major assignments

1. Find an informational article online that addresses a problem in your field of study and proposes a solution. Summarize the article for the following audiences: a) an incoming freshmen asking about what people in your major do, b) a grant foundation who is broadly interested in funding academic research, c) the local news who recently argued that academic research is a waste of taxpayer money. You should change what you present in each summary to match the interests/concerns of your audience.

2. Review the “Me attitude” letter and the “Save the Burros” letter in the “Audience Examples” folder. In the “Audience Analysis” assignment, submit a brief memo that summarizes who the intended audience of each document is and what choices the author makes to address that audience. Then explain the weaknesses of both documents – why are these documents problematic? Finally, pick one paragraph from each document and revise it for a college level audience.

Case: Emphasizing Important Information in a Technical Description


Dr. Juneja looks up from the piece of paper he is reading (Document 9.1) and puts on what looks to you like a forced smile. “All right, this is good,” he says. “Many of the facts are correct. Yes, this is a good start.”

You’re not encouraged. You glance at the two other students seated around the conference table in Dr. Juneja’s outer office. You are a member of a three-person team in your materials-engineering class. The other two team members are Melodie Karsten, a mechanical engineering major, and Phil Mitchell, a civil engineering student. You’re a materials engineering major.

“The engineering college spent quite a bit of money on this 3D printer,” Dr. Juneja says patiently as he lifts the piece of paper, “and they want to put this piece on the college website.” He pauses. There is an uncomfortable, lengthy silence.

“We know it’s just a draft. We need to add descriptions of the project we did in your class, and we’ve got a lot of photos,” you say. “We realize it’s not ready.”

Dr. Juneja nods slightly. “Let me send the three of you an email. I’ll tell you what I’d like you to do.” He shifts in his chair, which you know means the meeting is over. You, Melodie, and Phil stand and thank him for taking the time to meet with you.

Later that day, you get the email from Dr. Juneja (Document 9.2).

3. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the case background and documents, complete the assignment below. Your instructor will tell you how he or she would like you to submit your work. If your instructor wishes, do this assignment in a collaborative team. Otherwise, do it on your own.

  1. 1. Review Chapter 9 and study Dr. Juneja’s email. For each of the five points he makes, identify a passage in the original draft that could be improved as he describes. Revise each of the five passages according to his suggestions. For example, the first point in his email refers to the title of the draft. Revise the title to reflect his suggestion.
  2. 2. Perform any necessary research to learn more about 3D printing, and then revise Document 9.1 to improve its coherence. Focus on the title, the headings, lists, and paragraphs (including topic sentences, adequate support, and transitional words and phrases).

Reflecting on Your Work

Once you’ve completed your assignment, write a reflection about your work using the prompt below.

1 OF 1

Return to one of the sources you consulted as you further researched 3D printing. Examine how effectively this source emphasizes important information. In the box below, explain the ways in which this source follows or strays from the principles of emphasis and coherence covered in the chapter. In presenting information about 3D printing, did any of your sources inspire ideas about how you might improve the organization and development of your own draft? How so?

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