Professional Writing – Course Schedule

The Professional Writing Schedule outlines course assignments, readings, and due dates for Professional Writing - ENC 3250, sections 4 and 32, Fall 2022. This document is updated regularly so reset your cache regularly, especially on Mondays and course days. Shoot me an email if you have any questions.        

Course Syllabus | Google Docs Tutorial | GEA1GEA2

Summary

Professional writing is an undergraduate course on workplace writing and oral communication. This course serves sophomore and junior-level undergraduate business students. It fulfills the University’s general-education requirement for an emphasis on collaboration, a high-impact practice. Acknowledgements: My thanks to Julie Staggers for helping me develop this course. 

Last Updated: 8/17/22


ENC3250.004
Tuesdays & Thursdays, 12:30-1:45
BSN: 1309

ENC3250.032
Tuesdays & Thursdays,
2:00-3:15 pm
BSN 1403
Professor: Joseph M. Moxley (he/him/his)
Email: mox@usf.edu
Office Hours: by appointment. Please email me to set up a meeting. If possible, let’s meet before or after class.
Contact Details

Dear Students,

Welcome to the course schedule for Professional Writing, ENC 3250, Sections 4 and 32.

This course serves sophomore and junior-level undergraduate business students. It fulfills the university’s general-education requirement for an emphasis on collaborationa high-impact practice

Below is the current schedule for this course.

So that I may refer to you with the appropriate pronoun in Canvas, the University’s course LMS (learning management system), would you please set your preferences for your personal pronoun at Canvas > Settings.

Note: If you have a first name change request for Canvas, please email IDM-Help@usf.edu from your official USF email account. You do not need to provide personal details for the request. Tell USF the first name you want to show in Canvas. This will also change your name in the directory, but it will not change your email address.

Also, please check my course Announcements @ Canvas. I make weekly and often bi weekly assignments via Announcements. Please email me when you have questions. I’ll typically respond back in 24 hours. If you don’t hear from me within 24 hours, pls send me a 2nd email.

To succeed in this course

  • check Canvas daily for announcements from me
    (I’ll communicate with you in class and through Canvas Announcements)
  • carefully read and reread assignment guidelines and required readings
  • adopt a growth mindset; invest the time needed to improve your collaboration and communication competencies
    • n the tradition of U.S. higher education, academic credit is a measure of the time commitment required of a typical student in a specific course. According to this framework, the anticipated time commitment for this course is 3 hours of work per week for each credit hour (a minimum of 9 hours per week). In reality, however, this course could take more or less time, depending on your existing competencies as a researcher, collaborator, thinker, and writer.  Learning to write well takes practice and effort. Putting the time in is essential to your development as a writer. 
  • take the collaborative project seriously
    1. identify a discrete problem that people care about
    2. explore the role of conflictt
  • email me when you have questions.

I hope you enjoy the semester. I hope the course helps you develop your competencies as a writers, speakers, and knowledge workers.

Best of luck to you.

Joe Moxley, Professor

Navigation Tips:
1. When reviewing the schedule below, you’ll notice quite a few hyperlinks. Don’t assume you should select all of those hyperlinks. You only need to view the hyperlinks if you’re unfamiliar with the term or you want to get a Writing-Studies perspective of the topic.

You can use the search feature to find a word on a page, such as week 8 rather than scrolling all the way down to find Week 8.

Navigation GuideWriter’s Guide

Required Texts

Required Course Tools

  • Canvas (for grading and project management)
  • gDocs (for document collaboration and peer review)
  • a citation tool

Projects for ENC 3250
Sections 4 & 32 of
Fall Semester, 2022

8/23/22 – 12/1/22

Project 1, Introduction to Problem Solving

Students engage in textual and empirical methods to develop a problem definition; develop an Information Visualization, Data Visualization for some aspect of the problem space (e.g., stakeholders, causes, effects); revise and edit multiple iterations of a problem definition; and then pitch what they’ve learned about the problem in a 60 second video for the instructor.

Your goal this week is to write about a problem, an exigency, a problem space that matters to stakeholders.

  • This problem space needs to be “a specific local problem happening at USF or in the community . . . The problem you choose should be relevant to your experience, related to your discipline, and happening now to people in your community or USF” (General Education Council).

Notice “to people in your community or USF” opens the door for you to investigate problems that affect USF stakeholders or other audiences and markets.

Notice as well that you are not expected to have solutions for problems at this point in your analysis.

Tuesday, 8/22

  1. First, review of course syllabus and schedule
  2. Next, add your name in alphabetical order to the course sandbox.
  • Due: in-class First-Day Attendance. You need to be present in class to avoid being dropped per USF’s first-day attendance policy. Please log on to Canvas and complete the required first-day assignment. Be sure to list your name in alphabetical order on the course gdoc.

    If you add the course late, be sure to complete the instructions for this assignment nonetheless–per the guidelines published at the course sandbox.

    Note: By adding your name to the Course gDoc Sandbox, you are acknowledging that you have read the Course Syllabus, including the Campus Free Expression Act and Medical Excuse Policy.

Wednesday, 8/24

  • Due: Discussion Board Post to the course discussion board via Canvas.

Assignment Guidelines: Discussion Board Post: What is Professional Writing?

Assignment Prompt

Write a discussion board note to your peers that explains and exemplifies what makes professional writing distinct from academic writing. What does professional writing look like in 2022?

Required Readings

Critically read the two articles below about professional writing:

  1. Julie Gerdes’ Workplace Writing
  2. Professional Writing Prose Style

Rhetorical Stance

You have two audiences for this post: (1) students in your class; (2) the instructor.

You are encouraged to quote, paraphrase, and summarize from these resources in your discussion board post.

Purpose

Your goal is to demonstrate you have read the course readings and understand distinctions between professional writing and academic writing

Assessment

Your instructor will be looking to see that you can use concrete, sensory language; that you understand the need for exemplification in workplace writing; and that you can write college-level reader-based prose.


Thursday, 8/25


Sunday, 8/28

  • Due Problem Definition Memo

Assignment Guidelines: Problem Definition Memo, 1st Iteration

Assignment Prompt

Write a Problem Definition in memo format to Ms. Elizabeth Paul, Dr. Demetri Martin or a third audience approved by instructor.

“Your report will address a specific local problem happening at USF or in the community. To identify the problem you will address, research the world around you. Read your local newspaper and USF newspaper, The Oracle. Bring your disciplinary knowledge to bear. Think about local problems in your field. Identify the decision-makers in the problem . . . The problem you choose should be relevant to your experience, related to your discipline, and happening now to people in your community or USF.

Once you have selected your problem, you will thoroughly research the problem. Your goal is to provide a complete understanding to your audience of the problem and its causes. The audience must understand the problem to be able to see how the solution addresses the issue. Then you will research and explain to your audience a solution that is realistic and feasible. You will provide evidence that the solution you recommend is the right one for the given situation. Research for the recommendation report works to prove to the audience that the recommended action is an achievable, workable, and appropriate for the problem given the practical constraints (i.e., resources, budget, time, personnel, etc.). Recommendation reports address the following questions:

  • What problem are you going to solve?
  • How are you going to solve it?
  • Is it practical to pursue this solution?
  • What are benefits of the solution?
  • How much will the work cost?
  • When and how will you complete the work?

Again, the answers to these must be based on research. Thorough research gives the audience the information they need to fully understand the problem and assess your solution (Source: USF General Education Council)

“If I had only one hour to save the world, I would spend fifty-five minutes defining the problem, and only five minutes finding the solution.”

Albert Einstein

Step #1, Identify Your Rhetorical Stance.

When you first begin a writing project, you want to engage in analysis of the rhetorical situation. Typically, rhetorical analysis of audience is the first step you’ll want to take when beginning a new writing project. For this assign, choose one of the following audiences:

  1. Imagine you are a Research Assistant writing for Demetri Martin, Director of University Relations.
    • Dr. Martin has been tasked by the Provost to identify one or two problems at the university that are undermining the university’s reputation as an institution that cares about its students or about its town-gown relationships. The Provost has informed Dr. Martin that a donor has earmarked a $25M gift to the university. She has also informed Dr. Martin that the donor is open to invest in just about any problem so long as it has a major, long-term impact on the university and its reputation. The Provost has also indicated that if Demetri blows this assignment, he’ll be replaced.

      In response, Dr. Martin has hired a dozen undergraduates from throughout the university to serve as Research Assistants for one academic semester. These undergraduates come from a variety of Colleges at the University, and they have been selected based on references, GPA, and their application materials.

      You are one of the lucky winners of this position, and you hope to use this experience to sharpen your research and writing skills, and, hopefully, to identify a problem that is meaningful and impactful–and that will boost the university’s plummeting status as a nurturing space for undergraduates.

      Note: Dr. Martin is not interested in hearing about solutions at this problem. In fact, he’s made it clear that your focus should be customer discovery–i.e., interviewing faculty, other students, alumni, and other stakeholders about ways the university could improve its curriculum and support services for undergraduates and better meet the needs of the broader community.

      Note: Choosing this rhetoric stance involves an internal recommendation memo. In this situation, you are writing as an employee of the university,.
  2. Imagine you are an entrepreneur who has been funded $50,000 to explore a problem space.
    • Ms. Paul, a serial entrepreneur and former partner in a local venture capital company, has had a wonderfully successful career as an entrepreneur in SF. Now she has retired to Tampa Bay, and she has given the university $25M to fund entrepreneurial projects.

      You’re an ambitious undergraduate in the Business College, and you want to take a shot at winning $200,000 to jumpstart a new business. The problem, though, is you have no idea what sort of project you can develop that would be compelling enough to warrant funding. So, you’ve enrolled in an undergraduate course in entrepreneurship, and the professor — Matt McCormick — has tasked you with engaging in customer discovery.

      As a first step, Professor McCormick has told you to engage in textual research about a particular problem space and to engage in some informal, preliminary research–including interviews with stakeholders. Dr McCormick has also encouraged you to relax about finding a problem space. In fact, he seems obsessed with pivoting–the idea that you’ll move from problem to problem for a while till one sticks and grabs hold of you, waking you at night.

      Please note: Ms. Paul and Professor McKormick terribly interested in small time business that will earn you and a few others a comfortable salary. Rather, they seek ideas that can be blitzscaled.

      Addresses
      Ms. Elizabeth Paul, Strategic Consultant, FACC (Florida Adventure Capital Corp, #1 Main Street, Tampa FL.

      Professor McKormick, Visiting Professor, Chair of Entrepreneurship Program, 1 Connect Way, USF, Tampa, FL
  3. Work with your instructor to identify another rhetorical situation.
    • Are you working now in a business that is confronting some new challenges? If so, choose one business problem to investigate. And, so that I can follow and give appropriate comments, please write a description of the rhetorical situation for your instructor.

Step #2: Engage in Prewriting, Rhetorical Analysis & Rhetorical Reasoning

Next, engage in a some informal, preliminary research. Ask yourself

  1. Who are the stakeholders? Who are the people in your community or the USF community who experience the problem? You, your family, friends and loved ones?
  2. How do these stakeholders experience the problem space in their day-to-day lives?
  3. How do different stakeholders experience the problem? Do stakeholders have competing interests or perspectives?
  4. Is this a new problem or a derivative problem?
  5. What is the history of the problem? Causes? Effects?
  6. What is the size and scope of the problem? Is this problem unique to a small group of stakeholders?

    [ Note: Memos are not forms: questions/answers. They are narratives, stories. ]

Length & Formatting

Two pages. Use headings, lists, bullets and other rhetorical moves made by professional writers; see Professional Writing Prose Style

Length: 1 to 2 pages, memo format. [Note–at least 400 words]

Suggested Readings

for help with writing

for help with invention:


Week 2, 8/29 to 9/4

During Week 2, you’re provided the opportunity to further investigate problem spaces “relevant to your experience, related to your discipline, and happening now to people in your community or USF” [emphasis added]. You’ll add visualization(s) to your problem statement.

Tuesday, 8/30

Required Readings

Before class, read,

Recommended Readings

Class Activities:

  1. In class Revision & Editing Exercises
  2. Introduction to Visual Language

Wednesday, 8/31

  • Submit Data Visualization Exercise

Assignment Guidelines: Invention Exercise for the Problem Definition Memo

Step 1. Rhetorical Stance

Audience

Ms. Elizabeth Paul or Mr. Demetri Martin or a third audience approved by instructor

Purpose

The purpose of this visualization exercise is

  1. for you to engage in creative play: invention. Given this purpose, this assignment will be graded Complete/Incomplete
  2. for you to visually depict the problem space you are investigating.
    • Your visualization may depict the stakeholders. It may illustrate the relationships among stakeholders in the problem space
    • Your visualization may focus on problems or causes or effects related to the problem.
      • Because the goal of this exercise is to draft a preliminary sketch, it can be hand drawn. However, if your illustration competencies are underdeveloped, you are encouraged to experiment using a drawing program.
    • Your visualization may be a collage of images. All images need to include APA-required citation information). Ideally these are original images taken of your problem space and stakeholders.

Step 2. Write a 100 word summary that explains your visualization.

  • Use APA for any sources you reference

Step 3. Upload the visualization and summary to Canvas.

  • If possible, provide the link to the visualization online. Canvas tends to shrink uploaded images.

Recommended Drawing Programs

  • Figma.Com

Required Readings


Thursday, 9/1

Sunday, 9/4

  • Due: Problem Definition Memo, 2nd Iteration

Assignment Guidelines: Problem Definition Memo, 2nd Iteration

  1. Review the readings and guidelines for the initial draft (see above)
  2. Consider your instructor’s feedback
  3. Include an information visualization appropriate to the problem space you are investigating
  4. Adopt a professional writing style, including headings, bullets, lists, tables, graphs, illustrations
  5. Draft, revise, and edit as necessary
  6. Cite images and secondary sources in APA
    1. If you use images in the text of your memo or report, cite them in the caption. Photo by X.
  7. Submit a pdf version of your Problem Definition, 2nd iteration to Canvas. Or, upload the url that leads to the gDoc version of your Problem Definition Memo.

Week 3, 9/5 to 9/11

Tuesday, 9/6

  • Discuss Assignment Guidelines: Video Pitch

Required Readings

Wed, 9/7, Due: Video Pitch


Assignment Guidelines: Video Pitch

Rhetorical Stance

Audience

Ms. Elizabeth Paul or Mr. Demetri Martin or a third audience approved by instructor

Purpose

The purpose of this visualization exercise is to describe the problem space you have been investigating. Be sure to explain who the stakeholders are, what the problem is they experience, and how they experience it–whether it’s a nice to solve or a need to solve problem.

This is a practice pitch. I ask that you share it with me. You are not required to share this pitch with your classmates.

Length

1 minute. Note: Don’t worry about production quality

Context

For the last two weeks you want to have thought about the problem a bit, done some preliminary research, and taken a quick look at scholarly conversations on the problem space and related topics. Ideally, you have explored

  1. Is this a new problem or a derivative problem?
  2. What is the history of the problem? Causes? Effects?
  3. What is the size and scope of the problem? Is it a scalable problem?
  4. Who are the stakeholders?
  5. Who are the people in your community or the USF community who experience the problem? You, your family, friends and loved ones? How do these stakeholders experience the problem space in their day-to-day lives? How do different stakeholders experience the problem? Do stakeholders have competing interests or perspectives?

Evaluative Criteria

Be sure to speak clearly so I can understand the problem space. Note–you are not expected to provide slides for this assignment. Rather, try to relax. Think about your audience. Think about the problem and what you’ve learned about its causes, effects, and significance. Then tell a focused, evidence-based. Be as descriptive as possible.

You will not be graded on production quality.

Tools

Use your cell phone to record your pitch. Save the recording and upload it to YouTube and send me the url or upload it to Canvas.

As an alternative to a video recording on your phone, some students have preferred to use loom.com or Teams or Zoom for a quick, recorded video.

Submission Requirements

  1. Upload to Canvas a link leading to the url leading to your 60-second video pitch. Or, upload the video. In general, this process works more smoothly when you link to a you tube video.
  • Note: You may delete the file immediately after receiving your grade if you wish. Protect your digital footprint!

Thursday, 9/8

  • Introduction to Product 2

Assigned Readings

Project 2: Introduction to Information Design

Activities: “Students explore a specific problem that is “relevant to their experience, related to their discipline, and happening now to people in their community or USF.” They then locate and collect numerical data about the subject (in the form of studies, reports, spreadsheets, or articles), and select data to visualize and provide an overall sense of the subject.”

Topics: Information Design – Semiotics – Visual Language – Information Visualization
NASA's model of the big bang & expansion of universe
NASA’s visualization of the big bang and expansion of universe

Sunday, 9/11

  • Due Data Visualization: Create an Original Table, Figure, Graph or Illustration

Assignment Guidelines: Data Visualization Exercise

Assignment Prompt

  1. Create an original table, figure, graph, or illustration that analyzes data (aka information) from two different sources.
    • Be sure readers can reasonably discern the sources for cited information by using APA format in the text and in the references
    • Note: It is not responsive to this assignment to cut and paste someone else’s table, figure, illustration.
  2. Draft, revise and edit a succinct explanation of your data visualization. A paragraph or a sentence or two is fine. Brevity remains the coin of the realm. Why did you choose to visualize your data as a chart, table, or graph?
  3. Note: you can explore a new problem for this assignment if you wish. Ideally, it’s most strategic to develop a work product that can be used in the final iteration of your problem definition memo.

Audience

Your instructor or another audience approved by your instructor–such as Ms. Elizabeth Paul, Dr. Demetri Martin.

Purpose

Use visual language to draw a preliminary sketch of the problem space that intrigues you.

Recommended Readings


Week 4, 9/12 to 9/18

Welcome to Week 4. This two-week module concerns information design, visual language, design, and citation of images.

Tuesday, 9/13

Wednesday, 9/14

  • Memo on Design Principles

Assignment Guidelines: Memo on Design Principles

Rhetorical Stance

Audience

Your instructor is the audience for this assignment. Your instructor is looking to see that you have some knowledge of design and design principles.

Requirements

Use at least three design terms from the following list to critique infographics published @ The Visual Capitalist.

Other Required Content

  1. Use at least two screenshots from two infographics published at the The Visual Capitalist.
  2. Be sure to cite the infographic/screenshots and any secondary sources you reference
  3. Use APA for references.

Recommended Readings


Sunday, 9/18

  • Due: Infographic & Memo on Design Choices, 1st Iteration

Assignment Guidelines: Infographic & Memo on Design Choices, 1st Iteration

Infographic Guidelines

Develop an infographic that tells a story about data. This infographic may be on any topic you wish. Your infographic may be informative or persuasive:

  1. An information infographic focuses on concepts to simplify or teach complex ideas
  2. A persuasive (aka editorial infographic) focuses on persuasion and calls for readers to take action

Your infographic must

  • include one original infographic
  • use data visualization strategies to help readers understand a complicated concept and illustrate data in a way that helps the reader understand what the data means (i.e. helps reader see “the story” in the data.)
  • cite at least two sources in an unambiguous way. Cite all referenced data sets in the footer of the infographic or some other discreet place.
  • caption images you use with their copyright information

Rhetorical Stance

Audience

The potential audiences for this problem definition are

  • Dr. Martin or Ms. Paul
  • visually impaired people who use assistive technologies to read your infographic
  • your classmates
  • your instructor.

Your memo should be written in a professional writing style. Because your audience wants to learn more about your design choices, you should cite any claims made about design practices if those claims fall outside common knowledge.

Your instructor is curious to learn from you how design principles informed your composing. Your instructor will evaluate whether

  1. your infographic and design memo are responsive to the assignment guidelines
    1. you have followed the conventions of the genre of infographics
      • Be sure to provide two citations for two different sources of your data. Use APA
    2. your explanation of how graphic designers at The Visual Capitalist use design elements when composing suggests you have an understanding of design elements in semiotics and human communication:
      1. Color
      2. Copy
      3. Line
      4. Shape
      5. Space
      6. Texture
      7. Typography
    3. your explanation of your design choices demonstrates you have an understanding of the role of contrast, repetition, alignment and proximity in design

Purpose

The goal of The Memo on Design Choices is to demonstrate that you have learned some design principles of visual design, which constitutes a core literacy for knowledge workers.

One way for your instructor to ascertain mastery of visual language as it pertains to infographics is to look at your work.

Important Note: Your explanation of your design choices needs to do more than simply point out what you did. Instead, your explanation needs to address why you did what you did. Be sure to clarify how research and theory informed your design choices.

Style

Use a memo format and a professional writing prose style.

Length

  • individually authored infographic & memo: 2 to 3 pages
  • collaboratively authored infographic & memo: 3 to 5 pages + 2 additional pages per student

Deliverables

The Memo on Design Choices should be submitted simultaneously with your submission of your infographic. Upload your infographic and memo to Canvas. It’s fine to upload a link to your infographic so long as it’s freely available to your instructor.

Readings

At the Course Sandbox @ gDoc, provide a link to your

  1. memo on design choices
  2. infographic

Week 5, 9/19 to 9/25, Peer Review

Tuesday, 9/20

In class discussion of peer-review-assignment expectations

Wednesday, 9/21

  • Due: Peer Review Memo

Assignment Guidelines: Peer Review of Design Memo & Infographic

  1. Go to the course sandbox at gDoc. Scroll through your peers’ infographics and design memos. Select two colleagues’ works to review.
    • Please do your best to select an infographic and design memo outline/draft that has not yet been reviewed by other students in the class.

Consider the following criteria when critically reading your peers’ design memos and infographics.

  1. Responsiveness to the Assignment
  2. Story, Purpose
  3. Design
  4. Visuals

Responsiveness to the Assignment:
Does the infographic meet all of the assignment guidelines?

1. Is it an information infographic? a persuasive infographic?

2. Does the infographic have one original chart, table, or graph (i.e. one you created yourself)?

3. Does the infographic use a data visualization strategy from the Periodic Table of Visualization Methods to help the reader understand a complicated concept?

4. Does the infographic illustrate data in ways that help the audience understand what the data means (i.e. helps reader see “the story” in the data)?

5. Does the infographic cite at least two datasets, articles, books, blogs, or presentations? Is there sufficient bibliographical inofmration provided given copyright law.

At a minimum the memo must cite two on either design matters or infographics as a genre.
Cite all referenced data sets.

Story:
1. Does the infographic tell an engaging, compelling story?

2. Does the infographic provide the necessary introduction, contextual information, and sources its audience needs in order to assess its credibility or act?

Design:
1. Does the author’s use of design elements support or detract from the story? Does the author make strategic use of the Elements of Visual Design?

2. Does the layout (e.g., timeline, flowchart, hierarchical decision tree, comparison) support the story? Would another layout be more effective?

3. Does the color scheme make sense for the rhetorical situation?

4. Does the infographic provide the organizational schema and logical reasoning you need in order to understand the story?

Visuals:
1. Do the visuals make sense given the rhetorical situation for the infographic?

2. Are the sizes of the images appropriate given the role of the images in conveying the story.
3. Are images attributed appropriately? Used ethically?
4. Are images culturally sensitive?
5. Do original graphs and tables accurately reflect data?

Evaluations

  • To earn an A on this assignment, you need to provide critical feedback. Reviews that are solely positive will receive a C grade.

Submission Instructions

  • Share your memo on your peer’s document as a Comment.
  • Upload copies of your two peer review memos to Canvas so I can review and grade.

Sunday, 9/25

  • Due: Infographic & Memo on Design Choices, 2nd Iteration

Assignment Guidelines: Infographic & Memo on Design Choices, 2nd Iteration

Review your peers’ feedback. Endeavor to be open to critique. Analyze whether reviewers shared concerns and prioritize those when revising. Engaged in editing and revision strategies as necessary. Structured Revision is especially encouraged.


As travelers enter a new new space, perhaps a new country, they read the signs: they engage in literacy.

Project 3: Information Literacy

Students engage in a deeper dive into the problem space that interests them. They conduct textual research and qualitative research (including interviews, surveys, ethnographic observations) to investigate a problem that is relevant to them, their community, or the USF community.

Week 6, 9/26 to 10/2, Bibliography Exercise

Tuesday, 9/27

Before class,

  1. Read one of the following short articles:
    1. “The Science Behind the Growing Importance of Collaboration”
    2. How to Deal With Conflict in Project Teams
  2. Write a summary, paraphrase, and quotation from the article you’ve selected
  3. Write a reference for your chosen text

In class we will go over your drafts.

Wednesday, 9/28

  • Due: Citation Exercise to Canvas.

Assignment Guidelines: Bibliography Exercise

Rhetorical Stance

There are two audience for this document:

  1. Your instructor is the audience for this assignment. Your instructor is looking to see that you understand copyright conventions for citing, paraphrasing, quotation, and summarizing sources using APA
  2. Your peers who will read your summaries via the Canvas discussion board.

Required Deliverables

  1. Summary. Write a brief summary of the main idea of one of the two articles:
    1. “The Science Behind the Growing Importance of Collaboration”
    1. How to Deal With Conflict in Project Teams
  2. Paraphrase. In your own words, rephrase ideas from these two sources.
  3. Quotation. Introduce a direct quotation and/or a block quote from one of the assigned sources
  4. Reference (aka Citation). Provide the bibliographic information for both assigned sources.

Submission

Upload to the Discussion Board @ Canvas a one-to-two-page document that has the 4 work products outlined above: an example of summary, paraphrase, quotation, power quoting, and reference.


Thursday, 9/29

Sunday, 10/2

  • Due: Citation Exercise: Bibliography Exercise

Assignment Guidelines: Bibliography Exercise

Rhetorical Stance

Your instructor is the audience for this assignment. Your instructor is looking to see that you understand

  • how to engage in strategic searching
  • how to write an annotated bibliography
  • how to use a citation tool to expedite citation

Prompt:

This assignment asks you to use Primo or Google Scholar or JSTOR to locate, evaluate and use at least two sources to inform your description a problem. Your sources should include

  • at least one book or one peer-reviewed article
  • at least one primary source

Recommended Steps:

Deliverables:

  • Enter the bibliographical information for the two sources into Zoltero
  • Add a two-paragraph annotation for each sources as a Note in Zoltero

Submission

Submit your annotated bibliography to Canvas as a .pdf

Resources

  1. Review the following resources for writers:
    1. Attribution
    2. USF Library Services
    1. Primo, USF’s new Library Catalog
      1. [FYI: Primo, End User Help]
    2. Ask a Librarian
    3. Searching as a Strategic Exploration
    4. Citation Tools

Week 7, 10/3 to 10/9, Introduction to Qualitative Research

Now that you have engaged in as much as 6 weeks of informal research methods — doing some searches with Primo or Google Scholar or JSTOR — you have hopefully developed a more nuanced understanding of the problem space you are investigating. Ideally, you have engaged in critical reading and chosen authoritative textual resources to support your depiction of a problem.

  • Here, authority is generally tied to the quality of the publisher, whether or not the work was peer reviewed, and the frequency with which the article has been cited by other authors.

Based on your earlier work in first-year composition courses, you know critical readers are concerned with the accuracy, currency, purpose, and relevance of your sources.

Week 7 is the beginning of a three-week period that affords you the opportunity to do a deeper dive into your problem space. This week you have the opportunity to write the first major draft of a Problem Definition Memo.

Research Methodology - Einstein and other Physicists at the 1927 Solvay Conference
Research Methodology – Photo of Einstein and other physicists “From the October 1927 Fifth Solvay International Conference of Electrons and Photons” by iharsten in licensed under CC0 1.0

Tuesday, 10/04

  1. Discussion of Assignment Guidelines: Problem Definition Memo, 1st Iteration

Wednesday, 10/05

  • Due: Assignment Guidelines: Problem Definition Memo, 1st Iteration

Assignment Guidelines: Problem Definition Memo + Research Protocol, 1st Iteration

Rhetorical Stance

Audience

Purpose

Develop the first draft of a Problem Definition Memo. Ultimately, you know this draft will see two more revisions. Yet at this moment you should do all you can to describe the problem, exploring its causes, history, effects, and significance. To be compelling, you need to define who the stakeholders are and what their unique views are and why.

Required Content

Required Sections
  1. Letter of Transmittal (one page) to either Ms. Paul, Dr. Martin, or a 3rd audience approved of by instructor. Your letter of transmittal can be simply that–a letter that transmittal that does not comment on the document.
  2. Executive Summary (one page; max: 200 words)
  3. Statement of the Problem (max-2 pages)
    1. One data visualization used to illustrate some aspect of the problem
  4. Research Protocol (max-2 pages )
  5. References (APA preferred)
Required Components

Your citations should include

  • one peer-reviewed text
  • one book
  • one website

Recommended Readings


Sunday, 10/9

  • Nothing is due.

Week 8, 10/10 to 10/16, Problem Definition Memo + Qualitative Research/Customer Discovery, 2nd Iteration

This week you’ll use empirical research methods to further investigate the problem space that interests you.

Tuesday, 10/11

  • No Class. Use this time to conduct your qualitative interviews.

Thursday, 10/13

  • No Class. Use this time to conduct your qualitative interviews.

Sunday, 10/16

  • Due: Problem Definition Memo + Qualitative Research/Customer Discovery, 2nd Iteration

Assignment Instructions: Qualitative Research/Customer Discovery

Rhetorical Stance

Assignment Prompt

Engage in two interviews with stakeholders, preferably people you don’t know who experience the problem directly. For instance, is there a student organization or a community organization that you can meet with? Your goal is to get outside of your perspective, to engage in a form of customer discovery.

Note: the interview can be online or via phone. The interview doesn’t need to be long or formal. Also, please recall that the focus of this investigation is not to find solutions to a problem. Here we assume that if the problem were that simple it would already be solved. Your goal is a deeper understanding of the problem. So you want to listen to your stakeholders’ talk about their interactions with the problem. You want to listen to their ideas and experiences living with the problem. How painful is the problem? Is it a must solve?

Audiences

  • Ms. Elizabeth Paul or Mr. Demetri Martin or a third audience approved by instructor
  • Your instructor. Your instructor is looking to see whether or not you have articulated a problem definition using concrete, sensory language and a professional writing prose style. Your instructor is also eager to see their past comments regarding errors and stylistics infelicities have been rectified. And your instructor is looking for some intellectual rigor–some evidence that you’ve opened yourself and engaged the time needed to say something substantive, something beyond a personal opinion.

Purpose

Describe a problem in a compelling way that meets the needs and interests of your intended audience.

Required Content

Required Sections
  1. Letter of Transmittal (one page) to either Ms. Paul, Dr. Martin, or a 3rd audience approved of by instructor.
  2. Two Stakeholder Personas or Customer Personas
  3. One data visualization used to illustrate some aspect of the problem
  4. Research Protocol (max-2 pages )
  5. References (APA preferred)
Sections that Should Not be Included
  1. Executive Summary (one page; max: 200 words)
  2. Research Protocol (max-2 pages)
  3. Statement of the Problem (max-2 pages)
Guidelines for the Personas or Customer Personas

In this exercise, your aim is to summarize the interview in sufficient detail that you will be able to return to these notes in three months and recall salient details. Below are some basic notes you want to record. However, beyond that sort of meta data, the purpose is tell the store about the problem from the stakeholder’s perspective. In other words, you’re to write an argumentative narrative and not simply provide chronological notes. This text needs to be reader-based, not writer-based.

  • Date
  • Pic (if they agree)
  • Who was interviewed? Stakeholder Role? Title?
  • How long was the interview?
  • What is the stakeholder’s relationship is to the problem in the problem space? 
  • How does the stakeholder experience the problem?
  • What insights did you gain about the problem as a result of the interview? 
  • What did you learn about interviewing as a result of the interview?

Week 9, 10/17 to 10/23, Problem Definition Memo, Final Iteration

This week concludes a nine week-long investigation of a problem. Hopefully, you’ve developed a nuanced, substantive description of a problem, a description that synthesizes textual and empirical research.

Tuesday, 10/25

  • Discussion of Qualitative Research/Customer Discovery Notes
  • Review of Grading Criteria for Problem Definition Memo, Final Iteration

Thursday, 10/27

  • in-class work

Sunday, 10/30

  • Due: Problem Definition Memo, Final Iteration

Assignment Instructions: Problem Definition Memo, Final Iteration

Assignment Prompt

Write a memo or report, depending on your rhetorical situation, that describes a a specific local problem happening at USF or in the community.

Rhetorical Stance

Primary Audience

Your primary audience should be one of the following:

  1. University Relations. You have been asked to investigate a problem that concerns the university community and to obtain feedback from administrators, faculty, other students, alumni, and other stakeholders about ways the University could be responsive to a community’s particular needs.

    Genre: your end goal is a Recommendation Report, which you’ll submit to Mr. Martin
  2. Imagine you are an entrepreneur writing for admission to PPI’s incubator program. Address your memo to Ms. Elizabeth Paul, Managing Partner, PPI Venture Capital, #1 Main Street, Tampa FLYou may assume the rhetorical stance of an entrepreneur who is applying for startup funding. You’re competing to win $125,000 in startup funds. In exchange, PPI takes 7% ownership and helps you grow your business. Venture Design happens on occasion . . .

    Genre: your end goal is a Business Plan which you’ll submit to Ms. Paul.
  3. A 3rd, alternative rhetorical situation pre-approved by your instructor.

    Genre: be sure to seek your instructor’s’ permission for the rhetorical situation, genre and media.

Secondary Audience

Your secondary audience for this memo is your peers. Ideally, your work, your description of the problem space, will be so compelling that your classmates will want to join you to engage in a deeper dive into the problem space.

Both your primary and secondary audiences expect you to use headings and subheadings as appropriate given your rhetorical situation

Required Elements

  1. one page Letter of Transmittal
    1. If it’s not immediately clear, your memo should explain your rhetorical situation
  2. cover page with visualization
  3. one page Executive Summary
  4. three to five page Statement of the Problem
    1. Data Visualization(s)
      recommended: design a visual representation of the problem space, noting causes, effects, and stakeholders
  5. References (APA or MLA).

Grading Criteria

I grade holistically. In other words, I provide one grade for the entire assignment. This grade is based on the following criteria:

1. Rhetorical Stance

The problem definition addresses the assignment prompt. It includes all required elements (see above). Frankly, it’s very difficult to earn an A if the assignment prompt is ignored. (FYI, I tend to click through all submissions and look for this first.)

2. Evidence & Information Literacy Perspectives (aka Critical and Analytical Thinking)

The problem definition explores the topoi you’d expect, such as

  • What are the parts of the problem?
  • Is this an old problem? a new problem?
    • What is the history of the problem?
  • What causes the problem?
  • What are the effects of the problem?
  • What is the size and scope of the problem?
  • Does this problem have existing solutions in place that are not working?
  • Who are the stakeholders?
    • Who are the people in your community or the USF community who experience the problem? 
    • Can you identify personas (see also customer persona) for different stakeholders?

Students will substantively explore issues, ideas, artifacts, and events before accepting or formulating opinions or conclusions. The problem definition is substantive. Students show evidence they have engaged in strategic searching. Their references follow APA or MLA guidelines, and there is evidence they used Zotero (or a comparable alternative) and PRIMO, USF’s new search tool.

The rhetorical stance the author assumes in the problem definition establishes a professional tone. It adopts information literacy practices and perspectives:

Claims made in the problem definition are grounded in bedrock: textual research or empirical research as opposed to anecdote and personal narrative. Students cites sources (APA preferred but MLA is accepted).

Evidence/InfoLit/
Critical Thinking
Novice DevelopingProficient
is there evidence to support claims?

is analysis of the evidence included?



Student accepts opinion as fact, hearsay as empirical evidence.

Student an attempt to weave sources into the fabric of their use sources and gathers information without interpretation/evaluation; viewpoints of experts are taken as fact without question.

Student fails to

Student expresses a position that is simplistic and obvious and reaches a conclusion that is inconsistently tied to some of the information discussed/presented.

Student demonstrates an attempt to organize the report effectively.
Student gathers credible and relevant information that is mostly appropriate to develop a coherent analysis.

Student’s use of evidence reflects an understanding of methods for assessing truth claims especially rhetorical analysis and critical literacy




 

Student considers opposing viewpoints when formulating a logical conclusion that is tied to appropriate information.

Student struggles with fluency with regards to genre conventions, rhetorical moves, rhetorical analysis, and organizational structure

Student takes information from credible and relevant sources with enough interpretation/evaluation to develop a comprehensive analysis or synthesis. The viewpoints of experts are questioned thoroughly.

Student thoroughly analyzes assumptions and carefully evaluates the relevance of contexts when presenting a position, taking into consideration the complexities of an issue.

Student formulates a logical conclusion that reflects their ability to place evidence and perspectives discussed in rhetorical or priority order.



Source: This rubric is derived from USF General Education Council, #GEA1

3. Communication

Students adopt a professional writing prose style.

CommunicationNovice DevelopingProficient
does the document reflect knowledge of genre conventions for memos, problem definitions, data visualization, infographic?

does the document adhere to basic principles of document design (headings, font choices, footer)?

are the visualizations appropriate, labeled and explained in the text? 

is the writing clear, accessible?

Student demonstrates minimal attention to context, audience, purpose, and to the assigned task.

Student uses appropriate and relevant content to develop simple ideas in the report.

Student attempts to use a consistent organizational schema.

Student has stylistic infelicities, such as an inappropriate tone, voice, persona
Student demonstrates an adequate understanding of context, audience, and purpose and to the assigned task.

Student uses appropriate and relevant content to explore and develop ideas throughout most of the report.

Student demonstrates fairly consistent use of document design, such as organization, content, presentation, and style.

Student uses straightforward language that generally conveys meaning to audience with some errors.
Student demonstrates a thorough understanding of context, audience, and purpose and to the assigned task.

Student uses appropriate, relevant, and compelling content to illustrate mastery of the genre of the report.

Student demonstrates detailed attention to and successful execution of a wide range of the conventions of document design, to include organization, content, presentation and style.

Student uses graceful language that skillfully communicates meaning to audience with very few, if any, errors.
Source: This rubric is derived from USF General Education Council, #GEA1

4. Problem Solving

Students will design, evaluate, and implement a strategy to answer open-ended questions or achieve desired goals.

There is evidence that students engaged in

  1. textual research
  2. empirical research–most commonly interviewing stakeholders (see interviews and customer discovery)
Problem SolvingNovice DevelopingProficient
is there a clear problem statement?

is the problem statement informed by pertinent textual research?

is the problem statement informed by pertinent empirical research?
Student demonstrates a limited ability to identify a problem statement or related contextual factors.

Student identifies approaches for solving the problem that do not apply to the specific context.
Student employs deductive reasoning, organizational schema, register, diction, and genre of the problem statement, yet fails to develop the content beyond the prosaic review of known information

description in a robust way. from the perspective of the problem, its history, causes, effects, scopeit the ability to construct a problem statement with evidence of most relevant contextual factors.
Student demonstrates the ability to construct a clear and insightful problem statement with evidence of all relevant contextual factors.


Source: This rubric is derived from USF General Education Council, #GEA1

Submission Instructions

  1. Upload a link to your Problem Definition to the Course Sandbox. Note: Please be sure to link to a gDoc url that permits users to edit. This is necessary so others can view your work after we return from break and create groups

Project 4: Collaborative Recommendation Report

Students engage in textual research and qualitative research to investigate in a problem that is relevant to them, their community, or the USF community. Students produce a memo that reports their findings, giving readers a robust understanding of the problem they have researched.

Welcome to Project 4!

Now is the time for you to take all of the competencies you developed during the first half of class and put them to work on a collaborative effort to not only write a problem statement, but to also explore the solution space!

That’s right! We can finally talk about the solution space!

Yay! For human beings, 9 weeks can be a long time to wait to get to solving problems. We all want to jump to building prototypes. We learn by scholarly dialog–textual research, the ongoing scholarly conversation.


Week 10, 10/31 to 11/6

Tuesday, 11/1, Top Six Problem Definition Memos

REMEMBER TO ATTEND CLASS TODAY! IT’S TEAM SELECTION DAY

  • Due: 11/1, Discussion Post on Top Six Problem Definition Memos

Assignment Guidelines: Top Six Problem Definition Memos

Prompt

Write a discussion forum post at Canvas that ranks the top 6 problem statements. Succinctly explain why you have ranked as you have.

Rhetorical Stance

Review your peers’ problem statements at the course gDoc. Please go through the entire list before ranking your top 6.

Addressing your classmates as potential partners, explain your reasoning, your rationale, your review criteria, for ranking the top 6 problem definitions as you did.

Sample Review Criteria:

  • the problem statement is nuanced, it illustrates the pain of the stakeholders
  • the context, the ecology, the rhetorical situation of the problem statement is well developed.
  • the problem statement is well researched; it contains textual research and qualitative, empirical research
  • the problem statement adopts a professional writing style.
  • writing is sensory, concrete; figurative
  • generalizations and over generalizations are avoided

Sample Template:

  1. Favorite Problem Statement
  2. 2nd Favorite Problem Statement
  3. 3rd Favorite Problem Statement
  4. etc.

1 or 2 sentences explaining your ranking, using specific criteria.

Thursday, 11/3, Team Selection Day

  • Teams for the collaborative project will be set in class on 11/1. It is imperative you attend class. If circumstances prevent that, you need to make arrangements with other students in a class to formally join their teams.
  • By end of class, in alphabetical order, provide a link to your team’s workspace at the class gDoc sandbox.

Sunday, 11/6

  • Due: Team Charter
    The Deliverable Specialist should submit the first iteration of your Team Charter to Canvas for grading. Follow the genre conventions for team charters yet tweak as necessary given your rhetorical situation.
    • Remember to list the names of all group members so I can set up the Team Assignments in Canvas.

Assignment Instructions: Team Charter, 1st Iteration

Instructions:

  1. At your first meeting introduce yourselves and discuss your expectations (and concerns) about managing this project.
  2. Discuss the Team Roles that are outlined at Team Charter.
    1. Discuss the roles and responsibilities of each team member. To inform task definition, see sample roles at Team Charter.
      • Be sure to ensure the Deliverable Specialist is a detailed-oriented, dated-oriented person. 
  3. Create a Team Workspace at gDocs. Share a link to your Team’s homepage at the course gdoc sandbox.

    Your homepage should provide the following information:
    1. Name of Team
    2. Listing of team members, title/role
    3. Link to the existing draft of your problem definition
  4. Decide on a citation style suitable to your rhetorical context.
  5. Decide on a citation tool.
    1. Use the citation tool the team agrees to.
  6. Develop a Communication Policy:
    1. You will have some class time to collaborate. However, you should also meet out of class. I think it’s ideal that your group develop a policy regarding how team members will communicate with one another. To best prepare you for the future, beyond using gDoc to write the document, will your team meet via ZoomSkype, Google HangoutsMicrosoft Teams?

Template for Team Charter Assignment

Title of Team:

Listing of Team Members, Roles, & Responsibilities:

Names of team members listed by their role & their contact Information. In small teams, team members will have multiple roles. In that case, lists name once.

  1. Last name, First Name  | email  
  2. Last name, First Name  | email  
  3. Last name, First Name   | email
  4. Last name, First Name | email
  5. Last name, First Name | email  

Roles, Tasks, Responsibilities

Define the roles, tasks, responsibilities or each group member. Possible roles include:

  • Project Manager
  • Deliverable Specialist
  • Editor and Graphic Designer
  • Qualitative Researcher, Stakeholder interviews
  • Empirical Researcher, Surveys
  • Empirical Researcher, Photoographer

Note: Typically the leader, this person assumes the role of Deliverable Specialist. This person must be detail orientated and well aware of assignment prompts and deadlines.

Collaboration Policies

Beyond writing the Recommendation Report at gDocs, what collaboration tools will your team use. For instance, will you use Slack, Trello? ZoomSkypeGoogle HangoutsMicrosoft Teams? Why did your team choose particular tools?

Executive Summary

In under 200 words, summarize the problem your team is exploring, addressing its history, causes, effects, stakeholders. Be sure to address the significance of the problem and address problems with any solutions that have been developed to address it. Outline what needs to be done next to complete the first iteration of the Recommendation report.

Bios

2 to 3 sentences per person. Relate the description of the bio to the role the person is playing in the report

Submission

Please submit the url to the Team Charter to the course gDoc Sandbox.

Note: this assignment will be graded on a complete/incomplete basis.

Pls submit the url to Canvas. Again, make sure it’s an edit view of your Team’s Team Charter @ gDocs. Do not upload it to Canvas at this time. Why? I need to use the Team Charter to define the groups in Canvas. Once I define the groups in Canvas, if I write notes to one of you it goes to teammates.


Week 11, 11/7 to 11/13 – Problem Definition Memo, 1st Collaborative Iteration

This week you want to finalize the first. half of your report. First, you team needs to critically review and discuss their current iteration of the problem space. Take a critical look at your current draft. Ask critical questions such as

  • Is the problem statement well developed? Do the authors provide relevant textual and empirical evidence? Are stakeholder perspectives defined?
  • Have the authors employed professional writing conventions?

Tuesday, 11/9

  • In-class work on Team Projects

Wednesday, 11/9

  • Due, Problem Definition Memo, 1st Collaborative Iteration

Assignment Guidelines: Problem Definition Memo, 1st Collaborative Iteration

Instructions

This first major report by your team should be a substantive exploration of the problem space, especially from the perspective of textual evidence. Your goal is to pretty much finish the first half of your recommendation report. Each team member should contribute in a meaningful way to the team’s effort to ground the problem space in related scholarly conversations.

Length

Between 5 and 10 pages including visuals, depending on the size of the team.

Rhetorical Stance

  • If you are working in the stance of a research assistant for Mr. Demetri Martin, then this proposal should be written directly to Mr. Martin. Your goal in this draft is to share with him the latest iteration of your Recommendation Report
  • If you are working in the stance of the entrepreneur, then your pitch should be to Ms. Elizabeth Paul. You want to update Ms. Paul on the exciting work your team is doing in a particular problem space.

Reminder: Adopt a professional writing style. Use concrete, sensory language. Avoid vagueness. At a minimum, employ reader-based prose. Supply any evidence needed to prove that this is indeed a significant problem or that the recommended results make sense. Cite any sources you use in either MLA or APA.

Required Sections

Note: your specific rhetorical context will determine what headings you use in your Recommendation Report or Startup Documents. That said, the following sections are fairly typical for this genre, and they are required, as appropriate, for this assignment.

SectionAnswers the questionNotes
Title Page (aka Cover page)Who are the authors?One page

Name of Team: Recommendation Report on …. x

Name of Team Members & Role/Titles
AbstractWhat is the essence of the document?Abstract, 150 words max
REPORT BODY
PurposeWhat is the purpose of this piece of communication?In a sentence or two, explain the purpose of this document, not the purpose of the purpose.
Introduction to the Problem SpaceWhat problem(s) does the report address?
Introduce the Problem Space
What is the problem?



Stakeholders
Who are the people in your community or the university community who experience this problem?

Are there multiple stakeholders in the community?

How do different stakeholders experience the problem? Do stakeholders have competing interests or perspectives?

Causes
What are the causes of the problem? What kind of problem is this? Is it a local problem–i.e., a problem you, your family, friends and loved ones experience in their day-to-day lives?

Effects
What are the effects of the problem?

Significance
Why is this problem worth investigating? Succinctly describe the significance of the problem to particular stakeholders

Entrepreneurial Projects
Is there a potential financial incentive? Does the problem space present a business opportunity?

Is this problem sufficiently painful that stakeholders would pay money to have it ameliorated or resolved?
ReferencesHow credible is this information? How can I learn more?You only need to attribute the works you actually cite in your Works Cited (MLA) or References (APA).

Submission Requirements:

Submission Requirements: Provide a link to this iteration of your Recommendation Report at the course gDoc sandbox and Canvas.

Grading Criteria

Problem SolvingNovice DevelopingProficient
is there a clear problem statement?

is the problem statement informed by pertinent textual research?

is the problem statement informed by pertinent empirical research?
Student demonstrates a limited ability to identify a problem statement or related contextual factors.

Student identifies approaches for solving the problem that do not apply to the specific context.
Student employs deductive reasoning, organizational schema, register, diction, and genre of the problem statement, yet fails to develop the content beyond the prosaic review of known information

description in a robust way. from the perspective of the problem, its history, causes, effects, scopeit the ability to construct a problem statement with evidence of most relevant contextual factors.
Student demonstrates the ability to construct a clear and insightful problem statement with evidence of all relevant contextual factors.


Source: This rubric is derived from USF General Education Council, #GEA1

Thursday, 11/10

in class work on Team Charter Revision

Sunday, 11/13

  • Due: Memo to Team

Assignment Guidelines: Memo to Team

Write a one-page progress report memo to your peers on the team. This memo must include two parts:

Part 1

  • a paragraph summary about what you’ve done thus far on the group project. Provide specific details regarding your contributions to last Sunday’s assignment and the upcoming assignment
  • a graph that visually illustrates your contributions to the recommendation report–i.e., basically a information visualization of your work.
  • evidence that you successfully shared the document with your team. 

Part 2

  • a paragraph summary about what you will do to help the team finalize its next draft.

Submission Requirements: Upload to Canvas.


Week 12, 11/14 to 11/20 – Draft of Methods, Results, Recommendations

This week your goal is to 

Tuesday, 11/15

Today in class I’ll meet with the groups to answer any questions and brainstorm about next steps.

By now all team members should have contributed in a meaningful way to the latest iteration of your Recommendation Report.

Wednesday, 11/16

  • Due: Draft of Methods, Results, Recommendations

Assignment Guidelines: Draft of Methods, Results, Recommendations

Notes:

  1. Do not include last week’s content–the problem definition!
  2. This assignment will receive comments but no grades.

Required Content

Your specific rhetorical context will determine what headings you use in your Recommendation Report or Startup Documents. That said, the following sections are fairly typical for this genre, and they are required, as appropriate, for this assignment.

SectionAnswers the questionRequirements – Length – Notes
Letter of TransmittalWho is writing to me? Why? Is this something I can ignore?
One page
Title Page (aka Cover page)Who are the authors?One page

Name of Team: Recommendation Report on …. x

Name of Team Members, Titles
Table of ContentsWhat are the parts of the document?
Use gDoc’s tools for generating a Table of Contents
BIO Page

About the Investigators
What are the qualifications of the authors?
One page

Title: About the Investigators

2 sentences

1. x is a sophomore at USF studying Business. 2. a sentence that relates X’s experience or interests to their role in the report
AbstractWhat is the essence of the document?
One page
Abstract, 150 words max
Executive SummaryWhat is the essence of the document?Two pages
Executive Summary, 500 words max
Research Methods
 (optional)
What textual research or empirical research was done? How? Why?In some social science and nearly all scientific research research methods are presented in a separate sections of an investigative report: Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusion.

In the humanities, research methods and research findings tend to be synthesized into a story or argument.

Consider your rhetorical stance to evaluate the best ways to support your knowledge claims.

If you did empirical research, report on the research methods you have employed or plan to employ.
Results
(optional)
What did you find out from your research?Given you’re not doing science here, you probably don’t need a separate Results section. Instead, your results are your recommendations.
Scope
(optional)
What are the shortcomings of this study?
RecommendationsAre there potential solutions to the problem?What are your recommendations?

Underscore benefits of recommendation and ask reader to act

Tells the reader what steps, measures, actions they should take in light of the conclusions you have reached thanks to your textual research and empirical research.

Explain how the recommendations might be implemented. BudgetPersonnel and assigned duties of each member

Explore how implementing the proposed recommendations benefits the audience.
 ReferencesHow credible is this information? How can I learn more?You only need to attribute the works you actually cite in your Works Cited (MLA) or References (APA).

Submission Requirements:

Submission Requirements: Provide a link to this iteration of your Recommendation Report at the course gDoc sandbox and Canvas.


Thursday, 11/17

In-class team work.

Sunday, 11/20

Due: Recommendation Report, Substantive Draft

Your goal this week is to finalize your team’s recommendation report.

  • Although it’s not officially due for two weeks, now is the time you pretty much want to finish this document! Why? Because next week we will be engaged in peer review, critique, and begin work on the second deliverable for this fourth major project: the self & team evaluation memo.

Assignment Guideline: Recommendation Report, Substantive Draft

Adopt a Rhetorical Stance

Audience. Choose one of the following audiences:

  1. Imagine you are a Research Assistant writing for Demetri Martin, Director of University Relations.
    • You have been asked to investigate problems troubling the university community and to obtain feedback from administrators, faculty, other students, alumni, and other stakeholders about ways the University could be responsive to a community’s particular needs.

      Work Product
      Your end goal is a Recommendation Report, which you’ll submit to Mr. Martin

      Note: Choosing this rhetoric stance involves an internal recommendation memo. Because this stance has you writing as an employee of the University, you should design your report in memo format.
  2. Imagine you are an entrepreneur writing for admission to PPI’s incubator program. Address your memo to Ms. Elizabeth Paul, Managing Partner, PPI Venture Capital, #1 Main Street, Tampa FL
    • You may assume the rhetorical stance of an entrepreneur who is applying for startup funding. You’re competing to win $125,000 in startup funds. In exchange, PPI takes 7% ownership and helps you grow your business. [Venture Design happens on occasion . . .]

      Ms. Paul’s primary concern is making money so eventually this problem space will need a commercially viable solution.

      Note: Because this stance has you writing as an applicant, you would not use an internal memo format. Rather, you would follow the style of a formal recommendation report, which is attached in an email or uploaded to a website.
  3. Imagine a third scenario as approved by instructor.

Length

You should write about 4 to 5 pages for each person in the group. This includes visualizations and everything beginning with the Abstract

Visualization Requirements

At a minimum, include

  1. An infographic
    1. Your infographic may be
  2. A data visualization
  3. A Gantt Chart
FRONT MATTER
SectionAnswers the question
Notes
Letter of TransmittalWho is writing to me? Why? Is this something I can ignore?
One page
Title Page (aka Cover page)What is the title, publisher, place of publication, and date?

Who are the authors and what are their affiliations?
One page

Name of Team: Recommendation Report on …. x

Name of Team Members & Role/Titles
Table of ContentsWhat are the separate parts of the document?Use gDoc’s tools for generating a Table of Contents
BIO PageOne page

2 sentences. EX: Joe Mox is a sophomore at USF studying business management. Mox is interested in data analysis and the visual representation of evidence.
AbstractWhat is the essence of the document?
Abstract, 150 words max
Executive SummaryWhat is the essence of the document?
Executive Summary, 500 words max; 250 minimum
BODY OF PROBLEM DEFINITIONThe body of the recommendations concerns the problem space
PurposeWhat is the purpose of this piece of communication?

This is the first header for your report. In a sentence or two, explain the purpose of this document, not the purpose of the purpose.
Statement of the ProblemWhat problem(s) does the report address? This section of your document should comprise at least 50% of your final report.

Introduce the Problem Space
What is the problem? What type of problem is it? Is it a new problem? an enduring problem? an original problem? a derivative problem?

Is it a local problem–i.e., a problem you, your family, friends and loved ones experience in their day-to-day lives?

Stakeholders
Who are the people in your community or the university community who experience this problem?

Are there multiple stakeholders in the community? How do stakeholders experience the problem? What are the competing interests of different types of stakeholders?

Causes
What are the causes of the problem?

Effects
What are the effects of the problem?

Significance
Why is this problem worth investigating? Succinctly describe the significance of the problem to particular stakeholders

Entrepreneurial Projects
Is there a potential financial incentive? Does the problem space present a business opportunity? Is this problem sufficiently painful that stakeholders would pay money to have it ameliorated or resolved?

What solutions are currently available to alleviate the problem? How do they fail? Is it a must-fix problem or a nice-to-fix problem?
Research Methods
 (for contributions to empirical investigations)
What textual research or empirical research was done? How? Why?In some social science and nearly all scientific research research methods are presented in a separate sections of an investigative report: Introduction, Methods, Results, Discussion, Conclusion.

In the humanities, research methods and research findings tend to be synthesized into a story or argument.

Consider your rhetorical stance to evaluate the best ways to support your knowledge claims.

If you did empirical research, report on the research methods you have employed or plan to employ.

If you interviewed people, describe the interview. What approach did you take to listen to the interviewees’ insights?
Results
(optional; the Results may be placed as recommendations for some contexts)
What did you find out from your research?Given you’re not doing science here, you probably don’t need a separate Results section. Instead, your results are your recommendations.

However, if you did a survey, you might want a separate section to summarize results.
THE SOLUTION SPACE
BODY OF RECOMMENDATIONS
Scope (optional)What are the shortcomings of this study? Did anything go wrong?ONE PAGE MAX

Include this section if you encountered any problems that might limit your recommendations

If one of your team members failed to produce promised text, keep that summary succinct so it doesn’t interrupt the flow of your story.
RecommendationsAre there potential solutions to the problem?

What is the budget for the recommendations?
What are your recommendations?

What steps, measures, actions should be taken in light of the conclusions you have reached following textual research and empirical research.

Explain how the recommendations might be implemented.



Explore how implementing the proposed recommendations benefits the audience.
Implementation Schedule

(optional; the implementation plan may be placed inside the recommendations)
Are these recommendations feasible?What is the priority and schedule for implementing the recommendations?

Required: Gantt Chart
Budget
(guesstimate)

One page or less

What personnel costs are associated with the recommendation? (You don’t need to break down health care and all that–just a ballpark estimation is fine)

Personnel and assigned duties of each member
Call to ActionWhat do you want the reader to think, feel, do?Keep this to a sentence or two

Underscore benefits of recommendation and ask reader to act
 ReferencesHow credible is this information? How can I learn more?You only need to attribute the works you actually cite in your Works Cited (MLA) or References (APA).

Grading Criteria

To grade the Recommendation Report, I will use a holistic-grading approach based on the USF’s required rubric for this assignment, which was authored by USF General Education:

Communication

Students will produce a Recommendation Report that illustrates a professional writing prose style.

Key questions for assessment:

  1. Does the document contain all required sections in the correct order?
  2. Does the report adopt an appropriate rhetorical stance given the rhetorical situation? Does the rhetorical stance of the report suggest the integration of collaborative writing strategies and the ability to plan and execute a rigorous project?

Novice:

  • Student demonstrates minimal attention to context, audience, purpose, and to the assigned task.
  • Student uses appropriate and relevant content to develop simple ideas in the report.
  • Student attempts to use a consistent system for basic organization, presentation and style using principles of document design.
  • Student uses language that sometimes impedes meaning because of errors in usage.

Developing

  • Student demonstrates an adequate understanding of context, audience, and purpose and to the assigned task.
  • Student uses appropriate and relevant content to explore and develop ideas throughout most of the report.
  • Student demonstrates fairly consistent use of document design, such as organization, content, presentation, and style.
  • Student uses straightforward language that generally conveys meaning to audience with some errors.

Proficient

  • Student demonstrates a thorough understanding of context, audience, and purpose and to the assigned task.
  • Student uses appropriate, relevant, and compelling content to illustrate mastery of the genre of the report.
  • Student demonstrates detailed attention to and successful execution of a wide range of the conventions of document design, to include organization, content, presentation and style.
  • Student uses graceful language that skillfully communicates meaning to audience with very few, if any, errors.

Critical and Analytical Thinking

Students will comprehensively explore issues, ideas, artifacts, and events before accepting or formulating opinions or conclusions.

Key questions for assessment:

  1. Is there appropriate textual and empirical evidence to substantiate recommendations?
    1. Are the research methods appropriate given the problem space?
    2. Did the investigators explain the steps they took to ensure accuracy in representation (see Qualitative Research, IRB, and Research Protocol for info about ethics and research practices)
  2. Have the investigators adopted professional information literacy perspectives & practices?
    1. Is there evidence of strategic searching?
    2. Do the investigators introduce evidence in ways that demonstrate they understand authority is constructed & contextual? When they introduce information, do they address its  currency, relevance, accuracy, authority, and relevance)?
    3. Are sources cited correctly according to either APA or MLA (APA preferred)
  3. Does the organizational structure and use design and visual language enhance the clarity and persuasiveness of the report?
  4. Is the rationale clear, feasible, and appropriate considering the problem space?
    1. Is a Gantt chart provided for the recommendation plan?

Novice:

  • Student demonstrates an attempt to use sources and gathers information without interpretation/evaluation; viewpoints of experts are taken as fact without question.
  • Student demonstrates some awareness of assumptions and begins to identify some contexts when presenting a position as the analysis is incorporated.
  • Student expresses a position that is simplistic and obvious and reaches a conclusion that is inconsistently tied to some of the information discussed/presented.
  • Student demonstrates an attempt to organize the report effectively.

Developing:

  • Student gathers credible and relevant information that is mostly appropriate to develop a coherent analysis. The viewpoints of experts are subject to questioning.
  • Student questions assumptions and identifies several relevant contexts (sides of an issue) when presenting a position as the analysis is incorporated for their position. 
  • Student considers opposing viewpoints when formulating a logical conclusion that is tied to appropriate information.
  • Student demonstrates an organizational structure for an effective report, but it lacks full follow through.

Proficient:

  • Student takes information from credible and relevant sources with enough interpretation/evaluation to develop a comprehensive analysis or synthesis. The viewpoints of experts are questioned thoroughly.
  • Student thoroughly analyzes assumptions and carefully evaluates the relevance of contexts when presenting a position, taking into consideration the complexities of an issue.
  • Student formulates a logical conclusion that reflects her/his ability to place evidence and perspectives discussed in priority order.
  • Student demonstrates an organizational structure that is effective in showing the evidence and recommendation to its full potential.

Problem Solving

Students’ descriptions of the problem space are clear, concise, and evidence-based. In turn, their descriptions of the solution space makes sense given the evidence, scope, and budget.

Key questions for assessment:

  1. Do the investigators provide a robust description of the problem space?
    1. Is the problem — its history, parts, causes effects, size and scope — well defined?
  2. Is there evidence that the investigators engaged in strategic research?
  3. Are claims grounded in evidence and scholarly conversations?
  4. Are common topoi and counterarguments addressed appropriately?
  5. Do the investigators provide feasible, evidence-based recommendations?
    1. Are the recommendations logical given the problem space and research?
  6. Did the investigators address the feasibility of the proposed solutions?
    1. Did they provide a Gantt chart and language regarding a roll-out plan?
  7. is the recommendation suggested a realistic solution?
    1. Is the implementation plan feasible?

Novice:

  • Student demonstrates a limited ability to identify a problem statement or related contextual factors.
  • Student identifies approaches for solving the problem that do not apply to the specific context.
  • Student provides a superficial solution that is implemented in a manner that does not directly address the problem statement

Developing:

  • Student demonstrates the ability to construct a problem statement with evidence of most relevant contextual factors.
  • Student identifies multiple approaches to solve a problem, only some of which apply within a specific context.
  • Student provides a solution that is adequate and addresses multiple contextual factors.

Proficient:

  • Student demonstrates the ability to construct a clear and insightful problem statement with evidence of all relevant contextual factors.
  • Student identifies multiple approaches to solve a problem that apply within a specific context.
  • Student provides a solution that is insightful and elegant and implements the solution in a manner that thoroughly addresses multiple contextual factors of the problem.

Integrative and Applied Learning

Students will make connections among ideas and experiences to synthesize and transfer learning to new, complex situations within and beyond the classroom.

Key questions for assessment: 

  • was a report turned in?
  • does the appendix team charter describe the approaches to a constructive team climate to include how to identify and manage conflict and motivate team members?
  • does the content (problem) align with professional writing?
  • were you as a reader convinced?

Novice:

  • Student identifies connections between life experiences and academic knowledge and ideas perceived as similar and related to her/his own interests.
  • Student presents examples/facts/theories from one academic field of study when prompted.
  • Student uses skills and knowledge in a basic way in new situations.
  • Student describes self-performance with general descriptors of success and failure.

Developing:

  • Student effectively selects and develops examples of life experiences from a variety of contexts to illuminate concepts/theories/frameworks of field of study.
  • Student independently adapts and applies skills/abilities/theories/methodologies from more than one field of study.
  • Student uses skills and knowledge in one situation in a new situation to contribute to solve and understand problems.
  • Student evaluates changes in her/his learning over time, recognizing different contextual factors.

Proficient:

  • Student meaningfully synthesizes connections among experiences outside of the formal classroom to deepen understanding of fields of study and to broaden her/his own points of view.
  • Student independently creates whole out of multiple parts or draws conclusions by combining examples, facts, or theories from more than one field of study or experience.
  • Student independently adapts and applies skills/ abilities/theories/methodologies to solve difficult problems or explore complex issues in original ways.
  • Student envisions a future self, building on past experiences that have occurred across multiple and diverse contexts.

Week 13, 11/21 – 11/27

No Class this week due to Thanksgiving

Tuesday, 11/22

Due: Team Charter Revision


Assignment Guidelines: Team Charter Revision

Update the Team Charter you submitted several weeks ago. Suggestions:

  1. Delete stuff that didn’t happen. Add the work that was actually done.
  2. Include a table that succinctly identifies the contributions of each group member
  3. Include a lists of tasks each group member will complete to prepare for Sunday’s submission.

Submission Requirements:

  1. Provide a link to your updated Team Charter at the course gDoc sandbox
  2. Upload a copy to Canvas.

Sunday, 11/27


Assignment Guidelines: Peer Review Memos

Reserve the two team projects you’d like to review. See the gdoc sandbox for particulars.

Required Content & Recommended Steps

2 Deliverables:

  1. Reading Notes
  2. One-to-two page critique

Title of Reviewed Document: TITLE

Step 1: Engage in Rhetorical Reasoning regarding the Communication Situation

Step 2: Review pertinent readings, especially

  1. By Wednesday, 4/20, each class member is responsible for completing two independent reviews.
    1. You can paste your review as a Comment at the top of the texts that you review. That said, I recommend you write it in Word or gDoc and then cut and paste it.
    2. You are responsible for uploading to Canvas a copy of the two reviews. I’ll look for evidence you successfully gave you review. Then I’ll review it

Step 3: Inspect the Document at Global Level

Write a paragraph or two or use bullets to identify substantive changes you recommend at the global level.

Please review what it means to analyze a document from a global, rhetorical perspective. Consider

  1. Rhetorical Problems
  2. Structural Problems
  3. Language Problems
  4. Critical & Analytical Thinking Problems
  5. Problem Solving Problems
  6. Design Problems.

Remember, this isn’t the place to get bogged down into detailed editing. Instead, your perspective needs to be more about rhetoricity, the appropriateness of the rhetorical stance, and the authors’ use of evidence, figurative language, and appeals to pathos and ethos.

Step 4: Inspect the Document at Section Level

Are all required sections submitted?

Write a brief critique of the document @ the section level, addressing, as pertinent

  1. Rhetorical Problems
  2. Structural Problems
  3. Language Problems
  4. Critical & Analytical Thinking Problems
  5. Problem Solving Problems
  6. Design Problem

Step 5: Inspect the Document at Paragraph Level

Note any problems you observe at the paragraph level.

Step 6: Inspect the Document at Sentence Level (optional)

Briefly identify one or two errors or some usage that you found egregious. Explain where the error occurs and why you believe the authors should reconsider that usage.

Submission Guidelines


Week 14, 11/27 to 12/2, Last Week of Class

Tuesday, 11/29

  • Due, GEA#1, Recommendation Report
    • Label your file Recommendation Report  #GEA1
  • Due, Self & Team Evaluation
    • Label your file Peer Evaluation & Submit Self Evaluation Memo  #GEA1
  • Dye, Presentation

Assignment Guidelines: GEA#1, Recommendation Report

  • Submit the final draft of your team’s Recommendation Report to Canvas.
  • Format: .pdf or website.

Assignment Guidelines: GEA #2, Self & Team Evaluation

Write a 3-to 5 page memo to your instructor that addresses two topics:

  1. Peer Evaluation
    Evaluate the work of your teammates.
  2. Self Evaluation
    Reflect on what you learned about collaboration as a result of your work on your team’s recommendation report.

Peer Evaluation

Complete a review of each team member. List reviews in alphabetical order (first and last name)

The peer reflection has two parts.

  1. Complete and submit the required table below for each teammate.
  2. After the table, write a summary analysis (a paragraph or two) regarding each member’s contributions based on the 6 table criteria. Remember to avoid overgeneralizations, vague language. Be as specific and concrete as possible, yet concise. Exemplify.
ContributionProfessionalAdequateInadequate
1. Abided by all provisions of the team contract/charter

2. Attended team meetings

3. Contributed ideas

4. Helped write project sections as assigned

5. Helped revise/edit projects sections as assigned

6. Helped in production of project (e.g. conducting research, selecting or designing visuals, etc.)

Self Evaluation

Reflect on what you learned about collaboration as a result of your work on your team’s recommendation report.

Rhetorical Stance

Your self reflection should address what you learned about collaboration and your unique competencies as a collaborator.

Your audience needs concrete, specific examples to follow the particulars of your analysis. You should seek a judicious tone. Avoid vagueness, hyperbole, and marketing language. Rather, your instructor is looking for evidence that you’ve learned something meaningful about collaboration and collaborative work.

Required Sections

  1. Description of the Teams’ collaborative processes. As a story, in a narrative format, explain
    1. Where/when/how/how frequently did your team meet? How did the team’s use of Slack, Trello, gDocs or other collaboration tools facilitate teamwork?
    2. Did your team use the Team Charter in a meaningful way? If yes, how did it help. If now, why not? Exemplify.
    3. What were the major conflicts your team faced?
  2. Reflection of your strengths and weaknesses as a collaborator
    1. What were your strengths and weaknesses as a member of the team?
      1. Strengths: What actions did you take to further the success of the team’s deliverables? What specific actions did you take to develop a constructive team climate?
      2. Weaknesses: With hindsight, what do you wished you’d done differently?
  3. Takeaways
    1. What did you learn about collaboration as a result of your work on this project?

Grading Criteria

Per General Education requirements, your instructor is reviewing your self-evaluation with three criteria in mind:

  1. Collaborative Processes
  2. Reflection and Examples as Levels of Learning
  3. Writing.

1. Collaborative Processes

–provides specific examples of how the collaborative process was conducted to include division of labor, strategies for combining ideas, and ways assistance and encouragement was done between team members. When and how frequently did your group meet.

Point to your team’s Team Charter or your Team’s final project for specific examples of tasks and completed work.

Novice/No EvidenceDevelopingProficient
Insight into the collaborative process is not evident as the writer did not articulate what was learned and what needs to be developed in the future. The reflection leaves a weak impression on the reader about what was learned about collaboration. Insight into the reflection process is not evident as the writer did not clearly articulate what needs to be developed in the future. The reflection leaves an impression on the reader about what the student learned about collaboration. Insight into the reflection process is somewhat evident as the writer articulated what needs to be developed in the future. 

2. Reflection and Examples as levels of learning

–provides specific examples that highlight collaborative processes, such as

  1. conflict resolution
  2. planning
  3. self regulation
  4. motivation

–provides specific examples of how well students feel the collaborative process worked or didn’t.

–provides specific examples of how the Team Charter was used. Did the Team Charter help your group manage conflicts; set tasks; plan appropriate deadlines?

Novice/No Evidence: Does not reflect on own work at all and no examples are provided. Reflection does not reveal insight into personal learning goals and level of learning

Developing:
Reflects on own work and improvement on occasion but does not provide many examples at all. Reflection reveals some insights into personal goals and levels of learning.

Proficient:
Demonstrates an ability to reflect on own work and adequate number of examples are provided. Reflection reveals insight into personal goals and levels of learning.

3. Writing 

Novice/No Evidence:
Contains errors in grammar and/or spelling and lacks organization. 

Developing:
Includes few errors in grammar or spelling and has a structure that may still need work.

Proficient
Includes few errors in grammar or spelling and has a structure that may still need work.

Effort and Personal responses

Novice/No Evidence:
No effort was made to write memo. No evidence of a personal perspective within reflection. 

Developing:
Little effort was made to write memo. Little evidence of a personal perspective within reflection.

Proficient:
Reflection demonstrates that some effort was made to write memo. Evidence of a personal perspective within reflection. 

Suggested Readings

TeamworkTeam Cohesion, Team Empowerment, Team Learning, Self Management/Self Leadership, Adaptability/Open Mindedness
CommunicationActive Listening, Exchanging Information
LeadershipOrganizing Activities & Resources, Performance Monitoring, Reorganizing When Faced with Obstacles, Resolving Conflict, Transformational Leadership
Problem SolvingIdentifying Problems, Brainstorming, Planning, Interpreting & Analyzing, Evaluating & Implementing

Assignment Guidelines: GEA#3, Presentation

A persuasive presentation is key to making a successful recommendation that would result in action. Student teams should create and present a final presentation that outlines their report, including a description of the problem, description of the solution, and plans for implementation. The presentation format follows the format of the written report with rhetorical choices” (Source: General Education Council).

Our goal on Tuesday is to listen to the teams report on the problem spaces they explored and the recommendations they made.

As you prepare for this presentation, please consider our context as a group of learners in the final meeting of a week-long course. You know your audience is tired and busy, so you want to be respectful and professional: don’t waste their time fumbling for access to the presentation. Be ready with either a thumb drive or know where it’s accessible online. And be sure to work out the order of speakers before you arrive.

Also–I strongly encourage you not to load up each slide with loads of bullets. Your goal isn’t to read off the slides. Instead, your goal is to tell a story.

I anticipate sufficient time on Tuesday for all of the teams to complete their presentations but if we daddle we can gather again on Thursday to complete this final assignment.

To receive credit for this assignment, you must attend and have a speaking role of at least one minute.

Prior to your presentation, the document-delivery specialist should upload a copy of it to the Course Canvas. The first slide should identify all team members in alphabetical order who are present to speak.

Recommended Readings

Effective Use of PowerPoint in Professional & Technical Presentations