions of these assignments. Posting questions and concerns that are not addressed during class can be answered through this.
On that note, a few weeks ago Laurie asked us to explain the difference between an abstract and an executive summary. Can anyone give me their perspective on this question?

I was spending sometime thinking about the visuals that I would use for my presentation and in my recomendation report. It seems to me that I have the possibility of using several tables in my report but I do not think that those would be the most appropriate things to use in the presentation. I was wondering if since I am comparing two things in my report if for a visual for my presentation I should provide a main point summary of the two things. I was thinking that might be a better way to convey my message to the classroom audience for a 7 minute presentation rather than trying to show data tables.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004
From the looks of the Blog it seems like we are all having a hard time with this recommendations report. The most common problem seems to be the confusion with what is actually required for the paper. Also this month seems to be clustered with tests and papers for other classes, i know it is with me. It seems we are all having trouble with tight schedules and confusion on what needs to be done. It will all work out, spring is coming soon, the warm weather always helps out when stress levels are high

Monday, March 29, 2004
I know for myself, I'm having a hard time organizing and arranging information for this recommendation report. For the organizational approach memo that was due today, I decided to go with the Indirect approach for my paper; however after today's class, I'm wondering if I took the right path. From what was being discussed today about why we should use one approach verses the other, now I'm questioning if I should change my approach. Also, I'm not sure what to use for my visuals. I guess I will have to do more research to see what I want to use. This is very time consuming and difficult to remember all the elements that need to be placed into this assignment.

Sunday, March 28, 2004
I am a little bit worried about this report that we are doing. I am somewhat confused on the requirements and the time frame that goes with the report. I am worried that I am not fully understanding the extent to the size of the assignment and will end up doing a lot of work in a short amount of time. I hope that what I am writing on will also have sufficient information in order for me to complete the report.

This report I find is very tedious. What I need to learn is to manage my time wisely because I have tests and papers that are all due for the month of April. This month is going to be stressful because class is almost over and teachers like to give the most weighted assignment towards the end of the semester. For this report I decided to switch my topic all together because I was not interested and I could not find enough information to meet the paper requirement. My report requires a lot of research and a lot of talking with vendors to get information to use for my report. I have a problem deciding how I am going to put all these together, but I'm sure that I will figure it out later.

Right now I am still a little confused as to how I am going to put my whole report together. I have a couple of different options for how I can layout all of my information, but I'm not sure which option would be the best and allow me to create the highest quality report. I'm still working on researching to collect all of the necessary information, so hopefully after I complete this I will be able to have a better idea of exactly how I want to put everything together. Also I am struggling with selecting/creating visuals to use in my report as well as in my oral presentation. I don't really want to do a power point presentation since so many things can go wrong, but I am not sure what else I could included in my speech. Hopefully everything will start coming together in the next week or so.

Right now I'm a little unsure of what visuals I will be using for my oral report. I really do not want to use power point because I do not want to risk something going wrong. However, using a overhead and/or a poster board seems like it would make the presentation boring for the audiecence. And if i used something other than powerpoint, I am not sure what my visuals would be exactly. Obviously at this point I am just very confused. Hopefully I'll figure something out quick!

I read chapter 10 and did some thinking about visual presentation. I know that I am definietly a visual learner. I plan to use PowerPoint for my presentation at the end of the semester. I find that I am able to organize my thoughts well with PowerPoint and I think it makes the presentation more interesting for others to watch/listen to. I enjoyed the discussion we had in class last Wednesday about how PowerPoint can be misused. I get really frustrated with people who try to cram a bunch of info into each slide, and then read it all to their audience.

I think that the majority of the class is in the same boat with the recommendation report. I feel like I don’t really know where to start. Hopefully we will get our proposals back soon so that we can see what Laurie thinks of our topics and whether or not we need to narrow them. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m not really looking forward to writing this paper. I think that everyone has a lot to do as we near the end of the semester and this is just one more thing to add to that list.

I missed class on Friday and am wondering...can anyone clarify what the contents of the memo that is due tommorrow should be? If anyone can tell me, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks!

I have had a discouraging time starting the research paper. I initially had a difficult time deciding my original topic. Then, after doing a bunch of research for the proposal, I found a report by the government on my exact same topic. So I was faced with the question of do I read the report from the government and probably base most of my research paper off of that report, or do I not read the paper and leave out quite possibly the best resource of information, or do I switch topics all together because the government has probably covered all possible angles? I chose to completely switch topics, but now I have to scramble because I am way behind the rest of the class. Hopefully this topic will work better than my other one!

I am happy with the topic that I have selected for the recommendation report. I think it is definitely a topic that will give me enough to research and write about. However, I do agree with everyone else that I am a little bit unclear right now about expectations for this project and for the rest of the semester. I woke up with the flu Wednesday morning and am finally starting to feel better, but because of that, I missed class Wednesday and Friday, and as everyone knows it was cancelled last Monday. I am kind of frustrated because things are so unclear, but I suppose it is mostly my own fault for being sick and missing class. I hope class tomorrow will help me get back on track. Hope everyone had a great weekend!

I think I am finally caught up to my stuff. I am ready for the presentation. I was just wondering if we could know in advnace a little bit about when do we have to go for preseting our topic. I wish if we could discuss our syllabus.

Hey fellow 3562 students--
This past week has found me slightly frusterated with the final project. My spring break was very busy and left me with next to no time for any homework, much less time for something that is not due for another month or so. Since I did not have much time to relax and enjoy my break I am having a hard time staying on task and motivated to finish this recommendation report. I really hope that I am not alone in this frustration, and I can't imagine that I am. While I realize it is far from being due I would feel much better if I was more cought up with both the steps for completing the recommendation report and the required text readings. It has all been very hectic for me and I am looking forward to the completion of the project in a few weeks. Hope all is going well for you all as you work to complete your reports but do not feel alone if you are falling behind--I am with ya!! Have a good one--Toodles--Emily

Saturday, March 27, 2004
It was interesting to read chapter 10 which talks about visual presentation. I never know that American people are right oriented society because they always read from left to right. Also it was interesting to understand that American people understands better visual or images more than they do about written staffs. However, I learn a lot of things in this chapter those I never know before and therefore this class is not only helping us to learn how to write professionally but also it helping us to learn about different cultures and traditions that needs to be consider when we writting anything for them.

I just want to start out by saying that I hope everyone had a good spring break. I find it hard to do school work after a week of vacation. This recommendation report is stressing me out. I don't remember the last time I had to write a ten page report. For my recommendation report I am trying to do a cause-effect analysis, but am having trouble determining criteria. I almost wish I had a little more time to search for topics because I am still not sure if my subject will be adequate for a ten page paper.

Friday, March 26, 2004
So who is completely sick of the bus strike? Sorry if you're tired of hearing about it - I am too - but I read something in the Daily the other day that seemed kind of relevant to our class. Last Monday, the negotiations started up again (it's about time!) but the article said that the union came with a document of their demands that was unprofessional and so the management felt like they couldn't even consider it. I've heard that there are laws about bargaining in good faith and so the union could conceivably be punished if they continue to produce poor-quality documents. Sounds like they should take a course in technical and professional communication, huh? Just thought I'd pass on the real-world importance of our class. Have a great day!!

I was just curious, since the example came up as a feasibility recommendation report in class, what does everyone think about getting a new football stadium? Would you be willing to pay a little more in tuition for it? I personally think it sounds like a good idea, but unfortunately, those of us who would help pay for it would never be able to enjoy it. I guess we could always come back as alumni to enjoy it, or maybe our children will come here and have the stadium to enjoy. I think it would be a lot of fun to have an on campus stadium instead of always having to walk/bus to the Metrodome. I just wish that people had thought of it before we arrived so we could have enjoyed it already!

Everyone remember the memos we all did? I just realized the full potential of them for communication in a proffesional atmosphere. I realized how much difference memos can make in a proffessional setting. I, as the president, have assigned everyone in my fraternity to begin writing weekly memos to increase accountability and accomplishment. I have also found that this weekly memo increases motivation to complete the tasks that I assign. I will be interested to see how much of an effect this new communication form has on the fraternity as a whole.

The original topic/problem I had chosen for my final report was rather trivial. I found it rather difficult to find a topic in the field of Landscape Architecture that is considered a problem that is detrimental to human kind. Most problems encountered in Landscape design can be quickly remedied through alternative means. Such issues are rather trivial and don't pose a significant problem to people. Such as the choices of whether to use wood chips, rocks, or leave your flower beds clear. There are some issues that have arisen in the past with subsurface water flows, infiltration, drainage, and irrigation with respect to landscape problems (flash flooding, etc.), but none of these problems stick out as being significant because modern landscape materials technology has made these things into somewhat of a non-issue.

As a result I had changed my topic to a piece of proposed legislature that will cause more problems by trying to solve a non-existent problem. I had re-written my final report proposal for this as well.

Edited to add:
I agree with Eric Claver; It was very difficult to for me to get back to campus after my vacation on sunday afternoon, unpack my bags, and then try to write up the final draft of the proposal. The problem I had writing the proposal wasn't so much the actual writing, but the fact that I knew so little about the full requirements of the Final Report that I was unable to determine if my topic ideas were going to have enough researchable material, or if they were a problem significant enough to warrant embarking upon such a large research project.

Such issues in Landscape Architecture are rarely ever effecting the well being of individuals in society. It's not like education, law, or health related fields of study where their work literally affects the well being of everyone's lives. Landscape Architecture is based more upon aesthetics, luxury, beauty, function, and how many similar elements interact with the buildings and people associated with a specific site.


Ps. Sorry so long..

Thursday, March 25, 2004
If you are like me you might be having a hard time finding the right topic to research for the rest of the semester. I can not really find a good topic in my field so I think that I am going to research something that I am interested in. The recommendation report is a pretty good assignment because it will give us a chance to research and study some aspect of our future field of work, or something that we are interested in. Good luck and I hope that you have a topic that you like.

Hi everyone,
Welcome back from spring break! I certainly hope everyone had a good time. I had an excellent time and had a hard time coming back. But, oh well, a few more weeks to go and summer break will be here. While I am still in school, I am having a having the hardest time trying to find a recommendation report. I went to several governmental agency websites, environmental websites, and food science and nutrition websites. I found one link on the governmental agency website, but they wanted to charge me $14.00 to print it off. I think I finally found one, but I’m not for sure. My printer was giving me some problems, so I had to stop printing the report about half way through. So, I am just hoping this will be good enough for tomorrow.

Hi everyone! I know that some of you are in a health related field, in particular nutrition. I'm looking for suggestions regarding my topic of opening a farmers market to make local produce more available to residents of a rural town. Is it more important to emphasize:
1. The health benefits of having access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
2. The benefits of creating a more sustainable community.
I could either talk about them equally or emphasize one more than the other?
Thank you for any suggestions.

Wednesday, March 24, 2004
It was nice today in class we were able to get a hand out about the recommendation report. I always feel alittle bit better when i can check things off my list and know what officially has to be in the report.
Be honest i have some research done but really do not know where to begin. I am a procrastinator through and through but since i have three papers due including this one all having to be atleast ten pages i better get a move on and break my ways and start planning.

How did everyone's proposals go? Hopefully well. Spring Break came and went too quickly.
Now that we are more than half way through the semester, I am beginning to become concerned with areas of this course. I feel that it is difficult to progress in this course when we have been given little feedback about our past assignments. It is impossible to get a feel for our ability in writing, etc. when we haven't received any grades or comments. Although I'm not especially worried about my previous assignments, I strongly believe that we should be getting some input in order to improve and adjust our technical and professional communication.

Am I the only one who seems to not fully understand the requirements for the Final report?

Nevermind. Just sitting here in class, Laurie handed out the Overview & General Requirements for the report...


Thanks Laurie!

That helps greatly in determining a good topic for the final report. Doing the proposal was difficult when I wasn't sure what exactly was required by the final report. Getting the requirements & overview BEFORE the assignment for the proposal would have been infinitely helpful.

Over the last couple of weeks i have had trouble keeping up with my blog postings, hopefuly this week i'll be back on track. Anyway, after doing some research for my proposal and report i found that this assignment has a lot of flexability and will allow me to direct my report in any direction I want. I really like the freedom this allows me but at the same time i'm feeling a little unsure as to what is required of us. Is anyone else feeling this way or do i just need to narrow down my topic more?

After creating the timeline for the recomendation report, it seems like we do not have a lot of time to get our research done. I usually find that doing the research is the longest part of writing a paper. There appears to be plenty of information available on my topic but it will take some time to find what is the most relevant.
There is also the issue of being able to make notes and organize them.
Maybe I am just feeling overwhelmed by the fact that this paper is supposed to be 10-12 pages and I have never had only a month to write a paper that long.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004
How was everyone's Spring Break? Mine was so boring!! I became addicted to E-Bay, and have been buying new suspension, tail and headlights, and have been looking at ground effects for my car. You can pick things up so cheap on there! I saved $160 on adjustable coil-overs for my civic, and I could easily save over $100 on the tail and head lights. I was so happy. However, I did not touch any of my homework for any of my classes. (That sounds similar to what everyone else did too). And once NCAA basketball started. I watched that all day long. The tournament has been so awesome! I am rooting for UAB all the way baby. That win over Kentucky was great. I was pretty disappointed that Gonzaga lost though. I had then going to the final four. But I definately think that it is going to be St. Joe's and Duke, and Duke will win. What do you guys think? In the world of technical and professional writing, I wrote my proposal, but I'm still having second thoughts about my that bad? Bye.

Sunday, March 21, 2004
Hey All, I just finished up my Proposal which I'm feeling pretty good about right now, but nontheless I find it ironic that we havn't even gotten back our first project yet. I'm just a little worried that I'm not sure what the professsor is expecting from us. Like for instance If I really screwed up on my audience analysis paper and the prof. expects way more than I'm giving her. So therefore I will now have turned in two additional projects with the same expectation that hopefully I'm doing well enough. Anyone else feeling this way?

How does everyone feel about the proposal paper??? I feel it was a very good step in the process we are doing in order to make our recommendation report. It is kind of like a detailed, paragraphed outline in my opinion. This proposal report has helped me get a better grasp on my topic and has inspired me to work hard on the project. What do you guys think about this paper and how it may or may not help you with your recommendation report? Also, has anyone started to work past this proposal report? Anything else accomplished yet? Just wondering :) Have a great week everyone!


I am worried about how the rest of this assignment is going to turn out. For a while I was thinking that we have a lot of time to work on this, but we really don't! There is only about a month left until oral presentations for this assignment! My topic is a little difficult only because I don't have any formal sources from which to research. My research can only be done informally. For example, I am going to interview/survey people that my problem affects. Also I am going to use a form to track the occurrence of my problem within the facility. Does anyone else have a topic that cannot be formally researched, like on the internet, etc?

What I am finding most difficult about the proposal assignment is having a topic that I can find research on. There is so much information, and my topic is so broad, that I find it hard to know where to begin with the process. I am worried that I will choose a topic and once I am far into the project, it will not be what I am either looking for or what is needed for the class. I am attempting to narrow down my topic to be as concise as possible, however with this also comes the problem of having a topic with no useful research. This will then prevent me from creating a final project that is to the best of my ability.

So it is now the end of Spring Break and I am still unhappy with what I have chosen to research and write my recommendation report on. I am researching a topic related to the field of veterinary medicine and narrowing it down has been difficult. I can't seem to find a topic that would allow me to create a good quality paper. Most of the topics I have found are too technical or uninteresting. I don't really have any interest in comparing two schools, as I know that I will only be applying to the U of M. Another problem I am having is selecting a topic that will allow me to write a paper that will be adequate length. I had to cross out some ideas because I know I wouldn't have found enough information. I haven't had a lot of time to work on school work over break so I plan on researching some more today and hopefully running into a good idea. I don't know if anyone else is having a lot of trouble selecting a topic, but for me it has been rather difficult.

I was wondering if anyone found what the problem statement is supposed to be/look like confusing. I know the research question is either doing the feasibility, comparison, or cause/effect, but what is the problem statement? Is it a general question or is it set up the way the sentences were in the criteria workshop worksheet (ie sentence contains the ideal and actual situation and solution) that we did. If anyone can explain the problem statement to me better, or clarify, what exactly needs to be in the problem statement, that would be great. Thanks

Saturday, March 20, 2004
So I just realizes how behind I am on everything for all of my classes. Now I don't know if my little vacation was worth it. Anyhow, I have been really stuck as to how I am going to narrow my topic down. I don't want to make this assignment more difficult than I can handle, by failing to narrow my research. I am a family social science major, and wanted to focus my project in my area of study, however I'm thinkinf that I better narrow my topic down quickly or I may end up in over my head, if not presently..

Wednesday, March 17, 2004
After a little more research on my topic, I realized it may be too broad for the time frame of this report. It has been difficult to narrow it down to a research question suitable for the assignment. It is certainly confusing to decide what the format should look like. The book descibes lengthly proposals with a great deal of detail. The assignemt sheet seems fague, as it is limited to a list of the main points, the criteria on lenghth and tone and a few potential ways to present the material. What exactly are the "standard formatting conventions" for a paper of this length? Do I simply follow the description in the book but in a condensed version?

Sunday, March 14, 2004
Now that I have my topic picked out, it is time to start researching! There are a lot of different sources available for my topic, but I'm not sure if my topic is something that I'm going to want to use for the rest of the semester. However, I suppose there is not too much longer left to spring semester, so maybe the rest of the semester is not as long as it seems right now. I'm looking forward to the oral presentations. It's always interesting to see what people put together to present. I've taken a couple of classes on public speaking but it still makes me a little nervous every time. Anyway, hope everyone has a great break!

Hellllp MEE!

Hey everyone, how are you? For this recommendation report I decicided to focus on my current job. My My issue is the need for an upgraded computer. I have been looking for sites that may help me to complete this but it is very difficult. If anyone of your are doing the same topic as me and you were able to find something related to my topic , then blog me and give me some info. If you do have some suggestions or areas that you think may benefit me let me know too. I would really appreciate it.

I am feeling a lot better about the proposal assignment after the peer review on Friday. I got some really good feedback from people and it really helped me to narrow down my topic. Now I just hope that I can find some good research for my recommendation report! I'm glad that we have the rest of the semester to work on it so that should be plenty of time to hunt some down. It's also good that we won't be rushed to find research since that's a very important part of our report!

Saturday, March 13, 2004
I have not been able to post my blogs or responses now for two weeks. Partially because I have been so busy with midterms and have had a few family emergancies. I hope you all have been having better luck with Blogger than I have lately. Thankfully it is spring break and although I am not going any where warm for the week, I am able to put school on the back burner for once in a long time. I am also really happy that we have finished the proposal portion of the class. For me it seems the class is not as intimidating as it was in January when it seemed it would be a never ending semester of numerous time consuming projects. Now it seems the semester is half finished and the projects we have left to complete are not as difficult as they initially seemed. Hope you are all feeling the same way. Well as spring break begins I hope you are all having a great time and not thinking of classes too much this week. Have a good one and take care--Emily

Friday, March 12, 2004
I hope everyone is able to get the final draft done for monday. I am one of the poor souls who is working all week while others are getting away for awhile. Oh, well that was my choice. I guess making money has to come before spending. Even though that isn't as fun. Have a fun and safe break and will see everyone back in class on monday.

Hi Everyone-

I bet you all are really excited about spring break! I certainly know I am! Anyways, I am glad we got through the proposal, it helped (for me at least) clear up some of the misunderstandings about our future assignments. But, trying to put it together is another story. Like most of you, I've had midterms and quizzes piling on top of me, and I almost forgot to post my blogger, plus, I am trying to pack for my spring break trip (in which I leave for tonight!!!). So, I threw my proposal together in about a day and wasn't even for sure if I had everything that I needed, or I was still finishing on some ideas. I am glad it's all over and we all have a week to kick back relax. Hope you all have a fun spring break!!!

Has anyone else really been waiting for Spring Break? Wow what a semester it has been, It's just been crazy for me. Anyway I thought it was interesting to note that once we get back from break we only have 6 more weeks left of class. Yeah 6 more weeks! Pretty crazy when you think about how fast the semester has gone, at least for me anyway. Regarding to the Proposal and Final Project, I guess we will all be working on the proposal over Break since It's due the Monday we get back. I found it was really rushed that we got the assignment Wednesday, the full draft was due 2 days later, and now were expected to thave 3-6 pages due Monday after Break. I guess luckily for me I'm not really doing a lot over break so I will have some time to work on it. But for any of you who are going somewhere warm enjoy it, and then come back and get the Proposal done before Monday.

I am having a little trouble understanding this next series of assignments...Anyone else having trouble? As I was trying to write my proposal last night I realized that I really didn't have a good idea of what I was supposed to be doing! I did come up with something, but I am not sure if it is what Lori is looking for. I hope that the peer review will help me out some. I wish we had an assignment sheet that told us about all of the assignments in this series, so that I would know what this all going to turn in to. I hope that I am not the only one that is a little confused! Have a great spring break everyone!

Like some of you have already mentioned, I am also having trouble narrowing down my topic for my proposal. I have several broad subjects that would be interesting to cover, however, I feel Laurie is looking for something a bit more specific. Any suggestions would be much appreciated. I am also a bit confused as to why we had to read chapter nine for this weeks class. Did i miss somehing or are we suppose to do an abstract or executive summary for our final report. I thought the information in chapter nine was interesting and beneficial, but the differences between abstracts and executive summaries could have been contrasted better.

Thursday, March 11, 2004
Did you all hear in the news that target put its two department stores up for sale, Marshall fields and Mervyns. This is news is surprizing i wanted what is going to happen to the departments stores, its seems as if they are all being taken over by cheaper places such as walmart and also target. It is estimated that the two chains are book valued at around 3.7 billion dollars. Ever since the name Marshall Fields took the place of Daytons, sales and stocks have declined immensley. Any way how are the proposals going to tell you the truth midterms this week have been first priority so i don't think i am going to get the rough draft done by friday, but hey i guess thats life. Have a good spring break.

Is anyone having a hard time finding credible sources and trying to narrow down your topic for our proposal assignment? I know I've been having difficulties and it's driving me nuts because I have so much other homework and tests to study for this week. I'm surprised with everything going on this week that I even remembered to post my blogger. I hope all of you have a good grasp on this one. I know it's a pain we have to work on this assignment during our break. Good Luck to all of you and enjoy your spring break!

I wish we had a little more time to come up with a topic for our recommendation report. I feel rushed to find a good topic. Considering we have to use this topic for all of our projects for the rest of the semester, I feel that we could have used a little more time to research. It also doesn't help that it is the week before spring break and, like everyone else, I have a million other papers, tests, and projects due this week.

Wednesday, March 10, 2004
I am beginning to feel more confident about the proposal. Although I have yet to grasp exactly what I want to write about and through what methods and organization, I do feel like I'm headed toward the right direction. Can anyone specify what the difference is between the research question and the problem statement. I believe that the research question is based around the problem statement, but I am not completely sure.
The fact that most seem to be as unsure and as unprepared as I am makes me feel a lot better about the assignment. I think that our blogger will be extremely helpful throughout this assignment. It will give everyone the chance to share questions and uncertainties, as well as solutions.

For our next assignment, we have to do a proposal. I do not mind writing a proposal because I was fortunate enough to write a couple of proposals in my other classes. However, I still cannot figure out a topic I can use for the whole semester. I can choose a topic for the proposal but I do not know if the topic can extend into a whole report. I think the most difficult part so far is finding a good topic to write the general report. I have done some research but it is leading me nowhere. I hope that I will find a topic SOON. Is everyone in the same boat as me or things going better for you?

if anyone has fallen behind, don't worry. Just work hard in the second half of the semester. This is a 1,000 pt. class. You have plenty of time to catch up. You must weigh your classes on the points available, not the amount of credits. That is my advice for the day. Have a good spring break. By the way, can anyone tell me how many words a blog has to be. Sometimes I just write what I'm thinking and don't pay attention.


Man you guys, I really need to get cracking on this assignment! I don't think that I have written a proposal for any of my other classes, and i am having a bit of trouble generating ideas. My brain has been so fryed this week though because I have had so much other stuff for all my other classes due. Have any of you guys had that happen this week? Midterms, tests, papers, quizzes all crammed into one bloody week? Thats stressful! But hey, what better way to relax than watching Starsky and Hutch this weekend! That looks like a funny one. Have any of you guys seen it yet? Maybe I do a double feature and check out the Passion of the Christ after it...or maybe before it, because it sounds kind of depressing. But back to this proposal...what kinds of things are you guys coming up with? Hit me back with some ideas!


The bus strike is terrible and is causing lot of problems for sutdents. I heard that it will go on for a month atleast. that is not cool.

After spending a few days thinking about topics for the recomendation report, it seems like the hardest part of this assignment is finding a topic broad enough for a 10-12 page paper. I could think of several small topics that interest me but I had to ask for some other people's ideas because nothing I thought of could be expanded far enough.
The other big issue for this assignment seems to be finding an audience for the report. I am not sure if this report can be written for being able to give advice to people in general or if we need to be able to present it to a more expert audience.

Hello Everyone-

For my last posting I suggested that we could help each other with potential topics. Thank you Janet for your positive response :) I have actually found what I believe is a very good topic that I will be able to not only use but do very well with. My potential topic is something along the lines of "efficiency in the workplace," or "employee efficiency." The reason I chose this topic is because my family owns a business which I am currently involved with. I plan to major in Retail Merchandising, which would make me even more valuable to our company. Employee efficency is a major problem in my mind because for some reason employees feel they can be lazy but really, if they were in the employers position, they wouldn't be lazy. Not only lazy, but they feel the time is not as valuable as it really is. Anyway, when I asked Laurie if she thought my topic, she thought it was good. She suggested I could possibly make the topic narrower. For example, "employee efficency in small business." Perfect, because it is a small business, well I guess I might not be able to say that for long but reguardless it works great for now! Especially since smaller businesses have to be more critical about employees because they don't have as much give when it comes to lee-way with time. Anyway, I hope we can continue this discussion and other people can post their topics to maybe help those who are struggling with that aspect of our final assignments!

Tuesday, March 09, 2004
I am confused about the next project. Are we writing the proposal about the recommendation report topic? I was a few minutes late last Friday and I was completely confused and Monday didn't help clarify much. It was nice of Ms. Johnson to bring us donuts, did anyone thank her? I noticed quite a few people are having a hard time coming up with a good topic for the proposal and I am one of them. I know that Ms. Johnson wants us to write about something applicable in our majors but I don't know what that would be. I am a med tech major and I think of my job as a lot of hands on, lab tests, and manual stuff so I am unsure of what kinds of communication I will be doing. Hopefully no one else has these sorts of dilemmas.

Sunday, March 07, 2004
Our group finally finished our project, and tomorrow is the big due date! We managed to get by with using only one picture. I think our instructions turned out pretty clear, so hopefully they will make it easy for just about anyone to create our object. I am glad that the instructions assignment was a group project, because I think it would have been a little bit harder to complete if it had been an individual project. I also think that the interaction required between people in order to create a final product and agree on everything was a good experience. Now I am looking forward to the next assignment! :)

SO, what do you think about Martha Stewart? As you may already know, she was convicted guilty on all four counts. It has been said that she is going to repeal the charges. Do you think she has a chance? I hope she has to spend some time in prison. I have a feeling that just because she is "famous" that she will get out of it somehow. If one of us had done what she did, we wouldn't stand a chance! Her sentencing is supposed to be in a couple of months...I am interested to see what happens!

I am having some difficulty with this reccomendation report because I don't have any good ideas for a topic. I think that the hardest part of this assignment is going to be choosing a good topic because I don't want something that I am going to get bored with easy. If the topic is not interesting to me than I will have a more difficult time writting a good report.

How has everyone like this group project? I thought it was not bad myself. I guess in the past I have had some really irrisponsible people in my groups when doing group work so I am very please with the outcome of this project. Has anyone starting to take a look or think about what they might be doing for their final projects? I was asked this question by a classmate and I was like no actually I haven't. I was just wondering what kind of ideas people have come up with. Maybe it would light a spark or two in those of us who have no clue. I'm not too worried at this point in time though, especially considering we still do not know entirely our assignment. I hope everyone has a good and successful week! Last one before spring break! Where is everyone going???


So, has anyone actually looked at other blogs? While trying to find discussion topics, I cruised around Blogger, and some of the sites are not bad if you’re really bored. Most of them are personalized, so unless you actually know the person, they’re fairly pointless. I did link to an amusing blog of how hard high school is, but the girl was procrastinating on doing homework by actually writing blogs, instead of the blogs being the homework. Anyway, if anyone else is bored and already on blogger because they need to do the weekly assignment, they’re worth checking out.


I just wanted to see if anyone else is having difficulties thinking of ideas for their recommendation report. After class on Friday I tried to brainstorm some ideas and I was having trouble thinking of anything good. I tried to work on this some more this weekend, but I found that difficult since we don't have the criteria yet. I just hope I am able to have something ready by Friday since that is when our rought draft is due. I don't know about everyone else but I have so much to do this week before break that I don't know if I will have enough time to put together a good quality rough draft. So far I haven't had any trouble meeting deadlines, but I don't seem to be off to that great of a start for this assignment.

The recommendation report assignment seems like it will be a lot of work. One good thing about it though is there are due dates for some of the preparatory work, which will really help us stay on top of things. It seems like one of the most tricky parts of this assignment will be picking a really good topic. It seems like if your topic is good it will make the whole writing process go a lot smoother and cause a lot less headaches.

I don't know about anyone else, but I enjoyed this instruction assignment. It might have been because I had a great group, or because it was a project where we got to be more creative. Whatever the reason, I liked working in a group to accomplish a set goal. The only thing I would change about the assignment deals with the peer-evaluation day (Wednesday) when we put one another's device together. I felt it would have been more beneficial to try to put together the item by the instructions and diagrams themselves, instead of having a protocol to look at, to assess where the instructions were unclear or became confusing. I just think with the protocol, if there was confusion, people would solve it by looking at the finished device instead of trying to figure it out on instructions alone. An unclear instruction may have been overlooked because of this. In the real setting, the customer would not have the protocol to look at, just the instructions and pictures in the information packet

In light of our upcoming proposal assignment, I did some searching on the net and found a good site for proposal writing:
A Practical Guide for Writing Proposals by Alice Reid
It agrees with our textbook and it's always good to see information backed up by different sources. In addition, the site has a planning sheet for a proposal and information about citing sources, which is always helpful. There's also links to writing various kinds of proposals, for funding, etc. Maybe it will be useful for our assignment.

Since I was reading chapter 9 I found it was very intersting and relevant. I understood the difference between purpose and executive. I also realized how important it is to give deep concern about the first pragraphof the whatever you writting because as the chapter mentioned it is not necessary that people who reading your statement are aware of the field or the topic you writting and always most of the judement of your writting sitting under the first pragraph of the statement.

What I liked best about the instructions assignment was that there were many steps that helped us to get to the final draft. We worked as a group to come up with an idea. This was fun because we could use our imagination to decide on a product to create. We then divided up our tasks so we would all have an equal amount of work involved in the project as well as be able to complete the project without having to get together many times since we all have busy schedules. I also enjoyed when we put together other groups projects, which in return, helped us with our own in that we could see some problem areas all groups were having. And then we finally get to take all of the criticism from the groups who evaluated us and this helped us to make a final draft. So I belived the instructions assignment was good in this way.

The Instructions Assignment and Teamwork

During the planning and organizing process our group examined two different methods to completing the project. The first was to have everyone have a part in everything and the second was to divide up the work and distribute it to the members evenly.
The first method was considered due to a couple different advantages. The first was that everyone would gain experience in the writing of every different field, the second was that work distribution would be more even than if we had divided it by sections, and the third was that the document as a whole would be more coherent.
The second method was considered due to the lack of need to be in constant contact, the time saving process of not spending time modifying each others ideas, and allowing one person to become proficient in one task so as to more quickly make changes and improvements.
In the end the deciding factor of our choice of method was our schedules. As we compared schedules we quickly came to the realization that it was impossible for us to get together outside of class and work on the project. Hence, we chose the second method which allowed us to touchbase only once every few days and still accomplish what we needed to accomplish.

Saturday, March 06, 2004
My group finally finished our instructions project. We made quite a few changes to our rough draft based on feedback we received. It was surprising how confusing our directions were to other groups. We thought our instructions were pretty straightforward, so it was nice to receive helpful feedback to improve our project.
I am trying to brainstorm ideas for the recommendation report, but am having a little trouble. I am also worried that the rought draft for the proposal is due Friday but we haven't actually received an assignment sheet yet.

Friday, March 05, 2004
I liked that we were able to recreate each others work and critique it. By doing so, we were able to help each other to fix what ever steps that may have been unclear. This assignment was one of the best assignments I've had so far. Since this was a group effort, my group member did not have any issues . My group worked out well because we knew what we had to do and divided the assignment. By doing so we were not worrying about each others schedule.
For the next assign assignment we have to do a proposal and recommendation. I am uncertain as to what I will be doing. I will probably have an idea sometime next week, I hope.

Overall, this group assignment has been a good experience. Despite any uncertainties or difficulties that come hand-in-hand with projects, group projects especially, I feel that the kinks have been worked out. Personally, I felt very confident about the project at the beginning, but later lost a little momentum throughout the many processes that the assignment consists of. However, now that I have come to see the impressive results that my group members and I have created, my momentum and confidence are back. I assume that this assignment has been a challenge to most in the class, but the experience will technical writing will be of benefit to all in the future.

Thursday, March 04, 2004
After attempting to construct other team’s prototypes on Wednesday I realized how difficult it is for the designers to both create and give instructions. The individuals who created the product become so familiar with the material certain steps may be easily overlooked. The process of watching others stubble through the directions was a great way to see where any hang-ups may lie. I think Wednesday’s class was an important step in the instruction process.
Another interesting aspect I saw when attempting other group’s instruction manual was the importance of simple language. Keeping the descriptions clear and concise seems to be the key to this assignment. Keeping the same terms through out the manual and making sure that logically those terms relate to the item is crucially useful. Which I am sure is obvious to everyone, but after you have been dealing with the prototype for so long certain things may go overlooked.

I just wanted to comment on a couple things. First, I have to say (believe it or not) how much I have actually enjoyed this instructions project! Eventhough the last few days have seemed hectic, it was still a lot of fun. My group and I had a difficult time trying to assess what comments from the other groups were valid or not, as well as if there were any more general changes to make. Other than that, it has been great!
Second, this sort of pertains to the instructions project as well. This is in regards to chapter 14 on teamwork, but more so on leadership. I thought this is interesting, because in my management class I am learning about leadership and what makes a good leader. According to my text book, "Management," written by Richard Daft, for a person to lead would mean they would have to influence the people underneath them "to achieve organizational goal" (pg.7). Eventhough my group didn't have a particular leader, we all seemed to be leaders, in that we were trying to achieve something by putting our efforts into this project.

Group work is stressful when you have a deadline you have to reach and there are parts missing. I know my group is working hard together but when we are not able to meet or when members of the group miss class, it is to be on the same page and make sure the final assignment is done to be turned in. I hope everyone will hold up their ends and have their area ready to be inserted into the final draft.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004
For the past week we have been working in groups for our second assignment that dealt with making instructions. We were fortunate enough to pick our own groups but group work is difficult under any circumstances. My group members and I have different schedules and it was hard to find a time where all of us can meet. We have the same common goals but getting there was more difficult than I had anticipated. We also had some miscommunications that led to more problems. However I do enjoy my group members and I am glad that we were given this assignment, working together as a group. Group/team work is obviously done outside of school and having the chance to work with others is a change in an academic setting. Having group dynamic skills will prepare students such as myself to be able to work with others. We can definitely learn from each other. What are your thoughts on group/team work?

I have found that this "Instructions" assignment is more difficult than I thought it would be. I thought how hard could it be to describe instructions to how we put our project together. After today's class when we were doing peer reviews, I thought differently. One group had a good idea of how we constructed our project, but the other group said they were confused and got lost. It was good to get feedback so we know what was clear and understandable and what was confusing for other groups. With the information we received from groups, we can make the proper adjustments to our paper, which will make it much easier for our readers to follow.


The instruction assignment has brought up many interesting issues. I found it interesting that my group had so many different thoughts as to what to call the different pieces or how we were to arrange the different items. Even when taking pictures of our objects we each had different ideas as to what we wanted to see. I think this is what working in groups brings to the final project. Many different ideas, and then you come up with what you hope is the best options based off the groups members decision. Although I feel sometimes the best option gets thrown out or overlooked do to one members ability to persway the other members to think differently. It’s amazing how sometimes you can look back at things and be like hey that guy was right, we should have done it that way instead. Seems to happen in the work place a lot.

I found it interesting on Monday when my group members brought together their parts of the assignment to see what each of us had called the different parts. Even though we were describing the same object within the same project are descriptions were all a little different. This really brought home the idea of needed to edit the instructions to make sure they are consistent. If we do not make the naming system consistent it is very easy to see how a reader could get very confused about which part is which when he or he is trying to assemble our object.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004
Its back the invasion of the asian beetles. Those bugs get in anywhere it is just amazing how they can show up in just massive numbers in places you never would expect them to inhabbit. This spring is expected to have more ladybugs than last fall, which is just amazing to think about considering how bad the infestation was last fall. When we get warm days like last saturday the ladybugs which have stayed dormant all winter begin to emerge, multiplying exponentially. Anyway just thought i would write something somewhat dealing with spring.

Anyone in group tree for our class that can post a blog letting me know if I'm needed to write any portion of the instructions. This is Mike Moon and I'm in the 8:30 A.M. class. I used a larger pipe cleaner that is green and the tree looks great, but I couldn't make it on Monday because my car broke down. Sorry,

Monday, March 01, 2004
Is anyone else having difficulty remembering to do blogs?? What about coming up with topics to write about? A mandatory, one-sided conversation is fairly difficult for me to come up with once a week, no matter how short. (Good thing this complaint will take up half of my required word count.) That said, I thought the part of Chapter 16 where they discussed the differences in using Notes, Cautions, Warnings and Dangers was fairly interesting. I had never considered that the different words were used for different levels of danger; I assumed it was up to the opinion of the writer. While I will probably never use this piece of trivia outside of Rhetoric, it is interesting to know.

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