Download Minor Assignments assignment (.pdf)
Ongoing, see weekly schedules. Some weeks may have one, two, or even three minor assignments and some weeks may have none.
Throughout the semester you will be required to complete a number of smaller, informal assignments. While their focus, requirements, and nature will vary from assignment to assignment, their purpose will always be the same: to provide low-stakes opportunities to explore and practice pragmatic issues related to the course.
A typical Minor Assignment might ask you apply what you’ve just learned by creating a series of word cloud to analyze a text, create a graphic or a chart, completing a tutorial, or editing a document.
Specific requirements for each Minor Assignment, including submission guidelines, will be included in the weekly schedules.
Most Minor Assignments will be graded as satisfactory (full credit), unsatisfactory (partial credit or request to redo with the option of earning full or partial credit), or not submitted (no credit).
Minor Assignments Guidelines
Minor Assignments will be listed here as they are assigned.
Minor Assignment #1 (Week 1)
Post a short biography introducing yourself to the class in the Slack “biography” channel. Share only what you want to share — for some people there are very good reasons for not sharing basic information such as where you’re from, where you work, etc. The purpose of this assignment is to give us some sense who each other is since we’ll be spending the semester working together. Due: 10:00 PM, Jan. 15.
Minor Assignment #2 (Week 1)
Based upon the readings for this week, especially Ch. 1 of Johnson-Sheenan’s Technical Communication Strategies for Today, look over Arduino UNO & Genuino UNO, Baked Macaroni and Cheese, or Processing: Getting Started and identify the characteristics that make it a form of technical communication. Report your findings to me in a one-two page business-style memo (see Technical Communication Strategies for Today, ch. 5 and the Memo section of the Resources page). Please submit your memo as an attachment via direct message in Slack. Due: 10:00 PM, Jan. 17.
Minor Assignment #3 (Week 2)
Choose two websites that are for very different audiences. Consider how they use content, organization, style, and design to meet the needs, values, and attitudes of their audience. Drawing from ch. 2 of Johnson-Sheenan’s Technical Communication Strategies for Today, examine how the two sites approach their readers differently and report your findings in a business-style memo in which you compare and contrast the two sites.
Websites you might consider:
- Littlebits and Netduino,
- Pages for Mac and Apache Open Office,
- Super Mario Maker and Dwarf Fortress,
- Buzzfeed News and BBC News.
Please submit your memo as an attachment via direct message in Slack. Due: 10:00 PM, Jan. 22.
Minor Assignment #4 (Week 3-4)
Drawing upon both ch. 13 of Johnson-Sheenan’s Technical Communication Strategies for Today (“Designing Documents and Interfaces” read during Week 3) and ch. 10 of Solving Problems in Technical Communication (Ceraso’s “How Can Technical Communicators Plan for Users?” read during Week 4), review the case study on pp. 393-396 of Technical Communication Strategies for Today and using the design principles in both readings redesign the IPM Scorpions in Schools document (downloadable as a PDF).
Once you’ve revised the document, write me a memo in which you compare and contrast the old design with your new one, explaining why you believe your design is better. Please submit both your revised IMP Scorpions in Schools and your memo as attachments via private message in Slack. Due: 10:00 PM, Feb. 8.
Minor Assignment #5 (Week 5-6)
Find a set of data and use three different sets of graphs or charts to illustrate trends in that data. (For example, you might use a bar chart, a line graph, and a pie chart.) Drawing from the four guidelines for graphics and other issues discussed in ch. 14 of Technical Communication Strategies for Today and ch. 16 of Solving Problems in Technical Communication, compare and contrast the strengths and limitations each graphic has in representing the data set you’ve selected. Which kind of chart or graphic do you think would work best the data you’ve chosen? Please submit your graphics and discussion as an attachment via direct message in Slack. Due: 10:00 PM, Feb. 20.